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Ground question

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Good Music, Jan 7, 2005.

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  1. Good Music

    Good Music Guest

    I have a piece of audio electronics equipment (an AM radio transmitter kit)
    which I wish to connect to "earth ground". My house has no metal pipes to
    connect to, but I read that the AC power electric fusebox is strapped to a
    bare copper wire leading to a metal stake in the earth.

    Diagrams appear to show that the 3rd prong of AC outlets are connected to a
    green-colored wire which is also connected to earth ground. So can I just
    connect the 3rd prong of an AC power cord directly to the circuitboard
    ground of the AM transmitter circuit? (the circuit is powered by a DC power

    - Goodmusic
  2. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Incorrect. Look carefully and (in almost all cases) you will not be
    able to find that fusebox ground wire that you mention.
    The third wire is generally an earth-ish ground but cannot be relied
    100% as being a true earth ground.
    And you do not really need a true earth ground for a transmitter or
    At worst, what could be used is a "counterpoise", which can be
    implimented by a large grid-like array resting on the ground or even
    buried in the ground.
    In your case, you most likely do not need that.
    You probably are not using a large vertical transmitting mast, where a
    horizontal ground (array) becomes a requirement at high powers.
    Look up antenna info in ARRL handbook or other ham references.
  3. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    Incorrect. Look carefully and (in almost all cases) you will not be
    In my area, electrical code requires the electrical panel to be electrically
    bonded to a ground rod. My panel is connected to two 3' rods driven into the
    ground below the service entrance. Still, the safety ground from the
    electrical outlets have too much impedance to provide a good RF ground for
    transmitting AM radio. It's not what they were designed for.
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