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[TowerTalk] Coax baluns

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Coax baluns
From: (Phil Clements)
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 17:19:07 -0500

>That reminds me of the time I visited a dumpy old shack that was
>being used for commercial two-way stuff.  This place was so dumpy
>that they even had plastic tarps over the radios to keep the
>rainwater that leaked through the roof from getting in the rigs.  A
>few turns outside in the coax, and the AC line cord had a big ugly
>knot tied in it.  I asked the "tech" about the knot and he told me it
>was for lightning protection.  He claimed he had replaced several
>completely blasted apart line cords, but the radios survived in fine
>shape.  I had to just shake my head, but then, it probably worked.
>Either that or the tech was pulling my leg.
This is apparently not an "old wive's tale" at all. I have attended
two-way radio seminars by GE, and they always site this case:

There was a trailer park in the southern US that had several GE window
air conditioners in use among its tennants. Apparently this particular
place was a lightning magnet and several of the a/c units got fried
during their warranty period and GE had to bite the bullet. Some GE
install tech got the bright idea of putting 6 half-hitches in the line
on the replacement units. There was never another a/c loss due to
lightning; but over twenty cords have had to be replaced!

Another trick GE uses at its tower sites is running all cables and
wires entering the shack through 20 feet of steel conduit. This makes
a good choke for  lightning.

Phil, K5PC

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