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[TowerTalk] Vertical antennas and lightning

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Vertical antennas and lightning
From: "Jim Thomson" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 05:06:01 -0700
List-post: <">>
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2010 18:14:35 +0000
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Vertical antennas and lightning

Unfortunately in this case the 'bleeding' when there is a charged cloud over
head is putting charge ONTO the antenna from the ground to equalize it with
the rest of the charge being attracted to the base of the cloud.  So it make
it MORE likely to start the upward streamer that completes the path.

David Robbins K1TTT
AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://

##  I think it was W0un,/w3lpl who said, that his property had loads of 
well grnded towers... and each tower had loads of well grnded yagi's 
[els bonded to boom, etc]  .   The story went, that every time  lightning 
started hitting
the grnd.... as it approached his ant farm... it would stop... and pass right 
over top,
then  continue hitting the grnd... a 1/2 mile away.    This apparently happened,
regardless of whether the lightning path  was E-W  or W-E... or N-S/ S-N
 etc.   The theory was... the well grnded ant farm was draining off the
charge overhead. 

Someone mentioned using 500k to 3 meg reistor's  to dc grnd the center
conductor + control lines.    IF the control lines all just have MOV's  between
each conductor and grnd.... do you parallel  one reistor with each mov ?? 

OK.... what abt on a new tower... b4 concrete is poured.   On a previous install
back in 1980... we  jack hammered 3 x grnd rods at the BOTTOM of the hole..then 
cables to em..then one cable bonded to each tower leg.[2" away]    In that 
case... the tower
was 34"  wide, straight sections... and angle steel legs... and the 1st 6'  of 
the 20'
section  went right to the bottom of the 6' hole. 

The idea was,  if the tower got hit with lightning....the path would be down 
3 x legs... and  to the 3 x 8' rods.... which were 14' below grnd level.   IE:  
started at 6' below grnd..and ended up at 14' below grnd.   That puts all 3 of 
em well below the
frost line in winter.   In dec/jan... with -17 deg C temps... the 1st 3'  of 
grnd would be frozen solid.

IMO... I'm not fond of the ufer grnd scheme.   In the above case.. NONE of the 
rebar cage was
bonded to the tower legs/rods.   I find it hard to believe that concrete  will 
conduct at all. 
One of the tower reps up here told me one of their towers got hit... and that 
tower did have the
cage bonded to the tower legs  [ ufer grnd].. no rods... and that chunks of 
concrete were
flying skyward every where. 

On my old trylon 8 yard  tower base.. the anchor stubs are still sticking up 7" 
 above the cement...
and none of em are bonded to the rebar cage.   I can't draw any current between 
any two of em..
using an isolation xfmr... and variac... and stuffing 240 vac  between  any 2 x 
anchor legs. 
Perhaps concrtete conducts  with several kv through it.   I could try the 
experiment again,
with a small, spare  46 lb dahl plate xfmr.. [2700 vac sec]. 

On the trylon tower... we jack hammered in 3 x 8' to the 
concrete..and cad welded 
all  of em to 2/3 ga cu wire.   Then compression lugs and bolts on each tower 
leg.   I will
re-use  em.. and re-do the metal work... then bond to adjacent new tower. ..+ 
add 1-2 x new
8' rods. 

i take it the still  60' away... just outside the basement ?    I have 
another rod there..
and  60' of  2 ga cu  bonded between the tower base and my single rod  outside 
the basement
window.   I used a large  1/4"  thick al plate just inside the basement.... and 
bonded to rod outside
with 2 ga wire [ rw-90] .   The old 3/4"  copper water line coming into the 
house cracked.. and was replaced
with 1" plastic pex pipe.   So the bonding between  200A main panel and inside 
basement cu pipe is
not doing anything..since the inside 3/4"  CU pipe.. morphs into the 1"  
plastic pipe.  I re-routed grnd
from the 200A panel... and ran it over to my  2 sq foot  AL plate in basement.  
 So I guess the al plate
now becomes my spg ?   The same al plate is drilled and tapped for  other henry radio LP filter
lightning arrestor's   etc. 
later... Jim   VE7RF


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