[CQ-Contest] spider balls

Charles Morrison cfmorris at bellsouth.net
Wed Jul 28 18:41:57 EDT 2004


Here in Louisiana, N5AN, N5MEG, and NG5X all have them on their towers and
swear by them, 100%.  Roy says that he was hit over 10 times prior to
installing them (highest structure, manmade or natural) for some distance
and hasn't taken a strike since.  Scott N5MEG worked for a tower company and
swears by them.  He's installed his at the top most part of the tower,
letting the mast pipe stick up way above the yagi.  He then runs heavy gauge
"welding wire" all the way to ground from them.  Says he hasn't taken a
strike since.   He also noted SEVERE damage to them after a good period of
time being up.  Not from a direct hit, but from the constant dissipation of
the charges.  Each finger in the ball was rounded at the end with a metal
glob of itself.  Sounds to me like there's a good bit of static coming from



Message: 6
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:46:50 -0600
From: "Grillo's" <ah3c at frii.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] spider balls
To: "Towertalk Reflector" <towertalk at contesting.com>
Cc: CQ Contest <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Message-ID: <007401c4743c$5e863510$0a01a8c0 at OFFICEPC>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"

Since we are on the subject of lightning, has anyone ever used "spider
balls" to dissipate energy thereby eliminating strikes on the structure?
These are a steel rod with over 200 fine spiked elements about 2 ft. long
each that create a cluster of very sharp spikes.

Can you visualize this?  I have three spider balls and am considering
installing one each about 40 feet up from the guy anchors on the steel guys
that would be connected to the anchor rods.  The balance of the guy lines up
to the top of the 120' tower are polyphaser cable, so are insulated.  I
would install three copper ground grids at each guy point and link them
together with underground copper cable.

The other thought is to mount them on top of the 120' tower and put one
ground grid under the tower.

I'm looking for alternatives before the concrete gets poured in 2 weeks....


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