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[TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components
From: (Eric Scace)
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 97 17:41:34 UT
   Commercial operations engage in risk analysis.  One evaluates the cost to 
the business of "not being on the air": typically, this is very very high 
(lost business) -- a commercial radio service (broadcasting or otherwise) is 
being paid to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

   Then one evaluates the cost of various protection mechanisms, the degree of 
risk reduction likely to be achieved by each one, and then buys insurance to 
cover the remaining risk.

   You can do that too, for your ham station.

   I don't pull the plugs and ground all my cables whenever a thunderstorm is 
near.  I'm likely not to be home at the time, it is a lot of trouble, and I 
can afford to buy and install lightning "protection" equipment.  I am under no 
illusion that I am "protected" from lightning.  I have only reduced my risk... 
 And I make sure that my insurance will cover the rare occasions when I get 
actual damage.

   I've had my station on a mountaintop for more than 15 years now.  I've done 
the work as per Polyphasor and I've had no trouble.  That is a sample size of 
one.  One day, lightning will get me.  If lightning damage happens once every 
15 years, that's OK for me.  Other people will choose differently for their 

-- Eric K3NA

From: on behalf of Barry Kutner
Sent:   1997 April 10 Thursday 13:36 PM
Subject:        Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components

Perhaps a knowledgeable person can answer the following:

Every time there is a thunderstorm, why don't the commercial stations 
(radio and TV) shut down their xmtrs and unplug their coax?

Do they do a grounding job so far above and beyond the Polyphaser 
standard (ground rods, bulkhead, surge suppressors, common point 
ground, etc.) that it's OK to stay connected? Or, do they just keep 
replacing equipment as it blows up?

Bottom line, what does it take to stay connected? How about something 
like a Top Ten box that automatically switches all lines to ground 
when off the air? (is this feasible Dave or George?)
73 Barry

Barry Kutner, W2UP                           Internet:
Newtown, PA                   FRC            alternate:

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