Hunting RFI’s, Part II

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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