WA4STO - grounding solution

Started by WA4STO, April 15, 2013, 03:53:29 pm

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I am please with my 7" thick log house.  Not perfect, but pretty good projectile protection.  Decent thermal mass, which means no heating or cooling needed in spring or fall. It helps a bit during the summer, but an R is only an R during the winter.  (7" log = 3.5" fiberglass wall for R value)

My last house was made of concrete.  Excellent thermal mass, which meant very even temps indoors.  ie, get the stove red hot and its still not too hot inside, and let the fire go out and the house takes many, many  hours to cool off.  But without insulation the heating bill was enormous (mass does not = insulation).  My ideal house would be stone or concrete with external insulation.


Quote from: WA4STO on April 15, 2013, 03:53:29 pm
Hi guys.  Thought I'd put up a snap of my station as of April of 2013.

Most of the stuff is fairly 'standard' to most of you but the antenna feed lines and the method of grounding might be of interest, mostly because most amateurs these days would rather use coax cable rather than the open wire feeders shown above.  Coax is ok for one very narrow range of frequencies but with open wire feeders, you can operate on every frequency above the design freq of the antenna.  SWR?  Never a problem, since -- unlike coax -- open wire line has almost zero loss even with insanely high SWR present.

If you look hard, you'll spot the fact that there are not one but two eight foot ground rods.  I had a contractor in to do some other work on the house and I puzzled him into a frenzy by asking him to purchase and ram in those two ground rods.  Glad I did; they work great.  Every piece of equipment in the shack is bonded to one or the other of the rods, by way of the straps that you can see in the photo.

The knife switch at the top of the pic is to shunt the feeders to ground, whenever I learn of any storms in the area.  The "up" position is for normal antenna-to-rig(s) operation, while the 'down' is everything-gets-grounded ops.

If you have any questions about what you see in the picture, ask away.  Some of you might want to know just how the feeders get where they're supposed to go, all the way to the tippety-top of the antenna mast.  Or maybe you want more info on the antenna system tuner.  Just don't ask me how much that sucker costs.  Anytime the XYL asks me about that matter, I claim domestic forgetfulness.


Luck, WA4STO
ARRL A1-Operator
NTS(D) Target Station
NTS(D) Digital Relay Station

Are your 2 ground rods bonded together ?  Are they also bonded to you house service ground ?  If not they need to be both for safety and to meet electrical codes where all grounds must and should be bonded together.


October 24, 2013, 01:57:23 pm #17 Last Edit: October 24, 2013, 04:27:45 pm by Archangel320420
Nice looking station, by the way, STO. I just saw this old post.


Quote from: s2man on May 12, 2013, 02:15:39 am
Well, I see a flashlight.  I saw an ad this week for flashlights. It said, "Be prepared when the lights go out".  So, I guess you are all set ;-)

LOL.  I almost did a spit take when I saw the pistol.  This is the radio preppers forum, after all.  Mine is in the cabinet, nearby.  So you are more prepared than I am. 

Seriously, the grounding is impressive.  The ground rod for my house a/c power is right outside of my office.  But I don't think I want to tie my electronics to that...  And the open wire is interesting.  I haven't bumped into that, yet  (And I've read 0.02% of the literature available).  It reminds me of the wiring in a Victorian house I owned.

Nothing wrong with using the AC service ground as "ALL" grounds are required by most electrical codes to be bonded together anyway and they should be !