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Old 25-Oct-2012, 8:12 AM   #20
GroundUrMast's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
If the question is, 'Should I ground my antenna?'

My stock answer is, Grounding/bonding the mast and coax shield are prudent and relatively inexpensive steps that limit the buildup of static-electricity which can damage the tuner. When done correctly, grounding/bonding can also reduce the risk caused by a nearby lighting strike as well as a power line fault that would otherwise energize the antenna system.

Grounding/bonding in a basic system is a two step process:

1) Connect a #10 gauge copper wire to the antenna mast. A bronze ground clamp such as the Halex #36020 is well suited for this application. Run this bonding wire directly to the electrical service ground. Avoid sharp bends in the wire. (If the ground wire between the service panel and ground rod is accessible, an Intersystem Bonding Device can be placed onto the ground wire without cutting or disconnecting it. This provides a means to connect the #10 mast ground/bonding wire to the existing ground wire close to the ground rod outside the building. If possible, avoid running the new ground/bonding wire inside the building, energy from static or electrical storms is best directed to ground before it has any path into the building. The mast ground/bond wire can be bare or insulated, your choice.)

2) Run the coax from the antenna to a location close to the electrical service ground (ideally, 10' or less). Install a ground block and with another piece of #10 wire, connect it to the electrical service ground at the same point you connected the mast ground/bond.

I don't recommend short-cuts such as driving a new ground rod that is not connected to the existing electrical service ground. An isolated ground rod often has a high resistance that provides very limited ground connection. The goal is to connect to the same ground/bonding system that protects the rest of the home.

Surge protectors located inside outlet strips at the TV, computer or similar devises are worth consideration. A surge protector with a high joule rating is able to absorb more fault energy than a unit with a lower joule rating. Some surge protection units include phone jacks and F-connectors to enable protection of a phone line, coax cable and the power cable(s). However, in the case of an outdoor mounted antenna, this type of protection should not be considered a 'first-line of defence'.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 29-Mar-2017 at 8:36 AM. Reason: updated link to Intersystem bond device example
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