[RFI] grounding your ham equipment

Mike at RFI Services mike at rfiservices.com
Sat Jul 29 17:55:05 EDT 2006

I hope you guys don't mind this story. I know it's true. If you don't
believe me you can ask my Papa.

  I was 1970, I was 11 years old and visiting my grandfather(Papa) on his
small cattle farm in Maryland. Papa asked me if I would like to see his old
barn that he is converting to a house and he will soon be moving into.
That sounded really neat to an eleven year old so off we went.
We climbed into the old gray International and rode up on top of the hill.
There was Papa's barn pretty much the way I remembered it. About 75 feet
long, 50 feet wide and at least 45 feet tall. You know the old barn style
with a loft big enough for a kid to play in all day and discover all kinds
of things.
Papa started explaining his process of converting the barn to a house and
that he was almost ready to move in. 
While he talked I admire every word. As I listened I saw something I had
never noticed before.
On the roof, from one end to the other, there were spikes sticking straight
up into the air. They looked like big nails sticking out of the roof. I
said, Papa, why are all those nails sticking up out of the roof for?
He explained, with a big grin and giving me the feeling I had just asked a
stupid question, those are lightning rods. 
WOW, I said LIGHTNING RODS. He said yep, if lightning strikes, the rods will
take the electricity to the ground instead of damaging the house.
He looked at me as if he was expecting approval.
I said, Papa, they tell me in school that if you're in the middle of a field
and it starts to lightning that you should lay down to keep the lightning
from hitting you. He nodded and said that's exactly right.
I said, isn't all those lightning rods like standing up in the field?
As I looked up for further education, he stared at me for what seemed like
forever. He then put the old pickup in 1st gear and started driving back
home. I said Papa aren't we gunna go inside?
Not today.

30 days later and 1 week before he was to move in, lightning struck his
house/barn. The house, fully furnished with antiques burnt to the ground.

Anybody learn anything?

Michael C Martin
RFI Services
6469 Old Solomon's Island Rd
Tracey's Landing, MD 20779
Tel 240-508-3760
Nextel DC 164*21*29180
Fax 410-257-4514
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