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[TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Protection Components
From: (Dale Martin)
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 17:11:55 -0500
On Wednesday, April 09, 1997 19:32 PM, Charles H. 
Harpole[] wrote:

>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!

I agree, Charles. 

All it takes is one hit for one to become convinced.  But that one hit
is not worth the effort it takes to recover (whether you were or were
not directly and electrically affected by the strike).  

My A3 at 70' was hit out on one of the end element segments a few 
years ago.  The feedlines to my antennas were all connected to the 
remote coax switch in the garage and the switch was feeding the A3 t
o the TS930S. 

I had to replace/get repaired all sorts of equipment in the house: 
garage door opener, a/c-heater thermostat/controller, telephone 
answering machine, television (strange note: the VCR and stereo, 
both being connected to the TV, were unaffected), TR7950 (front
end was fried according to the Kenwood repairman), PK232, 
MJF1270, old TI terminal, rotor controller, 286 computer.

Amazingly, my TS930S, Daiwa SWR/Power meter, antenna 
tuner, and keyer were unaffected whatsoever.  

Interestingly, I think I saw the strike that did the dirty deed. 
 As I was driving up the freeway on the way home from work, 
there were three strikes in rapid succession in one area about 
where my subdivision is located.  When I got home all was dark.  
I reset the circuit breaker for the house and most things came on.  
Some did not. 

My naivete with dealing with the insurance company led me through
a long, arduous path:  Getting the equipment repaired instead of 
simply getting it replaced.  I never raised the question to her; she 
never proffered the idea of replacement.  Suggestion: press for 
replacement!  The equipment is never as good as it once was. 

Now, when I am not on the radio, the antennas are disconnected
out in the garage, and the Isobar circuit breaker/distribution box 
is unplugged from the ac line (I will let someone else test the 
$$$ guarantee theory that Isobar advertises).  I have been known
to get off the freeway on the way to work, circle under the next 
overpass, and head home just to disconnect antenna feedlines
and rotor and remote coax switch control lins. 

I did not know I had suffered a direct hit until I brought down my A3
last September for some repairs.  It was when it was on the ground
and I was taking it apart that I discovered the 3/8" hole burned through
one side of an element segment.  


Dale Martin, KG5U

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