[CQ-Contest] Remote station antenna disconnection methods?

Jim Brown k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Fri Oct 30 12:40:13 EDT 2015

On Thu,10/29/2015 12:02 PM, K5WA wrote:
> Has anyone got a solution that they've used successfully at a frequent
> lightning remote site?

This discussion came up this week on the Topband reflector. Study what 
W8JI has to say on the topic. Also study my material on bonding and 
grounding. He and I are in complete agreement -- bonding is far more 
important than grounding (and both are important).

Here's my take on it. http://k9yc.com/GroundingAndAudio.pdf

Understand these fundamental concepts.

1) EVERYTHING in a premises must be bonded together. Separate grounds 
not bonded to others are a CAUSE of lightning damage. The principle is 
to allow everything in the premises to rise to the same (high) potential 
at the time of the strike.

2) NEVER use shunt mode surge protectors on branch circuits. They are a 
CAUSE of lightning damage. As an alternative, use either a "whole house" 
protector at the service entrance, and/or SurgeX series mode protectors 
on branch circuits.

3) All antennas should be coax-fed, with shields bonded at a common 
entry point, with that point bonded to all premises grounds. That puts 
the shield at ground potential. Use an feed-through arrestor on each 
coax to short the center conductor to the shield. This limits the 
voltage at the RX input.

4) Carefully bond together the chassis of every piece of gear on your 
operating desk using short, fat copper. Bond from chassis to chassis in 
parallel with any audio and control cables running between them. This 
prevents a strike from exciting Pin One Problems, which would otherwise 
likely cause damage. Virtually ALL ham gear has Pin One Problems on 
audio and control connectors, including Elecraft rigs.

Here's an K3-specific trick that K6XX told me about. Use Ant2 for all 
bands, with antenna switching external to the radio. When you shut down 
the K3 (by turning them off, NOT by killing power), it will connect Ant1 
to the radio, to which nothing is connected.

73, Jim K9YC

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