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Another lighting question

Jan 16th 2014, 09:52

Joined: Today, 15:33
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Apologies in advance for the long and tedious nature of this post.

My antenna is an S9-V31, ground mounted and fed at the base with an external auto tuner. The coax feed (75 ft.) runs at ground level to a window feed through. The station is grounded near my shack with a standard 8ft rod connected with #6 solid copper wire. A gas discharge tube lightning arrestor (non- DC blocking) is placed in the feed line, about three feet from the window. It is connected to the copper ground wire by a short length of 1" tinned braid.

My transceiver is disconnected from the feed through panel when not in use. It remains grounded to the feed through panel (station ground) at all times.

My question is whether I have much protection in case of a direct lightning strike. I get the impression from online reading that a direct strike could well arc across to any number of things inside the shack, including the unconnected PL259 of the transceiver.

I'm a wondering if there is something I should install at the base of the antenna for improved protection.

Jan 16th 2014, 19:26


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Ideally, for lighting protection, not only should your station ground be bonded to the service entrance, as required by the National Elecrical Code, but the path should be line of sight. This will insure that there is a high probability of lightning going directly from the service entrance to the station ground.

Tom, W8JI, has a page in which he discusses other options.

Zack W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Jan 17th 2014, 19:11


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Unfortunately there isn't really anything that will protect you from a direct lightning strike or the damage caused by a direct strike. However you may be able to reduce the likelihood of a direct strike and the subsequent damage by employing the use of surge suppressors and "best practices" grounding techniques. The ARRL web pages have several articles that address good grounding practices. Industry standards such as the Motorola R-56 Grounding and Installation manual is another source of good information.

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