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[TowerTalk] Lightning near-hit

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning near-hit
From: (Bill Aycock)
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 1999 10:22:47 -0500
Yesterday, while the XYL and I were grocery shopping, we apparently had a
close hit, during thunder storm. The pattern of damage is, as is frequently
the case with lightning, peculiar.. 
Damage includes- 3 TV sets and one computer monitor with strong color
imbalance- two monitors and one TV OK. Satelite system out- apparently in
the LNA's at the horn- one computer modem Kaput- visible burn mark. My own
PC was the only one of these that was on at the time, and it did not even
re-boot, even though the monitor is badly off-color.
Things that were not affected- MY FT920 ! (whew !), the "base" 2meter rig,
or any of the phones- the other two Pentiums (except for the monitor
color), the microwave oven, and the  various FM radios. I just checked the
The modem that went was at the end of the house away from the entrance for
the line, and was the only one that did not go through a power bar with
phone provisions. ( Had gotten it, but not put it in)  Even though we are
very rural (driveway is 1650 ft long), our phone lines are underground to
the nearest multiplexer, 1.5 miles away.
The physical set-up (Ham-wise) is - a 48' Rohn 25 fold-over with an 8' mast
and HAM IV with a tribander about 3' above the bearing- a 160M dipole hung
on a 3' arm at about 46'-  The cox for the Tribander comes down to about
8'- then 60 ft to the house (I did it before I read what Tom Rauch had to
say about this). The line for the rotor is with it. They both are tied to a
piece of 3/16 EHS going to the house wall, outside the window. Above the
house is an 80M dipole, fed with ladder line, and, at the present-
grounded. The 160 dipole is fed directly to the house with ladder line.

All these lines (coax, rotor control, and ladder) are grounded to a metal
panel with a direct ground wire  (straight down to an 8' rod) when not in
use. The tower is grounded (not per spec), but the four sets of two guys
are on deep (commercial power) screw anchors. There is no evidence that the
ham gear was hit at all. 

 The hit must have been close, to have "Gaussed" the CRTs in the TV sets
and the monitors. (Interesting, the only two CRTs not affected were the
oldest TV sets, a Sony and a Goldstar and the older 15" monitor)

Please note- underground phone lines DO NOT protect- in 1994- we had a hit
on the building next to the multiplexer, over a mile away, that took out
every phone in the house, as well as a computer- (through its modem) turns
out the "lightning protector" in the phone box was bad.

Thought you might be interested.

Bill- W4BSG

Bill Aycock   ---   Persimmon Hill 
 Woodville, Alabama, US 35776
 (in the N.E. corner of the State)
      W4BSG   --   Grid EM64vr

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