[TowerTalk] static cat

mcduffie at actcom.net mcduffie at actcom.net
Sun Mar 21 09:20:15 EST 2004

On Sun, 21 Mar 2004 06:50:48 -0800, Jim Lux wrote:

> No question that something like this will dissipate static.  The question is
> whether dissipating static will reduce the chance of lightning strikes.
I think that's the key.  Their web page is misleading, but, in my own
belief, not entirely wrong.  Yes, there will be direct strikes to the
tower, even the whiskers.  But before the differential reaches the point
of discharge, I think the whiskers are trying hard to discharge it
slowly, thus preventing some of the smaller strikes.

Think of it as their web page suggests, high value resistors across the
high voltage generator, slowly dissipating the buildup.  Just like
resistors across a high voltage supply, if the supply ramps up faster
than the resistors can dissipate it, the voltage is going to go up and
there will be discharge.

Why do I believe?  Because I've been there.  Those of you with access,
make a few trips up Pikes Peak in the summer.  Try to catch one of these
days when the summer showers are moving around and over the mountain.
The sound of the static discharge draining off of the sharp vertical
points will scare you if you've never been around them before.  It's
very easy to understand how, if that discharge wasn't taking place, the
voltage would rise higher and higher until it finally discharged.

Prevent lightning?  Nope.  Help prevent strikes?  I think so.  You're
free to believe what you want.  Give Pikes Peak a try.  Not only is it a
beautiful trip, but it's educational too!


ag0n at arrl dot net
http colon slash slash garymcduffie dot com

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