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[TowerTalk] Lightning

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning
From: (Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph)
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 09:49:42 +0600
Although I appreciate the obviously intended humor of Barry (see below),
I must relate that while living in Florida for years, my ungrounded
tower was not struck by lightning.  I also disconnected all coax coming
into the ham shack as added protection.

When I moved to Tennessee, I thought, "I'll do it like the Big Boys"
and grounded according to all the conventional wisdom.  The tower was
struck no less than 3 times in 2 years..... until I put a 10 foot
extension on the end of my mast with 5 very sharply pointed 18" rods
brazed to the top with 4 pointing at 45 degrees to the horizontal and
one pointing straight up.  No lightning hits in the last 4 years.
(Knock on wood!)

For what it is worth..... depends on your perspective, I guess.

Rod, N5HV
The W2UP thereom of lightning protection:
1. Like charges repel each other.
2. Lightning is a negative charge (or is it a positive charge?)
3. Take a D cell (yes, it MUST be a D cell. Those AA cells will
never take the charge) out of your flashlight.  Attach it
across your coax.
4. Since like charges repel, by polarizing your antenna with a like
charge, you have now repelled the lightning. No need for spiny balls
or anything like that.
5. This is even more effective if you wrapped your concrete base in
Saran Wrap to further insulate it from ground.
73 Barry
P.S. Good luck - you will need it as much as if you leave your
tower ungrounded, and the charge has to find its own path to

- --
Barry Kutner, W2UP

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