Grounding the ground rod

Way back in 2014 I documented installing a ground rod as part of fighting my RFI issues. I thought adding  ground rod by itself was enough. Turns out after reading the book Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur that I was quite wrong!

So I bought some 4 awg solid copper “wire” (thickest Home Depot had) and the clamps to connect the shack ground rod to the electrical service ground rod. Fortunately these two ground rods are not very far apart, about 9 feet with a corner of the house in the way.

The most difficult part of this whole process was the digging, especially around the electrical service into the house. Our utilities are all buried and making sure I didn’t electrocute myself was high on my list. I was able to follow the above ground portion of the ground wire into the ground and dig around to find the actual ground rod. It wasn’t where I expected, but that was fine and within the distance of the 4 awg wire I had purchased.

Once I had the destination identified, I started digging a shallow trench over to the shack ground rod. This took me some time, mostly due to rain and cold weather. Today it was warm enough to continue the trench and get the two ground rods connected together.

With the trench dug out, connecting the clamps and wire is simple enough. I cleaned up a space on the ground rod using some sandpaper so I was sure I had a good connection point. I also tried to make sure that the wire going into the clamp from not taking a sharp, hard bend. Hopefully mine will work as intended.

On the service entrance rod, I moved the existing clamp and wire further down into the earth, cleaned up the top of the rod a bit, then added my new clamp and wire. I also relocated the smaller green wire and clamp that Comcast added when they installed their coax to the house back in 2013. They had tied their ground to the house ground wire. I figured it would be better to avoid several extra feet of ground wire path for their ground by getting it much closer the actual ground rod.

One of my next projects will be moving the antenna coax lightning arrestors to a better solution. Currently the arrestors are attached to a bracket mounted to the top of the shack ground rod. I’m thinking about going with one of the entry panel boxes from KF7P Metalwerks.

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