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Scanner / Receiver Antennas For discussion of any type of receiving antenna used by a scanner or receiver base, mobile or handheld.

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Old 06-11-2010, 11:08 AM
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Default do i need to ground this antenna??

ok i have this Antenna outside my house about 20 feet up do i need to ground this ????

Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna - RadioShack.com


can i just do a simple wire from the antenna to a rod in the ground ....... or would i have to get all techy... i have the antenna attached to a 2x4 to the side of my house... not attached to a pole..... yet at least... but even then if i do it wont be that high up... will not be higher then my roof... as its to high up for a ladder for me as i cant be on tall latters do to health... also do i need a special wire for grounding or can i use some electrical wire i have left over from adding lights to my trailer??? to use as a ground wire???


thanks

thanks
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Last edited by Monster75; 06-11-2010 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:38 AM
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Default Many opinions on grounding...

If you do ground your antenna, use a grounding rod, usually 6 foot long, driven into the earth. Then use a good solid copper grounding wire.

With that said. I NEVER ground my antennea as I've had them up as high as 100 feet in the air. The thought is that if you ground the antenna, lightning will go directly into the earth instead of into your equipment.... BS!! I repeat...BS! Lightning will go wherever it wants to go. I've been hit through grounded antennea and it destroyed everything and I've been hit with ungrounded antennea and it sestroyed everything. I know of guys who also got hit, grounded and not, where nothing was destroyed. Your call.

T
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:41 AM
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Just what are the chances of your antenna been struck by lighting - pretty small Monster, but if it does the potential damage is no joke - and expensive if the receiver is connected the other end.

But an antenna earth will not save your receiver nor neccasserily your antenna, but what a good earth will do is act as a reliable control, providing a route to earth for all that energy. If it's lightning that concerns you, then a lightning arrestor is what you will need to add. But what an earth wire will do is prevent static from accumulating, by bleeding it to earth 24/7.

So, grounding is a good idea, and for the work involved versus the saving it can offer, yes, go ahead and do it.

In it's simplest form as thick a gauge of copper ground wire as you can get your hands on, or budget for. and a solid steel rod knocked into the ground a good 4' or so will do. Make sure the connection between the copper grounding wire and the ground rod is effective. Don't just tie it on. Clamp it to the ground rod with a proper ground rod/cable clamp, pipe clamp or similar, and then wrap the connection point completely with electrical or self amalgamating tape so that moisture does not accumulate around the connection, cause corrosion and ruin it's effectiveness
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:55 AM
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thanks again ben for more info sorry about all these questions i have but i am new to this and wanna try to learn as much as i can and do things right the first time around.. i will go ahead and ground it with wire and a grounding rod... thanks..
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monster75 View Post
thanks again ben for more info sorry about all these questions i have but i am new to this and wanna try to learn as much as i can and do things right the first time around.. i will go ahead and ground it with wire and a grounding rod... thanks..
... thats what the community is here for - to help - so ask as many questions as you want.
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Old 06-11-2010, 9:23 PM
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Hmm, 6ft is an odd size for a ground rod. Is there something special about the 6ft length and lightning?

"Use a good solid copper grounding wire". Uhh, what size would that be?

If my response sounds like I'm some sort of an AH its because I get frustrated with people giving complete BS advice on a subject that can kill someone or destroy their property.

At the very least the original poster should consult the NEC (article 810) on grounding for antennas. This will steer you in the right direction but its not a cure all for lightning protection.
prcguy



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Originally Posted by tncem View Post
If you do ground your antenna, use a grounding rod, usually 6 foot long, driven into the earth. Then use a good solid copper grounding wire.

With that said. I NEVER ground my antennea as I've had them up as high as 100 feet in the air. The thought is that if you ground the antenna, lightning will go directly into the earth instead of into your equipment.... BS!! I repeat...BS! Lightning will go wherever it wants to go. I've been hit through grounded antennea and it destroyed everything and I've been hit with ungrounded antennea and it sestroyed everything. I know of guys who also got hit, grounded and not, where nothing was destroyed. Your call.

T
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:01 PM
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Two comments.

First off, ground rods are generally 8 feet long. Grounding is an important thing to do and doing it right is critical. While safety is the most important issue, failure to do so or doing it wrong may invalidate your insurance so any damage may not be covered. This thread http://forums.radioreference.com/ant...rotection.html and its associated links are a good place to start on the topic of grounding an antenna.

Second, damage from lightning isn't always from a direct hit. Severe damage to electronics can be caused by lightning striking something nearby. While a direct hit is often catastrophic, a properly grounded installation often saves equipment from the damage of an indirect hit.
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Old 06-12-2010, 2:13 AM
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Default To Ground or Not To Ground.....One More Time....

Howdy

The prior post from N5IMS is good information to add to your research and the NEC code. The "grounding" subject is always chalk-full of disparate opinions, brother-in-law myths and some half-facts....then you get to the second paragraph....do your research !

I would always opt to go the logical and safety route by solid grounding and using a good arrestor as well. I would suspect (as N5IMS notes) that in some areas, static discharge across an antenna or coax/wire might be more of an issue, especially in hot-dry (low humidity) weather conditions.

Research and logic and small expense in a grounding system / arrestor will be a reasonable bet to reduce or mitigate damage to the radio gear. The best grounding and arrestors would likely not protect from a direct hit, but a near field hit and/or static build up might be shunted to ground and thus reduce the chances of damage hopefully.

Another consideration is to get a good quality (ex: Alfa-Delta) Coax Switch that you can switch to Ground when storms approach or when you are not at your monitoring post to effectively de-couple the antenna from your radio gear, thus another step to mitigate damage to the gear.

These are my opinions......others can chime in with some other points of view, but recommend you do ground and place arrestor(s) in your instalation....that's what the folks with 2-way radio's do & their gear is many more times more expensive, so I suspect they do it for a good reason...

Thx

Bill
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Old 06-12-2010, 7:53 AM
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so would either of these work??

Walmart.com: TRENDnet TEW-ASAK Outdoor Surge Arrestor Kit: Computers

or this one

Amazon.com: TRENDnet Outdoor Lightning Arrestor Kit (For…


and once i have this installed i am all set dont need anything else???
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:16 AM
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A bit late to this thread, but a few thoughts. I live in the Canadian equivalent of " tornado alley" or "thunderstorm row" or however you want to call it, and sadly have a fair bit of experience with lightning strikes and damaged electronic equipment of all and any sorts. Also I have a weird mix of wiring here in my downtown, commercialy and residential, they tell there are are still even houses with the old ceramic spool and 30 amp service, and you know what, I've seen it myself. A few thoughts:

1) I have found - the hard way - that most "retail" surge protectors, lightning arrestors, etc, are junk. Look into something that is commercial and/or industrial quality. it's wroth the extra money.

2) Layer your protection. Have more than one arrestor and/or surge protector on your gear. For example, they build those Stryker armoured vehicles here in my hometown, and the armour on them is layered, and different materials, not just a plate of thick steel. Think the same way when protectng against lighting.

3) Bear in mind that depending on the strike, you can have all the protection in the world and still get nuked. I'll give you a direct example. We've taken direct hits on our building here, but the strike that did the most damage to phones, computers, etc, was one that didn't hit us, but hit - oh maybe half a mile away. Very shortly after that lighting strike, a hydro transformer one block down the street from us blew up. I mean - BLEW UP - just like something out of that Stephen King movie "The Green Mile" when everything blows up at the end when they electrocute the innocent man. Looked just like that, and never saw anything like it before in real life in my whole life.

Well that power surge a split second after - fried all sorts of electronics. Yes, long story, but that's when I learned the hard way that even if you use the surge protectors and arrestors that your insurance company recommends, well guess what, they usually don't know jack. I also learned a lot about "fine print" and "having it in writing". Long story there too.

4) Lighting rods might be illegal in your area - check for sure. We had to install a "grounding plate" according to our local building code. Our code is very specific about the size of plate, type of wire to be used, the depth at which you have to bury the plate, and so forth. Double check your local codes as I imagine they vary considerably, but just don't take advice off the internet.

5) Contrary to my earlier advice, I found one retail product that usually gives some protection are UPS (uninteruptable power supplies) that are usually used for computers. They will usually fry and cook before your computer does, and I use them for radios, TVs, just about everything.

6) Your real danger anymore is not always lightning, but your plain old electrical service itself. Up here in times of peak useage for electrical power, I am sure Ontario Hydro "plays games" with the the voltage or something to that effect. Power off your plug in your house or place of work is not always consistent, so a good, high quality UPS that maintains a clean and stable pwoer supply throughout the day is, IMO, just as important as a good lighting arrestor.

Sorry for the long, long rambling post, but don't take chances with lighting, and don't go cheap, because if you do, you'll pay for it in the long run.

joe
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Old 06-14-2010, 3:37 PM
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Joneil2000 raises some points readers would be wise to keep in mind

- Lightening arrestors
There is no single perfect technology when it comes to lightening arrestors. The best technology on the marker within the grasp of the amatuer community (and to a large extent the pro, the mil and the commercial community as well) is the Spark Gap/Gas Discharge type arrestor. But, it's still not a garuntee. While it is able to handle enormous currents and voltages, which is what makes it ideal for dealing with lightening, it is slow and will often allow considerable voltage to "leak" through before kicking-in, so to speak. Well, why the hell use one then? Because, despite that disadvantage (and it's a comparitive disadvantage only i.e. slow when compared to other technologies), its advantages over other lightening protection devices/technologies still leaves it head & shoulders your first and most relaible & dependable option (along with a good ground rod installation). A company that makes real good arrestors is a German co. called HOFI - check out: .: hofi :..

- You can have all the protection in the world and still get nuked:
How true this is. The problem with lightening is its shear power and unpredictability, which none of the USA or European protection standards are able to account for in all circumstances. At best, the protection standards are an indication of what should at min be implemented to protect hardware from destruction - but they are not guarantees. How well a grounding rod of any given size/diameter/length and depth inserted into the ground will work, is as much about the conductivity of the rod material as it is about the condition of the soil/earth into which it is sunk. The only certainty, is that the longer it is, the deeper it is sunk into the ground and the larger it's diameter is, the better it will work in any given circumstance - and better still the more moisture the soil holds! The larger the surface area between the rod & the earth, the faster and more efficiently the energy can dissipate across the interface between the 2.

At the end of the day lightening remains as unpredictable as are the chances of [you] surviving if struck.
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Old 06-14-2010, 4:39 PM
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wow all this great info thanks everyone... well today i got the antenna up on my garage roof then on a pole so its about 30 feet off the ground.. then i took grounding wire and attached it to the pole then from there i attached to a grounding rod in the ground... that's all i can afford right now. but in the future i plan to make it better on grounding and lighting protection... i will take a picture of it latter how i have the thing set up.. thanks for all the info everyone and with all this info i can start to research price's and sets up for my situation... thanks again and i am glade to be a part of this forum...
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Old 06-14-2010, 7:36 PM
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Great ... that's a start. Any indication that a storm/lightening is on the way, unscrew the coax cable from the scanner receiver. Scanner now safe.

You may also want to slip a plastic bag over the end of the coax/connector (close tight with an elastic band) and stick it out the window - in the unlikely event your antenna gets struck, if nothing else, no flash-over mess.

Chances? - well, when last was your TV antenna struck?
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