Last night I started working on my grounding & bonding. My shack is located in an unfinished room off of the garage which the former owner used for reloading his ammo. My long term plan includes finishing the insulation and sheetrock on the remaining walls and adding a new subpanel and service for the radio gear and my workbench.
For my new set up, I purchased a wall mount cable entry panel and an grounding bar from K7FP Metalwerks to mount coax switches and all of my equipment grounds. The cables runs through the wall in a length of 2″ conduit.
The panel is very well made and will allow me to route coax from my antennas through the wall, and also provide a connection to my grounding system. I installed lightning arrestors for three antennas to get started and fed the feed lines through the wall along with a ground cable. The arrestors attach to the copper plate which is connected to a solid copper wire that runs to a ground rod and then to another, and then to the house electrical ground. The goal is to have a single point ground system. To round out the install, the switches and equipment inside are connected to the grounding bar which is itself connected through the wall to the the same copper plate and to ground.
In order to get everything installed and looking semi-decent, I tore out the old shetrock and insulation in order to cut through the wall (and not hit the electric wire in the wall…). I re-insulated and replaced the sheetrock and sealed around the conduit that runs through the wall for the feedlines and grounding wire. Once I finished it actually looks pretty good.
Soon the existing G5RV will be moved to a better location – much higher and changing orientation so the main lobes are pointed East-West. We have some tree work that needs atention, so while the tree crew is here, they will help me run the lines and clear the trees enough so I can easily raise and lower them using a halyard.
The extra switching in the system is for switching between radios and among antennas. Next, I am going to build a 40m resonant dipole, then another wire antenna, a center-loaded off-center fed dipole which I referenced in an earlier post. I am looking forward to hearing better and getting my signal out so I can interact on the air using voice and CW instead of limited to FT4 or FT8.
I had hoped to finish in time to participate in the World Wide Digi DX Contest since I have been able to make quite a few contacts using the digital modes. Alas, I ran out of time (and energy) and had to finish Saturday evening which did allow me to make some contacts so I can at least send in a log for my first contest.