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Grounding information



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2 hours ago, gortex2 said:

This comes up here and there so thought I'd share a PDF on best practices. This is the older manual but many of the items are helpful. Especially for repeater sites. 


That’s one of my favorites. Here another source of it:


Another source of information that is based on the National Electrical Code is this pdf from Mike Holt.  I haven’t found aversion updatedfor NEC 2022: 


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14 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

2017 manual.

That's the current standard and the one I just certified on last year.

Scanning it??? It's 736 pages.... NO I ain't gonna scan it.

68P81089E50-C_Standards_and_Guidelines_for_Communication_Sites_R56.pdf 120.58 MB · 2 downloads

Thanks for providing the PDF so nobody has to scan it.  Can you tell us what has changed to make it so much larger?

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4 hours ago, Sshannon said:

I don’t think he meant it that way.  He wouldn’t scan it because he already has a pdf, which he then provided to all of us.

Ahhh, he just don't like me much.  So he gets in his digs anywhere he can.  I pretty much ignore his shenanigans at this point, as they really don't effect me and if it gives him pleasure to badger me, at least he's not doing it to someone else that might take it to heart. 


4 hours ago, Sshannon said:

Thanks for providing the PDF so nobody has to scan it.  Can you tell us what has changed to make it so much larger?

A lot of it was changes in the routing of grounding.  They added / changed the routing of grounding to the floor in new builds from it going up.  The other thing that was added was site safety and air born concerns with working in a tower site,  mostly bird dropping concerns.  They went woke and renamed the Master Ground bar to some other WOKE thing that doesn't include the name MASTER.  Not that the subordinate bars were called SLAVE but whatever. 

I actually commented in training that the next change would be the removal of male and female designations for RF connectors.  And that we would quite possibly all be switching to the HP hermaphrodite connectors for all cabling and connections.  Yes, that's really a thing, at about 200 bucks a piece. I believe they were the APC-7 connector.  But they were truly sexless and would attach to each other without a male and female specific connector.  Turned out the trainer was on the R-56 steering committee and wasn't real impressed with my comments about it being the R-56 WOKE revision.  I believe he was somehow offended, and made comment about folks and their right to identify any way they want to.  I replied by agreeing 100% and informed him that I identify as an offensive asshole, so I was 100% covered if he was offended.  Which is my normal reply to all discussions of that topic. 

Outside the WOKE additions and changes in definitions, there were some additional situations with grounding antenna's on building roofs that were covered.  And the other thing I remember was cable management with CAT-5/6 cabling now that Gigabit Ethernet was a thing.  The old standard was written prior to much of that.

I believe they added the bonding for armored Ethernet and Fiber cables as well.  Again stuff we didn't have when the last standard was created. 

But I will say the bonding and grounding section is worth reading.  And will at least sort of hold your interest.  As far as the rest of it, if you are having issues getting to sleep the standards for the height of lighting above the cable tray, and the height above the racks for cable tray.  The requirements for fire suppression equipment and it's locations and other really boring stuff, reading that will put you right to sleep. 

Conducting an audit of a site at this point is very difficult.  You almost need to make a detailed video of all aspects of the site and then review it with the standard open and compare what you are seeing wit what the standard says.  There is A LOT to know and you can easily miss things with only one pass through a site. 

Like any other code, the purpose of it is personal safety first and foremost.  Followed by the reliability of the equipment in the site and the system as a whole.  And while some of it applies to the average guy's install in his basement, a BUNCH of it either doesn't apply, or would be too costly to the average radio operator to implement. 

But, here's the thing with this standard.  And why it's important.  In a dispatch site with a co-located RF site, meaning a site with dispatchers and a tower.  There is an electrical path that exists from the top of the tower to the dispatchers headset if they are using a wired headset and at minimum the path exists to the computers and radios in the room where the dispatchers are.  They can't STOP doing their job when a lightning storm rolls past.  So their protection is of the utmost importance.  And when a government entity want's to save on the grounding and bonding work needed for a site like this, making that statement typically shuts the discussion of cutting corners down about the labor and material cost for it.


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