AM Ground Systems Company


AM Ground System Services

    *      AM Ground System Inspection, Evaluation and Repair

    *      AM Ground System Theft and Vandalism Repair and Insurance Coordination

    *      MoM (Method of Moments) prep work.  See MoM Services.

    *      New Construction of AM Ground Systems

    *      Rebuilding of AM Ground Systems

    *      Inspection and Evaluation of Lighting Grounding

    *      Installation of Lightning Grounding

    *      Turnkey Site Solutions

    *      Tower tuning

    *      AM & FM radio engineering (wearing our KK Broadcast Engineering hat)

AGSC specializes in grounding for AM Broadcast and Lightning protection.  We are one of the only companies in the US offering comprehensive ground system inspection, evaluations and repair.  Using state of the art test equipment, we can locate faults and repair ground systems that would have required a full rebuild in the past.

Inspection, Evaluation and Repair


We do a quick walk around and Q&A session with the station personnel if they are familiar with the site history.  If damage is obvious, we have a starting point.  Otherwise we begin at the tower and check the tower base grounding physically, visually and electronically.  Most of the "manufacturing defects" we find are in the immediate vicinity of the tower base and ATU.    These are unquestionably the most important areas of the AM ground system and bonding.  We then physically and electronically check the continuity of all radials.  If faults are located, the suspect radial(s) are marked for repair.  Normally we will evaluate the extent of damage and make a determination if the damage is economically repairable.  There is a difference between repairable and economically repairable.  Everything is repairable.  But it really doesn't make a lot of economic or technical sense to spend large $$$ repairing a worn out 1950 model ground system when a new one can be built for a bit more.  There are situations where extensive, expensive repairs are a better choice.  Site conditions or protections (EPA, DNR, DWR, etc) sometimes absolutely prohibit a complete rebuild or make it cost prohibitive.

After verifying the integrity of the main tower base grounding, we move on to the individual radials.  We electronically inspect and count the full length radials to insure a full undamaged compliment. Numerous radials in various places will be physically spot checked following the electronic count.

If the evaluation determines that the system is in need of repair and such repairs will be economically feasible, we begin the repair phase.  The amount of repair work that we are able to do is generally based on what we were told to expect and our mode of travel to the site.  Most of the time we come to the site prepared for whatever minor repairs might be needed.  If the scope of needed repairs is beyond the tools, manpower and materials available, we will do whatever repair work is immediately necessary and schedule a return visit with all required resources.

In our evaluations we have discovered beautiful work done by pure amateurs and some of the shoddiest work imaginable by "experts".  We have found materials used that were serious over kill and materials used that were absolutely laughable.  Solidly brazed connections to rusty nuts and bolts.  Crimp connectors underground. 3ft wide solid copper sheeting to #14 wire used for the main bonding.  Plain rosin core solder used underground. A site with a huge area of screen under the tower but simply laying on the ground not connected to anything...  The radials were neatly brazed to a copper strap around the perimeter fence.  But making ABSOLUTELY no connection back to transmitter or ATU ground.  Another site had lots of strap meandering around but after tracing it down found that it went no where.  I drew an RF arc when I bonded the ground ring to the transmitter strap.  Knocked the TX off.  Had to retune the TX to get it back on.  Instant dramatic increase in range.

Most of the ground system work in the past has been done by tower crews.  Many of them knew nothing about AM engineering or grounding and even if they did, they really didn't care whether it was done correctly anyway.  They are there because the boss didn't have a cell tower to climb that day. 

Then again some tower crews were very good at AM work. 

Most modern tower crews do 99% cell site work and 1% broadcast.  Many wouldn't know a Johnny Ball if it hit them in the head.  OK, they would know WHEN it hit them but not necessarily WHAT it was.

I digress...


A full evaluation of a ground system will generally take 1-2 days per tower plus travel time.  We will provide an estimate for evaluation/repair charges based on your location and system design.  Evaluations are priced at the current day rate plus expenses, travel, etc.  If significant hand digging will be required, we usually hire a temp and continue with the technical work.  After work is complete we will provide a complete written (& photographic) report including problems found, problems remedied and recommendations for further work (if needed).  Payment terms are normally 50% of proposal on arrival with remainder (plus materials, etc) due before we leave the site.


New Construction and Rebuilding of Ground Systems

AGSC builds ground systems for any configuration.  All of our normally used machinery is owned and transported by AGSC.  All machinery is in great condition and well maintained.  Having breakdowns at the jobsite wastes your time and delays the project.

We have 2 mid-sized 4wd tractors with electrically operated threader/cutters.  We also have a plow to be used with our large 4wd 4-wheeler for some sites as well as a plow to be mounted on a low ground pressure (LGP) rental skid steer loader for those "damp" locations.


Click Here for our Build / Rebuild Quote Request Form.

Please see Low Bid Syndrome for information on how we handle competitive bids and quotes.

Download the AGSC brochure.



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Attaboy from KDWA Hastings, MN

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Attaboy from WCLU Glasgow, KY




We research and quote each construction project individually and with great care to provide the lowest possible price that will allow us to do the job as it should be done. When AGSC quotes a project, the price quoted is (unless specifically requested) all inclusive. Our quote will include all materials, all labor, all equipment and all expenses for a COMPLETE ground system. Other than change orders, we have never asked (and never intend to) for more money than originally quoted to complete a project (unless site conditions or access are dramatically different from those described)  . AGSC knows that in today's corporate and small business environment that you have to know EXACTLY what a project is going to cost before you start. You can depend on AGSC to finish the job at or under quoted costs with a minimum of hassle.



We are regularly asked, "Can't we do this ourselves?".  Sure you can.  Ground system work is not rocket science or brain surgery.  BUT it is a lot of hard work and there are a lot of ways to make a mess of it.  I have discovered many of them while doing evaluations. 

An engineer/owner once balked when I gave him the quote for a simple ND rebuild.  He and his assistant tackled the job and did a good job.  He was proud that it had only taken 3 weeks.  He did decide that my quote was a pretty good value considering that we would have had the project completed in about 4 days.  Most people never again have the chance to use the lessons of their first ground system.  This engineer did and we later built another station for him (in about 3 days)

We will have upwards of $200,000 worth of equipment on-site during large projects.  There is nothing we do with all that equipment that you can't do with a Cub Cadet and a bent piece of steel.

EXCEPT do the job in about 1/10th the time WITHOUT hurting someone.  We generally build large arrays in about 14 days. 


AGSC can generally build a mid-frequency single tower ground system in about 4 days.  Large arrays will almost always be built in 2 weeks or less.  We have the machinery and skilled manpower to do any project quickly with a very high level of quality.


Turnkey Site Solutions

AGSC, KK Broadcast Engineering, and our industry partners (I had to work that cliché in somewhere) can build your turnkey site in minimal time.  We have access to highly competent tower crews, equipment operators, equipment and materials suppliers.  New ND sites can be built completely turnkey in just a few days.  Working directly with your consulting engineer, we can do all of the infrastructure work and have arrays ready to tune in minimal time.


Tower Tuning

We own and maintain antenna bridges and signal generators for tower tuning.  We can tune your ND tower and prepare the engineering section or the 302-AM for FCC submission.  Tuning up arrays or towers in arrays (and the associated FIM measurements) is beyond the scope of services normally offered beyond our regular engineering clients.


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