HF Radio Earth Wiring

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:16
ThreadID: 106662 Views:1568 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Having just read a post on the flat braided wire having to be clean and secure on the Auto tune and the vehicle, I decided to have a look at mine and give both ends a clean, much to my surprise when looking under the vehicle to find the end which is supposed to be connected to the vehicle is NOT and NEVER had been connected, it was neatly secured with cable ties to the power lead from the auto tune to the battery and it has been like that for the past 5 years when I purchased (Codan NGT) it new and had them install it……….I now assume that when I connect it to the vehicle I should get even better Rx/Tx as I thought it has been OK for the past 5 years.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:47

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:47
Should certainly be a little better :)
Who did the install?

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Follow Up By: cobber - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:56

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:56
A well known company in Perth, I do not want to name them, as apart from this fault, I have always had excellent service from them since I purchased the radio.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:59

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:59
Still it's pretty poor effort, you paid for a professional install of a very expensive and important bit of gear and they don't do the job.

Makes you wonder what else they missed.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 09:08

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 09:08
I was just wondering about naming!

Good work - I will do it without hesitation.

But if I came across a wire or cable disconnected I would be careful. A mob did a little ($14K) job on our car and after that work I find some non related things loose. Did they forget to put them back properly or was it a fault of a previous mob? I don't know for sure. So I shut up.

You never know mate. It could have been someone else.

Phil
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Follow Up By: John and Regina M - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 12:44

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 12:44
Cobber,
Have you done the installer the courtesy of speaking to them already and have overlooked mentioning it? You say 'it was neatly secured with cable ties to the power lead from the auto tune to the battery'. Perhaps it was installed this way for a reason?

Perhaps they, being the professionals, know more than armchair experts that populate Forums such as this? There are many experts on Forums. Some may even know what they are talking about, but let's face it, most don't.

Before you begin any modification perhaps a call may be in order so they can clarify their installation?
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 15:13

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 15:13
I've just had a thought about this earth mounting.
The NGT uses the 9350 autotune which has a long earth braid with two mounting points crimped into it.
The first is on the end and probably the one that you describe cable tied to the other wires.
The other mounting point is roughly halfway along the braid.
I always use the end mounting as it's been easier for my installs but they may have used the other point.

Have a good look back along the braid and see if they have used that point.

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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 20:26

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 20:26
Good call John...... I had forgotten about that 'second' mounting on the earth cable.....when I installed my aerial I securely mounted both mounting points......good earthing is SO IMPORTANT!!
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 20:39

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 20:39
So did I Tony hence my follow up. (Smacks palm of hand into forehead)
If you can make use of both mounting points then it will only help.


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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 23:10

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 23:10
Well it just goes to show that with some things, whatever the rules, sometimes it can work anyway.
But much more likely, the antenna is adequately earthed directly via its base.
Look on the bright side...... it worked..... nothing has been lost, has it?..
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:52

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:52
Hi Cobber,

The earthing is part of the tuning of the aerial. Good earthing is important with a pre-tuned aerial such as a tapped whip, but within limits an autotune aerial will take a less-than-perfect earth into account.

I'd expect you to have improved Tx considerably by providing a decent earth, though there may not be any obvious improvement on Rx.

A good find, and well worth fixing!

Cheers

John

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 08:17

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 08:17
I'd proceed slowly Cobber

There were some "cute" comments in that other post with some clearly not understanding the difference between earthing and transmission lines as regard to losses.

Presumably your system has been working well for years and the first rule is to not make things worse.

Set yourself up so that you can listen to the radio and make or break that earth (with engine running).

I know nothing about your actual setup but 1 possiblity is that you could create an earth loop and make reception worse.
Check the reception , if you hear no difference then proceed to step 2.

Step 2 is checking that you antenna tunes correctly - worth doing on a couple of channels.

If you are a VKS subscriber - then pinging the beacons is a great practical way to double check both your reception and transmission.
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