Grounding a FLEX-1500
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Grounding a FLEX-1500 Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 1:47 PM
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I will preface this with saying I am a total newby to Ham Radio (only had my license for 2 months). I managed to pick up a slightly used FLEX-1500 and I have a grounding question. My "Ham Shack" is really just the corner of my desk in home office on the second story of our 10 year old house. I understand I need to ground the FLEX-1500. Is there a reason I cannot just buy a 3 pronged plug from Home Depot and use the round ground prong to connect to my radio ground? I am not planning on running a lot of power. Current plan is to eventually add a RM Italy HLA 150V Plus Professional Linear Amplifier. I am hoping I can "get by" with just using the house electrical ground to ground my equipment, but I am guessing there is probably a reason people don't do that. Any advice for a simple grounding solution would be appreciated. 

AJ

Post #6275
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 4:59 PM
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The answer is - your going to have problems grounding in that fashion. Especially on higher HF bands. Second floor operation will compound problems.

Best thing I can tell you here. If you don't have one, go to the Library and read all about Grounding in the ARRL HANDBOOK. That's just for Starters.

Your 1500 can do all kinds of strange things with a "poor" ground. especially on the second floor the length of wire to R.F. Ground can be long enough that it becomes "Hot and the chassis of the radio will have RF on it. Then there are "Ground loops"...

Old hams myself included can tell you of "burning your lips- fingers and such on a RF hot microphone when keying the transmitter with a poor ground. It can happen on 1 band and not another.

There are many fine articles regarding grounding.. They can be found on the internet and elsewhere. Also be aware of the NEC (National Electrical Code)

Congratulations on the new amateur radio ticket.. I got my just last November 1965..

Larry W8LM

Post #6276
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 5:11 PM
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More insight regarding Flex grounding...see:

http://kc.flexradio.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50370.aspx

de W8LM

Post #6277
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:48 PM
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AJ132 (1/9/2013)
I will preface this with saying I am a total newby to Ham Radio (only had my license for 2 months). I managed to pick up a slightly used FLEX-1500 and I have a grounding question. My "Ham Shack" is really justthe corner of my desk in home office on the second story of our 10 year old house. I understand I need to ground the FLEX-1500. Is there a reason I cannot just buy a 3 pronged plug from Home Depot anduse theround ground prong to connect to myradio ground? I am not planning on running a lot of power. Current plan is to eventually add a RM Italy HLA 150V Plus Professional Linear Amplifier. I am hoping I can "get by" with just using the house electrical ground to ground my equipment, but I am guessing there is probably a reason people don't do that. Any advice for a simple grounding solution would be appreciated.

AJ


http://kc.flexradio.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50426.aspx

My operating situation is similar to yours, I followed the recommendations - Figure 7, in the link - it worked for me.

Paul vk4apn
Post #6278
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 9:22 PM
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Hello Paul. I figured their must be an option for people who don't have their ham shack on the first floor as I know there are Hams that live in Apartments and Condos. Following the solution of using Coax as a ground cable should work in my situation. Do you happen to know where I can get the ceramic disc capacitor and how you choose the right size? I assume it makes a difference if you are only planning on running 100 - 200 Watts vs. 1500 Watts.

AJ

Post #6279
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:15 AM
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AJ132 (1/9/2013)
Hello Paul. I figured their must be an option for people who don't have their ham shack on the first floor as I know there are Hams that live in Apartments and Condos. Following the solution of using Coaxas aground cable should work in my situation. Do you happen to know whereI canget the ceramic disc capacitor and how you choose the right size? I assume it makes a difference if you are only planning on running 100 - 200 Watts vs. 1500 Watts.

AJ


I used 2 capacitors of 10N in parallel - they where 3kv units that I had on hand from a amp project. I don't think it is too critical i.e. a .1uf/100n has .45ohms reactance at 3.5mhz whereas my combo gives 2.25 ohms at the same freq. I suppose you should select the value based on your lowest likely operating freq. They must be high voltage units at least 1kv or even higher if you intend to use high power.
FWIW I found that the 1500 was unusable on TX until I played with grounding and ended up with my current set up.

Good Luck

Paul vk4apn
Post #6280
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 9:02 AM
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AJ,

Some folks dispute the "shielded ground" theory. They argue that while it works for some people it doesn't work for the reason they think. I won't argue about it here, but you might want to read what W8JI (who is respected as an RF designer by many) has to say:

http://www.w8ji.com/coaxial_line_and_shielded_wires.htm#Coax_as_a_Shielded_Ground_Lead_or_Radial

Hope you enjoy the Flex-1500. I use one with a Ten Tec 418 100w amplifier which (sometimes) drives a pair of 3-500z's and I love it.

73,
Doug K4DSP
Post #6281
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