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Old 11-18-2023, 10:19 PM   #1
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Grounding wire for outdoor wifi AP

I was going to mount the tp link eap610 outdoor ap on a pole on top of the flybridge. Then noticed the manual requires connecting a grounding wire which is not provided in the package.

The ap is powered by an Ethernet cable from an poe injector plugged in an outlet in the bridge (3 prongs)

Can I use a 18 gauge copper wire for the grounding? Where should the wire ground to?
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:25 PM   #2
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I have no knowledge about this device but 18 gauge is pretty small wire. I would go at least 14 gauge unless you find documentation specifying something different.
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I have no knowledge about this device but 18 gauge is pretty small wire. I would go at least 14 gauge unless you find documentation specifying something different.
Where does the wire connect to? As I know fiberglass is not conductor
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:38 PM   #4
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You would have to find out more about the device you are trying to ground. Then probably take it to the main ground bus bar. It could be a fairly long run so I would definitely go bigger than 18 gauge wire. Try to get a manual for that device.
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Old 11-18-2023, 11:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
You would have to find out more about the device you are trying to ground. Then probably take it to the main ground bus bar. It could be a fairly long run so I would definitely go bigger than 18 gauge wire. Try to get a manual for that device.
Is the main ground bus bar located in the rear panel behind the lower helm?
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Old 11-18-2023, 11:25 PM   #6
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The grounding instruction is very succinct
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Old 11-18-2023, 11:27 PM   #7
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The red area is the mounting location. Is it sufficient to ground to the green area in either picture? Or the base of a nearby pole, since those poles should already be grounded?

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Old 11-19-2023, 03:43 AM   #8
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What should be and what is can be 2 entirely different things. Lots of people, unfortunately, donít follow the proper installation procedures. Only way is to check and see if they are grounded, I would guess not but that is just a guess. I couldnít read the installation instructions, too small writing.
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Old 11-19-2023, 08:19 AM   #9
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Here is the instructions on grounding

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Old 11-19-2023, 07:48 PM   #10
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Disclaimer: I am not an electrician so this response is just based upon what I think to be true:


If you take a lightening strike it is very unlikely unit will survive even if grounded with a heavy gage wire. If it builds up static electricity then a moderately sized ground could help prevent ESD damage. The most important safety benefit would be to protect the user (if they touch the metal cas) if the case gets internally shorted to power. That is normal for an AC powered product with a metal case such as an inverter. But given this unit is POE and presumably low powe I don't see how that could be much risk. I guess theoretically the ethernet cable COULD come in contact with AC power but you are more likely to win the lottery.

You should follow the manufactures instructions but I would not worry about this if it wasn't very easy to get to a good ground point.
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Old 11-19-2023, 08:13 PM   #11
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Thanks. I have decided not to ground it, after some online research. I have read the grounding block on a boat is the negative polarity of battery, or a bus bar, eventually connected to a metal anode. Properly grounding requires a lengthy thick copper wire from bridge top into the cabin, I haven't seen other boats have that kind of wire.

I have also read that the masts nearby (conductor or not) will make a safety net, offering protection from lightening hazard. Many neighbors in this dock are sailboats.





Quote:
Originally Posted by READY View Post
Disclaimer: I am not an
electrician so this response is just based upon what I think to be true:


If you take a lightening strike it is very unlikely unit will survive even if grounded with a heavy gage wire. If it builds up static electricity then a moderately sized ground could help prevent ESD damage. The most important safety benefit would be to protect the user (if they touch the metal cas) if the case gets internally shorted to power. That is normal for an AC powered product with a metal case such as an inverter. But given this unit is POE and presumably low powe I don't see how that could be much risk. I guess theoretically the ethernet cable COULD come in contact with AC power but you are more likely to win the lottery.

You should follow the manufactures instructions but I would not worry about this if it wasn't very easy to get to a good ground point.
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Old 11-20-2023, 02:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I have no knowledge about this device but 18 gauge is pretty small wire. I would go at least 14 gauge unless you find documentation specifying something different.

I'd have thought 8 gauge, myself.

Maybe 10 gauge, but really...8 gauge.
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Old 11-20-2023, 05:42 AM   #13
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I believe ABYC recommends as minimums

6 ga for Lightning/bonding
8 ga for bonding
16 ga for grounding but no less than one size smaller than the units current carrying
wires.

ABYC separates bonding (corrosion/lightning) from grounding (safety/electrical
interference) for wiring, even though systems connected at some points.


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Old 11-20-2023, 05:54 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I believe ABYC recommends as minimums

6 ga for Lightning/bonding
8 ga for bonding
16 ga for grounding but no less than one size smaller than the units current carrying
wires.

ABYC separates bonding (corrosion/lightning) from grounding (safety/electrical
interference) for wiring, even though systems connected at some ponts.
Thanks! I don't have the docs in front of me, but isn't that for the components of a lightning protection system, e.g. the lightning conductors, grounding electrodes, etc, that establish and maintain the protective field and discharge lightning more safely to ground? Versus to bleed static off of a small, lower antenna?

Intentionally attracting and conducting lighting to safe(r) discharge seems like a totally different game.

I'm really just asking because I have a foggy memory that is no where near knowing.
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Old 11-20-2023, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulga View Post
Thanks. I have decided not to ground it, after some online research. I have read the grounding block on a boat is the negative polarity of battery, or a bus bar, eventually connected to a metal anode. Properly grounding requires a lengthy thick copper wire from bridge top into the cabin, I haven't seen other boats have that kind of wire.

I have also read that the masts nearby (conductor or not) will make a safety net, offering protection from lightening hazard. Many neighbors in this dock are sailboats.
I have two friends who both live in sailboats and both experienced lightning strikes in the past two years. One was a direct hit to the mast while underway, and the other was in the field of a strike on a crane about twenty yards away from where he was docked in a marina.

Both of them suffered nearly the same fate - all electronic devices on board were fried. The only difference was the wiring on the boat that took a direct hit - all of it had to be replaced. The owner of the indirectly-hit boat chose to replace it all because he simply didn't trust it anymore.

A neighbor in the yard where I am now was also struck shortly after we arrived. It hit the mast and traveled through the boat (I assume) looking for ground. It blew holes up to an inch in diameter through the hull near just about all of the jackstands and along the shaft log all the way to the rudder. It also fried all of his electronics. He wasn't aboard when it happened.

I guess you could say that, in the case of the first two who were aboard when it happened, they're still alive, but I am not sure that is due to anything other than luck.
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Old 11-20-2023, 08:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STB View Post
Thanks! I don't have the docs in front of me, but isn't that for the components of a lightning protection system, e.g. the lightning conductors, grounding electrodes, etc, that establish and maintain the protective field and discharge lightning more safely to ground? Versus to bleed static off of a small, lower antenna?

Intentionally attracting and conducting lighting to safe(r) discharge seems like a totally different game.

I'm really just asking because I have a foggy memory that is no where near knowing.
Not sure what you are asking...what I posted were 3 different ga wire minimums for the different levels of protection required and the difference in bonding/grounding that ABYC makes.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:25 AM   #17
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lightening damage is possible, i have no ways to rule that out.

all I did was mounting a tp-link eap610 outdoor router on a pole near the radar cone, lower than all other structures. it is powered via a PoE injector plugged in an AC outlet in the bridge.

I don't think this would increase the likelihood of lightening which is small. all your examples are sail boats, correct? but not grounding the router would give excuse for insurance to deny coverage. I may look to find an alternative internet solution, given the marina wifi is sluggish, although stable.

just curious, would people who installed a starlink dish connect a grounding wire?

I have seen 8 gauge copper wire roll at lowes yesterday. so thick and heavy, I was not able to even bend the wire.



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I have two friends who both live in sailboats and both experienced lightning strikes in the past two years. One was a direct hit to the mast while underway, and the other was in the field of a strike on a crane about twenty yards away from where he was docked in a marina.

Both of them suffered nearly the same fate - all electronic devices on board were fried. The only difference was the wiring on the boat that took a direct hit - all of it had to be replaced. The owner of the indirectly-hit boat chose to replace it all because he simply didn't trust it anymore.

A neighbor in the yard where I am now was also struck shortly after we arrived. It hit the mast and traveled through the boat (I assume) looking for ground. It blew holes up to an inch in diameter through the hull near just about all of the jackstands and along the shaft log all the way to the rudder. It also fried all of his electronics. He wasn't aboard when it happened.

I guess you could say that, in the case of the first two who were aboard when it happened, they're still alive, but I am not sure that is due to anything other than luck.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulga View Post
lightening damage is possible, i have no ways to rule that out.

all I did was mounting a tp-link eap610 outdoor router on a pole near the radar cone, lower than all other structures. it is powered via a PoE injector plugged in an AC outlet in the bridge.

I don't think this would increase the likelihood of lightening which is small. all your examples are sail boats, correct? but not grounding the router would give excuse for insurance to deny coverage. I may look to find an alternative internet solution, given the marina wifi is sluggish, although stable.

just curious, would people who installed a starlink dish connect a grounding wire?

I have seen 8 gauge copper wire roll at lowes yesterday. so thick and heavy, I was not able to even bend the wire.
I have no idea what the insurance company would or would not say about the ungrounded router. My post was in regard to any "protection" offered by masts, and knowing what I know from seeing the results, I'd say that it's minimal at best.

Of the three people I know who have dealt with it - and yes, all were on sailboats - two filed claims and were paid without issue. The other chose to make the repairs himself rather than file a claim.

My Starlink doesn't have a spot for grounding the antenna. I've read about a lot of people who add an Ethernet surge protector to the line and bond that device to ground. However, my experience with nearly all surge protectors has been spotty at best - especially when lightning was involved.

But if I were going to try to do something to ground it, that's probably the best plan.
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Old 11-20-2023, 10:03 AM   #19
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I am pretty sure the requirement for grounding the antenna for the outdoor unit is based on the National Electric Code. Those requirements are based on tying to earth ground which you don’t have. From a practical standpoint no ground would have almost no effect on operation and as others have pointed out, not have much of an effect on a direct hit. ABYC would be the guidelines on a boat. As far as Starlink is concerned, I have always wondered about lack of a grounding point especially when roof mounted or high in the air on a pole.

Tom
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Old 11-20-2023, 10:59 AM   #20
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I think the point about having high masts nearby is, they will attract lightening first. if I anchor at an open area alone, my boat will be exposed to lightening hazard alone.


Quote:
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I have no idea what the insurance company would or would not say about the ungrounded router. My post was in regard to any "protection" offered by masts, and knowing what I know from seeing the results, I'd say that it's minimal at best.

Of the three people I know who have dealt with it - and yes, all were on sailboats - two filed claims and were paid without issue. The other chose to make the repairs himself rather than file a claim.

My Starlink doesn't have a spot for grounding the antenna. I've read about a lot of people who add an Ethernet surge protector to the line and bond that device to ground. However, my experience with nearly all surge protectors has been spotty at best - especially when lightning was involved.

But if I were going to try to do something to ground it, that's probably the best plan.
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