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Ham Radio/Tower Grounding


Michael wrote at 2007-03-08 13:13:22

The best method of grounding that I have found is to use copper grounding rods and flat copper ribbon, rather than drawn wire, driving them into the ground with a jack hammer (sans the bit), and to exothermically bond it with Cadweld from ERICO.  Yes, this is more involved and costs more than going to Home Depot and buying 6 gauge wire and using mechanical clamps.  The problem with wire clamps is that they tend to come loose over time and the exothermic process (essentially a thermite reaction that welds the metals together) is permanent, doesn't come loose, and doesn't promote corrosion.  Using a flat ribbon lowers the level of inductance due to the skin effect (current traveling only on the edge of the ribbon rather than the entire skin of the drawn wire).  I have talked with other people that have used buried wires and have had good success, however, most electrical contractors I have spoken with have recommended my method and it works for me.

Good luck,


Michael KC8WUC

John wrote at 2008-10-07 21:54:01
Hi I would not solder the earth rod, as lightning  would vaporize the soldered end.I would use the clamps on both ends and use a copper compound on

on the clamped ends to stop them from cording and

becoming high resistance to earth potential Cheers

John England  

Bill wrote at 2013-08-01 17:50:17

Clamping is best! Solder can melt during a strike and leave the tower unprotected. Perhaps doing both would be better yet.


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Chris Bushman


I have been an amateur radio operator for about 41 years.


In real life I managed a small motion picture film lab in Hollywood. I've been a fireman, a teacher of English in Okinawa, a personal computer tutor. I am an Advanced Class Ham radio operator using my originally issued callsign WB6EEQ. I have operated for extended periods of time from Okinawa (KR6FX & KR6OP), Texas (K5VXG), and Mississippi (K5TYP). While in the Air Force, I was a Manual Morse Radio Intercept Operator.

BS Zoology, UC Davis

Member, Society of Motion Picture/Television Engineers - Member, American Radio Relay League - Member, Quarter Century Wireless Assn. - President, Zen Nippon Airinkai, So Cal Chapter - Member, Maltose Falcons Homebrewing Society - Alumni, American Brewers' Guild

I have held Conditional, General, and Advanced Class Ham radio licenses. Attended UC Davis to study Zoology. Go figure!?

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