I would keep that antenna disconnected. Thunder snow storms were reported
this morning in Wisconsin, and Indiana, and lightning strikes have been
recorded in both of them and north west Ohio so far this morning. So don't
bet that there isn't significant convective activity in the area.
David Robbins K1TTT
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://dxc.k1ttt.net
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:towertalk-
> firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Dennis OConnor
> Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 12:48
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [TowerTalk] Rain Induced Voltage
> This morning in Michigan we are having a mix of sleet and freezing rain...
> I was up early so I wandered out to the shack about 5AM to see if any
> Pacific DX was coming in on 80 or 160... When I energized the antenna
> switch I was greeted by the sound of a frying/popping noise at about 4-5
> cycles per second and an S-meter completely pinned to the right... I know
> that sound quite well and instantly cut the power to the antenna switching
> box... I unscrewed the coax to the one antenna that is not link coupled -
> meaning I have a DC connection to the actual antenna - a 160 meter
> dipole... Using the tip of my pocket knife I can draw an arc between the
> shell and the center pin on the PL-259... The VOM reads from 5 to 7 volts
> DC across the connector continuous into a 1 megohm load... There is no
> convective activity in the area, no thunder or lightning, and no thunder
> storms predicted... The voltage appears to be induced by the rain drops
> dripping off the antenna wire removing
> electrons and leaving a static charge with the ungrounded side of the
> antenna <coax center pin) left positively charged...
> I know we have genteely discussed this before <called a scrum in some
> circles>, but since it is fresh in my mind, I thought I would bring it up
> again <also known as stirring the pot>...
> denny / k8do
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