[TowerTalk] Ground strap

James L. Johnson jjjohnson@saiph.hpl.hp.com
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 17:12:17 -0800 (PST)

   I hope this isn't one of the topics that gets repeated so often that
people are bored with it.  I was talking to a friend about grounding my
mobile antenna mount to my vehicle and my thought was to get a wide
braided strap to go from the mount to the truck.  I assumed that I would
get a low-inductance, low-resistance connection due to the physical
dimensions of the conductor (large surface area).  He suggested that I
might not, due to the crowding of current near the edges of the strap,
caused by like charges repelling each other in the flat area.  A round
wire doesn't have this problem because the current is equally
distributed around the surface of the conductor (skin effect) and there
is no bunching due to an odd shape.  So my question is:  what is the
optimum shape for the conductor making the "ground" connection between
the mobile antenna mount and the vehicle?  Does it really matter much
since mobile antennas are such low-efficiency devices that I wouldn't
be able to tell the difference anyway?  I'm wondering what the experts
might say ... folks like Steve (K7LXC) and Tom (W8JI) and the others
who have much more experience than me.

Jim W6SC

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