[TowerTalk] bleed-off lightning devices

Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph w5hvv@aeneas.net
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 20:48:34 -0500

My first lightning hit here (I've had 3 in 3 years) was off a tip
end of the driven element on my 40-2CD at 140'.  It turned the trap
on that side of the driven element into a real crispy critter.  When
I reinstalled it (wadda pain) after replacement of the trap and coax,
I also installed a 10 foot high galvanized tube above the mast that
held my antennas.  This tube has 5 each 18" long (very sharp ended)
spikes brazed to the top of the tube - one straight up and the rest
at 45 degrees to the vertical and in the four directions.

I've been hit twice since then but the lightning has hit my "pointy,
spikey thing" and not my antennas.... for which I am most thankful.

There is no telling if the sharp spikes at the top have bled off enough
charge to prevent any more hits or not.  But it sure has caught the
2nd and 3rd hits and saved me a bunch of money in that I haven't had
to take down the TH7DX and 40-2CD from off the top of the 130' tower
to replace any more traps!!  For that I am thankful and I am glad I
put the "charge bleeder/lightning attracter" up there.  I don't think
I'll ever have another tower in my lifetime without one up there, way
above all the antennas.

Rod, W5HVV

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