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Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike

To: "'Doug Renwick'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
From: "Gary Schafer" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 22:30:38 -0500
List-post: <>

You do realize that my comments about the rabbit's foot protector are in
jest to those that claim that the bleed off type systems are seen to add
protection to a tower?

My point is that my absurd claim is just as logical as the claims that
installing bleed off devices prevents strikes. My proof that it works is the
Many towers can go a life time and not take a hit. Many can take a hit and
you never know it happened.

Just installing pointy things on the tower and then making claims that "the
tower hasn't been hit since installed" isn't very scientific evidence that
the device does anything at all. 
That is why I say that I can install a rabbit's foot and make the same claim
that is just as valid.

If noted, the manufacturers of those "pointy things" all recommend an
elaborate ground system also be installed. 
Would it surprise anyone that installing the elaborate ground system without
the "pointy things" accomplishes the same thing, less damage from lightning!
NASSA, the FAA and many others with credibility have done those tests and
concluded that they offer nothing.

If anyone wants to really know if they take strikes on their tower
Polyphaser makes a device they call a "lightning strike counter". It
attaches to the tower with a wire several feet in length between two points
over a short length of the tower. When a strike occurs there is a voltage
drop across the tower section due to the high current being conducted by it
and that voltage is rectified and trips a little counter. You can tell how
many times the tower gets hit.
They are easily made with a couple of gas tubes and a veeder-root counter.

As to taking a direct strike and not sustaining any damage, it happens all
the time on many towers. Even some very large strikes occur that are safely
conducted to ground provided a good ground system is installed. 
Most strikes are small in reference to the rather rare mega strikes.
Often the strike will leave small pock marks where it hit. Sometimes they
are rather large marks.
Roger, K8RI can give you some first hand data on direct strikes and
surviving with no damage.

Gary  K4FMX

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:towertalk-
>] On Behalf Of Doug Renwick
> Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 10:06 AM
> To: 'Gary Schafer';
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
> I had earlier asked K4FMX for proof that his tower(s) have
> NEVER been hit by lightning but Gary is unwilling to share
> that information.  Then a second question entered my mind
> "why would Gary mount a rabbit's foot on his tower in the
> first place"?  Mmmmm.  But that is not the reason for this
> post.
> My question - Is it possible to have a direct lightning
> strike on a tower and yet show no visible or hidden signs on
> the tower and/or appendage(s) or show no 'secondary' signs
> in the immediate area surrounding the tower?
> Doug/VA5DX
> Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Porcupines and other wives tales
> For those that still believe in this magic of reduction of
> charge as a
> protective device, I have for sale some rabbits feet that
> you can hang on your tower to reduce lightning strikes. I
> have had one on my tower for years and never had a strike.
> Proof that they work!
> 73
> Gary  K4FMX
> --
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> Date: 7/4/2006


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