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[TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components
From: (
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 09:38:40 -0500

K4VUD wrote: 
>Do not bother with arresters, pill plugs devices, or whatever. 
>Just unhook it all! 
Wendell, I disagree with the above statement (no flame, just disagree).  If 
all you do is unhook cables, even if it is at the point of entry, you've done 
nothing to protect your site from a lightning strike.  You still need to 
provide a path to ground.  Preferably the single point ground you described 
Wendell.  Without a good path to ground, the current will select the nearest 
object to jump to!  Maybe it'll jump to your expensive equipment "isolated" on 
your operating bench. 
You should use a grounded switch like Alpha Delta makes or an IEC or 
PolyPhaser protector.  But do something.  Don't just unplug the cables.  I use 
both a ground switch at my grounded entry window and a PolyPhaser protector on 
each cable going to the shack.  And during storm season (April-September) I 
also unplug the cables going into the shack in the next room.  I do this each 
time I quit operating.  Now equipment is isolated (next room) and everything 
is properly grounded protecting my family and property. 
I only unplug the power cable when a storm is VERY near.  I figure that's what 
my ISOBAR surge protector and home insurance is for.  I don't usually have 
time to run around unplugging everything AC powered in my house because I'm 
usually on my way out to a NWS watch point with the 2meter rig in hand.  You 
do volunteer with ARES don't you??  After all, ya can't DX during a storm! 
Then ZS6EZ wrote: 
>In fact, if you're out on the grasslands, the safest thing you can do is to 
>lie down until the storm has subsided. 
I recently heard that the latest thought on this situation is if your caught 
out in the open AND you feel the hair starting to stand up on your neck, (it's 
too late, your going to get hit), do NOT lie flat placing your chest or heart 
close to the ground.  Instead crouch down and curl up into a ball (fetus 
position).  That will protect your heart more than lying flat.  That's what 
the NWS folks told us spotters at the latest training.  Apparently most 
lightning strike victims die from heart attack or failure from the electricity 
going through their heart.  Although the old noggin probably won't take much 
either.  Besides, you came into the world in the fetus position, might as well 
try it on the way out. 
de ed -- K-zero-IL 

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Received: 09 Apr 1997 23:40:35                    Sent: 09 Apr 1997 23:32:56
From:"Charles H. Harpole" <>
To: Wendell,Wyly,-,W5FL,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components
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Please, do not operate radio when lightning is within hearing distance (if
you hear thunder, shut off radio and leave the area)
Here is the best advice on lightning, regardless of what engineers or
other eggspurts tell you:
When you can hear thunder, unplug all radios and all accessories from AC
(best on one central big plug), and unplug all coax and all other wires
that come from ants and rotors and all else--including ground wires!
Then, you have all your radios etc sitting completely isolated there on
your operating bench.  Lightning might still get them via jumping to them
due to them being metal objects, but much less likely.
Then, you do not put your body near where the antennas terminate (maybe in
window sill?) and watch the light show from somewhere else IN the house.
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else is as effective.  Do not bother with arresters,
pill plugs devices, or whatever.  Just unhook it all! This is very cheap,
 And, when all the tower talk guys jump on this advice herein, ask them :
"If my radio is sitting by itself --unplugged from all outside sources--
on a table via what path does lightning get to it?" 
 All other lightning
methods are not as good.  Leave hooked up only what must be so, i.e.,
repeaters and TV xmitters.  de K4VUD

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