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[CQ-Contest] Re: [Towertalk] More on Lightning protection

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Re: [Towertalk] More on Lightning protection
From: rtnash@netcom.ca (Robert Nash)
Date: Wed May 15 21:14:33 2002
Hi Folks

This is a little more than amateur towers but I'll pass on an interesting
tid-bit regarding power-lines. I was born at and was first on the air in the
City of Port Arthur, Ontario, one of twin cities, situated on Thunder Bay.
The Bay which is almost square, about 20 miles on a side, is cut off from
Lake Superior by a rock formation called the Sleeping Giant which forms the
eastern shore of the bay. The name was given originally by the Ojibways
because of the forific natural lightning and thunder storms that would come
from the west, get trapped in the bay and often stay for days. When
electricity came, tower lines were built which came from the Hydro
generating stations several miles west of the cities and split to service
paper mills to the south and north of the cities.

Immediately after this was done, the pattern of thunder storms changed
dramatically. When I was first on the air I was very interested in where the
storms were going. Aren't we all. One could see the storms coming up from
the west, flatten into a wall of activity and then vear off either north or
south, following this fence around the populated area. I never had a hit in
the several years I operated there, whereas I've had as many as 3 hits in
one summer on this hill.

There never has been the spectacular displays that gave Thunder Bay its name
since we fenced it off.

Incidentally, while working for the Hydro-electric company one summer, I was
in a distribution station during the approach of such a storm. It was awe
inspiring to watch meters calibrated in thousands of Amps jumping wildly
around as Mother Nature played with the lines. The coup de grace came when
lightning struck the generating station 19 miles to the west as I was
looking out the window. One generator was completely destroyed in a flash
reminiscent of a nuclear explosion!

A little off topic perhaps but there certainly is interaction when steel and
copper are stuck up into Her Domain.

73 Bob VE3KZ

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