There are four different fundamental types of grounding. And a number of subdivisions.
1. Electrical grounding for fire and electrocution protection. The NEC, the (USA) National Electrical Code.
2. Lightning protection grounding. The Motorola R-56 Specification. MUCH more stringent than the NEC.
3. Signal propagation grounding. The ARRL reference libraries.
4. ESD protection grounding. IEEE standards for ESD mitigation and protection of electronics.
Each type of grounding is likely important to your observatory. Even Signal grounding.
The NEC has almost no considerations whatsoever for lightning, signal or ESD grounding.
Electricians are NOT trained on lightning, signal and ESD grounding. Most are not aware that there are four different types-of and purposes-for grounding.
A Telecommunications Engineer is the MOST qualified expert to correctly advise you on proper observatory grounding.
The Motorola R-56 specification is the best place for an observatory user start.
To add to the R-56:
1. Use fiber optic connectivity wherever possible. Especially between buildings and structures.
2. Install a ground ring around your observatory and tie your pier and everything else metal into it.
3. Build your observatory into a six-sided Faraday Cage, if you can. The bottom side is the most important.
4. Use Exothermal (CadWeld, etc.) bonding on all ground rod and ground ring connections.
5. Replaceable copper brushes can be used to connect metal roofs to the vertical grounding conductors.
6. The goal of your grounding is to shunt external electrical charge surges outside and around your observatory to ground, and not through your observatory.
7. Learn what a GPR (ground Potential Rise) is and understand how it is the most likely thing that will destroy stuff in your observatory.
8. Put a Transtector (or similar device) on the outside of your observatory and interconnected structures where the power entrance is made.
9. Put Polyphasers (or similar devices) on the outside of your observatory and interconnected structures where all conductive communications entrances are made.
Most important of all, be suspicious of ALL grounding advice you read on the Internet. There is a whole-lot of BAD and DANGEROUS advice out there. Find a local electrical engineer or telecommunications engineer to advise you. Show them this post and have them comment about it.
I hope this helps.
There was a heavy lightning storm yesterday in the area where my ROR observatory is located.
Fortunately there was no lightning strike, but i am wondering whether there is a need to install lightning protection ?
My ROR has a metal roof and is lower than my chalet which is about 50 feet away.
I would appreciate your thoughts / suggestions on this question.