Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Posted: 9/6/2013 7:06:52 PM EDT
Hi, I am a new General class, I just got a yaesu ft-450d, an externa antenna tuner (yes i know the 450d has an auto tuner but its only good for 3:1 and below) and a tripp lite linear PSU.  I live on the 2nd floor of an apartment building and have no access to an earth ground.

I am wondering if i should:

A) use no station ground.  i have read in some articles this is fine, and other say never do this

B) connect my equipment to a common point and connect that point to a copper heater pipe.  No idea if its a good earth ground, it should run under ground to another building though as the boiler is not in my building.  I have been told this is far too long and is likely to cause lots of problems as it will act as a massive counterpoise.  

I am using a homebrew fan dipole (40,20,10) in the attic.

Yes i know this is not an ideal setup for HF, but I want to get into it and I must work with what I have.

Thanks!

Also if there is another option I am open to all suggestions!

Thanks Guys!

73's
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 7:19:13 PM EDT
My shack is on the second floor of my house. It's not possible for me to have an earth ground. So, I'm running without one. However all of my electronics run to one power strip and are plugged into a GFI. My antenna is pretty far away from my shack so I don't have any rf grounding issues either. Try running without a ground first see what happens.

Always remember to unplug your antenna and your power cords when you're done playing radio.

-bru
Link Posted: 9/6/2013 7:24:57 PM EDT
Needing an RF ground other than a safety ground is really a function of some sort of in-balance. The dipole should present a balanced load and therefore you shouldn't need any ground other than the safety ground provided in your wall outlet via the power supply. Obviously, you will need to try the setup out and see what happens. The nearness of the dipole in the attic may turn out to be a source of RFI in the shack. Over load problems, if they arise, can usually be cured with proper application of ferrite on various audio cables etc. Let us know how it works, every situation is different.
73,
Rob
Link Posted: 9/9/2013 11:26:47 PM EDT
Thank you everyone, I am trying without a station ground.

I got my station working but have massive rf noise.  I am experiencing noise of S9 and S9+2 at times.  

When I got everything working in the afternoon, I could not receive ANYTHING.  The only thing i could clearly receive was local AM Broadcast (I am only 10 miles from NYC, so the signal is likely extremely strong)  I could not hear a single QSO on any of the bands.  In disappointment I turned it all off and tried after dark.

When I tried after dark, I was able to work a few contacts from where I am in NJ near Montclair to Rochester, NY, Boston, MA and Long Island on 40meters but these were the only contacts I was able to make.  These were also the only people I was able to receive even though I was told the band was extremely hot (40m).  At this time I could not hear anything on 20,15,10 meters.  (my fan dipole in the attic has legs cut for 1/2 wave length of 40,20,10 meters).  

Surprisingly these contacts told me my signal was extremely strong and clear (i was using 50 watts).  So I believe this rules out attentuation from being in the attic as my receive problem.  I have been told that since my RF noise is so high, that only contacts well above my noise level will be able to break through which makes sense.

I am wondering if adding the station ground to the heater pipe might help with this?  I have been told probably not.  Is there anything I can do to reduce all this RF noise?  I am planning on building a mag loop antenna to see if that helps as I am told they work great from apartments for people in my situation.  In the meantime I would love to be able to get better results with my dipole, especially since I am told my transmit is excellent.

Thanks!


Link Posted: 9/10/2013 12:55:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2013 5:00:29 AM EDT by K9-Bob]
The most common source of noise is the switching power supply that is usually supplied with most of today's consumer electronics. The RFI these freaking things can generate is often monumental.

The fact that you have an attic mounted antenna may be part of the problem too. I understand that HOA restrictions may force you to use such an arrangement, but the antenna may be very close to a RFI source. If you have any LED lighting in your home.....that will certainly give you a great deal of noise.


I would start with the "wall wart" power supplies you may have plugged in your shack first though. Try unplugging them to see if your noise goes away. Also the switching power supplies in may computers generate tremendous amount of noise too, so switch off your PC, monitor, router etc.

A ground may help, but I would look for the noise in you other electronic gadgets first.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 4:50:44 AM EDT
A heater pipe (are you talking about gas?) should never be used for a ground.

A cold water pipe, IF it truly eventually goes to ground (and not connected through any PVC) may be OK for a ground.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 6:01:29 AM EDT
Get on the air Friday night.

SOMEONE will likely QSO you with the magic words.

Link Posted: 9/10/2013 12:19:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
A heater pipe (are you talking about gas?) should never be used for a ground.

A cold water pipe, IF it truly eventually goes to ground (and not connected through any PVC) may be OK for a ground.
View Quote



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 2:10:35 PM EDT
See if you can borrow a MFJ 1026 noise cancellation unit to try. If it can hear the noise on its receive antenna some of it can be cancelled out. I am going to guess the noise being heard is originating in the building. hth
73,
Rob
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 6:17:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
A heater pipe (are you talking about gas?) should never be used for a ground.

A cold water pipe, IF it truly eventually goes to ground (and not connected through any PVC) may be OK for a ground.



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.



OK, you can use it for a ground.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 8:10:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By robmkivseries70:
See if you can borrow a MFJ 1026 noise cancellation unit to try. If it can hear the noise on its receive antenna some of it can be cancelled out. I am going to guess the noise being heard is originating in the building. hth
73,
Rob
View Quote


I was actually checking these out and they are quite interesting, seems I can actually run an aux antenna near my dipole to pickup the noise up there in the attic, and then cancel it out.

might be tricky to find one to borrow though.

thanks :)

73's
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 8:10:50 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
A heater pipe (are you talking about gas?) should never be used for a ground.

A cold water pipe, IF it truly eventually goes to ground (and not connected through any PVC) may be OK for a ground.



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.


Correct, its a hot water heating pipe (copper), I would never use a gas pipe, dont worry :)

Link Posted: 9/10/2013 8:11:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:



OK, you can use it for a ground.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
A heater pipe (are you talking about gas?) should never be used for a ground.

A cold water pipe, IF it truly eventually goes to ground (and not connected through any PVC) may be OK for a ground.



Water pipe.  In his part of the world, the houses are heated with hot water through copper pipes from a boiler room.

Baseboard style heating element.



OK, you can use it for a ground.


Thank you, any possibility of this helping with an rf noise issue though?  I thought perhaps if i gave my radio a path to dump the noise signal but i think i am considering how this works incorrectly.
Link Posted: 9/10/2013 8:13:06 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
The most common source of noise is the switching power supply that is usually supplied with most of today's consumer electronics. The RFI these freaking things can generate is often monumental.

The fact that you have an attic mounted antenna may be part of the problem too. I understand that HOA restrictions may force you to use such an arrangement, but the antenna may be very close to a RFI source. If you have any LED lighting in your home.....that will certainly give you a great deal of noise.

http://www.horrorseek.com/home/halloween/wolfstone/Power/powwal_WallWart.jpg
I would start with the "wall wart" power supplies you may have plugged in your shack first though. Try unplugging them to see if your noise goes away. Also the switching power supplies in may computers generate tremendous amount of noise too, so switch off your PC, monitor, router etc.

A ground may help, but I would look for the noise in you other electronic gadgets first.
View Quote


Thanks, someone else recommended the same.  The thing is, i was told the radio is basically a faraday cage.  If this is correct info, how would the noise in my apartment (not near the antenna) cause the noise?  The rf cable is only coming out of the ceiling and going into the radio, there is nothing electronic within 6ft at least of the cable.  plus i put a ferrite on the end of the cable to kill off any stray signal traveling on the outside of the feedline.  

wouldnt the noise need to be near the antenna (in the attic?)

Thanks!

73's
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 7:26:25 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bandroidx:

Thanks, someone else recommended the same.  The thing is, i was told the radio is basically a faraday cage.  If this is correct info, how would the noise in my apartment (not near the antenna) cause the noise?  The rf cable is only coming out of the ceiling and going into the radio, there is nothing electronic within 6ft at least of the cable.  plus i put a ferrite on the end of the cable to kill off any stray signal traveling on the outside of the feedline.  

wouldnt the noise need to be near the antenna (in the attic?)

Thanks!

73's
View Quote


Your antennas can pick up signals from China...everything in your house is 'near' the antenna.  
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 8:16:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2013 8:21:52 AM EDT by K9-Bob]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bandroidx:


Thanks, someone else recommended the same.  The thing is, i was told the radio is basically a faraday cage.  If this is correct info, how would the noise in my apartment (not near the antenna) cause the noise?  The rf cable is only coming out of the ceiling and going into the radio, there is nothing electronic within 6ft at least of the cable.  plus i put a ferrite on the end of the cable to kill off any stray signal traveling on the outside of the feedline.  

wouldnt the noise need to be near the antenna (in the attic?)

Thanks!

73's
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bandroidx:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
The most common source of noise is the switching power supply that is usually supplied with most of today's consumer electronics. The RFI these freaking things can generate is often monumental.

The fact that you have an attic mounted antenna may be part of the problem too. I understand that HOA restrictions may force you to use such an arrangement, but the antenna may be very close to a RFI source. If you have any LED lighting in your home.....that will certainly give you a great deal of noise.

http://www.horrorseek.com/home/halloween/wolfstone/Power/powwal_WallWart.jpg
I would start with the "wall wart" power supplies you may have plugged in your shack first though. Try unplugging them to see if your noise goes away. Also the switching power supplies in may computers generate tremendous amount of noise too, so switch off your PC, monitor, router etc.

A ground may help, but I would look for the noise in you other electronic gadgets first.


Thanks, someone else recommended the same.  The thing is, i was told the radio is basically a faraday cage.  If this is correct info, how would the noise in my apartment (not near the antenna) cause the noise?  The rf cable is only coming out of the ceiling and going into the radio, there is nothing electronic within 6ft at least of the cable.  plus i put a ferrite on the end of the cable to kill off any stray signal traveling on the outside of the feedline.  

wouldnt the noise need to be near the antenna (in the attic?)

Thanks!

73's


Certainly the metal enclosure of your radio shields your receiver and acts as a Faraday Cage, but the RFI making its way into your antenna system seems to be the issue here.

You need to find the source of your interference. Consumer electronics or power line RFI is the problem. In my case I had both types of noise and it took time for me to find and fix those issues.

Unless you locate the source and find a way to eliminate it, radio is not going to be much fun.
Link Posted: 9/11/2013 10:08:22 AM EDT
What I had to do was connect my radio to a car battery and then kill all the power to my house at the main breaker. Then my shop. Then my dad's house nearby. Then got the neighbor to do the same. One at a time and then check to see if the noise goes away. If it goes away when you kill the main breaker, flip it back on and then do ONE breaker at a time. Then figure out what all is on that circuit and rinse and repeat.

Turns out MOST of my noise came from the power company's plant. They replaced 4 transformers and about 20 insulators and MOST of the noise is now gone.

Just my $.02

Redman
Top Top