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Open Wire Lightning Arrestor

Aug 2nd 2011, 15:00

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
An ARRL member asks:

While I see that there several gas discharge lightening protection devices for co-ax lines on the market, I’ve not seen information on or systems for protection for balance line feeders. Do you have any ideas on the subject or any references you can suggest that I might consult?

Page 4-35 of the ARRL Antenna Book shows a simple lightning arrestor for open wire. Industrial Communication Engineers used to sell such a product, but the owner died unexpectedly--the web site gives no indication as to the future of the company.
Aug 2nd 2011, 15:41

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I had to try a few different combinations on Google, but "lightning arrestor ladder line" seemed to be the one that provided the most hits. It gave links to forum discussions on qrz.com, eham.net and amfone. net.

The first result, on qrz.com, had a link to:

http://www.thewireman.com/prodpix5.html

Those web searches provide fast answers, if you are willing to dig just a bit into the results.

That reminds of a TIS story. :-) One day, a member sent us an email, asking for information on RFI. Mike Gruber replied, with a comprehensive list of all of the web pages we knew that dealt with his problem. Some were very specific with information that applied directly to his problem, with step-by-step cures.

We got back a very angry response, as the member complained that he contacted us looking for help, but all we gave him back were a bunch of web links. :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums administrator
Aug 3rd 2011, 04:50

KA0GKT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Part of the problem with balanced transmission line is that there can be a fairly substantial RF potential along the transmission line since rarely is a balanced transmission line operated into its charecteristic impedance. Older copies of the antenna book have spark gap arrestor designs; at least one company manufactured a balanced line arrestor which used a pair of automotive spark plugs for the spark gap.

73 DE KAØGKT/7
--Steve

Aug 8th 2011, 15:13

W1MG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I use a ladder line lightning arrester from The Wire Man that works great. See catalog item number 878 on their Web site at www.thewireman.com for more information.
Aug 11th 2011, 15:38

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by W1MG
I use a ladder line lightning arrester from The Wire Man that works great...


Mike -

"Works great" is hard to prove, if you're talking about a lightning arrester. How many 'bolts have you received without equipment failure? Sorry to say, nobody wants that kind of testing. You could apply some kV from a spark coil or other source to see what the breakdown voltage is. (Can your receiver survive a 500 volt pulse -- if that's the breakdown voltage?) A breakdown test, though useful, is hardly the full story. You need a breakdown with 1,000+ Amps, which is what you might get from a real strike. This is a gloomy subject!

73, Martin AA6E

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