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[TowerTalk] Lightning problem

Subject: [TowerTalk] Lightning problem
From: Les Kalmus <>
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 19:08:04 -0500
List-post: <>
My tower is about 380 feet from the house and the tower and all coax 
lines are grounded lightning protected with no problems through a number 
of bad local storms.

However, I have a TopTen band decoder switching a TopTen antenna switch 
mounted near the base of the tower. At the  tower base, the switch 
control lines lines ran through a Polyphaser lightning arrester usually 
used for rotator protection. These are rated at 82 volts cutoff. When 
lightning struck a neighbor's house about 1/2 mile away, the pulse did 
no damage to anything else but destroyed every active component in the 
decoder. I repaired the device and replaced the Polyphaser with an 
I.C.E. arrester rated at a cutoff of 20V. Last weekend when the wild 
windy storm front that battered the northeast passed through here, there 
apparently was a lightning and thunderstorm. When I returned home from a 
trip I found the decoder was again severely damaged with almost all the 
active components ruined but no other equipment damaged.

Since installation, this is at least the 6th time some or all of the 
band decoder innards have been damaged by lightning and although I am 
now an expert in debugging and fixing the problem it has gotten real 
old. Anyone have any ideas how I can better protect this device?


73, Les W2LK


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