[VHFcontesting] Indoor Antennas Don't Deter Lightning Stikes

Les Rayburn les at highnoonfilm.com
Sat Aug 7 00:09:38 PDT 2010

Indoor, attic antennas apparently are no guarantee of lightning protection. Today, after weeks with virtually no rain at all and 100+ degree temps, a thunderstorm developed directly over my house. It dumped over 1.61 inches of rain (measured with my Davis Weather Station) in just over two hours, and generated one of the most intense lightning storms that I've ever seen. 

We had lights blow, arch overs from several electrical outlets, and other damage. Alabama Power was busy repairing transformers, and blown circuits all over this general area in the wake of the storm. 

In my own shack, I could hear loud arching several times, but could never determine where it might be coming from. Even thought the antennas are in the attic, I still have an extensive grounding system. It consists of several 10 foot rods just outside the shack, bonded together with heavy gauge wire, all connected to a common grounding point inside the shack wall. Everything in the shack grounds to this copper plate with short braids. 

So far, the damage appears to be to my station computer, Icom 746 Pro, and a 6 Meter TE Systems amp. Fortunately, I was still racing to prepare for the UHF contest, and had not yet connected my transverters, IC-910H, and other VHF/UHF gear prior to the storm. 

It's looking very "iffy" for my participation in the contest tomorrow, though I'm going to give it a shot. 


Les N1LF

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