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Grounding a 2nd Floor Ham Shack

Feb 20th, 10:21

KI5GXR

Joined: Nov 3rd 2019, 20:07
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I just got my General in November, and I am in the design stages of a beginner's level part-time ham shack. This will be set up and used on weekends, days off, etc. I am gradually acquiring equipment (antenna, mast, radio, etc) as the funds become available. Unfortunately with kids in the house, my only available location is an upstairs office bedroom that is on the opposite side of the house from my service panel. I know all about grounding requirements, and how everything has to be connected to the service ground, etc but I could be looking at about 20 ground rods to get everything to reach and bond to the service ground. Plus I need to find a solution for that long wire dropped from the second story window for the initial ground rod.
I recently read about a technique using RG-8 coax which involved combining the shield and center conductor to connect to the ground rod, while connecting only the center conductor to the radio/ equipment in the shack. The shield and center conductor on this end would be joined with a capacitor. I believe it was designed by N8SA (William Chesney). It is claimed that this method will resolve both RF and electrical ground issues, while "fooling" the grounding system into thinking the wire length is much shorter than it actually is.
1) Has anyone tried this technique or know anything about it's validity? This seems to be the only solution to get the ball rolling on my grounding system.
2)If my shack is only going to be set up and running on a part time basis (weekends, etc) how elaborate does my grounding system need to be?
Feb 20th, 18:59

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
The capacitor just shorts the center conductor and shield together at RF, and doesn't provide any significant advantage.

You can now by an inexpensive nanoVNA and conduct measurements to see if there is any difference.

Can you run a feedline to the service entrance to be bonded to the service ground, and then run it inside the house to the station location?

If you have grounds on either side of the house and you get a lightning strike, lightning can cause a fire trying to get from one side of the house to the better ground.

Zak Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Feb 21st, 13:09

KI5GXR

Joined: Nov 3rd 2019, 20:07
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Can you run a feedline to the service entrance to be bonded to the service ground, and then run it inside the house to the station location?


-It sounds like you're talking about running a single wire from the service ground to my shack equipment from inside the house. My situation I'd be looking at about 125 feet of wire. I thought this line needed to be kept as short as possible for RF reasons? I heard that if you had a long distance to connect your shack ground to the service ground, you needed to do it outside and drive ground rods every 8 feet or so until you reached your service ground rod.
Feb 21st, 13:41

W1VT

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
https://www.w8ji.com/house_ground_layouts.htm
Tom gives his opinion on a several popular options. You may want to look at the pictures and decide what is most appropriate for your situation.

QRZ.com is the only ham radio site that provides picture hosting on site. On this site and eham.net you need to host pictures on another site and link the pictures using basic HTML.

Zak Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Feb 26th, 15:22

AI4BJ

Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I'm in a similar situation to you. My solution is to leave my antennas disconnected from my station when I am not on the air.

Mark AI4BJ

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