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Old 05-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


I need to run grounds for my TV antenna (Yes, I have one....just in case) as well as the coax amp. I have a ground rod under the house just for it.

So....would you run copper or AL wire? I know the AL is going to be a lot cheaper....but I'm wondering if it would blow before it had a chance if suppress and lighting 'hit' or does it really not matter....a direct hit is going to pretty much fry anything.....

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


I would think it would not matter. I've read that the grounding is mainly to keep static electricity levels down during thunderstorms, which would promote lightning strikes. I agree, though, a direct strike could very likely do some damage.

You could always increase the wire size.

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


AL cannot be in direct contact with the earth or masonry, so copper may be the best choice.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:57 AM   #4
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Ok.....next question.......

I have a bunch of #6 CU stranded....but it has this white or black covering.....

I know it's a hack....worse case I could just strip the insulation and go bare....at this point I don't know what else I'm going to do with it..

But I guess it's NOT ok to just just green tape?
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:22 AM   #5
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawg16
Ok.....next question.......

I have a bunch of #6 CU stranded....but it has this white or black covering.....

I know it's a hack....worse case I could just strip the insulation and go bare....at this point I don't know what else I'm going to do with it..

But I guess it's NOT ok to just just green tape?
If it were me I would just run the black and not worry about it, but that's me. Bare is fine I'm sure

Whenever directv puts in a dish in my area, they just use what looks like black thhn to ground the coax.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:31 AM   #6
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Well...I have plenty of #6 black.....

Back when I was installing the ground rods for the garage....I drove it through the conduit.....so....I have 2 lengths of #6 black with a good 25' of usable wire.....around the 26' mark there is the little 'weld' spot.

FYI guys.....was doing some research....I got this off another forum....I found the last sentence to be 'humorous'....

Quote:
Grounding your TV's antenna system is covered in the NEC article 810. Please see section 810.21. Here are a couple of points from this article that may help you.

(A) Material - The grounding conductor shall be of copper, aluminum, copper-clad steel, bronze, or similar corrosion-resistant material. Aluminum or copper-clad aluminum grounding conductors shall not be used where in direct contact with masonry or the earth or where subject to corrosive conditions. Where used outside, aluminum or copper-clad aluminum shall not be installed within 450 mm (18 in.) of the earth.

(B) Insulation - Insulation on grounding conductors shall not be required.

(H) Size - The grounding conductor shall not be smaller than 10 AWG copper, 8 AWG aluminum, or 17 AWG copper-clad steel or bronze.

You are also required to connect this wire to your main electrical service or breaker box or to a ground wire connected to the ground rod or within 5 feet of your water meter.

The finer points of grounding are difficult even for the experienced electrician to understand. I highly recommend hiring a licensed electrician for this work.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:35 AM   #7
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Wow that last part is humorous.

I didn't know you are supposed to connect the antenna to your panel's ground. That would bother me a little. Learn something new everyday I guess....
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:46 AM   #8
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I have two ground rods in addition to a good sized Ufer ground. One ground rod is at the front of the house and bonded to the plumbing pipe....that wire then goes down the length of the house to a second ground rod in a crawl space that is just about as under my 'data central' as you can get. Data Central is the space under the stairs where the cable comes in....wireless....Ethernet switch...router...etc. Then it's pretty close to a straight shot up to the roof where the antenna is.

From the ground rod is the #4 wire that connects to the Ufer...(and rebar in the foundation) and goes over to my load center where it connects to the ground in the box.

So I'm going to be running a ground from the antenna all the way down to that ground rod....if I take a hit....it will go the ground rod before it propagates to the load center.......at least that is the plan.

One other 'little' point....I'm actually running two ground wires from the roof....one for just the antenna mast....and the other for the coax ground. The reason for the two grounds is so that if the antenna takes a hit...it will go to the ground rod and would then have to come back up to the roof to get into the coax. Yea, I'll still take a hit...but the RC characteristics of the path might be enough inductance to keep damage to a minimum.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:36 AM   #9
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When you run your ground wires, the thing to keep in mind is to run them as short and as straight as practicable. Also, any supplemental ground rods installed for CATV/Antennae/Phone etc must be bonded to the main service ground, using no smaller than a #6 copper wire between the grounding rods.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
Wow that last part is humorous.

I didn't know you are supposed to connect the antenna to your panel's ground. That would bother me a little. Learn something new everyday I guess....
Everything gets bonded together, otherwise you would have a difference of potential...
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:12 AM   #11
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post



So I'm going to be running a ground from the antenna all the way down to that ground rod....if I take a hit....it will go the ground rod before it propagates to the load center.......at least that is the plan.

.
Let me throw out a little share as to what to expect from what you are trying to do.... it probably won't help, lightning is evil....my house took an indirect strike, i'm guessing it followed the coax inside, destroyed about $8000.00 dollars worth of equipment, everything from my Bose surround sound system to two overhead garage doors, it actually energized my heat and cool controls, this was in the middle of summer while i was on vacation, the heat ran 24/7 for about 3 days, the ac was running also... my fish tank temps elevated to about 87 degrees... basically what i' saying is, spend more money on home owners insurance than bonding the **** out of your house.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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Some pretty pictures to study.





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Old 05-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Thanks for those photos. So, you can have a separate ground rod for your tv antenna, as long as you bond it with your service ground rod?
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:43 AM   #14
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle_in_rure View Post
Thanks for those photos. So, you can have a separate ground rod for your tv antenna, as long as you bond it with your service ground rod?
Yes, they have to be bonded together. As for the conductor, it can be any color you want. There is no required or prohibited color for bonding conductors in the NEC.

Also, the intersystem bonding terminal is not required for service changes/upgrades. Only on new services.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #15
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Antenna Ground - CU or AL?


Thanks guys....I knew I was saving that wire for something....also makes me glad I have the ground rods where I do....

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