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[TowerTalk] Rain Induced Voltage

Subject: [TowerTalk] Rain Induced Voltage
From: Dennis OConnor <>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 09:35:20 -0800 (PST)
List-post: <>
Interesting to see the thread drift...  I thank all of those who are concerned 
about my antennas being unprotected... They are well grounded when not in use, 
that is why I de-energized the antenna relay box as soon as I heard the 
characteristic rapid popping in the receiver - cutting the power drops all the 
antenna relays back to ground...  The coax to the radio bench is also unscrewed 
when I am not in the shack...

Whoever it was that posted about aircraft building up a static charge in 
flight, is correct... I can tell you some hair raising incidents when flying, 
the worst involving super cold precip, i.e. very dry snow, out over the Great 

On the comment about the static voltage rising to high levels and possibly 
damaging the coax... I have not seen that, but I routinely see the voltages 
rise high enough to arc over at the PL-259... THis is most pronounced during 
thunderstorms nearby, and conversely during fair, dry weather when the wind 
blows actively...

denny / k8do
On the suggestion that the falling water drop is charged, I agree... The issue 
is the polarity of charge and the mechanism...  Given that the earth is 
normally negative on the surface to mirror the positively charged cloud base 
<cloud tops are negative>, I would expect the falling droplets to be positive, 
i.e. lacking electrons, and that upon impacting the wire they attract an 
electron... Where upon falling away from the wire they carry that electron with 
them leaving the wire positively charged...  Ja? No?


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