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Old 31-Aug-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
Ih8cable
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Location: Otay Mesa, San Diego, CA 92154
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Grounding Conundrum

I was going to mount my 12 foot tv antenna mast on the ridge of the middle of my roof for aesthetics and for ease of mounting. If I run the wires through roof into/near an unused “stove” vent and into the attic it is almost a straight drop into the room with the tv. After doing some research it seems this is not a good way to install mainly due to the lack of a grounding source for the coax & mast.
I considered a grounding rod but that would probably require running 50 feet or more of wire due to the fact my house is entirely surrounded by pavement.
Please correct me if I’m wrong but the alternative would be to connect with the circuit box ground. Right? Problem is that box is also some distance away and would require 30 plus feet of wire. I’ll do this if it’s acceptable. Unless anybody have any ideas for me besides relocating.
And yes, I have read several install guides already posted- seems like they’re always written for the “ideal” scenario! I already know I could gable mount or something and my antenna would be code, but my house would look like &*#@! I’m trying to find a real solution please!!!
Thanks !
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Old 1-Sep-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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It sounds like you're on the right track...

I like the idea of your antenna 12' above the roof peak. You'll likely have better quality signals to work with.

Run the mast ground to the electrical service ground as directly as possible, avoiding sharp bends in the wire. Even 30' or more is not too much length, just be sure to use #10 copper or heavier wire. The goal is to keep any fault current outside.

Then, even if it adds significant length to the coax run, locate the coax grounding block close to the electrical service ground. The mast ground and coax ground should not come together except at the point of connection to the electrical service ground. Only after passing through the ground block should the coax penetrate the building.

If the added length of coax reduces signal levels too much, the right preamplifier will overcome that loss. 100' of RG-6 will not have more than 6 dB of loss even at the highest UHF frequencies.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Old 1-Sep-2013, 4:16 AM   #3
Ih8cable
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Thanks again GUM!
Should I use jacketed (is that the term for wire with sheath?) or go with bare? I saw some Green 10 gauge solid annealed (soft) Copper(compressed stranded) at Home Depot called THHN rated at 600 volts. And they have the bare “solid” 10 gauge which I believe is also rated 600 volts.
What do you think?
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Old 3-Sep-2013, 5:01 PM   #4
GroundUrMast
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I just got done mounting a Ronard 811 tripod yesterday. I used most of a 50' roll of stranded #10 from the ground clamp on the mast, down to the ground rod. Stranded wire tends to curl a lot so I had to use closely spaced supports (screw mounted tie-wraps in this application) to keep it looking neat. Solid wire holds its shape well after being bent or straightened. I used black insulation to match the cable run with it... but bare is fine. As I recall, Home Depot often charged slightly more for bare vs. insulated...

Bottom line: Bare or Insulated, Stranded or Solid, are all just as effective as grounding conductors. It's your choice.

Then we had a thunderstorm roll through...
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 3-Sep-2013 at 5:04 PM.
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