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[TowerTalk] lightning

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Subject: [TowerTalk] lightning
From: (Thomas Gerdes)
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 22:53:51 -0700
Charles H. Harpole wrote:
> My tower just go t hit and burned off top 3 ft of G-6.  No other damage!
> no ground on tower at all except as via concrete!  wow.  K4VUD
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It is posts like this and the other one or two that described towers
taking lightning strikes that is confusing the hell out of me. For the
most part, I believe these were "lucky" strikes ("smoke 'em if you got
'em")!!! Without getting too specific, I have my tower grounded at the
base to rods and radials that extend out from each leg to about 18'.
This is a ground system specifically setup to give the energy of a
lighning strike a place to go before it travels along my feedlines to
the outside ground system at the shack end (single point ground). I've
done a fair amount of research into the different theories regarding
lightning and radio stations. The best scenario I found was to provide
the least resistance & inductance path to earth. At least this will give
me a fighting chance at mother nature should I take a direct hit. There
are way too many variables that come into play at each amateur radio
operators location. Maybe Charles has a situation that his ground
through his base is adequate. But then again.......well, let's hope
lightning doesn't strike twice. (Why are strike counters on the

All comments, theories, and/or experiences with lightning and amateur
radio are very much welcomed. I'm still collecting as much info as
possible. Wouldn't it be great if we could completely insulate our
towers from any of the effects of direct hits? Does this mean the tower
wouldn't get hit then??  hmmmm??? ;-)

Tom   N3NXA

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