[TowerTalk] Lightning Protection of rotors/remote switches etc

Steve London n2icarrl at gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 11:10:49 EDT 2008

I'm sure that others will disagree, but in my experience, protecting rotators 
and remote switches on towers is often a losing cause. On the positive side, I 
have never had a CDE/HyGain T2X/Tailtwister damaged by lightning. On the 
negative side, I have had plenty of Bourns multi-turn potentiometers (used as 
direction indicators for Ring Rotors and other commercial rotators) fried by 
lightning. MOV's at the rotator housing have no effect with direct, or very 
close hits. It doesn't take much to burn through the #36 wire used to wind those 
pots !  Similarly, it doesn't take much of a surge to punch a hole through the 
1N4001's used in remote antenna switches.


Steve, N2IC
Getting close to installing feedlines and antennas on the new tower. The
question is how to effectively protect the rotor and remote switches
from lightning and if I should decide to shunt feed the tower.

I have several Polyphaser IS-RCT devices and an I.C.E. product as well.
My plan was to install protection at the SPG at the shack entrance as
well as at the top of the tower. For the tower top installation, is it
really OK to just mount the Polyphaser exposed to the elements? Their
manual indicates that these are weatherized units and should be clamped
to the ground point with the terminals facing the ground. I am a little
nervous about this considering the rain/snow/ice we get up here.

I have seen others that appear to mount the IS-RCT units to the ground
panel in their SPG. As there are no mounting holes on the device, how do
you do this and ensure a good solid ground connection?

As always thanks for the bandwidth and advice?


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