Earthing kits for Instrument Stations now Available at Softrock
14 January 2013
Softrock have developed an earthing kit to install at instrument stations. The earth network keeps all the metal chassis of solar panel, shed, radio modem and instrument pillar locked together at the same voltage, using a standards-specified earth wire. These earthing kits will prevent the build-up of static charges and obviate damage to the electronics at the instrument station.
Problems can arise when electronic devices are mounted on separate metallic structures. In the case of instrument installations, the instrument pillar, the shelter and the solar panels are often all separate with a poor electrical connection between them. Though the pillar and the shelter may be on the same concrete pad, concrete is a poor conductor of electricity.
Industrial serial data connections have protection against voltage differences. In the case of nearby electrical storms, or static generated by consistent dry wind, the voltage difference between structures may exceed the capability of the protection.
The solution is to link the metal structures together with “earth” wires, though we don’t bother to connect to an earth stake – it’s all about keeping all the parts at the same voltage.
Site electrical staff can do this job.
The pillar is the most difficult part to connect to, and to make this job easy we have made metal plates with an integral cable lug made that simply drop onto the pillar before mounting the tribrach.
We have put these plates and the necessary pre-cut and terminated cables, attaching bolts and cable ties into ready-to-go Earthing Kits. Installing this kit will prevent voltage difference between the metal structures and consequent damage to electronics.
(A direct lightning strike though is too extreme an event to protect against.) The kit is very easy to install, requiring a pair of 10 mm spanners to tighten up the nuts fastening the cables to the metallic components. A hand drill may be needed to make 6 – 7 mm bolt holes for attaching the cable lugs to the shelter and solar panels.
Call Softrock for further information.