I have an end fed random wire antenna about 50 feet from my shack into an antenna tuner. I do not have the option to install a ground rod at the house entrance but I do at the antenna feed point. The antenna tuner requires a very good ground so I installed a ground rod there. The question is: should I run a 60 foot 10 gauge wire from the shack to the same ground rod or is it a better idea to get an isolated ground at the entrance to the shack.

I currently have installed a 10 gauge bare copper wire buried 1 foot deep in the clay soil for 20 feet outside the house as my shack ground.

I feel that this improvised ground is better than grounding the radio chassis to the antenna feed point.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The answer to "should I do X with regard to grounding" usually begins by considering what you want to accomplish with this grounding. Do you want to improve the performance of your station? Reduce chance of fire due to a lightning strike? Protect your equipment from damage? Meet local building codes? It's quite easy to describe an ideal grounding scheme that meets all of these criteria, but if you're looking for a compromise solution (and it sounds like you are) then you must begin by defining your priorities. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Apr 7 '20 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ Note that a ground rod is a poor RF ground compared to a counterpoise or radials, especially for end-fed antennas. And here is a related question concerning lightning protection $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 7 '20 at 19:45

If at all possible, the feed line should go through a panel that is connected by a short cable, or directly connected, to a ground rod. A lightning arrester is a good idea also.

All earth grounds should be connected, including the ground rod connected to the service panel, the ground rod connected to the coax shield, and your station ground. In the US, the National Electric Code requires it. I believe 6 AWG or better is recommended.

There's more information in these other questions:
Antenna, input and ground bonding
How can I protect equipment against a lightning strike?


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