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Old 19-Oct-2010, 5:55 AM   #1
GroundUrMast
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,749
General Technical & Safety Information

Here is a link that is slightly dated but still quite useful. (A few products mentioned are no longer available.)

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/basics.html

And another (even more dated) http://manuals.solidsignal.com/AntInstallGuide.pdf

The subject of bonding / grounding is one often overlooked at the risk to life and property.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...structions.pdf

As the title of the above document implies, the illustrations and advise are general in nature. But if you consider the drawing on the second page, the example grounding arrangement takes reasonable steps to keep fault current outside the building. ("In an electric power system, a fault is any abnormal flow of electric current. For example a short circuit is a fault in which current flow bypasses the normal load." source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fault_%...engineering%29 )

The drawing does not illustrate a situation where the mast is distant from the electrical service ground. In that case, a solution that may be permitted in many jurisdictions would have a copper clad ground rod driven into the earth close to the antenna mast and a 6 AWG copper wire from that ground rod the building service ground. The mast ground and transmission line ground wires would then terminate on the ground rod near the antenna.

I do take exception to the phase "Optional Grounding Information" because some may construe that to mean that grounding is optional. I doubt that any code enforcement jurisdiction would agree with such a conclusion. The only recommendation I am making here is that you comply with the codes governing your lo-cal.

The document ends with several warnings. Historically the last three are the ones I've had the most difficulty heading.

And some more information:
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_...protection.pdf
http://ecmweb.com/nec/code-basics/el...io_television/

Addendum 10/25/2010: Everyone participating in the TV Fool forum does so with an agenda. I would guess that the most common would be to enjoy the benefits OTA reception due to it's economic superiority to cable and satellite service. My agenda certainly includes an economic component, I like to save money. Like the other frequent posters, my agenda also includes a desire to help others by sharing information and offering advise about OTA reception. I also want to encourage awareness of safety. As my user-name obviously implies, I have an opinion about grounding. Call me odd, you won't be the first, but I have tried to understand why the electrical code says I should ground my antenna. I have come to the conclusion that the code is not way out of line, instead it seems to me that if I choose to ground my antenna system the way the code describes, I am buying an insurance policy. With most insurance, there are limits to how much is covered. As John Candle and I have discussed this, we seem to agree that if my antenna system were to be hit by lighting, my 'insurance' would probably not be enough protection to prevent any and all harm. In the end I have concluded that I am willing to pay for the protection provided by grounding while at the same time hoping I never need the protection it offers.

A couple of TV Fool member's experiences:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.p...2917#post32917 http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...5&postcount=12

A couple of YouTube videos illustrating and explaining the basic concept and purpose of grounding and bonding:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLW_7TPf310
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyeGqyq9kXE

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 31-Jul-2019 at 3:30 PM. Reason: added link to YT video
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