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Thread: 'Random' wire

  1. #1

    Default 'Random' wire

    I'm going to have a go with a random wire (31 feet). As I need a good ground, is it acceptable to use the bonded earth in the house - eg. the central heating pipework that is bonded to earth?

    Thanks

    David

  2. #2

    Default dronley lodge

    You can certainly try it although most CH uses plastic piping these days and you will be using the mains earth which will introduce some noise. A good earth is not an easy thing to achieve and you may have to lay ground radials just as you would for a vertical to get best results.

  3. #3

    Default Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by G6KIZ View Post
    You can certainly try it although most CH uses plastic piping these days and you will be using the mains earth which will introduce some noise. A good earth is not an easy thing to achieve and you may have to lay ground radials just as you would for a vertical to get best results.
    Thanks G6KIZ. Thankfully out CH system was fitted when the Ark was at sea and is copper throughout. I have tested continuity between the mains earth and a radiator feed pipe and it's very low resistance...I do appreciate your comment about mains-born noise...esp as we use some IP over mains - although this is on a different ring-main.

    I'll certainly consider ground radials if the noise is too frightful!

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Super Moderator pmh's Avatar
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    Default

    I had a random wire, around 14 metres in length, plugged directly into the back of my MFJ intellituner for some time without an earth and it worked okish.

    I did eventually take an earth to a ground spike. However, before connecting, I checked the voltage between the spike and the house earth, which was around 5 volts, so I had no concerns over using it.

    If your house is PME, which is very likely, there are potential hazards in using an external earth, especially if there is a local neutral fault. This is the reason I checked before connecting.

    One of our club members is just under 50 volts on his, for which the local DNO said wasn't a concern.

    Kind regards,



    Phil

  5. #5

    Default

    Without a good earth ground, you run the risk of RF in the shack when running QRO and using a long wire antenna. Great antenna for QRP not so much for QRO without extensive ground and common mode choke.

    Bill W3PNM


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