AM Ground Systems Company

WQXI Atlanta GA

December 2008

28kw ND Day, 1kw DA night

We rebuilt WQXI as part of their IBOC preparations  The ground system condition was unknown but it was certain that portions had been covered with as much as 2ft of silt over the years.  A large creek runs adjacent to the site (within 20ft of one of the towers) and is very prone to flooding.  The path of the creek causes a huge eddy that swirls across the tx site.  This allows the water to slow down and deposit it's silt on the site with every flood.

Past owners had allowed the woods to encroach onto the ground field until mature trees were growing within a few feet of the towers and transmitter building.   Many of the trees were hanging over and endangering guy wires and anchors.

This site would be the poster child for why "deferred" maintenance is more costly in the long run.  IF the previous owners  would have kept the property cleared back or at least kept anything from growing very large it would have been a simple matter to have just cleaned it out.  When the size of the overgrowth reached a certain size...  It became protected under the "Atlanta Tree Ordinance".  The permit fees to the city were exorbitant and that doesn't include the clearing contractor costs.

Mature woods encroachment onto the ground field.

You can see the tower base fence on the right. Most of the encroaching woods was either cut back or completely underbrushed such that we could manuver equipment in and thru the wooded areas. The City of Atlanta has very restrictive regulations on what can and can't be cut. It would have been much better to have cut the entire site back to the property lines but this would have been prohibitively expensive due to the "fees" required to cut certain size trees.

The site was well maintained and actually used like a public park by local residents.

The woods surounding the site has been "home" to a number of homeless people over the years. When the cleanup of the station property was undertaken, several had to be "evicted".

One of the mature trees growing inside the ground field.

Cable storage pit.

We assume that there was supposed to be a cover over this.

Ivy covered ground.

All of this ivy was removed prior to our work but will probably quickly return. It shouldn't pose any danger (at least any more than the tree roots) and will help protect the GS from vandalism.

ND Tower base.

Original fence grounding

Most of the original fence grounding was intact but some had been vandalized. Station modulation could often be heard on and around the high power ND tower fence. This was something of an oddity until we started rebuilding the tower base grounding infrastructure. As we began to tie all of the tower base grounds together (ATU, TX strap, arc gap and ground system). We drew an arc from the ATU and other grounds to the new ground infrastructure that we were building. And this with the TX running at low power AND all of the original ground infrastructure still firmly connected. We discovered that the new high power ND ATU had been grounded to a good looking piece of the original ground strap that proved to be totally superflous. The strap was only connected to a fence post. Hence all of the ND ground return RF was being routed thru the fence...

New Ground Infrastructure

This is the point at which we discovered that the High Power Day ATU was grounded only to a fence post.

Attaching a piece of strap to a waterline crossing the creek.

The creek ran imediately adjacent to one of the towers and the ground system had to be continued on the other side of the creek. The strap was attached with polyurathane glue and then covered and sealed with tar.

Steve trying out the new hip waders.

Steve had to leave briefly for a family function and since we had to continue working... We saved the best job for him when he returned the next day. I don't think that he fully appreciated our thoughfullness.

No... I'm sure that he didn't have nearly the same regard for our thoughtfullness as we would have thought.

Then again it might have been the loud frequent guffaws as he slid around on the muddy COLD creek bottom.


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