Ham and Dish Ground (1 Viewer)

ScooterS

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I'm starting to think about getting my ham shack set up at the house. It has been many, many years since I've played with any of the HF stuff.

I will have a second floor ham shack with some type of long-wire antenna, which will likely be in the eaves.

I'm starting to consider grounding and RF interference.

The shack will be in a second floor bedroom. I had the Dish guy run a dedicated ground to the home's structured wiring panel up there (in the ham shack area) with a good connection to the primary house ground.

Can I tap on to that dish ground for my station ground?
Is it better to use that or run another ground, not bonded to the house ground?
Should the antenna ground be part of the same grounding system or a separate rod that I drive (not bonded to house ground)?
Am I likely to get RFI into the dish, house, alarm, etc with the shared ground.

73's!
 

KE4EST

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Old Timers Told Me:
When I got into ham radio many years ago that is what I was told. Make sure to drive a ground rod for your station.
I was told go straight out the window close as I can and drive a ground rod and tie everything to that, but just my station.
This is fine as long as you have it bonded to your house electrical system ground.
This was old timers that were use to this before houses started to have proper grounds.
True if it was 1940, a ground was good and the only way to do it back then was to drive your own rod.
Proper Way:
If you drive a rod for your station, just make sure it is bonded to the house ground. If not you will get some nasty ground loop problems.

...but instead of me typing a book I just remembered this: Station Ground

Go get a cup of coffee and sit down and have a read at the above site.
If your second story room is close to house ground. I would personally drive me another 8 foot rod and run a heavy 6 gauge wire to it.
In my station have a ground bar, so everything can be tied to it.
Also in case you are wondering, if say you put a 2 meter mobile rig as a base like most do. As long as your PS is grounded you don't need to "rig" up a way to ground that radio. IMO.
 

jayn_j

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The thing KE4EST is referring to is that 'ground' is never an absolute.

I had a close friend who was working as a phone installer through college. He had a job where he had to do a new installation on a house that backed up to an electrical substation. He did it by the book and drove in a ground rod at the junction box. He then ran the wire from the pole. When he attempted to connect the ground wire from the feed to the ground rod, he got knocked on his butt. He then measured and say over 400 volts between the phone 'ground' and the earth 'ground'.

If you are tying together two different grounds, you really do need to measure the voltage difference and make sure you tie them together with a wire of sufficient current capacity. You can't just tie the antenna to a ground rod because the rest of the radio is tied to electrical ground. Most likely the chassis is tied directly to the green ground wire which is in turn tied to electrical ground at the box. If you don't tie the two grounds together, the radio itself becomes the ground bonding point, and potentially some current will flow through the chassis.

-WA9OHS-
 
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harshness

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Since a ham radio's ground supplies both a drain for stray current and a reference ground for antennas, the shack should have a dedicated grounding system. Once completed, code typically demands that it be bonded to the house ground (the 6AWG part).
 
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ScooterS

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Thanks Guyz! Have any of you had problems with RF getting into the Dish stuff??
 

jayn_j

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Thanks Guyz! Have any of you had problems with RF getting into the Dish stuff??
Nope, never have. Doesn't mean I don't get blamed every thunderstorm for dropouts. That antenna is a lightning rod (pun intended) for neighbor complaints. Actually, I don't currently have any HF gear or visible antenna, but working from past experience.
 
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KE4EST

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Nope, never have. Doesn't mean I don't get blamed every thunderstorm for dropouts. That antenna is a lightning rod (pun intended) for neighbor complaints. Actually, I don't currently have any HF gear or visible antenna, but working from past experience.
This is so true. I could be gone on vacation(ie. NOT transmitting), still my fault. Then some neighbors are just amazed. I had one couple tell me one time they hear me every night at 10PM, coming through their TV speaker. That was an HF net I used to check in to and I would fire up a pair of 3-500Z's for that. I told them I was sorry and they should have told me sooner. Oh no they said, said they enjoyed listening. One sided conversation, but ok. :D
 

jayn_j

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This is so true. I could be gone on vacation(ie. NOT transmitting), still my fault. Then some neighbors are just amazed. I had one couple tell me one time they hear me every night at 10PM, coming through their TV speaker. That was an HF net I used to check in to and I would fire up a pair of 3-500Z's for that. I told them I was sorry and they should have told me sooner. Oh no they said, said they enjoyed listening. One sided conversation, but ok. :D

I was deployed overseas and my mom received a court order to cease and desist operation. My mother was forced to get a copy of my deployment orders and have the district attorney come into her house so she could show them that the radio was packed away in a box and the antenna was ground terminated. Radio hadn't been used for 2 years at that point, but I was obviously to blame because of the HyGain vertical.
 

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