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Mast and antenna grounding

Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
234
Location
Michigan
Perhaps my thought process is not seeing a reasonable and viable way to get a ground wire from one side to the other so I am open to ideas.
ANY idea passed on to you that may contain the words "inside, basement, crawlspace or attic" associated with grounding antennas or towers should be ignored!

Keep all very high potential voltages OUT of your dwelling(s)!!!

Oh and for a long grounding option as it looks like you have, 8' ground rods 16ish feet apart (spaced accordingly) for the entire run. Not only will this reduce the ground resistance back to the electric service, it also gives reduced resistance for the lighting to ground before your service entrance to the dwelling - which is what you want. Deeper the ground rods are in, the better!

mmckenna has a very good suggestion for the roof too!
 

FLA727

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Messages
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Location
Tampa Bay, FL
Some threads on QRZ apply.

Always check W8JI on tech issues like this.
I took a look at his member page and saw the pics; WOW, now that's an antenna!

Excellent idea.

While none of this is likely to be outside of an experienced do-it-yourself'er, having a competent electrician help you out is a good idea. They can make sure what ever you do meets NEC. Even if you do the hard work, getting input from someone that knows/lives NEC is a good plan.

Looking at the photo...
If I was living there, I'd probably mount the antenna at the roof peak on your house. Ground wire straight down to a rod and then bonded via horizontal run in PVC electrical conduit over to your entrance ground rod. If your house is on a concrete slab, getting the ground rod sunk in may be difficult. If there is concrete patio all the way around, a hammer drill with a long bit may be required. The electrician should have the tools to do that.

And, of course, the obligatory "make sure the antenna cannot contact the power lines in any way, even if it gets blown over in a storm".
Working backwards. Taking into account my efforts to make sure the antenna does not come into contact with any powerlines should it ever get blown over, I will be placing the antenna just on the other side of the partial block wall seen to the right of my picture. Placing it there provides addition "barriers" keeping the antenna away from any power lines in the event of it getting blown over. No power lines to its right, a tree and fence. To the left I have the block wall and the shed to stop it.

The electrician did give me a call yesterday. He asked what kind of antenna I was installing and then told me to get the bare ground wire and run it from the antenna across the rear of the house over to the ground block of my main service; securing it every 2 or 3 feet. He provided a link to this picture to help picture the work.

NEC_AntennaGrounding.PNG
 

WB9YBM

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Niles, IL
This is starting to sound like the experience that Samual Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) had with lightning arresters on his house--he wrote a pretty good/humorous piece on it! :LOL:
 

mmckenna

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The electrician did give me a call yesterday. He asked what kind of antenna I was installing and then told me to get the bare ground wire and run it from the antenna across the rear of the house over to the ground block of my main service; securing it every 2 or 3 feet. He provided a link to this picture to help picture the work.
Yep, good deal. That's aimed at consumer TV antennas, but the code is the same. Depending how much distance is between your antenna and electrical entrance, I'd probably add a ground rod at the base of the antenna, and maybe some additional ones.

There's variables in ground resistance. Ideally you want less than 5Ω for a commercial site. But trying to design hobby/consumer installations to commercial standards can get expensive.
 

WB9YBM

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Depending how much distance is between your antenna and electrical entrance, I'd probably add a ground rod at the base of the antenna, and maybe some additional ones.
...and (maybe?) not spaced identical distances apart--varying the distances between ground points will reduce the chances that in its' entirety it will be seen as multiple wavelengths at one given frequency (or am I over-analyzing?)
 
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(or am I over-analyzing?)
Over analyzing for sure!
A navel study on grounding indicates ground rods to be ineffective if placed much closer than 16' apart. As far as wavelengths, installed correctly and without loops, it won't matter unless you are using it for a ground plane, then that's a whole nother issue...
 

mmckenna

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...and (maybe?) not spaced identical distances apart--varying the distances between ground points will reduce the chances that in its' entirety it will be seen as multiple wavelengths at one given frequency (or am I over-analyzing?)
Over analyzing. This would be a lightning/protection ground, not a ground radial.
 

FLA727

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Feb 23, 2021
Messages
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Location
Tampa Bay, FL
I do appreciate all of the input here. I have my plan and now just need to get it all put together. Mast is ready to go up but I need to get the base plate in the ground. I had to order the ground wire since Home Depot didn't have any stock and that won't be in until about the 12th so for now I am in a holding pattern.
 

FPR1981

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Feb 1, 2021
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This thread is certainly very enlightening for me as well. I have an entirely separate grounding rod for my antenna because it's all the way over on the other side of my property from my electrical service entrance.
 

FLA727

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This thread is certainly very enlightening for me as well. I have an entirely separate grounding rod for my antenna because it's all the way over on the other side of my property from my electrical service entrance.
Believe me, I have been doing so much reading (not just here) and heard so much advice that I was just about ready to ditch the entire project in fear of somehow burning down my house one day. With the advice I have gathered here along with what my electrician told me to do, I now have a sense of peace and will carry on. I work 6 days a week so Sundays are really the only day I can work on this so it may be the end of this month before I can be up and running.
 

prcguy

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You don't want to do that if you can't bond the distant rod to the house main ground point. Your probably better off disconnecting the distant ground rod.

This thread is certainly very enlightening for me as well. I have an entirely separate grounding rod for my antenna because it's all the way over on the other side of my property from my electrical service entrance.
 

mmckenna

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Mast is ready to go up but I need to get the base plate in the ground.
OK, one thing to remember, water will collect inside the mast. Make sure that water/condensation has a way out. Don't sink the mast partially in concrete. There needs to be some amount of drainage, or the whole thing will corrode out from the inside.
 

FLA727

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OK, one thing to remember, water will collect inside the mast. Make sure that water/condensation has a way out. Don't sink the mast partially in concrete. There needs to be some amount of drainage, or the whole thing will corrode out from the inside.
Got it covered! I must admit, it was a thought and initially sounded like a good idea to go into the ground with it.

The mast will be in the base plate and will be above ground. My plan is to be able to take it down when we have a hurricane on the way.
 

mmckenna

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Got it covered! I must admit, it was a thought and initially sounded like a good idea to go into the ground with it.

The mast will be in the base plate and will be above ground. My plan is to be able to take it down when we have a hurricane on the way.

OK, good deal, just wanted to make sure you were aware. Some sink it in concrete thinking it's a good thing. It can work, but the mast base would need to extend all the way through the concrete and down into some drain rock underneath. The water needs a way out.

Using the base plate is the way to go.
 

FLA727

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Well all is up and amazingly working great. It works but I am not 100% happy with the mast itself that I DIY'd. Once I recover from this whole experience I will look into a "professional" mast install. Probably what made the additional challenges was that I wanted something I could raise and lower on my own so that when tropical storms and hurricanes are on the way I can do it by myself; which I can currently do but it's just not as nice and clean as I want it all. I should have just purchased a commercial telescopic mast or searched for a hand crank one. All said and done it is about 25ft ground to bottom of the antenna and grounded to the home ground, not a separate ground rod.

Appreciate all the help form all!
 
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