Grounding and Bonding for a 2nd floor radio setup -- need advice/recommendations
I am fairly new to the Ham radio hobby, even though I received my license four years ago (delayed due to moving and work). My office is on the second floor where I want to have my radio (IC-9700), which will be connected to a tri-band Diamond x6000a antenna.
My dilemma: I want to install the antenna on the highest point on my roof, but the distance to the ground will be over 20 feet, over two different levels of roof on the way down. The coax will have a surge/lightning in-line protector where the coax enters the attic and I was planning on using a copper plate to tie into under the eaves. I plan to run the 6 AWG copper wire from the protector, through the mast grounding clamp, through the copper plate, to the ground rod. The spot where I want to put the ground rod (directly under the drop point for the 8 AWG copper wire (solid)) is around the corner from the service panel; however, a copper water pipe that feeds into the sprinkler box, which is grounded in the basement with the main house grounding, is right next to the drop point.
1st Question: Can I bond the new copper grounding rod to the copper water pipe without running a solid 6 AWG buried copper wire to the service panel?
2nd question: Do I need to have a separate ground wire for the radio or can I ground the radio to a UPS (APC 1300XS) or to the normal house ground in the outlet?
I really have limited locations in my home for my setup. My office is the optimum location right now.
Greetings Jon! First welcome and thanks for posting......... I just built a new house and took great precautions with my grounding. I would suggest looking over the ARRLs book on grounding/bonding it was a huge help to me. I followed their recommendations geared more towards a mountain top repeater installation, I did a perimeter ground ring as well I have a 45' tower that has more ground rods. I grounded my antennas at the base of the tower with a simple ground plate and chassis mount ground bar. The coax goes to my service panel where it has Morgan Lightning Arrestors for each coax line as well as my rotator control cable bonded to the homes perimeter ground ring. I am on a high ridge in north Parker and we are very prone to lightning.
I would suggest a similar installation for you in that I would provide lighting/static as direct a path to ground that you can, my best guess is that your #6 copper is a bit undersized, as I used #4.
I think you are on the right path by keeping all connections out side the house with a direct path to ground. Now comes some confusing info... By most building electrical codes, you should only have one ground point that the house AC system is tied to, and this can include bonding to the water pipe with a ground rod and or UFFER ground system. However.... you may want to look at another school of thought and that is RF grounding. Here you may want to separate the homes grounding from antenna/coax and radio equipment grounding to minimize ground loops of RF energy.
I have the ARRL book if you would like to borrow it. Keep us posted on your progress. I am part of the Elmering Committee and this group is a wealth of information and we do make site visits.
73 Scott AK6Q
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