[AMRadio] Ground(Or Lack Of)?

W7QHO at aol.com W7QHO at aol.com
Tue Feb 15 19:10:07 EST 2005

In a message dated 2/15/05 3:06:15 PM, macklinbob at msn.com writes:

> Back to my 4th floor apartment problem. This building has plastic
> plumbing(which seems to leak at tleat once a month). This morning I pulled
> the plate off one of the wall plugs. The building has plastic conduit also.
> So the only ground is the third wire and who knows where or how it runs.
> The antenna will be made to a full 40M dipole. What kind of problems should
> I expect from the crappy ground?


Entirely possible.   I operated very successfully out of a 5th floor room in 
Germany back in the 1970s using a 400 ft end fed long wire.

That high up (4th floor) your RF ground situation would be problematical 
regardless of the type of plumbing and/or electrical conduit used.   Using a 
balanced antenna like you are, you shouldn't have "RF in the shack" problems but if 
you do, hang a quarter wave wire out the window connected to your xmitter 
chassis.   You may need one of these "stubs" for each band you work.   

Your biggest problem, though, will be staying legal in regard to lightening 
protection.   Local codes would likely require installation a solid grounding 
system for your antenna which you would have to clear with your landlord (and 
pay for yourself).    If you want to bootleg it (which countless hams including 
myself have done) I would recommend making provision for disconnecting the 
antenna lead-in and getting it entirely outside the building when an electrical 
storm threatened.

Dennis D. W7QHO
Glendale, CA

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