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Re: [TowerTalk] Quick Disconnect Suggestion

To: "'Pete Smith'" <>, "'Tower Talk'" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Quick Disconnect Suggestion
From: "Jon" <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 09:06:20 -0400
List-post: <">>
Like Pete, my station is on the 3rd floor of my house and SPG simply is not

I have long subscribed to the "disconnect everything" thesis and in the 55
years I have been a ham I have never lost equipment.  Antennas, rotors,
melted coax, yes, but nothing inside.  And that is from the lightning
capital of the US.  I still remember the arcing and snap, crackle, and pop
from the coax to the matching system  outside for the rhombic I had up in
Orlando.  Any nearby thunderstorm seemed to induce enough juice into that
rhombic (about 500' per leg)  to smoke the matching system on a monthly
basis during the summers.  I kept a big stock of gas discharge replacements,
and finally gave up on having a big, high,  wire antenna system in Florida.
My antennas here on Casey Key (oceanfront) are at about 100' ASL and consist
of two towers that are the highest points around.  They all "float" since
they are roof mounted, insulated,  and not grounded when I'm not on the air.

In the 15 years I've lived here, the house has been struck three times,
losing all the pool equipment, heater, control boxes, etc; all the telephone
equipment twice and several computers, the elevator panel, the alarm system,
and one strike melted one 50' Rohn push-up mast and long run of coax I had
run out to the beach that I used occasionally for a 160M dipole.  But I've
never lost anything inside the shack except for a couple of routers from the
surge through the cable system, and I have a lot of radio gear.

Maybe I've been lucky for 55 years, but it has worked for me in the midst of
firestorms that seem to turn the air blue with lightning.


Jon Hamlet, W4ZW

Casey Key Island, Florida
"A little piece of paradise in the Gulf of Mexico"

> For whatever another anecdote may be worth, my station is on the
> second floor in an old house, and for that reason I concluded long
> ago that the classic Polyphaser approach would be a waste of money,
> because I could not achieve the ideal SPG configuration, much less
> have a low impedance from the SPG to earth ground.  I know some
> people say they leave their stuff connected all the time, get hit all
> the time, and never have damage, but I would never be comfortable with


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