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Grounding question & Signal - DISH

Discussion in 'Technical Talk (Closed Forum)' started by RickNY, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Mar 5, 2005 #1 of 21
    RickNY

    RickNY New Member

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    Hi.. DISH Network installed my dish today along with a DVR-522 receiver.. They werent independent contractors - they worked for DISH, itself.. Anyway, I don't believe they grounded the system.. This is what they setup: Dish 500, installed with an 8' steel pole mount - the pole was installed 2' into the ground, and set with cement.. Then, the coax goes along the front of the building and directly into the building.. There is no ground clamp visible anywhere, nor was a separate ground wire run to any type of building ground..


    Can someone tell me exactly what needs to be grounded in this type of install? I know there is supposed to be a grounding block as close to where the coax enters the house, with a ground hooked to an acceptable building ground from there.. But I am also under the impression that the steel pole mount was also supposed to be grounded as well..

    Anyone have the definitive answer on this.. I plan on calling the installer back to correct this once I know exactly what the requirements are here... FWIW -- the 2 guys that did the install were a field supervisor along with the QA supervisor..

    SECONDLY -- I had a quick question on signal levels.. Im showing a level of 93% on the 110W satellite and 110% - What are the correct transponders I should check these from?

    Rick
     
  2. Mar 5, 2005 #2 of 21
    SimpleSimon

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    The coax cables MUST be "grounded" "near" the entry to the building.

    The definition of "grounding" and "near" is a subject of much debate.

    For signal strength comparisons, transponders 11 & 12 on 110 & 119 are the "standard" for apples-to-apples comparisons. Lower TP #s can be spotbeams whch can NOT be validly compared with anyone outside of your local area.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2005 #3 of 21
    cdru

    cdru Hall Of Fame

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    You have the basic idea correct. There are at least two spots that need grounded on all satellite installations.

    -The coax needs to be grounded, usually at the entry point of the building. If you have multiple wires, only one technically has to be grounded although its better to just ground them all. The grounding method can be either in the form of a ground block, or you can also use the multiswitch. Many times though the multiswitch is located elsewhere or isn't even used (in the case of a twin or quad LNB).

    - The dish/mast itself needs to be grounded. However, it still needs to be grounded to prevent a static charge from building up as well as in the case of an electrial accident. Since it's not connected to the coax, there is no way for the charge to bleed off. The ground point on the dish is any of the bolts, but make sure that the ground wire is touching bare metal.

    Both groundings need to be attached to an approved ground point. This varies due to what code version you are reading as well as what the installation looks like. No matter what, it needs to be tied back to the main ground point so that everything is at the same potential. In most areas, the main ground point is going to be an 8' copper clad grounding rod. A 2' mast in concrete is not a ground point. A 4' grounding rod hammered in at the dish and not bonded back to the main ground is not a grounding point. Using a ground wire (wether inside or out) at an electrical outlet is not a ground point. Using a metal water pipe is no longer approved as a ground point (although past installations are grandfathered in).

    Call Dish up and demand that they do it properly. You paid for it as part of your installation. Code also requires it.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #4 of 21
    larrystotler

    larrystotler Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Gold Club

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    National Electrial Code states that ALL outside wiring MUST be grounding within 2 feet of the entry point of the structure, preferably on the outside. If you only ground 1 of the wires, the you are sending a voltage surge right along side it into the structure which is not acceptable. ALL wires must be grounded. Even with a properly grounded system, you can still get a spill over voltage that can damage your equipment, so a surge protector with coax pass throughs are highly recommended.

    As for grounding the dish/pole, technically, it has to be grounded to the main house ground as well. Grounding everything at the pole and then running it inside like CBand used to do will not stop a ground strike betwwn the pole and the structure from entering the structure.
    The reason for grounding the dish is to prevent a static buildup than can interfere with the operation of the LNB and to put a negative chage around the dish to help encourage lighting to go away from the dish like a grounding rod. The trailer wire on most COAX is not enough to ground the dish from a strike. The ground block should be connected to the house ground using 10 guage coax.
     
  5. Mar 9, 2005 #5 of 21
    SimpleSimon

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    There is NO managable wire that can carry the current from a direct strike. Beyond static drain, about the best you can hope for is to provide a path for ionization to help guide the strike where you want it.
     
  6. Mar 9, 2005 #6 of 21
    ntexasdude

    ntexasdude Hall Of Fame

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    Simon has it correct (again). Back in my Air Force radio/telephone repair days we used giant surge protectors on our remote radio sites. Some were the size of a small car with giant absorption capacitors in them to "attempt" to absorb the lightning strikes. Often times they failed completely and our old analog transmitters and receivers were fried. These remote sites were often located in the middle of wheat field somewhere and were usually surrounded by an antenna farm. They were basically "lightning attractors".

    Surge protectors are still good idea for our expensive TV's and computers. They will protect from transient voltage spikes from the power company. However if your take a direct or very near lightning strike all you can is keep your fingers crossed.

    BTW - I've learned a lot about grounding my dish in this thread.
     
  7. rabiddbstalk

    rabiddbstalk Cool Member/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Grounding a dish is often impractical to do correctly. A properly grounded dish would use less than 25' of #10 solid copper to the ground block from the main house ground. In your case you had to use a pole mount so I assume the installer's choices in location of the dish were limited. If your main ground was no where near the dish, then what good will it do to make these guys come back and run a long run of ground wire that will do no more good than ugly up your place? A ground rod might be a compromise but it's not back bonded so it won't be to code either. Please don't make a big fuss about them not grounding this correctly unless the main ground was within reasonable distance to the install or you receive interference to your equipment. Your equipment was professionally installed so it will be warrantied all the same.
     
  8. larrystotler

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    Yeah, and what kinda fuss will be made when his dish is hit by lightning, his house burns down why he is asleep and he dies in the fire? Grounding is the #1 most important step to doing an install, period. Finding any way to ground the strike is preferable to the above.
     
  9. larrystotler

    larrystotler Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Gold Club

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    GROAN................now's he's going to get a swlled head like our friend garypen and his "I have to agree with Gary" quotes.............. :D
     
  10. SimpleSimon

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    Referring back to the original post, and limiting the debate to actual safety, and not NEC falderkarb, the main exposure to the house is the coax - it MUST be grounded via blocks or switch body within a couple of feet of entry - preferably outside. Said ground should be bonded, but that's NOT going to make a difference to lightning.

    P.S. I have to agree with Larry. :D :D :D
     
  11. larrystotler

    larrystotler Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Like I have ANY idea what I am talking about....... You should stick to agreeing with garypen.

    :lol:
     
  12. larrystotler

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    Also keep in mind that your ground wire HAS to be the shortest wire. It MUST be shorter than any of the runs going into the house, or it will not work properly. And, this is why a grounded surge protector is highly recommended since you can still get a voltage sure that will damage your equipment.
     
  13. waydwolf

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    If they were from DNSC, then take photos of every part of their installation WITHOUT TOUCHING IT to prove the lack of ground. Then send copies along with a written and signed letter to the office manager demanding it be fixed and give them exactly thirty days to accomplish it or face a formal complaint being filed with your state's consumer protection agency and/or the state agency charged by law with regulating electrical and antenna work. Have a professional electrician inspect the installation and give you a formal written report on it for added weight.

    As a former DNSC installer, I can tell you that you should not be surprised. A number of their managers will ground to things like sewer pipes, oil pipes, aluminum awnings, or not at all as the mood strike.
     
  14. RickNY

    RickNY New Member

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    Feb 27, 2005

    Well, no -- the equipment WASN'T professionally installed.. If it had been, it would have been grounded in accordance with both NEC code *AND* in accordance with DISH Network's own statement regarding whats included in their "professional" installation..

    And, while the dish and receiver may be "warrantied all the same", *my* equipment -- my TV and A/V system that the receiver is hooked up to directly -- is NOT warrantied by anything relating to what DISH failed to do..

    Anyway, the service entrance was 3 feet from the electrical service ground.. The installer did not even install a grounding block on the coax before it entered the house.. While I did not make a "big fuss" about it, I did have his cell phone number, and I called him directly and asked him to swing by to throw the ground block on.. He came by that same afternoon and did it, no questions asked. I don't recall if I mentioned it originally, but my desire for proper grounding was NOT for lightning protection.. It was simply to prevent any transients from making it back to my receiver from the dish.. I read in a few threads that some people attributed very early failure of their DVR hard drives due to non-existant grounding.. I just wanted to make sure if potential issues could be prevented, that the install was done properly.

    I wasn't worried at all about the installer coming back to do the right thing.. He took a rather large new desk that I had been trying to get rid of for months off my hands.. He was a nice guy, and had no issues addressing my concerns. As for the pole itself, I ran my own 15 ft length of 10ga copper to the grounding block once the installer put it there.. From the grounding block, there is another 3 ft length of 10ga copper going to the electrical service ground..

    I had no desire to get anyone in any sort of trouble.. I just wanted my install done right.. If the installer made some sort of issue about it when I called back, then I probbaly would have made a stink about it -- but I had no such thing to worry about -- the installer was very good about coming back.

    Rick
     
  15. larrystotler

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    However, he should have done it right the first time, and that is the problem.
     
  16. lazaruspup

    lazaruspup Godfather

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    Recently when I had my Dish install removed and a DirecTV install done, the installer from D* couldn't believe the quality of the install that had been done by DNS. He showed me where there was no ground nor was their anything sealing the hole where the cables were coming into my home. I was really rather upset and surprised I hadn't noticed this before, but of course I didn't know what I was looking for. The guy from DirecTV did a bang up job putting a grounding block in, sealing up the holes into the house and even put new f-connectors on my antenna run into the house. Kudos to the independent installers out there that do it right.
     
  17. scottchez

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    Feb 4, 2003
    Is it acc eptable to Ground to my out Side 220 Volt Service for the Hot Tub.

    It has a GFI in it and is well ground to the main house ground.


    The Main house ground is clear on the other side of the house. There are no water pipes near by and the installer does not do ground rods (I think for our City an electrician has to do that).

    Will they run the coax down to the 220 service box and ground it there also or just run a heavy gauge wire up to the dish?
     
  18. SimpleSimon

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    Grounding to service panels is also a subject of much debate. 110 vs. 220 is not the issue - wire gauge IS. Chances are it's NOT big enough to meet code.

    Note also that if the ground wire goes to a GFCI breaker in the main panel, then it is NOT under any circumstances suitable for grounding.

    Regardless of method, the coax should NOT be run any extra distance just to accomodate grounding.
     
  19. scottchez

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    What about using a 2nd Ground Rod, but then running a heavy ground line to the 220 panel to BOUND it to the main house ground?

    Would that be a good install?

    Between the Regional Lead Dish installer and the two Electricians in the family I get conflicting answers, seems to be a judgment type of call almost.
     
  20. cdru

    cdru Hall Of Fame

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    Yes. This is what code calls for. I believe the bonding wire is 6 guage or larger.

    Welcome to building/electrical codes apparently. Everyone interprets them differently. Ultimately, it's the building inspector's interpretation that matters...but even if he's wrong, it's mother nature that has the final say.
     

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