A good RF ground

From:  Jim Lux [SMTP:jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net]
Sent:  Saturday, June 20, 1998 4:23 PM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: A good RF ground

> I tried to drive a soft copper water pipe into the ground for a ground
> rod and ran into problems at 4 feet. Tough clay sub soil from 2 feet on
> down caused the tubing to bend every direction.
> I got around this problem by using a steel rod in the center of the soft
> copper tubing. I threaded the end of the steel rod and used a nut on the
> end for a driving surface, ( also made a good  wire connection later.)
> You will need to  use a soft hammer or a sledge with a block of hard
> wood when driving the rod into the ground. This will protect the nut and
> threads from damage.

A piece of steel rebar in the center of a piece of copper pipe works well,
although rebar isn't that stiff. A piece of iron water pipe would also work
well inside copper pipe. Who cares if the end gets all mashed up. Just
leave the rebar in. Use a conventional pipe grounding clamp, or, use a
torch and solder the wire onto the copper after the pounding is complete.

BTW, this is why commercial grounding rods are made from copper coated
steel. Easy driving, good conductivity.

If you want to plate your own, get or make a long trough (i.e. a couple of
2x4's and some poly sheeting (all you coilers surely have poly film around!
(I've used Saran,as well, but, it tears easily))) long enough to hold your
steel bar. Then make a saturated solution of copper sulfate (the technical
kind is cheapest ($10/ 5lb, last time I got some) , and doesn't have those
annoying lumps that don't dissolve). Clean the steel well and remove the
rust and oil. Now pour the copper sulfate solution over the steel, and
after a bit, the copper will plate out onto the steel. Stir regularly, and
move the bar around to make sure it plates sort of evenly.  You are going
to pound it into the ground, so who cares if it isn't the prettiest of
plating jobs.  Hose it off, drive it, now you've got a ground.