Grounding and Bonding

Grounding and bonding is probably the most important topic in amateur radio, and it is also probably the least understood. The better connection you have to the earth, the safer your operation will be, and the better your signal will couple with the earth.

February 2018 Presentation

In 2018 – February – Mark Kleine N5HZR gave a presentation on Grounding and Bonding, and that presentation is available here.

Additional Resources

Motorola has a great paper on grounding for the radio station.

Polyphaser makes lightning protection systems and we have a copy of that presentation available here.

Erico makes a number of tools and materials to let you connect your systems to ground. Their presentation is available here that talks about creating a good ground.

Ground Conductivity Map

Phil Sinnett KD5UGO and Conrad Warren W7WLM frequently share a ground conductivity map that details the effective ground conductivity of the United States. The important takeaway is that here in central Oklahoma we have the ‘best’ area to connect to the earth. Our ranking of 30 means that our radials and ground rods make it easier to connect radio signals to ground. 

While a small version of the map is shown here, click here and you will be taken to the official FCC posting that has a wall-sized graphic available.

M3 Map of Effective Ground

Exothermic Ground Rod Connection

Mark Kleine N5HZR and Ed Hatch AG5DV of the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society, (SCARS) ( made an exothermic connection between an underground 6 AWG ground wire and a 1/2″ diameter eight-foot long ground rod at the Norman, OK Red Cross building. This video short will show the setup, a failed attempt, and the final successful weld connection. The first one failed because the Cadweld ceramic wasn’t properly supported, and it dropped when the weld fired.