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Thread: Site/infrastructure grounding

  1. #1
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    Default Site/infrastructure grounding

    Let's talk about grounding. It just as important as everything else in the communications hut/shelter, but it seems to be neglected quite often. Or improperly implemented (useless).

    Recently, I yanked a bunch of my gear out from a hamster site. It was a colo arrangement; for that I was grateful. I had given the hamsters permission to use the grounding bus I had installed, which was connected via 2/0 stranded grounding cable, to the building electrical ground. (Approximately 250ft elevation, rooftop).

    When I had installed it last year, I had the following connected to the bus:

    - Building ground
    - Outdoor mast/pipe
    - A single polyphaser

    IMG_5646.jpg

    I ran out of lugs and intended to finish the equipment/rack grounds with stranded 6 AWG at a later date. (This was a winter install; zero lightning threat). I fault myself for not using dual-bolt lugs, but the electrical wholesaler didn't have any in stock at the time. At least I put them on right and used Noalox. Hydraulic crimping tool, too.

    A few weeks ago, I went to site to remove my gear. Long story, but the local hamsters didn't wish to be responsible for the upkeep/maintenance, but had no problem using the gear. I can't manage it from 800 miles away, and gave them multiple opportunities to step up. No luck. Equipment yanked.

    Here's what I discovered when I looked at the ground bus:



    Seriously. WTF. Well, I guess it beats what they had before: Doorbell wire attached to a ground screw on a plastic duplex receptacle cover.

    Does anyone pay attention to grounding at the sites you've maintained/use/install? When I worked for a certain company which rhymes with "Scarecom", I saw some really ghetto shit. To be fair, this was a "before" picture; the particular job involved fixing the crap installed by someone else.

    IMG_5225.jpg

    Yup, a 'floating" polyphaser. It must be a fancy barrel connector or something.

    There was this, too. Heliax coming straight in from a tower-mounted antenna at about 3600ft ASL, connected to the duplexer. No polyphaser. Public safety.

    IMG_5077.jpg

    Not sure why all these images are getting rotated. They download/look fine on my computer without the need to rotate them.

    So, are you "that guy" who gets made fun of for taking grounding seriously/understanding Ohm's Law? Or do your co-workers/hams understand the significance of grounding and the liability associated with disregarding it? Sometimes it's the customer who doesn't want to pay for grounding, so the fault is theirs.

    Let's not forget about Ethernet grounding blocks for microwave links.


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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Not sure why all these images are getting rotated. They download/look fine on my computer without the need to rotate them.
    Pictures can either be rotated by re-encoding the image with the pixels translated, or the EXIF orientation flag set to tell the rendering engine to rotate the image displayed after it is decoded.

    When rotating an image, most software just sets the flag as it is lossless and faster, but since the forum strips EXIF data (for good reason as it may contain GPS data and other sensitive material), the rotation flag is also lost.

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    Proper Grounding is a pet pev of mine.

    I absolutely loved the R56 training.

    We have a CoLo building with a few other agencies inside. One particular agencies contractor came in to install equipment. I explained to him how the grounding will work, and will be inspected once completed. After words he said, but the grounding alone is going to cost me over 1500 dollars in wire and parts and I have already gave them a cost on the move.
    I told him, it has to be done properly to protect my equipment and your cust equipment. They ended up spending the money and doing it correctly after a few minor corrections.
    Radio Referenced...Those who think they know it all are very annoying to those of use who do.

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    I try to hammer home the importance of grounding to the hams here, but get the "I always unhook everything" response. I gave up.

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    Another entity to not understand grounding is the phone company. Like the hamsters, they bolt to whatever is convenient or what they "think" should be a ground return.
    It is very annoying and I'm a jerk when it comes to grounding as well and I have no problem at all telling the entity that they are forbidden from turning on their equipment until the grounding is to my satisfaction.

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    I once visited a rooftop site of an old folks home in Jacksonville FL that had their ground wire going to the gas line. I promptly removed it and put it where it should go.

    I also went out to a hammy repeater that had been damaged by lightning just to find out that the cell phone company that rhymes with AT&T removed the repeater ground cable off of the bus bar to make room for their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo4Thirty View Post
    AT&T removed the repeater ground cable off of the bus bar to make room for their own.
    That's when you remove their ground and use a stun gun on all of the i/o lines. What a bunch of **** knoggins.

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    220v to data lines also works well....
    "God as my witness" - Jeremy Dewitte - Felon

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    Quote Originally Posted by com501 View Post
    220v to data lines also works well....
    Are you referring to the Etherkiller?

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Are you referring to the Etherkiller™?
    A remarkable product listing. Do they offer good support?
    Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_G View Post
    A remarkable product listing. Do they offer good support?
    I'd be interested in an NSN version.
    When in danger,
    When in doubt,
    Run in circles,
    Scream and shout.

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    I never got a chance to take formal R56 training, but I did get a chance to work with Motorola's trainer for the region for a few days. I learned more about NEC and grounding from him than I probably would have in the class.

    The biggest issue I've run into at shared sites is not being able to bring the whole site up to code. You can do your stuff to spec, but if the guys across the room aren't done right it doesn't really do any good.

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    Lost the fight when trying to install for a new PSAP

    Ended up the electrician won where he got a ground rod and bus bar and we got a ground rod and bus bar.

    Had to come back later and cadweld them together in the earth to hide the obvious

    The electrician believed that "our tower lightning" was going to blow his breaker panels off the walls if the tower took a strike

    "I've seen it before !!" was his demand for his way.

    Sounds like poor grounding was a routine of his past

    Measured 0.129 ohm with the AEMC clamp after the cadweld

    CoD

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    An electrician who doesn't understand Ohm's Law. Go figure.

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    @Mars,

    May 10, 2019 was my last day with that particular company (I was part of one of their acquisitions and unfortunately needed to work). I believe you saw some of the things I had to say on another forum back in October about that company and their practices. Even up to the last job I did...I wasn't happy with the grounding (because it was half-assed). Unfortunately, low materials cost outweighed common sense out there and sales drive the company without regard for service and serviceability.

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    Seems to be the way of the future. Lots of companies look at the dollar signs and not common sense signs..sad but true




    WT

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