As part of my RFI hunting adventure I am working to make sure that my station is setup properly. I’ve built a new ham desk that should help me cleanly route all the various cables between radios, power supplies, PC control and coax. As part of that work I have just installed a ground rod right outside the coax entry point to the house.
In the part of Georiga that I live in there seems to be an enormous amount of rock in the ground. Digging into the ground is never a fun task and I now own a nice pick axe because of it. The thought of trying to pound an 8ft rod into the ground was not appealing to say the least. The other day I drove a short 30 inch bit of copper pipe into the ground. Surprisingly it went in very easily. So I decided to try my luck and put my new ground rod right next to the temporary one.
Within just a couple of minutes of climbing on the ladder with my trusty new 4lb sledgehammer, I had the ground rod half way in the ground.
Another couple of moments and the ground rod is at the depth I wanted. This leaves me enough of the rod above ground to connect some coax lightning protectors. Bonus, no rocks encountered!
In the image above you can see the new ground rod with the Alpha Delta UCGC partially installed. Just to the right you can see my temporary ground pipe with a ground clamp and thick wire running away to connect to another ground clamp on a coax barrel connector. Did I mention this was temporary?
This last picture shows the final setup. I have the coax attached to an Alpha Delta Transi-Trap lightning protector. I took my Dad’s advice and used star washers between the lightning protector and the copper clamp. This helps ensure a good metal to metal contact is made.
To protect the metal from the weather I intend to apply a protectant, just as soon as I figure out which one to use. For now a bucket is providing some moisture prevention. Another addition to this setup will be a post to hang extra coax on. I’ll need to make sure I include drip loops to keep water from finding its way into the house too.