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Old 04-06-2020, 11:20   #1
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VHF ground to sea cock

I've discovered that there is a black wire attached to a sea cock with a hose clamp as you can see in the photo.

I am preparing to replace the VHF and I suspect this is the grounding wire from the old VHF.

The new VHF also calls for it to be grounded to the boat. What is the proper way to do so.
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Old 04-06-2020, 17:44   #2
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Use your engine ground.
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Old 04-06-2020, 17:51   #3
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

A seacock is fine, but a wire isn’t. Should be a strap.
Seacock should be better than the engine, we are not talking about electrical ground I assume, cause that should not be the seacock.

Wait a minute, I just noticed VHF, not HF.
No, nothing from the VHF should be connected to the seacock. It’s probably a bonding wire.
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:54   #4
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Thanks to you both for responding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
Use your engine ground.
Can you give me any pointers on how to identify the engine ground?


Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
No, nothing from the VHF should be connected to the seacock. Itís probably a bonding wire.
I'm guessing using a hose clamp to connect a bonding wire to the seacock isn't right. What is the acceptable way to do this?
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:16   #5
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Hooking a ground to the seacock sounds like a good idea for those of use that have removed our engines and replaced them with an outboard.

All the grounds, and there were a lot of them, that were attached to my engine I hooked together with a bolt which is now attached to the negative side of the battery. So my system is "floating."

My grounds were bolted to the engine which hooked to the prop which was in the water which completes the grounding.

Most all boats (I would think) are like this so there is now reason really to check it but if you want to just use a meter
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:23   #6
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

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Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
Thanks to you both for responding.



Can you give me any pointers on how to identify the engine ground?




I'm guessing using a hose clamp to connect a bonding wire to the seacock isn't right. What is the acceptable way to do this?
Some seacocks will have a screw terminal on them that can be used with a ring terminal on the bonding wire. Absent this, a hose clamp works well. A touch of dielectric grease on the place the wire touches will help keep the connection good.

All bonding connections should be checked for continuity on a regular basis, doubly so for any exposed to bilge water even occasionally.
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:37   #7
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Do you have an inboard engine? If so the battery is grounded to the engine, ideally from a bus.

If you have an outboard the negatives go to the battery negative post, also ideally through a bus.

A Vhf has a positive and negative feed wire that should not go to a through hull. Remove it.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:06   #8
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

There is no need to ground a VHF radio.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:11   #9
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

I would never connect an electrical ground to a seacock, the reason is stray current is possible and that would of course “eat” the seacock and sink the boat.
My seacocks are connected via a hose clamp, pretty Mickey Mouse looking, but what are you to do? I guess you could use a grounding rod clamp?
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sigma-Elect...itting/1000571
I believe the better ones are actually Bronze?
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:12   #10
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

The entire boat is grounded via the black (DC) - wire including the engine. Basically simple envision the second wire is a safety wire although it also traps extraneous electrical interference.
Theoretically, all these black wires ultimately ending in the water via a zinc. (prop shaft/engine zinc/hull dedicated zinc).
vhf frame (antenna, box, ) should terminate back to the common ground at the battery/engine.
The seacock works excepting if any extraneous low amperage is in the wire eventually the seacock may waste away.
aka , the boat should be properly grounded. If you are not familiar with boat electricla systems, ask the marina to help explain.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:13   #11
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

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Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
There is no need to ground a VHF radio.
Well you do have have both a Pos and a Neg connection, and a lot of people call the Neg connection the ground.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:20   #12
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
There is no need to ground a VHF radio.
The VHF in inherently connected to ground via the power lead neg connection - using different ground points serves to create ground loops and promote electrolysis.


I assume he is using the wrong term to question the need for an RF (counterpoise) "ground" for VHF which is unnecessary.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:45   #13
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

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Well you do have have both a Pos and a Neg connection, and a lot of people call the Neg connection the ground.
True but in many boats, aluminum especially the DC negative is completely isolated from the hull and there are no consequences for a VHF radio.

HF radio is whole 'nother kettle of fish.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:54   #14
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
The VHF in inherently connected to ground via the power lead neg connection - using different ground points serves to create ground loops and promote electrolysis.

I assume he is using the wrong term to question the need for an RF (counterpoise) "ground" for VHF which is unnecessary.
Both a safety ground and an added counterpoise are unnecessary in a vhf installation.

The counterpoise is the outer conductor of the coax and/or the mast it is mounted to. I use the term outer conductor because shield is an inappropriate term for coax carrying RF.
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Old 06-06-2020, 06:14   #15
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Re: VHF ground to sea cock

Here are the instructions. Itís for a ICOM 330G

You will note that connection #3 is for positive and negative DC. Then connection #5 calls for a ground wire.

The question is where to run that ground wire.

I probably should have posted this with the original post.
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