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Antenna Mounting Advice

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by Brain the Dog, May 19, 2016.

  1. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
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    I'm designing the mounting system for my CB antenna. I will be using the A99 with the Ground Plane Kit. My plan is to have a 36-foot heavy metal pole cemented about 5-feet deep into the ground. I will attach the antenna to the top of the pole.

    I have a grounding-rod already 8-feet into the ground. Here are some questions:

    1.) Since the metal pole is cemented into the ground, do I need to attach a ground wire from the metal pole to the grounding-rod? or will the metal pole being already in the ground suffice for grounding?

    2.) Since the antenna will be attached to the metal pole, will I need a separate grounding-wire from the antenna to the grounding-rod? or will the metal pole's grounding suffice for both itself and the antenna?

    3.) Some have suggested that, when using the Ground Plane Kit, the antenna should be isolated from the metal pole. If this is true, how exactly should I do this?

    4.) A99 says that a lightning arrestor is not necessary. What do you think?

    Any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated!


     

  2. M0GVZ

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    Ground rod does nothing as a RF ground. I've never put any faith in lightning arresters, certainly not ones which can be bought in a CB or Ham shop. The radio tower my friend manages doesn't have lightning arresters on any of the antennas or feeders, it has big massive copper straps going down the legs from lightning rods on the top to big massive ground rods.
     
  3. Road Squawker

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    what "ground" are you talking about?

    RF ground or Electrical ground. they are not the same.

    NEC requires ALL electrical grounds to be tied together at one common point.
     
  4. Brain the Dog

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    Honestly, I'm very ignorant when it comes to mounting antennas. So.. could you or someone give me detailed information about the best setup for installing this A99 with the GPK? Thanks!
     
  5. 222DBFL

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    Mount the antenna on a metal mast. He'll just about every antenna on the market and out in the field is mounted to a steel structure. If isolating the mast is big issue, use some PVC pipe either over or some that will go inside your top section of metal mast pipe. This will isolate the antenna.
    Best thing I will tell you to do is to get as many grounding rods in the ground as you can. At least 3, spread out about 3-5ft apart. All tied together at a single point. Also you need to ground all other radio equipment to this ground as well as coax shield. Add a good surge arrestor like a polyphaser or a Huber Suhner made one. Some will take multiple strikes and keep working. But they aren't cheap. And like said, not speaking about the $25 eBay lightning arrestors that are for sale. Those are about junk. They don't even have a ring terminal big enough to hold wire any larger than about #12awg wire.
    My surge arrestors came have a large bolt or they include a small copper piece that can be grounded. The surge arrestor fits into this piece and the copper portion gets grounded. Adding an RF islolator at the feedpoint or what some might call a balun, will help with RF or CMC issues. The GPK kit is supposed to help with some of this, but no way would I not use a lightning arrestor like suggested by the manufacturer. That is JMO. Whether some think they work or don't, that is a matter of opinion. I have seen good ones work and the site carry on taking calls after a direct hit to the tower. Now a direct hit to your antenna is going to destroy it so that doesn't really matter. What does matter is the equipment at the end of that coax. And everything surrounding it that is made of metal or will conduct electricity.
    A proper ground system is a must for a good base station install. As well as making sure that your coax is made well and that you have properly used the correct methods to have any RF or CMC issues. This is JMO. Read up on how commercial towers are built and grounded as well as the equipment and coax and antennas and every other part you can think of. Just some food for thought, and JMHO. I have never had a direct strike at my qth, but my local friend has and let me say it got his antenna, rotor, coax, radio(s), and power supply, before exiting him. Yes even he got the end of it! Said it hurt like a MOFO!!! At any rate, he didn't have any surge protection nor did he have any of his equipment inside the house grounded. He has since changed his tune about things!! At any rate. Like I said, read up on how commercial towers are built and how everything is grounded or bonded, or whatever some want to call things. Good day.
    And as far as the antenna, get it up as high as possible and away from any obstructions. And be safe.
     
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  6. fourstringburn

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    This is what I use.

    Polyphaser coax lightning protectors with a flange mount to bolt them on to copper ground rod clamp for each of my antennas. I also have 3 ground rods 8 ft. long driven down and all are tied together with 4 gauge solid copper ground wire. This is a more expensive setup costing more than your antenna, but it is rock solid and I can only hope it will work as advertised.

    If not, I have a separate insurance policy that covers all my radio gear and connected equipment with full replacement value for both my home and mobile station so I completely covered either way.

    If your interested, here is a link for these products.

    http://www.dxengineering.com/search...4294953334&SortBy=Default&SortOrder=Ascending


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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. fourstringburn

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    This helps having your pole dug in but your still better off with 8 ft.ground rods tied together. 1 ground rod is better than none but drive it in the ground no less then 3 ft. away and use the correct size ground clamps for the ground rod and mast along with a solid conductor 4 gauge ground wire. These can be found in the electrical section at most hardware stores.

    The antenna itself is never grounded, but the antenna mounting scheme creates it's own D.C. ground with the U bolts to the pole, nothing else is needed here. Just D.C. ground the pole as stated previously.

    You are better off using a ground radial kit for RF ground. A vertical antenna will work better above a RF ground plane balancing the antenna. It's not going to make a difference whether it is isolated from the pole or not. The ground plane kit needs to be bolted on to the pole with the set screw and collar ring to secure it anyway.

    It can only add an extra layer of protection. As for the antenna itself, a direct lightning kit will most likely destroy it anyway. What you want to avoid is the surge from coming inside and damaging your equipment. The setup I previously posted is one good way but is probably more expensive than you were looking for.

    The setup I use shown in the pic above breaks the coax line and grounds the coax shield to the ground rods I use that are all tied together. If a strong surge is detected, the Polyphaser's internal gas discharge tube blows and passes the surge to ground protecting my station equipment, not the antenna from damage.

    Hope that helps.
     
    #7 fourstringburn, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
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  8. 222DBFL

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    Mine look kind of like yours do Fourstringburn, but I have both polyphaser and huber Suhner EMP/lightning arresstors. The huber Suhner ones that I have came with a copper mounting plate to a buss bar or just can be grounded and screwed down to something. Mine looks like an L bracket almost. My polyphaser surge arrestors can be grounded to the case or the bolt the multiple gas discharge tubes are mounted to. I have a couple that will take multiples hits. But I always unplug my coax no matter what when a T-storm is going to hit. Best to be safe than sorry. And I am confident in my station grounding, but still have that looming fear sitting at the back of my mind. What if type thing. So I just unhook all coax and also unplug all equipment from power. Makes me feel a bit better. Never can be too safe when it comes to lightning or even a surge or EMP.
    At any rate, great info and nice looking mouthing bracket for your surge arrestors. You get what you pay for I will say that. I was fortunate not to have to pay for my surge arrestors, but like you said, the good ones aren't cheap!! Again, thanks for posting those photos, will have to look into one of those mounts. Digging that one that goes directly to groind rod.
    At any rate, have a good one.
     
  9. Brain the Dog

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    Thank you, everyone, I appreciate it soooo much! Glad I found this forum!
     
  10. Brain the Dog

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    I've been checking out these PolyPhaser. What is the difference among the different models? Some cost around $60, others around $70+.

    Also...after studying the installation sheet, I'm confused about how to exactly set it up. Can someone share a real picture of their setup? Thanks.
     
  11. Captain Kilowatt

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    The difference in price may be related to power handling or connector types. Type N connectors cost more than UHF type.

    I have surge arrestors from Array Solutions which offer an improved version of the original ICE units. I have several of the AS-302 for coaxial cables and a 16 line arrestor for rotator and remote coaxial switch control line protection.

    http://www.arraysolutions.com/surge-and-rf-protection/as-302u
    http://www.arraysolutions.com/pdfs/AS-3xxManual.pdf


    http://www.arraysolutions.com/surge-and-rf-protection/as-16sp
    http://www.arraysolutions.com/pdfs/SurgeSupressorManual_1.pdf
     
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  12. Brain the Dog

    Brain the Dog
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    Could you post a picture of your actual setup? Thanks.
     
  13. fourstringburn

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    I'll see about posting it tomorrow.

    Is it just the polyphaser setup you want to see?
     
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  14. 222DBFL

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    I would show you a pic of mine but all my #2awg solid is underground. And so are all my 10+ ground rods that spread over an area about the size of the back half of my house. From AC meter ground rod to antenna. Surge arrestor is located in a place that makes it almost impossible to see. But I used #2awg solid from the base of my antenna all the way to the other side of the house where my AC power meter is. All ground rods are tied together to form a single point ground system. This includes all my radio equipment as well.
    The #2awg solid tinned copper wire. Same stuff they use on commercial cell sites and such for grounding tower and shelter and all equipment. And I mean all equipment!! All cabinets in the shelter are also isolated from the floor with isolating templates made of non conductive materials.
    There is a lot that goes into a proper grounding system like Fourstringburn has stated and it does cost quite a bit of money to do it the right way IMO. Use good wire, both #2awg tinned solid copper and #2awg THHN wire as well. And then the grounding rods. Get the 5/8" ones and if you have a place that deals with fencing and such close to you, check there for 10ft ground rods. But for GP, the ones at Home Depot, the 5/8" x 8' ones will work fine. Read up on how to build ask ground a commercial radio or cell site tower and shelter/equipment, to get a good understanding of what a good ground system is and what you should be looking at doing as well. Yes it may seem like overkill, but I promise there is no such thing when it comes to Lightning/EMP protection! JMHO. I was able to put the system I have together from parts from my previous job of 17yrs. Surge arrestors, ground rods, wire, surge arrestors, coax, and many other things I was able to obtain. All scrap stuff or stuff being taken from cell sites that were being decommissioned. I was able to get my hands on quite a few poly phaser surge arrestors that I had to make some changes to to get to work on the freqs I wanted. A few were the DC to 3G type, but a lot were made for 700/800/1900/2100 MHz, so there are some parts that have to be removed and replaced with the proper values of components. The Huber Suhner ones I got were all the DC to 3GHz type. And all are GDT (Gas Discharge Tube) type ones, both the Polyphaser and Huber Suhner ones. At any rate like I said, Google grounding of a commercial radio tower and you will find some good info!! And if Fourstringburn happens to post up some of his setup it may help, but if his is like mine there isn't much to see as most wire is underground I would venture to say. At any rate, sorry for the rambling, but hope this helps some and gets your mind stirring as to what you need to get. Start with at least 3-5 ground rods of the 5/8" x 8' ones and some heavy wire. Remember, you are trying to dissipate a lot, and I mean ALOT of energy! Keep this in mind as well. Again, hope this helps and be safe. Good day.
     
  15. Captain Kilowatt

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    222DBFL likes this.

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