Earth stakes


g4zod@btinternet.com
 

Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail


Martin Phillips G4CIO
 

A very large SDS drill. They sometimes have them at bargain prices in Aldi. I've got a 1 m x 25 mm one.

On 6/9/20 6:04 PM, g4zod@... via groups.io wrote:
Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail



ian hope (2E0IJH)
 

In the trade we use a SDS drill and a Impact driver bit adaptor, 
 
Be aware of PME risks if adding RF Earths, I co-wrote EMC07 for the RSGB
 
Ian
M5IJH

 
 
Sent: Sunday, September 06, 2020 at 6:04 PM
From: "g4zod@... via groups.io" <g4zod@...>
To: ukmicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes
Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail


Reg Woolley
 

Hilti drills have an attachment that hammmer earth spikes in. Maybe worth trying your local hire shop. They go in real easy that way. 

Reg g8vhi 



Sent from Samsung tablet.


-------- Original message --------
From: Martin Phillips G4CIO <martin@...>
Date: 06/09/2020 18:10 (GMT+00:00)
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes

A very large SDS drill. They sometimes have them at bargain prices in Aldi. I've got a 1 m x 25 mm one.

On 6/9/20 6:04 PM, g4zod@... via groups.io wrote:
Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail



Robin Szemeti - G1YFG
 

You could just save the copper and effort and not bother?

Try measuring the actual impedance of an "earth stake" and it is frequently in the hundreds or even thousands of ohms in stony ground. At best, they help discharge a little static.   On 160m, I radiate a decent signal, and my ground system is bits of wire, fences and associate bits of metalwork that I have been able to press into service. The feed point impedance is quite low, I doubt an "earth stake" would have any benefit at all.


On Sun, 6 Sep 2020 at 18:40, Reg Woolley via groups.io <g8vhi=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hilti drills have an attachment that hammmer earth spikes in. Maybe worth trying your local hire shop. They go in real easy that way. 

Reg g8vhi 



Sent from Samsung tablet.


-------- Original message --------
From: Martin Phillips G4CIO <martin@...>
Date: 06/09/2020 18:10 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes

A very large SDS drill. They sometimes have them at bargain prices in Aldi. I've got a 1 m x 25 mm one.

On 6/9/20 6:04 PM, g4zod@... via groups.io wrote:
Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail



--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG


Paul Randall G3NJV
 

Using mains pressure water down a copper tube with handles so it can be twisted about comes to mind. Stones are a problem.
Julian, unless you live on a salt bog or wet clay, try Plan B.
I echo Robins points and add the following.
An HF vertical will almost always do better with radials instead of earth rods, unless you are on a bog or beach. Those who have worked hard to get an efficient vertical often end up with 32, 64 or even more radials. On topband, and I imagine even lower, do anything to avoid relying on ground rods.
With no alternative, use whatever works in your location, but put in as many as you can manage and water them, I recall suggestions to use chemical additive - what??????
I use a vertical loop on top band, the trees I thought an obstacle ended up supporting the loop - hell yes my 100W heats them up, but enough escapes to make it a fantastic antenna, transatlantic most days FT8, no ground needed.
Cheers,

 


From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of Robin Szemeti - G1YFG <robin@...>
Sent: 06 September 2020 19:09
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes
 
You could just save the copper and effort and not bother?

Try measuring the actual impedance of an "earth stake" and it is frequently in the hundreds or even thousands of ohms in stony ground. At best, they help discharge a little static.   On 160m, I radiate a decent signal, and my ground system is bits of wire, fences and associate bits of metalwork that I have been able to press into service. The feed point impedance is quite low, I doubt an "earth stake" would have any benefit at all.


On Sun, 6 Sep 2020 at 18:40, Reg Woolley via groups.io <g8vhi=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hilti drills have an attachment that hammmer earth spikes in. Maybe worth trying your local hire shop. They go in real easy that way. 

Reg g8vhi 



Sent from Samsung tablet.


-------- Original message --------
From: Martin Phillips G4CIO <martin@...>
Date: 06/09/2020 18:10 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes

A very large SDS drill. They sometimes have them at bargain prices in Aldi. I've got a 1 m x 25 mm one.

On 6/9/20 6:04 PM, g4zod@... via groups.io wrote:
Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and  HF vertical.
I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her garden".
Many thanks.
G4ZOD
Sent from BlueMail



--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG


alwyn.seeds1
 

Dear Robin,

Yes, indeed. 

I’m sure there are better methods, but in the Cotswolds, I resorted to a 1m long drill drill to put a hole through any stones in the compacted farmed layer. It was then possible to drive rods through the holes, presumably splitting the stones on the way. Once through this layer, it was possible to continue driving the rest of the 1.5m rod in. After a season the soil movement locks the rod in immoveably. Ground resistance per rod was around 80 ohms, so a lot of rods were needed to provide an acceptable lightning ground.

Regards,

Alwyn

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
SynOptika Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU,
England.


SynOptika Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 04606737
Registered Office: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU, United Kingdom.
_____________________________________________________


Don Hawbaker
 

It will sometimes help if you drive the rod at an angle.


On Sep 7, 2020 at 3:41 AM, <alwyn.seeds1> wrote:

Dear Robin,

Yes, indeed. 

I’m sure there are better methods, but in the Cotswolds, I resorted to a 1m long drill drill to put a hole through any stones in the compacted farmed layer. It was then possible to drive rods through the holes, presumably splitting the stones on the way. Once through this layer, it was possible to continue driving the rest of the 1.5m rod in. After a season the soil movement locks the rod in immoveably. Ground resistance per rod was around 80 ohms, so a lot of rods were needed to provide an acceptable lightning ground.

Regards,

Alwyn

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
SynOptika Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU,
England.


SynOptika Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 04606737
Registered Office: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU, United Kingdom.
_____________________________________________________


John E. Beech
 

You can improve ground conductivity by watering with fertilizer. No good if it dries out until next time it rains!

de John G8SEQ

-------Original Message-------
From: Paul Randall G3NJV <paulfrandall@hotmail.com>
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes
Sent: Sep 06 '20 23:48

Using mains pressure water down a copper tube with handles so it can
be twisted about comes to mind. Stones are a problem.
Julian, unless you live on a salt bog or wet clay, try Plan B.

I echo Robins points and add the following.
An HF vertical will almost always do better with radials instead of
earth rods, unless you are on a bog or beach. Those who have worked
hard to get an efficient vertical often end up with 32, 64 or even
more radials. On topband, and I imagine even lower, do anything to
avoid relying on ground rods.
With no alternative, use whatever works in your location, but put in
as many as you can manage and water them, I recall suggestions to use
chemical additive - what??????

I use a vertical loop on top band, the trees I thought an obstacle
ended up supporting the loop - hell yes my 100W heats them up, but
enough escapes to make it a fantastic antenna, transatlantic most days
FT8, no ground needed.

Cheers,

-------------------------

FROM: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io> on behalf of
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG <robin@redpoint.org.uk>
SENT: 06 September 2020 19:09
TO: UKMicrowaves@groups.io <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
SUBJECT: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes

You could just save the copper and effort and not bother?

Try measuring the actual impedance of an "earth stake" and it is
frequently in the hundreds or even thousands of ohms in stony ground.
At best, they help discharge a little static. On 160m, I radiate a
decent signal, and my ground system is bits of wire, fences and
associate bits of metalwork that I have been able to press into
service. The feed point impedance is quite low, I doubt an "earth
stake" would have any benefit at all.

On Sun, 6 Sep 2020 at 18:40, Reg Woolley via groups.io
<g8vhi=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

> Hilti drills have an attachment that hammmer earth spikes in. Maybe
> worth trying your local hire shop. They go in real easy that way.
>
> Reg g8vhi
>
> Sent from Samsung tablet.
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Martin Phillips G4CIO <martin@douglas-phillips.org.uk>
> Date: 06/09/2020 18:10 (GMT+00:00)
> To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
> Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes
>
> A very large SDS drill. They sometimes have them at bargain prices
> in Aldi. I've got a 1 m x 25 mm one.
>
> On 6/9/20 6:04 PM, g4zod@btinternet.com via groups.io wrote:
>
>> Not quite microwaves, but still radio.
>>
>> I have been trying to drive in earth stakes for my shack and HF
>> vertical.
>>
>> I have tried using a sharped rod and a club hammer to start the
>> hole ,but I am not really succeeding. (I also pour water into the
>> hole to soften things up whilst driving the rod.)
>>
>> I use 25 mm copper tubes and 10 mm copper coated rods.
>>
>> Any advice on the best way to get about a Metre into stoney soil?
>>
>> ( The Dragon will not be happy if I dig out large holes on "her
>> garden".
>>
>> Many thanks.
>>
>> G4ZOD
>>
>> Sent from BlueMail

--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG


Ian White
 

Results will depend totally on where you are, and your type of ground.

An old 'In Practice' article http://www.ifwtech.co.uk/g3sek/in-prac/0710.pdf covers many of the points.

I thoroughly agree with both Alwyn and Robin. Here we're on rock, a mixture of hard stones and broken shale, any one of which will stop an earth rod unless I have first drilled a pilot hole (and it's unlikely that rod can be sunk any father than the 1.0m length of the drill bit), the reward for all that effort being an earth resistance of several hundred ohms. That is why our primary mains earth is now a 15m long copper ribbon laid in a trench at the foot of the house walls where it will pick up all the rainwater runoff (that feature is operational right now).

Contrast that with the old QTH in the Thames valley, where the water table was only 2-3ft below ground and a double-length earth rod would sink through the surface clay like butter.

Meanwhile, up on the chalk Downs, a friend resorted to an old copper hot-water cistern - drilled with holes, buried upright, filled with gravel, and then constantly watered by a rainwater diverter from the roof.

73 from Ian GM3SEK



On 07/09/2020 08:40, alwyn.seeds1 wrote:

Dear Robin,

Yes, indeed. 

I’m sure there are better methods, but in the Cotswolds, I resorted to a 1m long drill drill to put a hole through any stones in the compacted farmed layer. It was then possible to drive rods through the holes, presumably splitting the stones on the way. Once through this layer, it was possible to continue driving the rest of the 1.5m rod in. After a season the soil movement locks the rod in immoveably. Ground resistance per rod was around 80 ohms, so a lot of rods were needed to provide an acceptable lightning ground.

Regards,

Alwyn

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
SynOptika Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU,
England.


SynOptika Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 04606737
Registered Office: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU, United Kingdom.
_____________________________________________________


ian hope (2E0IJH)
 

Many Jobs around Wrotham, Borough Green, Sevenoaks, where there is a heavy layer of Sand we had to put bonded cages in trenches to get sufficent earthing for Substations, The very worse one that took a trench 15m long with 6 cages was Charing, which also has heavy sand. All of these had to be back filled with a GEM type material to improve the Earthing.
 
Ian
M5IJH

 
 
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2020 at 2:28 PM
From: "Ian White" <gm3sek@...>
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] Earth stakes

Results will depend totally on where you are, and your type of ground.

An old 'In Practice' article http://www.ifwtech.co.uk/g3sek/in-prac/0710.pdf covers many of the points.

I thoroughly agree with both Alwyn and Robin. Here we're on rock, a mixture of hard stones and broken shale, any one of which will stop an earth rod unless I have first drilled a pilot hole (and it's unlikely that rod can be sunk any father than the 1.0m length of the drill bit), the reward for all that effort being an earth resistance of several hundred ohms. That is why our primary mains earth is now a 15m long copper ribbon laid in a trench at the foot of the house walls where it will pick up all the rainwater runoff (that feature is operational right now).

Contrast that with the old QTH in the Thames valley, where the water table was only 2-3ft below ground and a double-length earth rod would sink through the surface clay like butter.

Meanwhile, up on the chalk Downs, a friend resorted to an old copper hot-water cistern - drilled with holes, buried upright, filled with gravel, and then constantly watered by a rainwater diverter from the roof.

73 from Ian GM3SEK

 

 

On 07/09/2020 08:40, alwyn.seeds1 wrote:

Dear Robin,
 
Yes, indeed. 
 
I’m sure there are better methods, but in the Cotswolds, I resorted to a 1m long drill drill to put a hole through any stones in the compacted farmed layer. It was then possible to drive rods through the holes, presumably splitting the stones on the way. Once through this layer, it was possible to continue driving the rest of the 1.5m rod in. After a season the soil movement locks the rod in immoveably. Ground resistance per rod was around 80 ohms, so a lot of rods were needed to provide an acceptable lightning ground.
 
Regards,
 
Alwyn
 
 
_____________________________________________________
 
Alwyn Seeds, Director
SynOptika Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU,
England.


SynOptika Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 04606737
Registered Office: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU, United Kingdom.
_____________________________________________________


Robin Szemeti - G1YFG
 

Way, way off topic now ;) 

I still maintain that any unbalanced HF system needs to take into account that the "earth system" is half of the aerial.  Radial wires will always outperform spikes in the ground, by an order of magnitude or more.   Feel free to call in on 1942khz any morning at 10am,   there are a few of us with a decent aerial to prove the point. GM3YXM is usually pretty loud from Dumfries,  and PXQ/DKV from the Derby area can be detected merely by holding up a light bulb and waiting for them to come on.
 


On Mon, 7 Sep 2020 at 14:28, Ian White <gm3sek@...> wrote:

Results will depend totally on where you are, and your type of ground.

An old 'In Practice' article http://www.ifwtech.co.uk/g3sek/in-prac/0710.pdf covers many of the points.

I thoroughly agree with both Alwyn and Robin. Here we're on rock, a mixture of hard stones and broken shale, any one of which will stop an earth rod unless I have first drilled a pilot hole (and it's unlikely that rod can be sunk any father than the 1.0m length of the drill bit), the reward for all that effort being an earth resistance of several hundred ohms. That is why our primary mains earth is now a 15m long copper ribbon laid in a trench at the foot of the house walls where it will pick up all the rainwater runoff (that feature is operational right now).

Contrast that with the old QTH in the Thames valley, where the water table was only 2-3ft below ground and a double-length earth rod would sink through the surface clay like butter.

Meanwhile, up on the chalk Downs, a friend resorted to an old copper hot-water cistern - drilled with holes, buried upright, filled with gravel, and then constantly watered by a rainwater diverter from the roof.

73 from Ian GM3SEK



On 07/09/2020 08:40, alwyn.seeds1 wrote:

Dear Robin,

Yes, indeed. 

I’m sure there are better methods, but in the Cotswolds, I resorted to a 1m long drill drill to put a hole through any stones in the compacted farmed layer. It was then possible to drive rods through the holes, presumably splitting the stones on the way. Once through this layer, it was possible to continue driving the rest of the 1.5m rod in. After a season the soil movement locks the rod in immoveably. Ground resistance per rod was around 80 ohms, so a lot of rods were needed to provide an acceptable lightning ground.

Regards,

Alwyn

 
_____________________________________________________

Alwyn Seeds, Director
SynOptika Ltd.,
114 Beaufort Street,
London,
SW3 6BU,
England.


SynOptika Ltd., Registered in England and Wales: No. 04606737
Registered Office: 114 Beaufort Street, London, SW3 6BU, United Kingdom.
_____________________________________________________


--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG