How to Ground an FM Antennaby David Lipscomb
Grounding any antenna is critical for equipment safety and maximum performance. FM antennas are no exception, especially those affixed to rooftops and exposed to the elements. Proper grounding prevents static charge buildup, while serving as another obstacle for harmful surges and electrical spikes. Grounding an FM antenna is achieved in a few ways, each serving a distinct purpose.
Cut a piece of 16 gauge ground wire of sufficient length to reach from the antenna to your intended grounding location. Good spots include a cold water pipe with at least 10 feet of metal below ground, or a place where you can hammer in a metal rod 6 to 8 feet below ground.
Loosen the screw to open the clamp. Wrap the clamp around the pipe or rod. Tighten the screw to firmly attach the clamp to the metal.
Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from each end of the ground wire using your strippers.
Loosen the Philips screws on the antenna mast's ground location and the screw on the ground clamp.
Slip the wire's ends into the ground screw locations at the block and antenna. Tighten them both securely.
Screw the RG-6 coaxial cable to the FM antenna's coaxial port.
Screw the other end of the coaxial cable to the upper threaded terminal on the ground block.
Screw another length of coaxial cable of sufficient length to reach from the signal block to the antenna input on a surge protector featuring coaxial inputs and outputs.
Screw a third piece of coaxial cable from the antenna output on the surge protector to the FM tuner's coaxial input.
- Never attach any ground wire to a natural gas pipe. Static discharge and gas don't mix.
- You can ground antennas at the main electrical panel if you want to use the structure's main ground. Consult an electrician if you have reservations about working in or around an electrical panel.
- Use a multi-port signal block to ground your various antennas and satellite dish on location.
- Most VHF/UHF antennas successfully receive FM signals as well.
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