Last updated on December 11th, 2023 at 03:00 pm

There’s no time for down time in your communications center. To ensure continuity of service, your console furniture and equipment should be grounded – just like your building and critical electrical components within. The R56 Standard was developed to help 365/24/7 mission critical and public safety providers reduce risk of communications equipment failure due to power disruption by surge and/or signal interference. Read on the better understand why R56 grounding for console furniture is a critical resource for your agency.

  • Why R56
  • R56 for Console Furniture
  • R56 Endorsed Grounding Kits for Consoles


Communications Centers Should Get to Know R56

R56 Guide Cover 2005R56 incorporates fire, electrical, tower grounding and construction codes to ensure fire protection, operator safety and equipment protection is attained through proper grounding and surge protection. Developed and maintained by Motorola Solutions, R56 guidelines were first released in 1987 as an internal reference document. In 1994 those guidelines were updated and published as the single-source standard for safety of fixed network communications site installations.

Today, R56 is considered the industry standard for correct bonding/grounding practices for radio towers and control rooms. The standard reflects tested recommendations for radio frequency-high site design, development, and construction with an emphasis on grounding and surge protection to mitigate radio frequency and electromagnetic interference and power surges that may lead to equipment malfunction and failure. Many countries abide by the R56 standard and countries without regulations may, too, use R56 as a guide to ensure cohesive and complete workflow is implemented to reduce the risk of equipment damage and failure.

Russ Bassett has collaborated closely with co-authors of the R56 standard to develop a range of R56 compliant bonding/grounding and surge protection systems to fit public safety communication center control room furniture needs and budget.


R56 Standards and Guidelines 101

The R56 Standards and Guidelines for Communication Sites includes Motorola’s guidelines and requirements for the certified installation of communications equipment, infrastructure, and facilities. The standards reflect and incorporate safety recommendations developed by other governing bodies, as well. These include ANSI, BIFMA, UL, NFPA, ISO, IEC, FAA and more.

Within the Standards and Guidelines document, communications control room professionals will discover guidance in eight primary categories:

  • Site Design and Development
  • Communication Site Building Design and Installation
  • External Grounding
  • Internal Grounding
  • Power Sources
  • Surge Protective Devices
  • Minimizing Site Interference
  • Equipment Installation

Additional information within the appendices educates the builder/developer/owner on the following related topics:

  • Electromagnetic Energy Information
  • Soil Resistivity Measurements
  • Protecting Against Electrostatic Discharge in Equipment Rooms and Dispatch Centers
  • Grounding Electrode System Testing/Verification
  • General Conversions and Formulas
  • Compliance Checklist


Communications Center R56 Console Furniture Grounding Components

To help you close the loop on full R56 compliance in your communications center, furniture manufacturers should provide SPDs, Bus Bars and Bonding Jumpers that meet the R56 requirements as outlined within the standard. These requirements exceed most “regular” componentry found within the console furniture marketplace. When seeking R56 compliance, ask if your grounding components meet these standards:

Russ Bassett-Grounding-R56-SPD 01

  • Metal Housing
  • External Double-Lug Bonding Connection Site
  • #10 AWG Double-Lug Bonding Wire
  • Covered Switch


Russ Bassett-Grounding-R56-Bus BarBus Bar

  • 4” x 12”
  • 1/4” Thick Copper
  • 1/4” Holes, 3/4” O/C
  • 3/8” Holes, 1” O/C
  • #10 AWG Double-Lug Bonding Wire to Frame


Russ Bassett-Grounding-R56-Bonding Jumpers
Bonding Jumpers

  • Frame to Frame Bonding
  • Frame to Sit- Stand Bonding




Russ Bassett R56 Grounding Kits for Communication Centers

Working in cooperation with R56 Standard contributors, we have developed three R56 solutions for communication centers and control rooms. These meet the needs of agencies seeking various R56 compliance including full R56 compliance, grounding of the console furniture and the equipment, or bonding of the console furniture only.

Russ Bassett-Grounding-Components Schematic

Full R56 Compliance

The Full R56 Compliance Kit includes one (1) R56 compliant 14-outlet SPD, one (1) R56 compliant 6-outlet SPD, one (1) 4” x 12” Bus Bar, and all required #10 AWG Bonding Jumpers for the console.


R56 Console and Equipment Bonding

For customers who need to bond their equipment and console, but do not need R56 compliant SPDs, this kit delivers one (1) 4” x 12” Bus Bar, and all required #10 AWG Bonding Jumpers for the console. NOTE: For customers using a rack mounted PDU located within the console frame, extra-long monitor power cables will be required.


R56 Console Bonding

#10 AWG Bonding Jumpers provide R56 compliant bonding of the console for customers that do not need equipment bonding or R56 compliant SPDs.


R56 Compliant SPDs

Available separately, specify additional SPDs for peripheral technology storage areas.


Full R56 Compliant Grounding provides the highest level of protection for operators and communications equipment in and around your console furniture. For more information about R56 compliant console furniture solutions, contact us today.


R56 Resources


Additional Console Furniture Resources


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