A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Useful information regarding antennas for SDR products.
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A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby Paul » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:59 am

Having done some reading-up on the topic, I now find myself rather confused by either the "depth" of the explanations and the contradicitions that one finds.
I am only interested (at present) in a receive-only setup.
Question 1: Is it sufficient to ground a simple end-fed long-wire to a copper water pipe "in the shack?"
Question 2: If somewhere in it's run, the copper water pipe is interrupted by a length of plastic pipe, is this still an efficient earth as it would seem to me that the water flowing through it is what matters most since the ground wire is attached to the copper? I put this question to an electrician who seemed to agree that this should be the case.
Question 3: Why is a COLD water pipe always recommended as it seems common practice for telephone engineers to use copper radiator pipes for this purpose (hot water)?
I would be most grateful for any simple (it needs to be in my case) clarification.

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Re: A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby g1hbe » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:04 pm

Oh no. If you ask a hundred people you'll get a hundred conflicting opinions.
My experiences suggest that these days, with all manner of devices dumping noise onto the mains and into the earth system, there is no hard and fast rule. I've found that on some bands an earth can make the noise less, on other bands it gets worse. And different earths (water pipe, outdoor spike, whatever) have different effects. It all depends on how the noise is finding its way into your system.
I think the only way is to do some comparisons and find out which works best.
I've found that some kind of transformer between the aerial /earth system and the receiver input is very good, as it breaks the common-mode path between the two. I'm a LF listener and adding a transformer got the noise down a lot. I've probably said all this before.....

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Re: A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby Mike2459 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:50 pm

One of the problems is that many, perhaps most, homes built in the last 50 years use plastic piping out to the street. Even though there is copper pipe in the home it may not provide a continuous electrical path to the soil outside. I don't believe tap water itself is a good enough conductor to provide a good RF ground for an antenna.

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Re: A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby Spider » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:55 am

G'day Paul. Greetings. I can only offer my experiences. Ques.1 Not good to use house pipes, here the household electric system is earthed via these pipes. Noise generated in household appliances, both yours and your neighbors exist on these pipes. In times of drought have had S9 noise but after heavy rain soil moisture was high and noise level dropped to S1. A separate copper earth rod is best. Keep it wet, my copper pipe earth rods will drink in excess of 6 litres of water each on a hot day/day. Ques.2 Pure water is a very poor conductor of electricity soluble electrolytes increase conductivity. The inclusion of a plastic section would not be helpful at all. Ques.3 Am unable to comment as I live in a temperate climate so house has no need for hot water heating. Regards Max vk2tti.
Last edited by Spider on Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am, edited 0 times in total.
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Re: A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby Paul » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:38 am

Thank you both Andy and Mike
I'm happy with the answers and understand.
I'll have a few more experiments andperhaps have a go at a transformer and see what differences I can achieve.

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Fred M
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Re: A query regarding eathing (grounding)

Postby Fred M » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:05 am

Here's couple links that might help..

Lots of good reading here..
Jim knows his stuff

Likes was mentioned above you will get many opinions on this.

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