Am I going to burn my house down doing this?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Erik.Ha, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    I bought a CCrane ferrite AM antenna... I really like the results Ive gotten. I Ran the antenna element out a window, and got pretty good reception across the band.

    The manual says I can get better reception if I ground the antenna. It has a ground nut. Can I attach a wire from this to the steel security bars on the window, or will this cause the house to spontaneously combust the next time we get thunder? Will this result in an effective ground?
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Grounding the antenna won't increase any fire hazard, in fact not grounding the antenna makes for a very slightly greater fire hazard.

    The security bars on the window are probably not a good ground. The best bet for a ground is the screw that holds on the cover plate of a properly grounded outlet, or the pipe inside a baseboard radiator whose plumbing is all soldered together. Experts used to say that any plumbing such as a water pipe is a good ground, except if parts of the plumbing are plastic or have screw joints with Teflon tape, there might not be a good electrical connection all the way down to something metal buried in the ground. Older electrical systems that use BX cable appear to be grounded but have numerous joints held together with screwed together metal clamps that may or may not be too oxidized to provide a good ground path.

    Video hints:
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  3. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Damn... I dont have any of these things anywhere near where the antenna is mounted... Would a wrought iron fence that is sunk into a concrete patio work?
     
  4. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    You really don't want to ground something that could be struck by lightning to something that you might be touching when lightning strikes (like a water pipe, electrical componet or iron fence). There's only a slim chance that your ground wire would survive the current of a lightning strike, but I still wouldn't want to be in the shower during a storm knowing my outdoor antennae is grounded to my water faucet. [​IMG] Your best bet is to earth ground it by driving a metal stake or pipe into the earth about 5 ft. or so and ground it to that. They sell bare galvenized stakes for this pupose at Home Depot.
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    The fence with legs embedded in concrete is not a good ground for lightning protection purposes but may improve the reception as a ground does, assuming it is quite long (at least 50 feet) and welded together as opposed to having segments bolted and clamped together.
     

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