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Old 14th Sep 2019, 8:39 pm   #61
budkor22
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

I am only using the current antenna for a few days for testing.

It seems working OK 40M and above, but on 80M, it is very inefficient. Not easy to contact other stations, and if contact had been made, it gets poor reports.

I will maybe go for a vertical from that site in the link, or a doublet, or just simple dipole in inverted V configuration due to the space limitation in this garden, or the classic End Fed Wire with counter poise, or a Delta loop with tuner.

This is great fun project to experiment, which is taking me back to the good old days of early 1990s.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 9:12 pm   #62
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

Well, I've been considering returning to the bands after many years with my vintage kit. A 'stealth' vertical at the end of the garden amongst the trees seemed the best idea. A few years ago I put in a comprehensive earth system when I relaid the lawn.

However, S9 interference from all manner of electrical gadgets, neighbours' household wiring acting as QRM transmitting aerials, overhead telephone lines merrily pulsing with data, planning issues, risk of neighbour conflict once metal and wire is raised in the air, risk of blame once anyone's TV reception has a wobble, prolonged lousy HF band conditions, and now the knotty issue of earthing raised in this thread...

So, I've had an idea: Let's forget it and do something else.

It was all so simple years ago. No wonder amateur radio is dying.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 9:52 pm   #63
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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Ah... MET. If it is connected to the water pipe, then there would be connectivity between the wall socket's earth point and the water pipes.

But there is NO connectivity. I have checked a few wall sockets on the walls. No connection.
But when you say "the water pipes", we have already agreed that some of your piping somewhere contains plastic couplings. Hence, no connectivity.

What you need to do now is to check for conductivity between one of those wall socket's earth point and the metal of the metal pipe that brings water into your house at the point where it enters your house. Since that pipe will be at 'electrical earth' - or most certainly should be, since it is metal and will be buried in the ground - I think you should see a low resistance between it and the E pin of a wall socket.

Let us know if that is - or isn't the case. Thanks.

Al.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 9:55 pm   #64
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

Stamp collecting looks promising... but then you think of all the diseases the people who once licked the stamps may have had....

No, that's out, then.

Horse riding? Nice affectionate creatures. But RoSPA has it listed as the second most dangerous sport/pastime in the UK.

QRM etc's killed radio.

Maybe audiophilia is the answer?

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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:23 pm   #65
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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But when you say "the water pipes", we have already agreed that some of your piping somewhere contains plastic couplings. Hence, no connectivity.
Only pipes that I have seen with plastic joins hence no conductivity was the gutter drain pipes.

The mains water pipes are all copper in downstairs. Upstairs in the bathroom, behind the washbasin, I saw plastic pipes. But that work has been done recently.
Quote:
What you need to do now is to check for conductivity between one of those wall socket's earth point and the metal of the metal pipe that brings water into your house at the point where it enters your house. Since that pipe will be at 'electrical earth' - or most certainly should be, since it is metal and will be buried in the ground - I think you should see a low resistance between it and the E pin of a wall socket.

Let us know if that is - or isn't the case. Thanks.
Yes, that is what I have done already, checking the wall sockets' E pins connectivity with the water pipes, and there is no connectivity.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:37 pm   #66
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
Well, I've been considering returning to the bands after many years with my vintage kit. A 'stealth' vertical at the end of the garden amongst the trees seemed the best idea. A few years ago I put in a comprehensive earth system when I relaid the lawn.

However, S9 interference from all manner of electrical gadgets, neighbours' household wiring acting as QRM transmitting aerials, overhead telephone lines merrily pulsing with data, planning issues, risk of neighbour conflict once metal and wire is raised in the air, risk of blame once anyone's TV reception has a wobble, prolonged lousy HF band conditions, and now the knotty issue of earthing raised in this thread...

So, I've had an idea: Let's forget it and do something else.

It was all so simple years ago. No wonder amateur radio is dying.
Yeah not sure what is the real attraction of radio hobby, but what makes me to like it would be, that there is always something to learn, and something try out. When I learned something new, and when things work as they should, it feels good.

And even after long QRT, I keep coming back to it, which seems implying there is some karma stuff going on between radioing and me
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:46 pm   #67
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
Well, I've been considering returning to the bands after many years with my vintage kit. A 'stealth' vertical at the end of the garden amongst the trees seemed the best idea. A few years ago I put in a comprehensive earth system when I relaid the lawn.

However, S9 interference from all manner of electrical gadgets, neighbours' household wiring acting as QRM transmitting aerials, overhead telephone lines merrily pulsing with data, planning issues, risk of neighbour conflict once metal and wire is raised in the air, risk of blame once anyone's TV reception has a wobble, prolonged lousy HF band conditions, and now the knotty issue of earthing raised in this thread...

So, I've had an idea: Let's forget it and do something else.

It was all so simple years ago. No wonder amateur radio is dying.
I can't argue with any of that. In terms of reception, an active magloop antenna might be a way of avoiding noise to some degree. The last one I built seemed quite good on 80m, though I had hoped it would deliver on 60m, but not sure about that. For your earth system for the vertical, does a well-designed and constructed balanced ATU solve the problem, assuming you have 'modern' mains system? I am asking that as an open question.

I'd like to get back on the air, but it's proving hard to do from this QTH, from which 2m is completely dead and overhead phone and power cables limit HF operations. But I'm pleased to say that stamps have not yet been deemed worthy of my time

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Old 14th Sep 2019, 10:53 pm   #68
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

At one time, it was acceptable to bond an external (radio) earth to the incoming main earth terminal via suitably rated cable (10mm2 was it?) in a PME installation. Possibly via an earth line choke (several loops through some very large toroids) to isolate RF noise on a dirty mains earth.
Is that still acceptable practice or have the regulations changed again?
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 11:12 pm   #69
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Arrow Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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What you need to do now is to check for conductivity between one of those wall socket's earth point and the metal of the metal pipe that brings water into your house at the point where it enters your house. Since that pipe will be at 'electrical earth' - or most certainly should be, since it is metal and will be buried in the ground - I think you should see a low resistance between it and the E pin of a wall socket.

Let us know if that is - or isn't the case. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by budkor22 View Post
Yes, that is what I have done already, checking the wall sockets' E pins connectivity with the water pipes, and there is no connectivity.
I see. So - if I have understood correctly everything you've written so far - you have no conductivity between the incoming metal water pipe to your house and at least one 'E' pin of a 230-v. 3-pin wall socket. That, to me, sounds an alarm bell. To me, it implies that the earthing of at least one of the 230-v. wall-mounted sockets is not connected to electrical earth - or if it is, the resistance is too high. I think you need to get the wiring in your house checked out by a qualified electrician urgently.
Again, if - and this is a big 'if' - I have understood correctly everything you've written so far - the electrical wiring in your house could be dangerous.

Now not wishing to frighten the OP unduly, anyone here agree with my reasoning - or is there a flaw in it somewhere ?
I am simply trying to help the OP.

Al.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 11:20 pm   #70
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Arrow Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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And even after long QRT, I keep coming back to it ['radio' as a hobby], which seems implying there is some karma stuff going on between radioing and me
That is a sentiment I readily understand - and share with you . . . and, probably many others. For me, I explain it this way: 'radio and electronics' is such a vast subject & continually growing, so there is always something new to discover & to learn. By Nature, we humans are naturally inquisitive. It is that very trait that put men on the moon, for example.

Al.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 1:30 am   #71
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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I see. So - if I have understood correctly everything you've written so far - you have no conductivity between the incoming metal water pipe to your house and at least one 'E' pin of a 230-v. 3-pin wall socket. That, to me, sounds an alarm bell. To me, it implies that the earthing of at least one of the 230-v. wall-mounted sockets is not connected to electrical earth - or if it is, the resistance is too high. I think you need to get the wiring in your house checked out by a qualified electrician urgently.
Again, if - and this is a big 'if' - I have understood correctly everything you've written so far - the electrical wiring in your house could be dangerous.

Now not wishing to frighten the OP unduly, anyone here agree with my reasoning - or is there a flaw in it somewhere ?
I am simply trying to help the OP.
Yes, I definitely agree - that house wiring must be checked urgently.There should be bonding of electrical earth to water pipes somewhere near where they come into the house
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 6:40 am   #72
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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you have no conductivity between the incoming metal water pipe to your house and at least one 'E' pin of a 230-v. 3-pin wall socket. That, to me, sounds an alarm bell. ....

Now not wishing to frighten the OP unduly, anyone here agree with my reasoning - or is there a flaw in it somewhere ?
I am simply trying to help the OP.
I am not sure where "at least one E pin of a 230V 3 pin walls socket" comes from
All the wall sockets have no E pin connectivity to the water pipes in the sink. Not even one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywave View Post
That is a sentiment I readily understand - and share with you . . . and, probably many others. For me, I explain it this way: 'radio and electronics' is such a vast subject & continually growing, so there is always something new to discover & to learn. By Nature, we humans are naturally inquisitive. It is that very trait that put men on the moon, for example.
I understand your point on this too.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 7:00 am   #73
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

1:1 balun arrived yesterday. Looks quite well made, heavy and water proof it says.

The antenna will be taken off, and be reconfigured as inverted V dipole with the balun this morning.

Thank you everyone for your input in this thread. I learned a lot, and new things in antennas. The experiment will go on.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 1:39 pm   #74
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

Baz4CQJ wrote:
"If I read it correctly, then it raises interesting questions for anyone who has a vertical aerial with a good ground radial system. It actually suggests that a radio amateur might consider having his house re-wired with a TT mains supply arrangement, though I thought that was against the trend and that safety considerations and the modern regs were pushing people away from TT. That's exactly what I was planning to do; have a new consumer unit installed and go from TT to PME, which the supply people confirm I can do."

The current trend towards PME (TN-C-S) wiring systems has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with cost.
TT systems applied at household level require an isolation transformer rated to carry the maximum household load of 15kVA - an item which will cost several thousand pounds. TT systems also require that the householder install and maintain an "installation earth electrode" to which exposed conductive parts of the installation can be bonded. Electricity suppliers are , perhaps rightly, concerned that this requirement may not always be satisfied, leading to possibly hazardous situations.
TN-C and TN-S systems require that the electricity supplier provide and maintain a earth system capable of providing a suitably low earth fault loop impedance to ensure the operation of protective equipment in any installation served by the supplier's sub-station. Again, a cost which the supplier would wish to avoid.
Creating a TT system within one room of a house to serve a radio installation is quite feasible, the "installation earth electrode" then being the same as the RF earth/tower earth etc. An isolation transformer is required but this need only be rated to provide the power for the station - perhaps 2kVA unless you run really big linears! Any parts of the general PME system in the room need to be disabled/blanked off and any exposed conductive parts like central heating pipework need to be made non-exposed.
I am lucky enough to live in a rural area where we are supplied by overhead line and the installation system is TT from a pole mounted transformer. While we perhaps see more voltage fluctuation from the overhead line supply than you would in an urban environment, the supply/earthing arrangement is electrically quiet - not that it helps much at the current state of the sunspot cycle.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 3:52 pm   #75
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Arrow Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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I am not sure where "at least one 'E' pin of a 230V 3-pin walls socket" comes from
Every 230-v.a.c. 3-pin socket in your house may be on a ring or it may be on a spur - or a combination of - a spur from a ring. For every socket, there should be at least one wire connected to its 'E' socket. The other end of that same wire should terminate in the MET at your consumer unit / distribution board / fuse board, where the incoming mains supply is distributed to the rest of your house via various protective devices. The wiring from the MET should go to an earth stake in the case of a TT system, be connected to a supplied earth line coming into your house and / or bonded to the incoming neutral for other types of systems. However, in all of those cases, the MET will connected to true earth - or certainly should be.

Quote:
All the wall sockets have no 'E' pin connectivity to the water pipes in the sink. Not even one.
That is an area of concern: shows that 'electrical bonding' may be inadequate. What is of more concern is the connection (or absence) of the 'E' pin of every wall socket to true earth - as explained above.

One other Q.: when you are checking 'connectivity', what equipment are you using to determine that connectivity, or lack of? In retrospect, this is a Q. that should have been asked much earlier - however, better late than never.

Al.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 4:40 pm   #76
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

Before connecting wire antenna's earth bit to water pipe, I checked the connectivity of the wall's 230V mains socket E pin and the copper water pipes under the sink, and there was NO connectivity.

So it was clear to me, the copper water pipes have not connected to any mains earth system, so antenna's earth was connected to the outside tap of the wall in the garden.

The antenna worked quite well apart from 80M. It was giving a lot quieter reception. I heard VY2 KC1 on 40M, and on 80M. There was hardly any hash noise at all. But due to the length of the wire not adjusted for the 80M , SWR lowest tuned was 3:1.

There was absolutely no problem with any sort of interference on anything, when using the antenna. And there was no RF feedback or RF in the shack either. So, it has been working OK for a few days.

But now, I have a 1:1 balun arrived yesterday, so took the antenna down, and configured as Inverted dipole for 40M. It seems working quite well.

I am still not understanding your comment "at least one Mains scoket E pin is connected to the water pipe," when none of them is connected. I used 2x different DMMs checking all the sockets against the water pipe, and none of them have connectivity at all. I would imagine that the E pins are connected to some sort of public earth system, which has nothing to do with the water pipes. But maybe it is something to be asked and confirmed with the electric company? - I will ask when the meter checking person comes to read the meter next time But the mains electrical system has been working fine for last 70 years in this house. I am not so sure if it makes sense, that suddenly to ask qualified electricians if the electric supply system in this house is right or not, when there is no problems in electricity supplies, or on any appliances or on anything, just because someone is suggesting to do so.

Anyway, I am now using Inverted V dipole with 1:1 balun cut for 40M, and it seems working even better than the previous antenna. It seems tuning up well on 20M and 15M as well.

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Old 15th Sep 2019, 4:50 pm   #77
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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Originally Posted by G8BBZ View Post
the supply/earthing arrangement is electrically quiet - not that it helps much at the current state of the sunspot cycle.
Great time to experiment with antennas, repairing non working radios and home brewing DIY radios?
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 4:50 pm   #78
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Duncan View Post
Extract:
. . . your rig has an earth connection and that is your protection. If you mess with an rf earth, do not have it connected to the mains earth . . .
Presumably, the part sentence "your rig has an earth connection and that is your protection" refers to a connection to the a.c. mains earth.
So if the rf earth is not to be connected to the mains earth, how do you suggest that is to be achieved, since that 'rf earth' will be joined to the metalwork of the rig . . . which will be at 'mains earth'?

I did make a suggestion in my post 23 to solve that conundrum, but, judging by its responses, it seems that it was not a good idea.

Perhaps I've misunderstood you, or that I've missed something obvious (not unusual )

Al.
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Common question, simple answer.
If one adds a cable from the coax at the rig( rig ground) to earth then that cable becomes part of the antenna and that is not desirable and can introduce rf in the radio room
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 4:51 pm   #79
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

I consider the RSGB paper as questionable and naiive - it has nothing regarding getting a proper [legally-traceable-and-sueable-if-the-s**t-hits-the-fan] assessment of the earthing-schema used at your particular premises.

Here we have TT grounding, which means I don't have to worry about the issues of "open-circuit-neutral" and having fo sink a few hundred amps of neutral-current through my ground-mat.

As far as low-band antennas are concerned: for 3.5/5/7MHz - verticals are going to be crazy - a 7MHz vertical is 34-feet-high - do you have a 'fall-radius' of that scale from your antenna-base, and can you equally provide 34-foot-in-all-directions from the antenna-base for the radials you need to tune it?

On 80M, double all the dimensions.

In student times-past. me and my ham-radio-minded [ahem, yes, that's me, ...] TA Officer-Training-Corps friends "arranged" the overnight erection of an on-campus flagpole - two coupled 16-foot scaffold-poles - painted white, with suitable guy-ropes for 'safety'. [OK, yes, we also nocturnally sliced the surrounding lawns and installed a bunch of buried radials]. The 'base' of the two scaffold-poles was a champagne-bottle set in concrete... . conveniently insulating!

A Union Jack flew high and proud from the top of my erection, and despite the protests of the University regents we shortly got a 7MHz DXCC and also provided some newsfeeds to ITN during the Falklands conflict.
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 6:22 pm   #80
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Default Re: Antenna recommendation for 40 and 80M bands

I checked connectivity between all the Mains sockets E pins on the walls with DMM, and they are all connected.

I rechecked the E pins and Mains water pipes, but there is NO connection at all. If there were connectivity between the water pipes and the E pins, I would never connected the antennas coaxial earth wire to the outside tap at all. Because that sounds like asking for trouble then. And asking for all the RFI from domestic appliances flood into the HF receiver, and TXing through that antenna would have created unpredictable problems to some if not all electrical appliances.

But the antenna gave clean reception especially on 80M band, and no problems were noticed in any way for a few days of test operation on 40M and 80. It made actually quite good contacts on 40M. On 80M it was also good due to very clean hash noise free reception usually associated with 80M band, but the other stations were struggling copying the transmission. Hence moved onto another antenna.

Will see how this new Inverted V with 1:1 balun compares with the previous antenna.

Last edited by budkor22; 15th Sep 2019 at 6:33 pm.
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