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Hartflat

@172.242.240.x

Grounding issues with new install

I recently had Exede 12 installed & discovered that it was interfering (hum bars on tv, etc.) with electronic devices in my home. A DirecTV installer (who had been a WildBlue installer) discovered that the dish was grounded to the house & that in his experience, the Exede LNB has been known to cause RFI interference when grounded to the wiring of a residence. We disconnected the Exede dish ground wire from the house & the problem was solved. The DirecTV installer suggested that I drive a separate ground rod just for the Exede dish & ground it to the wire. When asked, he said that if not grounded, the modem's life expectancy may be reduced somewhat, but that internet service would not be affected.

I called Wildblue tech support & they offered to send an installer to solve the problem, with the caveat that I may be charged for the call out. Well, sure enough, I talked to the installer before he arrived & said he would have to charge me $50.00 plus the cost of materials to ground the dish separately from the house. Since the task was a no brainer project, I cancelled the service call.

As a new customer, I'm a bit disappointed with Exede's problem ownership attitude with new customers once you sign on the dotted line. I had an earlier issue regarding networking (Excede Hijacked my Network) which I posted here earlier, which I also had to resolve on my own.

Has anyone else out there encountered this grounding issue & if so, what consequences (if any) are there to just leaving the dish disconnected from the house ground?

viasatguy
Premium
join:2002-06-11
Carlsbad, CA
Per the national electrical code (NEC) and most likely state and local codes, the new ground rod must also be bonded into the current ground system for the house.

You can't have two independent grounds, the Exede equipment is required to use the house ground. If the two grounds are separated you can have ground currents causing other issues.

A different section of the NEC code also requires a protective grounding of the satellite antenna and coax. So you can't simply disconnect the ground and run the Exede equipment without it - this is for your protection.


Hartflat

@172.242.240.x
Thanks for the info... any idea what's causing the interference from the Exede dish when connected to the house ground? All TV's, dimmers & other electronics worked fine prior to the install & the problem is solved when I disconnect the ground wire from the Exede dish to the house. I had HughesNet & DirecTV for over 15 years with no dish grounding problem like this one. Your explaination makes perfect sense & the installer should have brought that up, but instead, he offered to isolate the dish grounding from the house... & said that (even though this is a new install) I had to pay for the service call & materials to do it.

Thanks

A Tech

join:2008-11-10
reply to Hartflat
I have heard the same story from other installers.

viasatguy
Premium
join:2002-06-11
Carlsbad, CA
reply to Hartflat
I have my Exede modem installed in an entertainment cabinet right next to my surround receiver, DVD player, Wi, wireless router, ethernet switch, and entertainment PC (and sometimes my AT&T Microcell too).

Not a trace of hum or other artifacts when we use any of the above.

You could try isolating the Exede modem itself from the AV equipment and power it from a different AC circuit that uses a different breaker. If that doesn't help, try physically moving the modem some distance away from the equipment that is having the problem.

There are some other suggestions here:
»www.wildblueworld.com/forum/show···rounding

JSheridan

join:2006-07-03
USA
reply to Hartflat
I think that if you get interference when a proper Exede ground is connected to your main house ground then you should probably call an electrician.


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to Hartflat
said by Hartflat :

Has anyone else out there encountered this grounding issue & if so, what consequences (if any) are there to just leaving the dish disconnected from the house ground?

My Exede-12 system is grounded to the house ground. The installation ended up with the modem in my living room not far from my audio/video center, between two guitar amplifiers. Guitar pickups are very sensitive to RFI. The modem causes no noticeable audio or video interference. However, the transmitter is around 100 feet away from the house.

As for just leaving the system ungrounded, none of my HughesNet installations has ever been grounded at all. (I've been meaning to ask on the other forum if that would explain my speed problems.)


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to viasatguy
said by viasatguy:

the new ground rod must also be bonded into the current ground system for the house.

What is the the purpose of using a grounding rod if the ground is going to be connected to the house ground? Besides not understanding, another reason that I ask is that in this youtube video:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWpCKTbuRU0
someone asks "did he ground that to a gas line?", and the Exede account responded "No, to a grounding post."

OldSatUser

join:2012-05-10
Fresno, OH
reply to Hartflat
I have had both my Wildblue Legacy system and now Exede grounded to my main house ground since 2006. No issues.

I agree with some other posters. I question the reliability of your house ground.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

3 edits
reply to Hartflat
You weren't specific when you said "grounded to the house". And you haven't mentioned a cable ground. First, the electronic equipment at the dish must be bonded to the antenna bracket. Then two separate and unrelated ground points are required by code; signal ground from coaxial grounding block to service entrance, and electrical ground from dish mount to service entrance. If you don't see a coaxial cable grounding block, that means you have no signal ground that could be the problem right there. At a minimum, it's contributing the the overall issue.

Back to the separate grounds. The ONLY place these two should terminate is at the building service entrance, via the single bare copper wire that goes from the meter box downward to the utility electrode (common ground) beneath your feet. That puts your satellite ground on the utility side of your home circuit breaker box. If he just randomly tapped box or outdoor device, he put your dish ground on the house side of the home circuit breaker box. That's a recipe for trouble. There are situations where a supplemental electrode is not a code violation, but this does not seem to be one of them.

Anyway. If the first installer grounded on the home side of the breakers, that's a code violation. But if actually on the utility side, the advice to consult an electrician is justified.

I agree that the second installer was dead wrong. If there was in fact an initial code violation, this guy put you in a position where you're now violating at least two other local/city/county/national electrical codes. As such, you have a legal basis to demand a full refund for code-violating materials and labor AND to a courtesy follow-up by Exede to render your installation code legal.

//greg//
--
Former DirecPC/Direcway/HughesNet customer and forum participant since 2001

viasatguy
Premium
join:2002-06-11
Carlsbad, CA
reply to james1979
said by james1979:

What is the the purpose of using a grounding rod if the ground is going to be connected to the house ground?

The purpose of tying the two grounds together is to keep ground current off the coaxial cable and to (hopefully) lower the overal resistance to ground.

As Greg said, there are two parts to the grounding process. Grounding of the antenna, and installation of a ground block on the coaxial cable prior to building entry.

The length of these ground connections must not exceed 20 ft. If that is not possible, the code provides this text: "Exception: In one- and two-family dwellings where it is not practicable to achieve an overall maximum bonding conductor or grounding electrode conductor length of 6.0 m (20 ft), a separate grounding electrode as specified in 250.52(A)(5), (A)(6), or (A)(7) shall be used, the grounding electrode conductor shall be connected to the separate grounding electrode in accordance with 250.70, and the separate grounding electrode shall be connected to the power grounding electrode system in accordance with 820.100(D)."

The referenced sections talk about bonding the supplemental grounding electrode to the building structure's ground system.

The modem itself is not separately grounded. It gets its ground over the coaxial cable and through the connection from the DC power supply, which in turn is grounded through the internal house wiring.


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to Hartflat
My previous post contains incorrect information. I only *thought* that my Exede-12 system was grounded to the house ground. The Dishnet installer grounded to a ground wire coming from an exterior light. The Exede installers did an approximate 100 foot cable run of RG6 coaxial with messenger (ground wire piggybacked). Then at the junction switch installed on my house, that ground was connected to a grounding rod driven into the ground. My Exede-12 ground is not connected to my house electrical system at all.

Next, I went over to my neighbors with Exede-12 to check our their installation. (They bundled with Dish, so it was a different dealer and installers.) Their system is grounded the same way as mine - the ground wire goes from the transmitter to a junction on the pole, and then to a junction on their house and then to a grounding rod. There is no connection to the house ground.

Then, I went over the neighbors with HughesNet Gen 4. The ground goes from the transmitter to a junction on the pole, and then into a grounding rod right next to the pole. (It looks like the grounding rod is embedded into the concrete.) There is no connection to the house ground.

My most disturbing finding is that the piggybacked ground wire on the coaxial cable
on my Exede-12 system is rusting and crumbling. Copper doesn't rust. (I checked my Exede-12 neighbors' ground wire, and it is actual copper.) As to how "fake cable" ended up in my installation, I can only wonder.

(At least the Dishnet and Exede installers attempted a ground. My two HughesNet installers just ran coax and just left it at that. (and unburied too))

said by Anon80:

if so, what consequences (if any) are there to just leaving the dish disconnected from the house ground?

Maybe Greg or viasatguy can tell us.

(I'm glad that you are participating Greg. I feared that you had left the forum.)
--
Gen4 - Beam 51 / Time Capsule (3rd gen), Exede 12 / Airport Express (2nd gen), OSX Snow Leopard

OldSatUser

join:2012-05-10
Fresno, OH
reply to Hartflat
Exede requires solid copper cable to work properly. If your installer did not use solid copper cable (copper clad isn't good enough), then you need to contact customer service to get an installer out to your location and fix the install.

Spice300
Premium
join:2006-01-10
reply to Hartflat
The dish needs to be grounded to bleed off static charge accumulated by the transmitter radiating microwaves onto it to reduce the risk of a lightening strike.

How is your dish mounted (roof, wall, pole in concrete or something else)? Is it mounted to a metal surface?

When there is interference caused by something connected to ground, it usually means the grounding system is improper, i.e. not connected to the Earth, connected to Earth at 2 or more points creating a grounding loop (current flowing from one ground to the other(s) generating the interference) or the grounding wire is conducting power to a load.
--
Wildblue Value Pack, beam 31, Riverside gateway


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

1 edit
reply to Hartflat

consequences of not bonding a supplemental electrode

Any supplemental electrode (ground rod) within roughly 150 linear feet of the utility service entrance ground electrode must be bonded TO that electrode, or be considered a code violation. In the two cases above, the solution is two clamps and X feet of 10AWG bare copper. Use it to connect the two electrodes. Satisfying this requirement effectively neutralizes ground loop interference (from the device grounded to the supplemental electrode). GLI is a major cause of noise and interference in audio and video systems

Having said that, steel plumbing can be used as a shortcut to the common ground. That is because code also requires your steel plumbing to be bonded to the common ground. If you can find a faucet, hydrant, whatever - it can save some of the time and money expended for an all-copper run. But it's imperative that is all steel all the way to the plumbing bonding strap, If this can be confirmed, you can legally use the plumbing as a shortcut path to common.

//greg//
--
Former DirecPC/Direcway/HughesNet customer and forum participant since 2001

Liberty

join:2005-06-12
Tucson, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
reply to Hartflat

Re: Grounding issues with new install

Check your outlet using something like this:
»www.homedepot.com/p/Gardner-Bend···KrMu9KSM


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

2 edits
reply to OldSatUser
First, Hartflat, I hope that you don't mind me "expanding the scope" of your thread. if you do, just say so.

said by OldSatUser:

Exede requires solid copper cable to work properly. If your installer did not use solid copper cable (copper clad isn't good enough), then you need to contact customer service to get an installer out to your location and fix the install.

A re-installation would be expensive as the installers insisted upon an extended cable run ($150 extra) across my driveway (contradicting previous installers who showed up without a pole and concrete and therefore couldn't perform the installation). The installers just left the cable "buried" under 1/2" of crushed gravel. I had to rent a trencher, and then borrow my neighbor's tractor, and then buy new gravel to bury the cable and then repair my driveway. As to whether the installer used the wrong cable, some Chinese company sold him an out-of-spec cable, or copper clad cable is approved for Exede-12, I wouldn't know. Since there is a cable loop, the cheapest thing to do is just snip off the rusted crumbling, exposed ground wire, strip off the insulation and use the unrusted wire for the grounding block every year or two. (I am not altering the installation of course.)

I was surprised to learn that HughesNet does allow the use of copper clad steel or bronze for grounding wire:

»d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3···78228298


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to Spice300
said by Spice300:

The dish needs to be grounded to bleed off static charge accumulated by the transmitter radiating microwaves onto it to reduce the risk of a lightening strike.

Interesting. The "word" on the HughesNet community is that the purpose of the grounding is indeed to bleed off a static charge, but for the purposes of the static charge not interfering with the satellite signal. Apparently, it serves both purposes?

Spice300
Premium
join:2006-01-10
Yes, if the static charge builds up a high enough voltage, there would be a spark that would generate electrical interference that could, depending on the location of the spark, be picked up by the amplifier in the TRIA disrupting the signal. It is also possible for such a spark to damage electronic components.


grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

2 edits
reply to james1979
Well, there really is no conventional voltage component to "dish" static. In reality, ungrounded systems develop a charged ionic field, sorta like an invisible "bubble" surrounding the dish. The transmitter is one source of this field, but wind is actually a more significant source. The transmitter causes the field to be positively charged, which in turn can attract negatively charged lightning. Ground the outdoor equipment to code, and there's no ionic "bubble". A second ground is spec'd for cable (sheathing), which does two things; (a) creates a zero reference for the signal riding on the center conductor, and (b) bleeds off any residual electrical noise that may have leaked into the cable.

//greg//
--
Former DirecPC/Direcway/HughesNet customer and forum participant since 2001