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Author Topic: Grounding A Radio  (Read 2546 times)

Offline Es0teric

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Grounding A Radio
« on: May 13, 2020, 0309 UTC »
Do you guys think using this item is a safe way to ground my Tecsun S-8800?  The outlet it would be going in is properly grounded and the bare wire section would connect to the ground port on the back of the radio.  I am using an MLA 30 mag loop with the radio.  I've heard mixed things about connecting to grounds in home wiring, some folks say it decreased unwanted noise and others say it actually increased unwanted noise.  Opinions please.  I am in a 3rd floor condo, so a grounding rod is not really an option for me.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ground-Wire-Listening-Svc-Ground-Shortwave-Communication-Receiver-Deluxe/232080538128?hash=item360913fa10:g:cxYAAOSwCcdZ0U9e
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 0322 UTC by Es0teric »
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Matt285

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 1621 UTC »
Not sure what to think about grounding a portable rig in that way. You could always go to your local improvement store and buy the materials for about $5.00 or less. All you need to do is terminate the wire into the ground prong (It has a screw. No soldering required) and attach an alligator clip.

Offline ThaDood

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Re: Grounding A Radio?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 1906 UTC »
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, well... 3'rd floor of a condo, you'd expect that the GND prong is electrically grounded. (So you'd hope.) However, a better GND actually would be a cold copper water pipe, and not PVC. One problem being in a condo, (And I had this ground floor in a complex APT.), is the amount of noise that you may pick-up from the 120VAC electrical GND. Do you have a balcony, with a metal railing, outside to GND too? Even that maybe a better way to GND in an APT. Not to make ya spend more $$$$$, but MFJ actually makes an artificial GND unit, like an ass-backwards tuner,   https://www.amazon.com/MFJ-Enterprises-Original-MFJ-931-Artificial/dp/B00F8G0DAI     Yeah, this is made more for transmitting, but it will help your receive sensitivity as well. However, you can forgo that unit, and run an assload of old-ass speaker wire under a big rug, and that will act as a counterpoise as well. Good luck!!!!!
I was asked, yet another weird question, of how I would like to be buried, when I finally bite the big one. The answer was actually pretty easy. Face-down, like a certain historical figure in the late 1980's, (I will not mention who, but some of you will get it, and that's enough.) Why??? It would be a burial that will satisfy everyone: (1) My enemies will say that it will show me where to go. (2) On the same point, I can have my enemies kiss my butt. (3) It will temporarily give someone a place to park a bicycle. See??? A WIN / WIN for everyone.

Offline Josh

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 2233 UTC »
Take some wire and touch it to ground of the ac and the rig and see what happens. Test it on a few bands. Then decide if there was an improvement or not.
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Offline IQ_imbalance

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 2317 UTC »
Make a big ol' "Enemy of the State" faraday cage and ground it to that.   ;D

J/k....you probably just need a counterpoise, so run some wire around the perimiter of the room or (as ThaDood pointed out) stuff it under the carpet!
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Offline Es0teric

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Re: Grounding A Radio?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2020, 0209 UTC »
However, you can forgo that unit, and run an assload of old-ass speaker wire under a big rug, and that will act as a counterpoise as well. Good luck!!!!!

Define "assload".  How many feet do you think would be necessary?
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Offline ThaDood

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2020, 0241 UTC »
OK, a schyttload. How much wire ya got, and how big are your carpets to stash that under? As much as possible. Maybe do a zig-zag pattern under the carpet, like I've seen done. You may have to experiment here. You can test RX using the WWV and CHU FREQ's, since they are on 24/7. I like to test RX'ing with Toronto's CFRX 6070kHz AM, since that's on 24/7. There's no real wrong answer here, since every APT-locked situation is a big challenge. I did more than one antenna set-up when I was APT bound. For FREQ's 15MHz and above, I used a Firestix CB antenna with indoor GND-plane kit, and an antenna tuner. For FREQ's below 15MHz, I wrapped a long wire along the ceiling edges of the APT. I did DX pirates, but was glad to get out of that set-up.
I was asked, yet another weird question, of how I would like to be buried, when I finally bite the big one. The answer was actually pretty easy. Face-down, like a certain historical figure in the late 1980's, (I will not mention who, but some of you will get it, and that's enough.) Why??? It would be a burial that will satisfy everyone: (1) My enemies will say that it will show me where to go. (2) On the same point, I can have my enemies kiss my butt. (3) It will temporarily give someone a place to park a bicycle. See??? A WIN / WIN for everyone.

Offline chanito

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2020, 1339 UTC »
Find a three prong computer power cord (IEC power cord), chop off the end that goes to the computer, strip the jacket and find the green striped wire or if there isn't a green wire, use a meter or your tongue and a 9v battery to find the ground wire, cut the other two wires back, tape them off for safety, plug into outlet and connect the remaining green striped wire to your radio ground. If it doesn't make any difference or creates more noise, throw the cord away now that you've ruined it for all intents and purposes. What were you thinking?


The thing about mag loops is their relative independence from ground plane or earth since it works in the magnetic field rather than the electrical field of signals. In other words, a true magnetic loop of good design shouldn't need to be grounded. That said, the MLA-30 is a noisy antenna due to design shortcomings. https://www.g8jnj.net/activeantennas.htm#MLA30



See this - You could actually make this or buy it here: https://airspy.com/youloop/ It's a passive antenna so no pesky amplifier to deal with. It's the same price as the MLA-30. And, if you must have an amplifier, for a few more $ you can get a wideband LNA. You could even get one that is bias tee powered and use your MLA-30 injector to run it.


Good luck! I actually did make the IEC cord ground cable thing, but not for receiving. It's  chassis ground for my Spitfire AM transmitter. Doubled the range and almost eliminated the hum.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 1342 UTC by chanito »
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Offline ThElectriCat

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Re: Grounding A Radio
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2020, 0102 UTC »
the only ground I have is the one on the third prong of the plug. at least for the radios. The antennas are coupled to the radio via an isolation transformer. the antenna ground for the vertical is a water pipe.  This avoids any ground loops. I don't have any other grounds aside from that.
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