Satellite System Grounding
Part 6, Wildblue Satellite Internet
Presented by Todd Humphrey

A Wildblue satellite internet system has similar grounding requirements of any antenna system. The primary difference is the use of a radio transmitter for broadcasting up to a satellite. Unlike satellite TV systems, Satellite Internet uses a minimum of two coax cables to operate. The receive coax connects to a LNB and receives signals sent by Wildblue to the user. The transmit coax sends signals to a radio transmitter on the dish, which sends signals to the satellite. Those signals are re-transmitted to the Wildblue network operation center. This transmit and receive capability form the complete data transfer cycle. When a Wildblue Satellite Receiver (box inside the house), sends signals through the coax to the radio transmitter, static charges can collect on the transmitter. It is possible for these charges to cause performance issues.

 

By grounding the coax and the transmitter, those charges are drained away. Wildblue has strict installation standards for their equipment.

 

Wildblue Grounding Specifications

 

Wildblue, more than any other company, realizes that the NEC is not applied to every part of the country when antennas are involved. Wildblue has developed a grounding scheme that meets their minimum requirements although does not technically meet NEC requirements..

Wildblue has adopted the Hughesnet position that the coax cable shield can serve as an effective ground conductor for the mast of the Wildblue antenna.

Wildblue requires the installer to bond the dish to the transmitter, or as they call it the TRIA, The TRIA houses both the Transmit and Receiver electronics.

 

Wildblue requires the ground strap from the back of the dish to the TRIA to drain any static from the dish to the TRIA. The TRIA is connected to two coax cables. These cables are required to be grounded to an approved NEC grounding point. Wildblue is using the coax cables to serve as both signal transmission conductors and as ground for the dish mast. While this does not meet the letter of the NEC, it does meet the spirit of the NEC.

 

Wildblue has made it very clear to all installation technicians that grounding is important and has offered detailed instructions as to what is, and is not allowed.

  • Installing a 5 foot ground rod is not allowed under any condition
  • Installing a 8 foot ground rod is allowed, ONLY IF a 6 Awg copper jumper is installed between the ground rod and house ground rod.
  • Grounding to a water facet is not allowed

 

 

Return to Part 5 - Hughesnet Grounding                    Go to Part 7 - Improper Grounding - What can go wrong

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