Topics

Do I really needan 8ft ground rod?


Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM
 

I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


W7ABD
 

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Don’t anyone buy a t post driver, borrow mine instead.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:13 PM, W7ABD <w7abd1@...> wrote:

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM
 

Paul -You are awesome! Thanks for the explanation and offer!


On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:18 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Don’t anyone buy a t post driver, borrow mine instead.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:13 PM, W7ABD <w7abd1@...> wrote:

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Ken Kosters
 

I also have post driver and will say ground radials don't hurt also. 

Ken W7ECK

On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:18 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Don’t anyone buy a t post driver, borrow mine instead.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:13 PM, W7ABD <w7abd1@...> wrote:

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



Dale Smith
 

I weld if someone needs a weld done.

Regards,
Dale Smith


------ Original message------
From: Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
Date: Mon, Dec 9, 2019 9:18 PM
Cc:
Subject:Re: [snovarc] Do I really needan 8ft ground rod?

Don’t anyone buy a t post driver, borrow mine instead.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 9, 2019, at 9:13 PM, W7ABD <w7abd1@...> wrote:

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



Rick Burns
 

The T-Post Driver is the best way but by no means an easy effort. Wear ear protection and don’t be surprised if it just stops and won’t go further.

 

Rick

Kb7cin

 

From: snovarc@groups.io [mailto:snovarc@groups.io] On Behalf Of W7ABD
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2019 9:13 PM
To: snovarc@groups.io
Subject: Re: [snovarc] Do I really needan 8ft ground rod?

 

Hi Howard,

The purpose of the ground rod it to get down to where the soil is wet, where the ground is conductive.  Around the Pacific Northwest that is typically about four feet.  That said, you still should try to get the rod as deep as you can. Otherwise you may see performance differences depending on the season as the water table goes up and down.

Oh and a good tool for pounding the rod into the ground is a T-Post Driver.  It is a 2 1/2" capped heavy pipe with handles welded on each side.  Much easier to pound the rod into the ground than using a hammer.

Jim
W7ABD

On 12/9/19 18:04, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM wrote:

I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************

 


Robin Amundson
 

My first antenna on my KX3 was a wire tossed out the upstairs window with another wire along the baseboard. My KX3 puts out 15 watts barefoot. Now my station is in the basement, up to 500 watts out of the PA. Hillside vertical with starburst ground wires and a balun. All the work is done outside EXCEPT pounding in a ground rod outside the shack. I doubt 8 feet is possible in my location. It has been tried...I power down the entire shack, unplug, and disconnect the coax at the PA when the weather looks dicey. I am aware of a tower running 1.5K without all "necessary" ground rods. There are some horror lightning stories, houses burning down. Has that happened here? 

So, with no ground rod are you prepared with a storm mitigation plan and willing to take your chances? If I lived in Florida, my answer would be different than living here. I will get a round tuit, perhaps this coming summer.  Ward Silver, N0AX, wrote THE book on the subject, available through ARRL.  He also had an "incident". Not sure any grounding measures are foolproof. It is all hypothetical because the power of lightning is pretty much beyond comprehension and unpredictable. 

So, I say, don't put up more barriers to getting on the air than are necessary...

73,
Robin, WA7CPA





On Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 6:04 PM Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM <wa1hem@...> wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Dan Pflugrath
 

If you are using the ground rod as a lightning ground also then you are all on the right track. 

 

If you are using it only as an RF ground the easy way is to buy a length of copper pipe, cut one end at a sharp angle and solder a hose adapter on the other.  Attach it to your water supply and just push on it and work it into the ground.  I did this for my End Fed Half Wave antenna and was easily able to get 8 feet into the ground.  I think I found the idea on YouTube.

 

73,

Dan KA7GPP

 

 

From: snovarc@snovarc.groups.io [mailto:snovarc@snovarc.groups.io] On Behalf Of Robin Amundson
Sent: Monday, December 9, 2019 10:06 PM
To: snovarc@groups.io
Subject: Re: [snovarc] Do I really needan 8ft ground rod?

 

My first antenna on my KX3 was a wire tossed out the upstairs window with another wire along the baseboard. My KX3 puts out 15 watts barefoot. Now my station is in the basement, up to 500 watts out of the PA. Hillside vertical with starburst ground wires and a balun. All the work is done outside EXCEPT pounding in a ground rod outside the shack. I doubt 8 feet is possible in my location. It has been tried...I power down the entire shack, unplug, and disconnect the coax at the PA when the weather looks dicey. I am aware of a tower running 1.5K without all "necessary" ground rods. There are some horror lightning stories, houses burning down. Has that happened here? 

 

So, with no ground rod are you prepared with a storm mitigation plan and willing to take your chances? If I lived in Florida, my answer would be different than living here. I will get a round tuit, perhaps this coming summer.  Ward Silver, N0AX, wrote THE book on the subject, available through ARRL.  He also had an "incident". Not sure any grounding measures are foolproof. It is all hypothetical because the power of lightning is pretty much beyond comprehension and unpredictable. 

 

So, I say, don't put up more barriers to getting on the air than are necessary...

 

73,

Robin, WA7CPA

 

 

 

 

 

On Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 6:04 PM Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM <wa1hem@...> wrote:

I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



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Lou Giliberto (KD7HCW)
 

I agree with everything Robin said. I'll add this. If you are going to ground, make sure you know what is being grounded and how. If you do it wrong, especially using multiple ground points without bonding, you will cause more problems than you solve including safety issues.

Here's an overview of why we shouldn't haphazardly pound a rod into the ground, attach to the antenna, and call it good.

http://w8ji.com/station_ground.htm



Sent from ProtonMail mobile



-------- Original Message --------
On Dec 9, 2019, 10:06 PM, Robin Amundson < wa7cpa@...> wrote:

My first antenna on my KX3 was a wire tossed out the upstairs window with another wire along the baseboard. My KX3 puts out 15 watts barefoot. Now my station is in the basement, up to 500 watts out of the PA. Hillside vertical with starburst ground wires and a balun. All the work is done outside EXCEPT pounding in a ground rod outside the shack. I doubt 8 feet is possible in my location. It has been tried...I power down the entire shack, unplug, and disconnect the coax at the PA when the weather looks dicey. I am aware of a tower running 1.5K without all "necessary" ground rods. There are some horror lightning stories, houses burning down. Has that happened here? 

So, with no ground rod are you prepared with a storm mitigation plan and willing to take your chances? If I lived in Florida, my answer would be different than living here. I will get a round tuit, perhaps this coming summer.  Ward Silver, N0AX, wrote THE book on the subject, available through ARRL.  He also had an "incident". Not sure any grounding measures are foolproof. It is all hypothetical because the power of lightning is pretty much beyond comprehension and unpredictable. 

So, I say, don't put up more barriers to getting on the air than are necessary...

73,
Robin, WA7CPA





On Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 6:04 PM Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM <wa1hem@...> wrote:
I'm about to toss up a random wire antenna. I'm wondering if I really need a full 8ft grounding rod or can I get a decent ground with something shorter. What say you Elmers?

73

--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM
 

Thanks everyone for the replies. To clarify I’m wondering if I need to ground the counterpoise to a grounding rod - not grounding for lightning protection, which, if I understand it correctly, is a different matter
--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Ok.  I’m now offering to loan an enticing pair of items:
* T stake driver (once I find it in the garage)
* ARRL book on grounding (once I find it in the studio)

Offer open to any members of SNOVARC.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 12, 2019, at 9:09 PM, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM <wa1hem@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies. To clarify I’m wondering if I need to ground the counterpoise to a grounding rod - not grounding for lightning protection, which, if I understand it correctly, is a different matter
--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************


Paul Butzi (W7PFB)
 

Ah.  After searching high and low I have figured out that I actually own this book on Kindle.  So I can loan it to anyone who’s willing to read it on a Kindle or Kindle app on their laptop or phone or tablet.

The T stake driver has been located.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 13, 2019, at 12:22 PM, Paul Butzi (W7PFB) <w7pfb@...> wrote:

Ok.  I’m now offering to loan an enticing pair of items:
* T stake driver (once I find it in the garage)
* ARRL book on grounding (once I find it in the studio)

Offer open to any members of SNOVARC.

-p W7PFB
73, Don’t forget to smile and have fun!

On Dec 12, 2019, at 9:09 PM, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM <wa1hem@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies. To clarify I’m wondering if I need to ground the counterpoise to a grounding rod - not grounding for lightning protection, which, if I understand it correctly, is a different matter
--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************



Lou Giliberto (KD7HCW)
 

Yes but you don't want your counterpoise to inadvertently become your house ground. 😊 A quick look at the link I posted, especially the first two pictures will explain why this can happen and how to avoid it.

All of your house power, lightning and rf don't care if it's an rf ground or electrical ground. They will try to get to it.

Be safe!

73


Sent from ProtonMail mobile



-------- Original Message --------
On Dec 12, 2019, 9:09 PM, Howard E. Mahran / WA1HEM < wa1hem@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies. To clarify I’m wondering if I need to ground the counterpoise to a grounding rod - not grounding for lightning protection, which, if I understand it correctly, is a different matter
--
*************************
Howard E. Mahran
WA1HEM
(425) 864 - 5104
*************************