[CQ-Contest] Remote station antenna disconnection methods?

Charles Harpole hs0zcw at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 20:10:42 EDT 2015

I have extensive practical experience with lightning and also collect first
person reports.  I know for sure one inch is not enough to foil nearby
strikes' energy.  I have seen two to three inch discharging spark from one
coax to another in my patch panel, and the lightning was count of two to
five away (counting between flash and thunder to estimate distance).

I totally reject lightning arrestors as ineffective in the ham setting.

Personally, I remove all coax and control lines from a window patch panel
and lay the wires that go to my equipment three to six FEET from the
panel.   Before reconnecting at that panel, I touch the shield side of each
coax socket to the center;  I once got a spark discharge.

Of course, a direct hit can ruin outdoor antennas, but in my case of three
direct hits, damaging lightning energy did not get to my radios.

Good luck, 73, Charly

PS... MFJ sells a variety of entry panels;  the more scary of them are
those that enter via eaves and so on.  Their under the window patch panel
looks very good but I would change to a on-panel / panel mounted male Cinch
Jones that mates with an in-line female Jones from rotor etc.

On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:02 AM, K5WA <K5WA at comcast.net> wrote:

> I've had the Elecraft K3/0 remote here at my home running experimentally
> over my local network for some time now but have not gone further with
> remote station installation (about 60 miles away) since I have not
> developed
> a good way to disconnect coaxes at the remote site.  The station site is
> prone to lightning.  I don't believe a simple set of relays would give me
> enough air gap to resist a reasonable spike so I'm dreaming that some type
> of piston operated device could be used to give me at least an inch of
> separation when the coax is removed.  I know a direct hit will take out
> anything it wants but I'd like to do better than a relay.
> Has anyone got a solution that they've used successfully at a frequent
> lightning remote site?
> Thanks for any ideas,
> Bob K5WA
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Charly, HS0ZCW

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