[CQ-Contest] Remote station antenna disconnection methods?

Gerry Hull gerry at yccc.org
Fri Oct 30 10:56:14 EDT 2015

This summer, we took about an expensive hit at K2LE/1's station in Vermont
-- Luckily covered by insurance -- but still a PITA fo fix.
This station is primarily operated remotely except for the big 4.

It was probably a one-in-50-year storm.  If you ever need to make an
insurance claim, buy the $99 report from here:
Incredibly details reports on any strike in the US.    The maps for our hit
looked like a DOD strike map.  More than 5 strikes within 1/8th mile of the

Anyway, our strike did not come in via the antennas on any of the four
towers.  It came in via the DSL line, destroying the DSL Modem, several
switches, two computers connected to those switches, an FT1K MP connected
via one of the computers, and, unfortunately, the control electronics in a
Hammation 2x8 antenna switch, via the USB (ALL the RF was fine.)

Protect as much as you can, but I believe it is very difficult to protect
against a direct hit.  Of course, it is often induction, and NOT the
antenna system that will get you.

73, Gerry W1VE

On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 6:34 AM, john at kk9a.com <john at kk9a.com> wrote:

> Disconnecting the cables helps, but it is not enough to protect your
> electronics from a direct hit and it is impossible to do with a remote
> station. Lightning energy from a strike will be induced into your house
> wiring even with the cables disconnected.  Lots of ground rods, a single
> point ground and whole house surge protector is a good start for
> protection.
> John KK9A
> To:     K5WA <K5WA at comcast.net>
> Subject:        Re: [CQ-Contest] Remote station antenna disconnection
> methods?
> From:   Charles Harpole <hs0zcw at gmail.com>
> Date:   Fri, 30 Oct 2015 07:10:42 +0700
> 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
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