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tower question

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bluestallion

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Feb 10, 2009
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noble il
hey guys, i finally got my tower up and now wanting to ground it. I was at the hardware store yesterday and they have 8ft ground rods, and 4 ft. they have solid copper #6 wire, and stranded. Im not sure if id be able to get most of 8ft rod in the ground, would the 4ft work?? Also since my tower has 3 legs, would i need to buy 3 rods? or just 1 rod with 3 wires off each leg bonded to the 1 rod?? Any help or pros or cons are greaty appriciated. Thanks guys
 

Av8tor56

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Jun 29, 2011
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Roswell, NM
Your best bet is to ground all three legs. If you can get them driven in, I'd use the 8 ft rods. You'll also want to install a ground bus at the cable entrance to your RF shelter. Then ground all cables entering the building. Also, you'll want to ground the cables on the tower. Just inside the RF shelter I'd place another grounded bus bar and terminate the RF cables there. Add a Polyphazer to each RF cable and ground it to the bus bar.
 

Jongage

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San Jose, CA
Grounding all three legs sounds silly to me. I do not see the advantage of pounding three rods in the ground, vs just one. As long as you connect the tower to the grounding rod via a nice heavy 1 or 0 gauge cable that sould be ok.

-Rob
 

lep

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I have had a direct strike on a 90 foot fully guyed Rohn 25G tower that did extensive damage. Grounding all three legs isn't silly at all if it will help to divert some of the energy. Ground rods are a lot less expensive than replacing the buried coax that was "blown" out of the ground! Sure, the chances are small of a direct strike. but it does happen...
 

Av8tor56

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how do you go about grounding the cables? cut part of the jacket off, and puting a ground strap on it?
You need to get a grounding kit for your RF cable. They're sold by type (LMR-400, LDF-4, etc). It'll have a cable running off of that and use it to ground to the tower bus bar. Then use another one to ground to the cable entrance to the building. That's the minimum you should ground. The standard for grounding towers and shelters can be found in the Motorola R56 manual.
 

talkpair

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Apr 27, 2009
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Location
Clinton County, MO
I have an 8 foot rod at the tower base and additional 8 foot rods at each of the 3 downguys.

I took a direct hit about 15 years ago which splintered the antenna, but did no damage to the coax.

No regrets here.
 

K4RBT

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May 12, 2011
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Location
Salem, Virginia
Grounding all of the tower legs is an industry standard. It spreads the thousands of amps over a larger area, gives redundancy in case a small strike burns the connection.
Polyphaser has some great information on grounding as well as the ARRL books on antenna installation.
Everyone has their idea of what an installation should be, you just have to see what damage a strike does to want to do as much as you can.
A way to drive ground rods is to rent a Bosch large hammer drill, that is how the wireless internet provider did mine, into red clay no less.

Fred Mahone
 

Thayne

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Grounding all three legs sounds silly to me. I do not see the advantage of pounding three rods in the ground, vs just one. As long as you connect the tower to the grounding rod via a nice heavy 1 or 0 gauge cable that sould be ok.

-Rob
Industry practice because of the resistance to ground of each rod is that going larger than #6 copper to a ground rod is just wasting money; by the same token more ground rods (as long as they are at least six feet apart) is a good thing. They should all be bonded together with approved fittings or just use an unspliced bare copper wire between them and take it to where you need it.

Nowadays I don't know how to keep the thieves away, though.:p

Bury it so they won't see it I guess.
 
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