Re: Scope grounding and generators

Mac Perkins

Even if you have a dedicated ground rod for your generator, please bond (connect) that ground and your house ground (generally a bare wire coming from the ground rod to the electrical panel). Since a (three wire) extension cord from the generator to an appliance (eg refrigerator) will connect the generator's ground potential to the appliance, any difference between generator ground and house ground will present a shock hazard.

In general, all earth ground rods should be bonded together.

Using a small filament transformer or repurposed wall wart (older iron core transformer type with AC output) is an excellent idea for safely observing the power line. As noted, the distortion is minimal and having no direct ohmic connection to the power line gives protection against unpleasant surprises in the case of the wiring not being as it should be.

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