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Lightning and Attic Antennas

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Antennas' started by Need2Know, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

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    On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being "I'll shoot my eye out" and one being "go ahead and give him the BB gun", how much should I worry about an ungrounded antenna in my attic.

    I have professionally installed lightning rods all over my roof. But I am told even a near strike can charge the antenna and fry my system. That's never happened to any other equipment in my house tied to the cable TV or phone system in 4 years in the lightining capital of the western hemishere, central Florida.


     
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  2. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    Remember that newer units are laden with mosfet devices which are sensitive to static charges.

    No more worry than you having lightning rods mounted to attract lightning to your home. ;)

    I would have them in the tops of trees around my home.
     
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  3. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

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    Wrong. Lightining rods provide the path of least resistance for lightning to enter the ground through paths OTHER THAN the house. It is the same principle as providing the path of least resistance when grounding an antenna. Having rods in adjacent trees is not likely to reidrect lightning strikes.
    HowStuffWorks "Lightning Rod"
     
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  4. pro151

    pro151 KB4RMA

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    You could build a static dissipation array. ;)
     

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  5. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    "If you build it they will come" I'm Right and I live in a region that records as many lightning strikes as Florida and back in the 30's and 40's the snake oil salesmen sold millions of units "lightning rods" to poor unsuspecting dolts and many of them lost homes to lightning strikes that may have never occurred if they did not attract the lightning.

    Nowadays no one here would even think of mounting something like that anywhere near their homes for just that reason and if it were such a hot idea it would be building code and not just the bullshit you're handing out here.
     
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  6. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    More efficient warding off lightning strikes than any freaking lightning rod.
     
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  7. pro151

    pro151 KB4RMA

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    The theory behind the dissipation array is to bleed the charge to ground before it becomes a full blown strike.

    I see the umbrella type on a lot of small towers around Alabama and have seen the arrays on broadcast towers that resemble throwing stars on stalks.

    I am sure Capt. KW has had some experience with them and will chime in on this thread at some point.

    Some swear by them. Some swear at them. :D
     
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  8. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    I'll take several pieces of small diameter steel cable frayed at one end then attached to the chassis and cab of semi trucks and this totally eliminated static shocks when leaving the vehicles.

    Them lightning rods cb antenna never did that for me! I know those are above ground of the vehicle but it sounds really good if you know know all the snake oil technologies. (y)
     
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  9. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    To answer the question, I just don't think an indoor antenna is likely to cause you to poke an eye out, singe an eyebrow, or go deaf from cracking walnuts with your teeth. They do melt the ice in tea slightly faster than if they were not there, you might watch for that.
    - 'Doc
     
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  10. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

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    That's exactly what I was thinkin'. You nailed it!

    And as for snake oil, we may be surprised how many folks that stuff has "cured.":whistle:

    In any event, the lighting rod issue (whether they work or not) is beside the point of this question.

    Back to the question: Is there a need to ground a J-pole antenna mounted in the attic?
     
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  11. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

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    I understand now, based on your experience, why you think lightining protection systems don't work.

    Have you considered the distinct possibility that those folks in the 30's and 40's were victims of installers who had no idea what they were doing? Their bad experience "poisoned the well" of the understanding of the locals. It is obvious from what you have said that their bad experience carries forward to today in the form of an opinion that resists the new knowledge of current technology and proper installaton practices.

    This reminds me of the baby elephant whose leg is tied to a small stake in the ground. He can't move it when he is little. So he gives up. He has such a good memory of that experience when he's older he doesn't even try to break away when he weighs a ton.

    Here are a couple of interesting sources of info:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...ktG2Dw&usg=AFQjCNGOLRA3ICKKyo4eo3qQTgh8HdW0lQ
    http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/...ldservices/fieldservices/lightningprotection/
     
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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  12. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member

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    And it also makes a most excellent back scratcher.
     
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  13. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43 Jock Supporter

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    Your best bet is Coronal Discharge and not lightning rods, You have your self a great summer.
     
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  14. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

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    I wouldn't no what to do with a coronal discharge device if my life depended on it. But here is an intertesting web site on the phenomenon:

    Corona Discharge
     
    #14

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