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post #1 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, I'm running my whole home theatre system through a Monster HTS 1600. I have my Comcast HD box cable connected to my Monster also. How much signal loss, if any, do you think I'm experiencing? My friend ran tests and said there is signal loss running the cable through a surge protector. He feels the cable box is robust enough to take a spike and that it isn't necessary. I'd like some more opinions on this.

Thank You...

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post #2 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 05:07 AM
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The problem with bypassing protection on one component is it (potentially) provides a path for a spike to the rest of your system.

That's one of the reasons I'd like optical connections to catch on in a big way - audio now, and hopefully video later.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 06:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by xtremefit View Post

Hey guys, I'm running my whole home theatre system through a Monster HTS 1600. ... My friend ran tests and said there is signal loss running the cable through a surge protector. He feels the cable box is robust enough to take a spike and that it isn't necessary.

Cable companies recommend no plug-in protectors for that same reason. Nothing stops surges. Will that silly little 2 cm component inside a Monster Cable stop what three miles of sky could not? Monster has a long history of identifying scams - then selling grossly overpriced products to those scams.

For example, Monster sold speaker wire 'with polarity' for about $60.

Take a $3 power strip, add some fancy paint and 10 cent protector parts. Sell it for how much? Because it costs more, some will recommend it.

Nothing stops surges. Protection was never about stopping or blocking surges as that Monster Cable would do. All appliances - even TV - contains significant internal protection. Anything that Monster Cable would do is already inside the appliance.

However the rare (maybe once every seven years) and destructive surge can overwhelm appliance protection. So you do what is recommended by every responsible engineering organization. From the NIST (a US government research agency):
> You cannot really suppress a surge altogether, nor
> "arrest" it. What these protective devices do is
> neither suppress nor arrest a surge, but simply
> divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.

Not stop. Not absorb. Divert (connect, shunt) a surge to earth ground where energy is harmlessly absorbed. Critical to protection is a short (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth, no sharp wire bends, no splices, not inside conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, etc. What does a responsible cable installation do? First that wire drops down to make a short connection to earth. Energy connected to earth before entering the building does not threaten appliances.

Did you cable company properly install (earth) their wire? No protector required. A less than 10 foot connection from its ground block to earth. To the same earth also used by the breaker box and a telco 'installed for free' protector.

You have this choice. Either earth every incoming wire in every cable so that surge energy stays outside the house. Or let the energy inside to hunt for destructive paths to earth via appliances.

Monster Cable does not even claim protection in its numeric specs. How to identify an ineffective protector: 1) It has no dedicated earthing wire. 2) Manufacturer avoids all discussion about earthing. Doing these things means that Monster can sell for $100 the same protector circuit selling for $7 in a grocery store protector.

For cable, earthing is accomplished with a hardwire; no protector required. For AC electric and telephone, wires cannot connect to earth ground directly. So we make that 'less than 10 foot' connection via a 'whole house' protector. Protection is only as effective as its earth ground.

Further information was posted at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=16806779

Also noted - above is secondary protection. You should also inspect your primary surge protection:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Cable companies recommend no plug-in protectors for that same reason. Nothing stops surges. Will that silly little 2 cm component inside a Monster Cable stop what three miles of sky could not? Monster has a long history of identifying scams - then selling grossly overpriced products to those scams.

For example, Monster sold speaker wire 'with polarity' for about $60.

Take a $3 power strip, add some fancy paint and 10 cent protector parts. Sell it for how much? Because it costs more, some will recommend it.

Nothing stops surges. Protection was never about stopping or blocking surges as that Monster Cable would do. All appliances - even TV - contains significant internal protection. Anything that Monster Cable would do is already inside the appliance.

However the rare (maybe once every seven years) and destructive surge can overwhelm appliance protection. So you do what is recommended by every responsible engineering organization. From the NIST (a US government research agency):
> You cannot really suppress a surge altogether, nor
> "arrest" it. What these protective devices do is
> neither suppress nor arrest a surge, but simply
> divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.

Not stop. Not absorb. Divert (connect, shunt) a surge to earth ground where energy is harmlessly absorbed. Critical to protection is a short (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth, no sharp wire bends, no splices, not inside conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, etc. What does a responsible cable installation do? First that wire drops down to make a short connection to earth. Energy connected to earth before entering the building does not threaten appliances.

Did you cable company properly install (earth) their wire? No protector required. A less than 10 foot connection from its ground block to earth. To the same earth also used by the breaker box and a telco 'installed for free' protector.

You have this choice. Either earth every incoming wire in every cable so that surge energy stays outside the house. Or let the energy inside to hunt for destructive paths to earth via appliances.

Monster Cable does not even claim protection in its numeric specs. How to identify an ineffective protector: 1) It has no dedicated earthing wire. 2) Manufacturer avoids all discussion about earthing. Doing these things means that Monster can sell for $100 the same protector circuit selling for $7 in a grocery store protector.

For cable, earthing is accomplished with a hardwire; no protector required. For AC electric and telephone, wires cannot connect to earth ground directly. So we make that 'less than 10 foot' connection via a 'whole house' protector. Protection is only as effective as its earth ground.

Further information was posted at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=16806779

Also noted - above is secondary protection. You should also inspect your primary surge protection:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

Well, my thread wasn't in regards to my Monster Line protector but in general. Is it worth attaching the cable to a surge protector at the expense of signal loss?

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by xtremefit View Post

Well, my thread wasn't in regards to my Monster Line protector but in general. Is it worth attaching the cable to a surge protector at the expense of signal loss?

Replace the name Monster Cable with APC, Belkin. Panamax, Tripplite, etc and the post remains same. That was the point. Monster simply goes where scams are most profitable.

Which part did you not understand?
1) Take a $3 power strip, add some 10 cent protector parts, and sell it for how much?

2) From the NIST:
> What these protective devices do is neither suppress nor arrest
> a surge, but simply divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.
What does that cable protector do without the earth ground?

3) Where does it even claim protection in its numeric specs? You would install something when even its manufacture does not claim to do it?

4) For cable, protection is accomplished with a hardwire to earth; no protector required.

That post was about all 'magic box' protectors. Do you believe the 2 cm part inside some 'magic box' protector would stop what three miles of sky could not? But again, only repeating what was posted previously.

Defined was what does not provide effective protection, why it does not, and what provides superior protection. The executive summary for it posted here.

Routine for 100 years is to have direct lightning strikes to copper wire and not have surge damage.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-30-2009, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

That post was about all 'magic box' protectors. Do you believe the 2 cm part inside some 'magic box' protector would stop what three miles of sky could not? But again, only repeating what was posted previously.

Defined was what does not provide effective protection, why it does not, and what provides superior protection. The executive summary for it posted here.

Routine for 100 years is to have direct lightning strikes to copper wire and not have surge damage.

It is important that people see through the marketing hype (misstatements).

Though claiming that for 100 years direct lightning strikes to copper wire routinely results in no damage is a misstatement, though that totally depends on your definition of what 'routine' is. Sizable copper conductors get vaporized by direct lightning strikes very often. On a nonindustrial protective scale I would think copper wire gets damaged more often than not from direct lightning strikes.

Nothing that a consumer can do within methods and costs available at the consumer level will protect against a direct lightning strike. A lightning bolt has traveled miles through low conductive air, all the materials of your house are as good a path to the earth as any metal.

Lightning bolts have so much current to dissipate that the bolt can split many times as it approaches the ground, your house or nearby may be hit by a part of a lightning bolt. These multiple current paths induce a current in nearby (within miles) metal objects. Larger metal objects (includes power line grid, phone and cable line grid, fences) can develop a large high voltage current. Smaller metal objects in your home (wiring, metallic plumbing, metal gutters, antennas, screws and nails) can develop currents. It all depends on many circumstances if it could cause you any damage. In a densely populated area there are many paths to ground for a power/phone/cable grid and so the damage potential area isn't as large, in a rural area the damage could extend for miles because of fewer ground paths in those grids.

you house can have lot of surge generators and noise sources. local protective devices has the potential to help with that. much depends on what sources you have and how vulnerable your devices are and what qulaity your protective devices are.

westom correctly points out there is a lot of 'snake oil' out there. better quality protection will come with at least a moderately higher price. though as westom also points out high price doesn't prove a quality product. if a place sells other products that are likely 'snake oil' products then their protective devices might also be that. quality products are sold with data in the marketing and not just creative writing or 'customer' opinions.
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Originally Posted by johnpost View Post

Though claiming that for 100 years direct lightning strikes to copper wire routinely results in no damage is a misstatement, though that totally depends on your definition of what 'routine' is. Sizable copper conductors get vaporized by direct lightning strikes very often. ...
Lightning bolts have so much current to dissipate that the bolt can split many times as it approaches the ground, your house or nearby may be hit by a part of a lightning bolt. These multiple current paths induce a current in nearby (within miles) metal objects. ...
you house can have lot of surge generators and noise sources. local protective devices has the potential to help with that. much depends on what sources you have and how vulnerable your devices are and what qulaity your protective devices are.

1) Average lightning strike is 20,000 amps. An 18 gauge (electric lamp) wire can handle up to 60,000 amps. So even small ground wires are sized three or four times larger. Routine is to have direct lightning strikes with no melted wires. Routine is to have trees directly struck with no apparent damage (well over 95% of the time according to research by the US Forestry Service). And still some only see the rare exception to assume lightning is more destructive.

Lightning that strikes incoming wires is grounded by many homes and the primary surge protection system. That 20,000 amps gets shared by many. So we earth install one 'whole house' protector rated for 50,000 amps. Routine surge protection means direct lightning strike with no damage even to wires.

2) Surges can be induced on nearby conductors. A long wire antenna is designed to induce maximum energy from radio waves (ie lightning). A lightning strike only 50 feet away can create thousads of volts on that long wire antenna. Everyone hears that part. Then we short out that thousands of volts with an NE-2 glow lamp (same as in lighted switches). Milliamps through an NE-2 glow lamp reduces thousands of volts to tens of volts. Yes, the nearby strike can induce currents on nearby metal. Induce current so trivial as to not even light the NE-2.

A nearby lightning strike induced currents so large as to destroy every nearby car radio and cell phone. Oh? None are damaged? Exactly. Those also have antennas to maximize induced currents (also called radio waves) on the most sensitive semiconductor - the RF amplifier. Protection is so routine as to make induced currents from a nearby strike completely irrelevant. Just another example that challenges a myth of destructive induced currents.

How serious are induced currents? To INCREASE protection, telcos want their protectors up to 50 meters distant from electronics ... because induced currents are near zero currents. Induce current are made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance.

3) Other appliances can generate anomalies. So destructive are these surge generators and noise sources that everyone is trooping daily to the hardware store to replace dimmer switches and clock radios. Reality: protection routinely inside even GFCIs means surge and noise sources are completely irrelevant. Even GFCIs make those surge generators completely mythical. And then we install a 'whole house' protector that further makes any such threat even less.

Any interior appliance that is creating surges is damaging what first? Itself. Those interior surge and noise sources are invented by ineffective protector manufacturers because their protectors cannot protection from typically destructive surges. They need some myth to protect those obscene profit margins.

4) Why do telcos use 'whole house' protectors and not waste money on plug-in protection? Take a $3 power strip and add some ten cent parts. Then sell a device that does not even claim protection at $25 or $150. Telcos have known for 100 years what works for the rare and destructive surge. Induced surges and interior 'surge generators' have always been made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. Grounding so that direct lightning strikes do not even harm wire is routine. Money better spend on better earthing - not on obscene profit margins.

Effective protectors earth direct lighting strikes and remain functional. But that would not get the naive to promote more sales. If nobody knew the surge existed, then nobody would recommend that protector. Grossly undersizing a protector (to fail on a surge) is another trick by 'magic box' protectors to increase sales. If the box fails catastrophically, then the naive will assume and then recommend that protector. Norma saw what a 'magic box' protector will do on TV cable. On 27 Dec 2008 in alt.fiftyplus entitled "The Power Outage" describes what is a problem with plug-in protectors:
> Today, the cable company came to replace a wire. Well the cable
> man pulled a wire and somehow yanked loose their "ground" wire.
> The granddaughter on the computer yelled and ran because sparks
> and smoke were coming from the power surge strip.

Take that protector off the cable as cable companies recommend. It eats signals and does not even claim to provide protection. Verify that cable has been properly earthed before it enters the building.

Wire is more than sufficient to earth lightning strikes without damage. Induced currents from nearby strikes, surge generators, and noise sources are made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. Verify that all incoming wires make earthing directly or via a 'whole house' protector. Do not waste money on a cable surge protector. Then have protection similar to what all telcos, munitions dumps and commercial radio & TV broadcasters use to not have surge damage. Protection is only as good as that single point earth ground.

Any money wasted on a plug-in protector is better spent upgrading the earthing. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-19-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post


Cable companies recommend no plug-in protectors for that same reason. Nothing stops surges. Will that silly little 2 cm component inside a Monster Cable stop what three miles of sky could not? Monster has a long history of identifying scams - then selling grossly overpriced products to those scams.


For example, Monster sold speaker wire 'with polarity' for about $60.


Take a $3 power strip, add some fancy paint and 10 cent protector parts. Sell it for how much? Because it costs more, some will recommend it.


Nothing stops surges. Protection was never about stopping or blocking surges as that Monster Cable would do. All appliances - even TV - contains significant internal protection. Anything that Monster Cable would do is already inside the appliance.


However the rare (maybe once every seven years) and destructive surge can overwhelm appliance protection. So you do what is recommended by every responsible engineering organization. From the NIST (a US government research agency):

> You cannot really suppress a surge altogether, nor

> "arrest" it. What these protective devices do is

> neither suppress nor arrest a surge, but simply

> divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.


Not stop. Not absorb. Divert (connect, shunt) a surge to earth ground where energy is harmlessly absorbed. Critical to protection is a short (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth, no sharp wire bends, no splices, not inside conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, etc. What does a responsible cable installation do? First that wire drops down to make a short connection to earth. Energy connected to earth before entering the building does not threaten appliances.


Did you cable company properly install (earth) their wire? No protector required. A less than 10 foot connection from its ground block to earth. To the same earth also used by the breaker box and a telco 'installed for free' protector.


You have this choice. Either earth every incoming wire in every cable so that surge energy stays outside the house. Or let the energy inside to hunt for destructive paths to earth via appliances.


Monster Cable does not even claim protection in its numeric specs. How to identify an ineffective protector: 1) It has no dedicated earthing wire. 2) Manufacturer avoids all discussion about earthing. Doing these things means that Monster can sell for $100 the same protector circuit selling for $7 in a grocery store protector.


For cable, earthing is accomplished with a hardwire; no protector required. For AC electric and telephone, wires cannot connect to earth ground directly. So we make that 'less than 10 foot' connection via a 'whole house' protector. Protection is only as effective as its earth ground.


Further information was posted at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=16806779


Also noted - above is secondary protection. You should also inspect your primary surge protection:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

I know this is an old thread, but perhaps if you are still around, you can help me understand what happened at my house.

I have cable coming underground to the side of my house. The installer ran a small (maybe 16 gauge) wire from a junction point where the orange cable from underground was spliced to the cable going into my house to a larger gauge solid wire that was wrapped around a copper rod in the ground. (The interesting thing here is that when my house was inspected, the inspector noted that my house wiring is grounded to the copper pipe and is not attached to the ground on the side of my house, it's been on my todo list to have this looked at, I've only lived in the house a few months. This is the first time this house had cable, prior to this, it had satellite, and the cables for satellite were shallowly buried in the mulch in the flower beds.)

The cable company ran a cable from the outside junction through my garage and into my basement. From there, they split it off to a cable modem in the basement, a TV and computer (USB-attached eyeTV Hybrid) on the first floor and then they ran two lines outside, up the back of the house to two upstairs bedrooms.

3 weeks ago, we had a thunderstorm. At one point, very loud boom, bright flash, a pop and the computer with the eyeTV died with a whiff of smoke. The house lights didn't even flicker. Power stayed on.

Upon surveying the damage, the cable modem was dead, the eyeTV was plugged into a USB hub and everything plugged into the hub (including the computer) was dead.

The cable box on the other main floor TV still powered on and thought it was recording shows and stuff, but there was no display to the TV. The TV was fine.

One upstairs TV and the XBox connected to it was dead. The Wii was not dead. Further trouble-shooting showed the XBox power supply was dead, the XBox itself was fine.

The other upstairs TV was fine, but the Apple TV attached to it was dead.

Everything here was plugged into a surge protector for power, but I had no surge protection on the cable lines anywhere.

I have two garage door openers. One of them was dead and on clock radio was dead (neither of these were protected by surge protectors). Also, one circuit breaker for the house was tripped. I think this was the one the TV and XBox were plugged into.

The flash and boom came from the side of the house where the cable enters. It did not come from the back where the cable runs from the basement to the upstairs.

Since this event, I have installed cable surge protectors on all of my cable lines before they enter equipment (except the cable modem, because I have heard that this really cuts internet speeds.)

When the cable company saw that I had installed these, they said they do not recommend them because they can cause problems with 2-way communication.

I told them, I wanted some sort of protection from the lightning rods they had installed on the side of my house.

So, that led me here, looking for options on how I could have protected myself in the future.

Would appreciate any thoughts.

Thank you.

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post #9 of 13 Old 09-19-2013, 09:15 PM
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Due to damage to equipments NOT connected to Cable, overvoltage from nearby lightning strike was propagated via the POWER LINES, which could INCLUDE the Green Safety and WHITE Neutral Return wires and not so much the Underground CATV line. First you should consider whether your location is on the top of a hill, making it much more susceptible to repeat strikes, or if this was a presumably once-in-a-lifetime event...and then decide how to proceed.

Begin by reading fol. 15 pg CED Short Course and IEEE Guide on "How to Protect Your Home from Lightning":
http://www.cedengineering.com/upload/Fundamentals%20of%20Lightning%20Protection%20Systems.pdf
http://www.panamax.com/PDF/IEEE_Guide.pdf
Lots of info you probably don't need, but the Amateur Radio Station COMMON, Single Point Grounding SYSTEM description is worth reading:
http://www.bwcelectronics.com/articles/WP30A190.pdf

I summarized more info here, mostly discussing suppression devices for the COAX entry cables:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/381623/the-official-avs-antenna-and-related-hardware-topic/5550#post_8591196

There are lightning protection suppressors that can be added to the power entry panel per recommendation and installation by a licensed electrician. Here's an example:
http://www.dehn-usa.com/publications/files/UE_2007_Inc_version2.pdf

Local Home Improvement stores may also carry some Whole Home Surge Protectors, but I haven't taken the time to see if they're worth the likely minimal protection, as suggested by their low cost, but I did find a copy of the Square-D Catalog...for a low-cost alternative, check out pg11, a Plug-In Surge Protector that only requires a double-slot in the existing Circuit Breaker Panel:
http://static.schneider-electric.us/docs/Electrical%20Distribution/Surge%20Protective%20Devices/6671CT9701.pdf
http://www.homedepot.com/b/webapp/catalog/servlet/Navigation?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&searchNav=true&N=5yc1vZbm05Z684#/?c=1&684=684

Additional Comments: I can't believe it's only 16 Gauge (e.g. typical speaker wire size)...perhaps you meant AWG6??? If you installed MOV type Surge Protector on the CATV Coax, yes, they can and frequently DO cause problems as the granules degrade overtime....esp on the higher frequencies. A SiDactor or Gas-Tube device would be a better choice.

I guess they mentioned TWO-WAY communications because that is what THEY can see. Since the reverse channel to the head-end uses the LOWEST frequencies: 5-40 MHz, it's much more likely YOU'LL see problems on higher frequency CATV & perhaps Cable Modem & DIgital Phone Freqs.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-20-2013, 01:18 PM
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This is great information. Thank you. It will take me time to digest this. We do live on a hill, and it had only been about 15 minutes before that I was telling a friend who was over at the time, that I was thinking of having lightning rods installed since we are relatively high on the hill and the area of town we live in is called lightning alley.

I'll post a picture of the ground wire they ran when I get home.

Thanks, again.

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post #11 of 13 Old 09-20-2013, 02:43 PM
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Here are the pictures of how the cable feed is "grounded":


The wire that is attached to the cable junction in their box.


Their smaller wire being joined to a ground wire, that I am fairly certain is no longer the house ground


That larger not house ground is just wrapped around a copper rod in the ground.

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post #12 of 13 Old 09-20-2013, 08:26 PM
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Looks about as I would expect it to be....using at least AWG12 or AWG10 wire size (hard to tell without measuring diameter with a micrometer). If you decide to add a Gas Tube or SiDactor Coax Surge Protector, it would go inline with the Black (in-house) Coax cable connecting to the Grounding Block. Although it is possible to have overvoltage coming in via an Underground CATV cable (e.g. a lightning hit close to one of the many CATV components in the neighborhood), you also need to consider coupling of nearby lightning energy from the Power/Grounding System INTO the house Coax.
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-22-2013, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddtmw View Post

That larger not house ground is just wrapped around a copper rod in the ground.

IMO, the ground wire should be bonded to the ground rod with a ground clamp. Never saw a ground wire just wrapped around a ground rod.

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