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Grounding Systems in the Ham Shack – Paradigms, Facts and Fallacies

A while ago, Tim Ellison wrote about “Grounding Systems in the Ham Shack – Paradigms, Facts and Fallacies” with content provided by: Jose I. Calderon, DU1ANV – Makiling Amateur Radio Society. Member: Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA).

I strongly recommend that you read the full article here.

He goes through a case-by-case discussion in easy to understand English – with pictures – of the various types of problems one may encounter in a poorly grounded shack, and then he concludes with an interesting solution that could assist many amateurs.
The symptoms he tackles include:

Microphone bites (nasty RF shock!)
Gritty and or fuzzy audio modulation (Distortion)
Malfunction of electronic keyer (sending wrong characters)
RF shock when touching metallic objects within the shack
Power supply jitters (the regulated power supply becomes un-regulated!)
Crazy SWR meter readings
Desktop computer going crazy
PC Desktop monitor jitters
Fluorescent lamp flicker
Active TTL switch circuit going crazy (Turning ON-OFF-ON by itself)
Inactive panel meters of separate equipment moving on their own
When transmitting, a distorted audio is heard over the amplified speaker of the PC desktop.
Severe Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) to home appliances within the vicinity of the Ham shack.

His article helped me to “understand the importance of effective grounding paradigms and, the facts and fallacies of grounding in ham radio. To make a shack RF free coupled with sound electrical grounding technique is a responsibility of the amateur operator to address the aspects of grounding when dealing with high levels of RF energy in the operating environment. Effective grounding of equipment is mandatory to address the issues of personal Safety, damage to sensitive equipment and prevention of severe RFI in the operating community.”

Thank you Tim and the other contributors.