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Cell Booster Antenna Surge Protector Grounding Instructions

If you have purchased a Lightning Surge Arrester Protector Ground Wire And Grounding Kit or 50 Ohm Antenna Lightning Surge Protector Arrester With Grounding Kit, know that the primary purpose of grounding an antenna is for safety and protection.

Consider the following:

  • You may remember learning in high school that water will always choose the path of least resistance. Electricity runs under the same principle. Should a stray electrical charge occur, such as a lightning strike nearby or an electrical short, a grounded antenna provides a path with low resistance to a safe discharge point.
  • There're all kinds of radio signals bombarding different parts of the country. In order to receive a clean signal, the aim is to drain off other types of electrical signals and noise at the ground connection point. Although your signal booster exterior on-building rooftop antenna has been designed to receive cellular signals only, the lead in wire shield will inevitably pick up other signals and noise. Grounding that antenna allows for effective discharge of irrelevant noise and ultimately provide a cleaner signal.

Please note: Nothing in the following procedures will require you to attach any wires or connectors to power, remove any electrical covers, or open electrical power access points. Always stay out of electrical outlets, switches, and electrical boxes. Attempting to access a closed electrical box of any kind will put you at potentially life-threatening risk of electrical shock.

The key to a successful outdoor antenna installation is prior planning. Follow these recommendations before attempting to install your cell phone signal booster outdoor antenna product and/or lightning surge protector in order to achieve a reliable, safe installation that will serve you long into the future.

Please note: Three grounding options are specified: Meter pan ground, ground clamp, and ground strap.

Important Notice

It is your sole responsibility to ensure your compliance with all regulations, laws, and codes that may apply to you. The total of our liability to you for any claim that may arise in connection with or out of the use of the procedures or material contained herein is strictly limited to the value of the items contained in a grounding kit you may have purchased from us. No party involved in delivering, producing, or creating this kit, including SignalBooster.com, shall be held liable for any damages, whether direct or indirect, consequential, special, or incidental that may arise from your use of these materials or procedures, regardless of the legal theory upon which they are based, including tort, negligence, contract, or warranty, and whether the possibility of such damage was known or foreseeable or not. But for these limitations, we would not be able to provide the procedures and materials. We acknowledge that some jurisdictions disallow the use of limitations or exclusions of liability for incidental or consequential damages, therefore the above exclusions and limitations may not be applicable to you. By proceeding with these installation procedures or by using the items and equipment described above, you expressly agree to these terms and conditions. If you're not in agreement with these terms and conditions, do not proceed to use these installation procedures nor purchase items and equipment we sell related to grounding your external antenna and/or lightning surge protector.

Installation Steps

  1. It may not be an exciting way to start, but the first step is to read the complete installation manual and the Setup Overview so you know what is coming and the tools you will need.
  2. Cell phone in hand (or preferably a Signal Meter), take a tour of outdoor area to determine the point at which you can find the strongest cellular signal. While doing so, note any potential ground sources. Remember that the best ground source is the point at which you will bond your new antenna lead-in cable to the electrical ground system of the property. Consider the following when choosing an appropriate point to bond the existing ground system:
  • Look for the ground rod for the electrical services. There's typically one such ground rod per home, and it should be 5/8 inches.
  • Look for the grounding conductor wire which will be affixed to the ground rod. This will be a #6 copper wire, of a slightly smaller size than a #2 pencil.
  • Look for enclosures of a breaker box or power service cut-off. These will be located outside the metal box.
  • Look for metallic conduits that are directly attached to breaker box enclosures or power service cut-offs. Note these are metal and not plastic.
  • Look for a metal cold water system of pipes, which are grounded and usually found within 5 feet or 1.5 meters from the home's entrance point.

Ground Clamp on Cold Water Pipe

Please note: Never drill directly into any of the above listed items, including using tapping screws or self-drills. Only UL hardware should be used to bond to these locations. Several different options are included within our ground wire grounding kit. On a similar note, never use an existing screw, such as a screw that may be holding the cover on to a box, to bond the ground point to the ground wire. Again, only UL hardware should be used to bond to these locations. Finally, never use an existing ground connection, such as that for your cable company or telephone provider, to attach the grounding wire of your external antenna. It is highly important that a signal booster outside antenna has its own separate connection to the household ground, otherwise an unsafe condition could be created.

In order to be fully effective, the wire that connects the ground source to the ground block should be no longer than 20 feet. As mentioned above, electricity always chooses the path of least resistance. For this reason, the longer the wire is, the higher the resulting resistance will be.

Ensure that once you have found the best location to attach to the ground, you check your cell phone signal once again at that exact area and in the home. It is important to remember that cell phone signals can vary considerably at ground level, roof level, and even above the roof level.

  1. Once you have located the potential ground point options, identify the one that is located closest to where you wish to mount the new outside antenna. Attach the ground block either to the side of the outside wall or immediately inside the building if necessary, at a location close to the position where the cable will first enter the home. The maximum distance between the ground block and the ground source can be no longer than 20 cable feet.
  2. At this point you can complete the installation of your signal booster outdoor antenna. Before coming down from the ladder, attach the antenna to one end of the coaxial cable (usually supplied with antenna kit).

Please note: The steps that follow will give you instructions on attaching the ground block to the coaxial cable.

Attaching ground block to coaxial cable

In order to provide a longer installation life, drip loops should be created on either side of the ground block if the installation occur in an area that is exposed to weather. Drip loops cause water that has accumulated on the cable to move away from the connections. You may be surprised at the difference this will make in your installation's performance and effectiveness. In addition, take the same precaution at the point just before the coaxial cable enters the home, both for window entry cable and wall penetration use. In doing so, you will be protecting your home or building from the entry of rainwater. Note that the minimum bend size of an RG-6 cable is four inches, measuring across on the inside distance of the loops. A tighter loop will eventually cause signal to be prevented from passing through the cable.

  1. Now it is time to route the coaxial cable from the ground block location to the outdoor antenna. The cable should be secured with cable attachment clips (sold separately) at about every 1 ½ to 2 feet. It is important that you not use electrical staples as they will decrease the signal quite dramatically by changing the shape of the coaxial. The other end of the coaxial cable can be attached to the ground block on either side. Ground Block For Grounding Wire
  2. The second coaxial cable can now be installed on the other side of the ground block, routed to the cellular amplifier base unit or inside wall plate through the wall. Note that, when properly installed, wall plates can provide a professional looking installation. However, if you are not familiar with residential construction, simply skip the installation of a wall plate. Remember that there are plenty of wires and pipes hidden within walls, so never drill into a wall without professional help unless you're confident that you know what you're doing. Alternatively, you can enter the building by way of the window frame using a flexible window entry cable (sold separately). Window Entry Cable and Cable Wall Plate
  3. A ground strap is usually supplied with ground wire grounding kits. Either use the ground strap or choose another appropriate tool (sold separately) to create the connection between the device and the chosen ground source. It is important that the connection is bright and metallic. You may need to use sandpaper or a wire brush to clean the point of attachment prior to the installation of the ground connection device. Ground Strap
  4. Within the grounding kit, you will find the ground wire. Trim some insulation from one end of the wire - about 1 inch is a good amount. Referring to the diagram below showing proper wire wrap connection techniques, connect the ground attachment device to the bare wire.

Wire Wrap - Correct and Incorrect

  1. Next, the ground wire needs to be neatly routed to the ground block. Ideally, the wire will run in as straight a line as possible. Should it be necessary for the wire run to bend, make the curves as gradual and broad as possible. A sharp bend must always be avoided, as it will cause the wire to burn up at the point when the ground circuit is most needed. To properly understand the minimum bend radius, take a soup can or similar sized cylinder and wrap the wire one quarter of the way around. Any curve tighter than this radius will not be acceptable.
  2. Take a measurement of the wire and note where it reaches approximately 1 ½ inches past the ground block. From there, strip some more installation from that end of the ground wire - about 1 inch. You will find a small hole next to the coaxial connector. Push the stripped wire into that whole and then firmly tighten the screw against the ground wire, taking care not to strip the threads or screw head.
  3. The hook up of the inside wire can now be completed.
  4. Finally, the power supply of the cell phone signal booster can be connected to the 110-volt outlet.

A typical grounding kit may contain following items:

  • 10 AWG ground wire - 20 feet.
  • RG6 satellite rated coaxial cable - 15 feet.
  • Dual ground block.
  • Ground strap - 12 inches.
  • Ground clamp for use with cold water pipes.
  • Meter pan ground, to hook to the water meter pan.