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Old 05-29-2009, 04:41 PM   #31
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
That price is for THHN, not bare copper.

I don't think I'm going to make my own braid using a lineman's plier. Twisting 50ft of wire that way would be nearly impossible, or take 1/2 a lifetime<g>

FW
Thats what a power drill is for... the ability to drill holes was an unexpected side effect

Three wires is actually pretty easy to grab in the chuck, but if you have trouble you can crimp them or braise them and then start twisting. Make sure the wires are very secure in the vice at the other end otherwise you will make a big mess. Also, cut the wires to length after they have been twisted, twisting them shortens the overall length quite a bit.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:41 PM   #32
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Thats what a power drill is for... the ability to drill holes was an unexpected side effect

Three wires is actually pretty easy to grab in the chuck, but if you have trouble you can crimp them or braise them and then start twisting. Make sure the wires are very secure in the vice at the other end otherwise you will make a big mess. Also, cut the wires to length after they have been twisted, twisting them shortens the overall length quite a bit.
I have done it in the drill. I was trying to be funny about trying to do it with the Kleins.
I don't have a vise, but I have used various objects to hold the far end.
If you get two people with drills, you can do the job in 1/2 the time. Just make sure both drills are turning in the same direction<g>

FW
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:44 PM   #33
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Actually, it can. And the maximum amount of current that can be dissipated by a ground rod can be safely transmitted over #6 wire.

That is why the Code never requires anything larger than a #6 when connecting your main service to driven ground rod (or "made electrodes").
If I install a second ground rod, does that mean I need to change the ground conductor from the SE to the rod system to a larger one?
I believe that the ground conductor between the SE and the ground rod is indeed #6, but the one between the SE and the cold water pipe is larger.

FW
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Old 05-30-2009, 10:49 AM   #34
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
If I install a second ground rod, does that mean I need to change the ground conductor from the SE to the rod system to a larger one?
I believe that the ground conductor between the SE and the ground rod is indeed #6, but the one between the SE and the cold water pipe is larger.

FW
It does not have to be larger than #6. Because it's bigger at the water line means nothing. However. For a GEC, the bigger the better IMO. Anyone that thinks any size conductor can handle a direct lighting strike needs to think again. 10 million volts? The heat and flash. How many volts can a strike produce. Direct strikes will destroy anything in its path. There is no way to protect against a direct strike. You can minimize damage. Thats all you can try to do. The fire resulting from a direct hit should be recognized.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:27 PM   #35
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Romex as ground conductor?


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It does not have to be larger than #6. Because it's bigger at the water line means nothing. However. For a GEC, the bigger the better IMO. Anyone that thinks any size conductor can handle a direct lighting strike needs to think again. 10 million volts? The heat and flash. How many volts can a strike produce. Direct strikes will destroy anything in its path. There is no way to protect against a direct strike. You can minimize damage. Thats all you can try to do. The fire resulting from a direct hit should be recognized.
I am going to be using #4 THHN. I bid for and won (I was the only bidder) 100+ ft of it on Ebay. Would have been a great deal, except I have to pay shipping.
I put the bid in before I knew I could get the #6 at the supply for 0.30/ft.
So, I'll have an extra 50+ ft of #4 THHN. Maybe I can re-sell it on Ebay at a profit

As for a direct hit, I really don't expect any grounding system to handle a direct hit.
My thought is that it has to handle the atmospheric discharge currents that are always present during any lightning storm.

FW
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:27 AM   #36
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Romex as ground conductor?


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As for a direct hit, I really don't expect any grounding system to handle a direct hit.
My thought is that it has to handle the atmospheric discharge currents that are always present during any lightning storm.

FW
Thats right. You do what you can to minimize damage. The odds of a direct strike are minuscule. The odds of an indirect strike are much higher. That is what you are protecting from.
I like the #4. The bigger the better.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:38 AM   #37
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Romex as ground conductor?


Some estimates put the bigger strikes at several hundred million to 1 billion volts! And maybe 50,000 A.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:52 AM   #38
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Some estimates put the bigger strikes at several hundred million to 1 billion volts! And maybe 50,000 A.
Hmmm... maybe I should use a huge copper buss then

I just hope that after I get this thing up in the air, my neighbors don't start complaining that I am going to spew EMI all over them.
In reality, the antenna will be used about 90% for receiving only. I'll probably get a laugh from anyone I tell that my main interest is listening to trains

FW
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #39
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Romex as ground conductor?


I've got one more question on this:
Should I attach my ground clamp to the base of the antenna instead of the mast? reason being that I would get lower resistance connection since I would not be going through the bolts that hold the antenna to the mast.

This particular antenna slips onto the top of the mast and is secured by two bolts that make contact with the mast and hold the antenna in place.
It's like a sock fitting over your foot<g>.
So, there is enough space on the antenna to attach the ground clamp.
I got the bronze one, good for up to 2" pipe, so I know it will fit.

Thanks

FW
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:46 AM   #40
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Romex as ground conductor?


Just out of curiosity, are you doing something to protect the lead from antenna to radio? I'd worry at least as much about surge suppression on that (co-ax?) as on the size of the wire I use to ground the tower. I've seen litlle $3 connectors advertised as surge arrestors for co-ax, and I assume they're sacrificial. Anybody have any experience with them?
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:10 PM   #41
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Romex as ground conductor?


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Just out of curiosity, are you doing something to protect the lead from antenna to radio? I'd worry at least as much about surge suppression on that (co-ax?) as on the size of the wire I use to ground the tower. I've seen litlle $3 connectors advertised as surge arrestors for co-ax, and I assume they're sacrificial. Anybody have any experience with them?
My radio will always be disconnected from the coax when not in use, and I will never be using it during a lightning storm, so I do not see the need for surge suppression. The radio is a handheld, so I can use the "rubber duckie" on the radio if need be during those times.

If ever I do need to keep the radio connected at all times, I will certainly install an approved device.

FW
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #42
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Romex as ground conductor?


Rememeber the N.E.C. is not trying to protect the wire, but the insulation. Bare #4, non-insulated is actually rated at on average 170 amps, that's why all the tables on wire type, use, fill ... IMO I would not want a insulated grounding condutor, having all that dripping molten insulation down, inside my house or garage ( except as a bonded S.E conductor for the main panel, seperate at all subs). Carefull of wire types, fills, uses, ...

I would have my girlfriend become a stripper. No code on poles (YET) ! I could retire !
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:42 PM   #43
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Romex as ground conductor?


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I would have my girlfriend become a stripper. No code on poles (YET) ! I could retire !
Our labor code requires that you would tie off, if working over 10'.......
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