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Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike

To: "'Doug Renwick'" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
From: "Gary Schafer" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 10:28:56 -0500
List-post: <>
Hi Doug,

This kind of logic sounds kind of silly when it comes from someone else
doesn't it? I am trying to get you to think about what you are saying and
the validity of the evidence you use.

Now, why would you conclude that because you hear corona discharge or
sparking at the tower that it means charge is being bled off enough to
prevent a strike?
You even say that "your neighbor saw a direct hit and you may have seen a
direct hit to your tower". This, while your tower is bleeding off charge to
prevent a strike?

It is quite common for these things to happen in a storm or approaching
storm. It happens on many towers. Ask most any broadcast engineer and they
will tell you stories about corona and arcing guy insulators as storms
approach, before they take a strike!

Sparking and corona noise on a tower tells you nothing about the amount of
charge being bled off.

I will repost part of one of my post again:


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?"

Maybe you missed the word "JEST" in my post?  
So in regard to the discussion, whether my tower has ever been hit or not is

Again, my rabbit's foot theory is an attempt to get some to think about the
evidence they use as "proof" that a particular device "prevents" a lightning

But in all seriousness I have never had any lightning damage that I am aware
of. Has my tower ever been hit? It is possible. I do have several lightning
strike counters but don't have any hooked to the tower. I used to have one
on the AC line and have seen it click over a few times.

Gary  K4FMX

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Doug Renwick []
> Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 8:53 AM
> To: 'Gary Schafer';; 'K8RI on Tower talk'
> Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
> Gary,
> You have convinced me that I am wasting my time as you are
> unwilling to share how you know that your tower(s) have
> never been hit by lightning.  No point in 'beating a dead
> horse'.
> I will REPEAT how I determine my tower bleeds off the
> the storm approaches I can hear a 'sparking'
> (audible) at the tower.  I have copied my post below for you
> to reread.
> "I have had a 'pointed' mast without a porcupine and a
> 'pointed' mast with a porcupine and in both configurations I
> have not had any lightning damage ever, anywhere at my
> present QTH in almost 30 years.  My neighbours say that they
> have seen my tower take a direct hit, out of the corner of
> my eye I think that I have seen my tower take a direct hit,
> but I can not absolutely prove that indeed the tower took a
> direct hit.  The top of my main tower will bleed off the
> ground is very audible.  I am not promoting or
> discounting the porcupine, just sharing my experience, and
> my experience doesn't cost you anything."
> Roger,
> Please let me know what you find when you do your tower
> maintenance.
> I am trying to determine that my towers may have taken a
> direct lightning hit and yet show no damage.  That
> information will prove to me that the design have used for
> my antenna farm is sufficient in avoiding damage from
> lightning.
> Doug/VA5DX
> Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
> Doug,
> I am going to use your logic here. Let's review what you
> said in a past
> post:
> > Not true in my case.  Before I installed the porcupine my
> mast bleed off
> > the charge.
> How do you know it bleed off "the charge"?
> > A number of years ago I added the porcupine and my
> mast/porcupine combo
> > still bleeds off the charge.
> How do you know it "still bleeds off the charge"?
> > In other words, my addition of the porcupine did not have
> a negative
> > effect.  In almost 30 years I have not had any lightning
> damage.  One of
> > my mottos is 'experience trumps theory EVERY time' and
> this is another
> > example.
> > Doug/VA5DX
> Ok, since I installed my rabbit's foot on my tower I have
> not had any
> lightning damage either and I don't claim it bleeds off any
> charge!
> Would you say that my experience trumps any theory about a
> rabbit's foot
> being the better protector?
> 73
> Gary  K4FMX
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Doug Renwick []
> > Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2006 10:00 PM
> > To: 'Gary Schafer';
> > Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Lightning Strike
> >
> > Thanks Gary for the information.  Yes, I agree that Roger,
> > K8RI is a creditable source and in many areas.
> > However, I am still waiting for an answer to my question
> to
> > your statement about knowing that your tower(s) have never
> > been hit by lightning.  How do you know?  Do you have a
> > lightning strike counter?
> > By what means do you know?
> >
> > Doug/VA5DX
> --
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