How to Remove Static Charge on an HF Antenna

Written by matthew burch
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How to Remove Static Charge on an HF Antenna
Antennas build up static electricity along the transmission line which could lead to electrical shock. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Just as an antenna mast needs a good ground connection in case of a lightning strike=, the transmission line also needs a ground connection. The transmission line conducts electromagnetic current from the antenna to the receiver, and this flow of electrons down the wire can cause a build up of static electricity. To safely discharge this static electricity, an antenna discharge unit must be installed, and this is true for all wavelengths, including high frequency, or HF, antennas.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Mounted HF antenna
  • Transmission line/cable
  • Connectors of the correct size and rating for the transmission line you are using
  • Antenna discharge unit
  • Ground wire
  • Ground rod clamp
  • Socket wrench or screwdriver that matches the clamping bolt of the ground rod clamp
  • Hammer
  • 6-foot ground rod

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the transmission line/cable near where it enters the building, if there is not already a connection here.

  2. 2

    Install connectors on both ends of the cut transmission line/cable. This can be done with twist-on connectors or crimp-on connectors, usually an F-Type connector, that you can buy at the same place you buy the antenna discharge unit. Follow the instructions provided with the connectors to install them.

  3. 3

    Connect the two ends of the transmission line to the antenna discharge unit. If you are using F-Type connectors, they will simply screw on to both ends of the antenna discharge unit.

  4. 4

    Crimp the ground wire to the terminal provided with the antenna discharge unit. It is usually attached to the grounding terminal of the unit. There are special tools for crimping this connection, but a good pair of pliers works just as well.

  5. 5

    Pound the ground rod all the way into the ground with a hammer, as close to the building as you can. If there is a ground rod already located nearby, run the ground cable to it.

  6. 6

    Attach the ground wire to the ground rod with the ground rod clamp using a wrench or screwdriver to tighten the clamp bolt.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are not familiar with installing cable connectors, you may want to enlist the help of someone who is.
  • Never work near an antenna during a lighting storm.

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