There are volumes of literature on this topic and the more of it I read, the less informed I become. As Forest Gump said about the shrimpin’ bidness, “It’s tough”.
Although my tower has been up a couple weeks now, I’m just now getting around to making proper grounds for all things related to it: the tower itself, feedline/rotor cable, rotor control box and the entry point to the house.
The weather has been clear lately, but with storms predicted for Sunday, it’s time to bury some copper.
I’ve bought all the right parts and spent this morning hammering in three 8-foot ground rods with a 10-lb sledge - two at the base of the tower and one additional at the shack’s entry point.
Pounding metal with a sledge…clink…clink…clink. The only thing missing was the Notting Hillbillies serenading me with an old railroad worksong.
Clamps, grounds straps and Polyphaser surge protectors complete the gear list.
But now I’m wondering, Why? Is it all as necessary as we’re led to believe?
I’ve never had a lightning-related event that additional grounding would have prevented or even mitigated. I have had a direct hit – nothing would have reduced the severity of equipment damaged. Echoing my sentiments is this eHam article by Steve WB2WIK.
And daisy-chained grounds for gear in the shack? Guilty!
I don’t have the luxury of running separate ground braids to a common ground point and I’ll bet you don’t either. Around here, that would amount to five parallel ground braids running to the same destination – I don’t see the point, the efficiency or even the safety advantage to that.
Instead, my K3′s ground lug is connect to my tuner’s ground lug which is connected to my amp’s ground lug which is connected to my rotor controller’s ground lug. Then a big fat braid goes out the window to the copper rods.
Tom W8JI does things differently and writes about it here. I may eventually build toward something similar but for now, my main protection will be what it has always been – disconnecting all cables coming into the house at even the suggestion of lightning in the area.
Sledge hammering music (yep, that’s Mark Knopfler on the guitar):