Friday 3 July 2020



I've just been reading a loooong debate on an online Amateur Radio Group and was amazed by the huge variance in opinions on not only what represents a good RF Grounding, but also on whether they're really necessary!  That last bit left me quite surprised because we're not talking about a bunch of newbies here - these are mostly from hams who have been operating for decades.

So what's going on?? Well first of all, I am amazed by how many people quickly turn the conversation to electrical grounding - they're seemingly confused over the difference between that and RF grounding. Quite shocking (if you'll excuse the pun). And then there are those people with bizarre beliefs!

From my own personal viewpoint, an RF Ground is essential and desirable. I appreciate of course, that everyone's circumstances are different and some hams have a real job on their hands to install a good station ground. I'm quite fortunate that on the other side of my shack wall is a garden, so I have an extremely short path to the ground-rod. Some people have no such luck.

A friend of mine lives on the top floor of an apartment block and struggles like crazy to get a decent ground. As a result, his transmissions can cause havoc with the block's Door-Entry Intercom system. Not a good situation to be in and he's managed to partially resolve his problems with a virtual ground of some description.

Anyway, my question (to myself) was who's right?? I'm a big believer in empirical evidence and when someone shows me something that works, I'm pretty much sold! But then there's the theorists who can be equally persuasive. Rather than listen to a bunch of guys battling it out in a forum, I think I'll stick to the advice of the manufacturers and the big organisations like the RSGB & ARRL. 

Here's a link to what I consider to be a good read. I'd LOVE to hear about how YOU achieved a good Station Ground in your shack - or why you don't even bother with one.

Click on the image below....

Thanks for visiting 👍
Tom McQ - M7MCQ


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Tom, there should be a warning that not everything written in this article is right. But some of it is. There are several documents and sites about grounding. I've been writing about it myself actually and tried all kind of grounds. I'm not a believer. My station works well without grounding every single part of the station. The only thing grounded is my power supply. I have to tell that I use a safety 1:1 transformer to feed everything in my shack so it is not galvanic connected to the mains net. I also grounded the entrypanel at the wall to a earth rod, not for RF but for safety. My tower has a ground as well. I have a shack on the second floor. You can consider yourself as lucky to be able to have a very short lead to your groundrod. Most of us hamradio operators are not able to do that. 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Good evening Tom, I use the non-loop system which means all my station equipment grounds go to a single point and out to a ground rod. Now having said that the ground rod I use is from the previous owners and is not to close to the shack. I have a run of number 6 from the station to the ground rod of about 30 feet. Down this way it's very rocky and I dare not try to pound a ground rod in.

MadDogMcQ said...

Thanks for the visit and the contribution Mike - it's greatly appreciated. I too have all the station equipment ground to a single entry point. I was going to use long, wide braided earthing straps, but OMG they are sooooo expensive :-D

73, Tom, M7MCQ

MadDogMcQ said...

Thank you very much for your contribution Bas, it's very much valued. I'm glad to hear that someone (with experience and knowledge) has provided an alternative answer to the loud roar of "you must ground all your station equipment". I don't know whether or not that article is perfectly correct or not - all I know is that they have a lot more knowledge than me LOL.

Thanks again!

73, Tom, M7MCQ