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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 27, 2020 4:09 am 
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Location: Zeeland MI
For general coverage receivers, just a long wire up about 8 feet off the ground. I have a 4BTV that I need to put up, but I just can't get inspired to dig a hole to install a piece of tubing for ground mount. I've had it for over a year, and it's still in the garage.
RW

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 27, 2020 5:40 pm 
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And now the $64,000 question: what is a sufficient way to RF ground your random-length long wire antenna? I am asking for a friend :-)


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 27, 2020 9:52 pm 
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mrrstrat wrote:
And now the $64,000 question: what is a sufficient way to RF ground your random-length long wire antenna? I am asking for a friend :-)


In short, if you’re using the random length wire antenna into a boat anchor type receiver for receiving only, RF ground isn’t strictly needed. However if you have an outboard antenna tuner as part of your setup, it can help to run a wire as short as possible from the tuner ground screw to an earth grounding rod.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 27, 2020 10:11 pm 
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My dad has a S-40 and the AM medium wave band was noisy in the middle part - I ran a ground wire some 50 foot to a ground he has outside (earth grounded rod) and it was a miracle on how quiet it got. It improved his reception on all other bands (by pulling out QRM/QRN noise apparently).

I tried that too using the house safety ground and it had no effect. I am only receiving and not transmitting but thought about putting in a rod into the ground but honestly pounding an 8 foot rod in the ground just won't happen. Maybe I tie into the gas meter ground?


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Tue 27, 2020 10:54 pm 
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Location: Lexington, MA
No don’t tie into the gas line. Not a good idea. Look for your main cold water pipe, you can tie in there if you like.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 2:16 am 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
A grounding rod is still the best; some water pipes are plastic now.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 2:26 am 
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Does a grounding rod have to be 8' in the ground to work? How about those 3 footers you can buy at Menards?


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 3:24 am 
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For all practical purposes, a couple of the skinny 4 ft copper ground rods spaced five or six feet apart will be quite effective. A garden hose running water on the ground where you’re driving the rod can help make it easier to sink. Some people even use 3 or 4 of the short rods. Just space them out so you can get maximum ground conductivity. I have heard stories of people during the early days of radio pouring water on their ground rod so they could get good reception from a distant station. So it may help.

Regarding cold water pipes, true, the metal or copper ones are most common in older homes. I don’t know details of the municipal code, but I believe in many locations where the house water joins the water main there is a metal section that runs underground for some feet.

Also, yes I have tried using the house electrical ground as an RF ground before. It doesn’t work well at all.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 4:19 am 
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W1GFH wrote:

Also, yes I have tried using the house electrical ground as an RF ground before. It doesn’t work well at all.

Everything is relative; connecting to the keeper screw of an AC wall outlet plate is better than no ground at all, but naturally less effective than connecting to a series of metal rods driven into the ground. But when that's not practical, "somethin' is better than nuttin"... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 6:31 am 
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I used to have, and maybe still do have a fitting that connects a garden hose to a pipe thread which has been very useful for sinking ground rods.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 12:48 pm 
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I have a hose with modern wiring so I know my safety grounds are correct: using this for RF grounds did nothing for me. This is compared to how drastic the improvement was with my dads set when we grounded it with a underground ground. For me, the centre plug ground in my house was a disappointment.

W1GFH wrote:

Also, yes I have tried using the house electrical ground as an RF ground before. It doesn’t work well at all.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 28, 2020 1:02 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
mrrstrat wrote:
I have a hose with modern wiring so I know my safety grounds are correct: using this for RF grounds did nothing for me. This is compared to how drastic the improvement was with my dads set when we grounded it with a underground ground. For me, the centre plug ground in my house was a disappointment.

W1GFH wrote:

Also, yes I have tried using the house electrical ground as an RF ground before. It doesn’t work well at all.
My theory is that, because of the close proximity of the ground wire next to the hot and neutral wires in household wiring, line noise is often induced into the ground wire making it ineffective for RF grounding.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 01, 2020 11:12 pm 
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Location: Upstate NY by the big lake!
I use an inverted Dipole, cut at about 33', with the center up about 20' in an ash tree. Plus about 150' of 50 ohm coax.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 09, 2020 1:49 am 
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Quote:
My dad has a S-40 and the AM medium wave band was noisy in the middle part - I ran a ground wire some 50 foot to a ground he has outside (earth grounded rod) and it was a miracle on how quiet it got. It improved his reception on all other bands (by pulling out QRM/QRN noise apparently).

This comment posted sometime in the past needs some clarification. By grounding one end and feeding towards the middle, the antenna is now an inverted L design where total length of wire equals 1/4 wavelength at some frequency. It may work just as well to not ground the bottom end, in which case the antenna is now a 1/2 wave dipole. It would be interesting to see how the two antennas would have compared.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 13, 2020 1:43 pm 
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My dad had great results with two 8 foot pure copper rode in the ground about 6 foot part for his setup. So I went to Menards and found a 10 foot rod someone returned ($15.00) and bought it, cut it in half to make two 5 footers, and then pounded them into the ground 6 feet apart so about 3 inches on each was sticking out. Then I used wire to connect them and ran a wire out to them for a ground: works great!

Night and day difference in the amount of noise reduction without loss of reception.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 14, 2020 3:45 pm 
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I have 5 radios and connected the GND tabs together as a sort of 'radio ground network'. Then I run a wire off of the closest set to the ground wire I have coming into the house.

Is it a bad idea to daisy chain the grounds on my sets with the goal being 1-wire to many grounded sets? I only have one at a time on but I cannot see how this would cause a problem. But I don't know if it will cause some sort of parasitic attenuation I might not be aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 14, 2020 9:35 pm 
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mrrstrat wrote:
I have 5 radios and connected the GND tabs together as a sort of 'radio ground network'. Then I run a wire off of the closest set to the ground wire I have coming into the house.

Is it a bad idea to daisy chain the grounds on my sets with the goal being 1-wire to many grounded sets? I only have one at a time on but I cannot see how this would cause a problem. But I don't know if it will cause some sort of parasitic attenuation I might not be aware of.

Everyone's situation may each be a little different, so the best course of action would be to experiment.

Try operating one radio tuned to a weak station, both connected to the others through their grounds, and then by itself, and see if there's a difference. Try it both daytime, and at night.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 14, 2020 10:00 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
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In general, a 'star' connection, with each radio going to ground separately, is better than a chain. The former avoids ground currents from one radio affecting the others.


Last edited by bob91343 on Nov Sun 15, 2020 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2020 12:08 am 
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30 ft. Longwire on DX-302.

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Useing For Antenna?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 15, 2020 2:05 pm 
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As mentioned in my earlier post, my 160 meter doublet antenna is up in the trees, fed with a quarter wave section of 450 Ohm window line, then to a 1:1 Balun on the side of the house then coax into the basement.

Image

I've used this MFJ tuner for probably fifteen years now with no problems.

Image

Usually for receivers an antenna tuner isn't needed, but for transmitters a Tuner is sometimes need if you don't have band specific antennas.

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