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base antenna help

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lightningx54

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I'm rigging up a base antenna for CB/SSB. I don't have a radio for a base station yet but i have a 102" whip and an Astatic ASTGPK kit. its got the mount, coaxial, mounting hardware, and the wire for doing the ground plane radials. I need help on ground it for lightning and setting up the ground plane radials. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it.
 

JayMojave

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Hello Lightning X 54:

Take a look for 1/4 wavelength ground plane antennas on google.com They will have quit a few 1/4 wavelength ground plane antennas you can look at.

The coax center wire will go to the 102 inch whip antenna, and the shield wire will go to the ground plane radials. The center wire and shield should not touch each other or have continuity with each other. The 102 inch whip antenna will need to be insulated from the ground plane radials.

Soldering the PL-259 connector onto the coax you will need pratice. Look it up on google.

Good luck

Jay in the Mojave
 

mmckenna

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Ground the radial side of the antenna with a heavy gauge copper wire, preferably 6 gauge or larger. That will need to run as straight as possible down to a ground rod hammered into the ground. Use a 6 or 8 foot rod if possible.
Try to keep the ground run as straight as possible if you can. If you have to make turns, make a gradual turn, not sharp bends.

Also, understand that no matter how good your grounding system is, it will NOT protect your radio against a direct strike. If your antenna gets hit directly by a lightning strike, your equipment will be toast. There isn't much you can do to protect from a direct lighting strike. The best you can do is to give it an easy path to ground, and hope it does the job.
A good lightning protection system may protect you from a nearby strike.

Add more ground rods if you can. You can ground to a metal cold water pipe if it runs underground. Do NOT ground your lighting protection system to your house electrical ground only.
 

lightningx54

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I got two answers there. Do I need the ground plane radials and a grounding rod or just a grounding rod?
 

mmckenna

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You need both.

The ground radials are there to act as a counterpoise to the radiating element (the 102" whip). They make the ground plane under the antenna to give it a nice radiation pattern.

On a car, the metal roof or body would act as the ground plane under the antenna, the 3 radials under your antenna serve that purpose.

The ground cable and ground rod serve as a lightning ground. Lightning is searching for a path to ground. If you don't give it one, it will find one. Usually through your antenna, feed line, radio, you, your house, your dog, and every piece of expensive electronic equipment it feels like destroying. By giving it a path to reach ground, it will help give it a place to go. Doesn't mean it won't go through you, your dog, your new TV, etc, but most of it will go to the ground rod. The ground rod will also give static electricity that can build up from wind, rain, etc a place to go, rather than through your radio.

So, you need both.
 

mmckenna

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If you live in a area that gets a lot of lightning, you should also install a coaxial lightning protector on your feed line somewhere before it enters your house. It attaches to your feed line and your ground rod. It will give a path from your center conductor and 102" whip to ground if enough energy builds up from a nearby lightning strike. Again, it won't protect all your gear, but will help reduce the amount of damage.

Get a good one. PolyPhaser makes good ones, and there are some others out there, like Alpha Delta and a few others. I'd steer clear of the cheap Chinese made e-bay knock offs, this is one place you don't want to cut corners.

Actually, you should have these on all your outdoor mounted antennas, even ones mounted in the attic if you want to be safe.
 

lightningx54

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okay. for the radials, how should i position them? they came pre-crimped with the eyelet to put on the antenna mount but their just loose wires.
You need both.

The ground radials are there to act as a counterpoise to the radiating element (the 102" whip). They make the ground plane under the antenna to give it a nice radiation pattern.

On a car, the metal roof or body would act as the ground plane under the antenna, the 3 radials under your antenna serve that purpose.

The ground cable and ground rod serve as a lightning ground. Lightning is searching for a path to ground. If you don't give it one, it will find one. Usually through your antenna, feed line, radio, you, your house, your dog, and every piece of expensive electronic equipment it feels like destroying. By giving it a path to reach ground, it will help give it a place to go. Doesn't mean it won't go through you, your dog, your new TV, etc, but most of it will go to the ground rod. The ground rod will also give static electricity that can build up from wind, rain, etc a place to go, rather than through your radio.

So, you need both.
 

mmckenna

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Spread out evenly.

If there are 3, they should be spread at 120 degrees from each other. If there are 4, then 90 degrees from each other.

They should spread out horizontally under the antenna, or slightly drooping. The exact angle drooping from horizontal will have some minor affect on the antenna SWR. You likely won't get a good pattern or SWR if they are just hanging loose under the antenna.

You may need to support them with some light rope or fishing line. If you don't have anything else, you can use some PVC pipe, etc.
 

lightningx54

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okay. thank you.

Spread out evenly.

If there are 3, they should be spread at 120 degrees from each other. If there are 4, then 90 degrees from each other.

They should spread out horizontally under the antenna, or slightly drooping. The exact angle drooping from horizontal will have some minor affect on the antenna SWR. You likely won't get a good pattern or SWR if they are just hanging loose under the antenna.

You may need to support them with some light rope or fishing line. If you don't have anything else, you can use some PVC pipe, etc.
 

mike_gain

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If you angle the radials down 40-45 degrees it will bring the impedance closer to 50 ohms. This will be a better match for 50 ohm coax.
 
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