[TowerTalk] grounding compromises

David Talkington dtalk at prairienet.org
Sun Aug 6 17:43:29 EDT 2006

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Salutations --

I'm trying to arrive at the most appropriate grounding and lightning 
protection solution for an 80m dipole at my small residence.

The house electrical system ground is at the opposite end of the house 
from the station.  To reach it from the bulkhead would require about a 
50 foot run of either wire or strap, and would require three bends 
around corners.  There is concrete around the perimeter for the entire 
distance, and no crawl space or basement for that portion of the trip, 
so a straight line isn't possible, and I can't put the entry point there 

To avoid relying on this relatively high-impedance path to ground, I 
have driven a copper-clad steel bar into the ground near the bulkhead, 
and have a 10 foot, nearly straight line to it from the bulkhead.  The 
coax will have a lightning suppressor inline at that point.  The entry 
is into the basement, and runs up a couple of feet to the first floor 
where the station is.  I will bond the water pipe (which is yet another 
path to ground), heating ducts, and house electrical ground in that area 
to the station ground.

So ... there are now at least three paths to ground in the structure: 
the electrical service ground, the copper water pipe, and my 
supplemental electrode near the coax bulkhead.  This creates the 
possibility of a potential or rise time difference between grounding 
points.  Is this worth concern, or simply a necessary compromise in a 
residential structure pressed into service as a radio station?  How have 
others approached similar challenges?

Cheers -d

- --
David Talkington

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