Getting a good static discharge ground

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Kane, Aug 4, 2001.

  1. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I have installed at my roof peak, at the end of the house, a Fanfare FM-2G vertical, omnidirectional FM antenna. I put a brassy static discharge, or grounding block at the antenna base, inside the F-connectors, and setscrew-clamped a length of aluminum ground wire. It will attach to a 4-ft copper ground spike from Home Depot that I hammered about 3 ft into the earth.
    Now I live in a part of the country that has very little ligtning, altho it does come with winter storms.
    Still, it's also recommended that a water pipe can be used for ground. Next to my ground spike is a hose bib. I suppose at the other end of the house it connects to a tee and the actual underground water pipe house feed.
    My question: Is it overkill to add an 2-3foot ground wire extension from the spike to the hose bib, using a water pipe clamp made for this purpose; and will it still be beneficial if the water pipe "ground" is actually elsewhere?
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  2. MarkDesMarais

    MarkDesMarais Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm no expert, but I do know a couple of things. . .
    1) That little ground wire won't do anything about lightning. (can you say pffft! I knew you could! ;-)
    2) You should tie all your ground points together. Assuming that you are using coax from your antenna to some piece of gear in your house, you could have grounds at different potentials, setting up a dangerous situation.
    Your house electrical is all grounded together, and should be grounded to your water pipes, and likely to a ground rod somewhere close to the service entrance. Your gear that is sourcing from the antenna is referenced to this ground.
    Now, by adding another ground rod, you have a new ground that could be at a different potential, setting up problems for you and/or your gear. You want to tie those grounds together- I think code is small gauge (#6?) bare wire back to the original ground rod. Can vary by location, of course.
    There is a good article over on dbsforums.com, under technology, submissions, Grounding- A MUST READ ARTICLE. It is talking about satellite dishes, but the concepts are the same.
    Markd
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    thanks to all above -- TMI! -- but I'm reading it.
    Anyway, I am going to city hall and check w/bldg inspectors. I was hoping to clamp onto an exposed water hose bib, but I need to check, since at my house, the breaker ground, apparently, is clamped to the GAS METER PIPE! And there is no ground stake at this location.
    Also, I bought 50 ft of ALUMINUM ground wire, but I dont see this material recommended in any of the code abstracts, rather bare copper or No. 6.
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    [Edited last by Bill Kane on August 13, 2001 at 06:12 PM]
     
  4. MarkDesMarais

    MarkDesMarais Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill-
    I'm pretty sure your aluminum is ok, as long as the gauge is correct. You do need to make sure you use the right fittings though to avoid getting corrosion at the Al-Cu joint.
    Markd
     
  5. Gene Severn

    Gene Severn Stunt Coordinator

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    My area of the country requires an 8 ft. ground rod driven into the earth with am #8 AWG ground wire terminating to the neutral bus in the panel box. All water piping must also be bonded to this ground. Check with your local building inspector for the requirements in your area.
    That skinny aluminum wire would merely act like a fuse with a lightning hit. I always disconnect the antenna and cable inputs in a severe storm. Several years ago, we had an indirect hit in the neighborhood. The energy traveled down the coax shield and took out the tuner section in the TV. The cable WAS properly grounded by the cable company.
    Lightning seeks the path of least resistance!!!
     

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