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Lightning Arrestor for Ladder Line Feed

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by W6SO, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. W6SO

    W6SO Guest

    Can anyone recommend a good lightning arrestor to use for ladder line feed line on an 80 through 10 meter wire antenna system? I have seen many lightning protection devices for use with coax, but cannot seem to find one for ladder line.

    I suppose I could just put a knife switch at the line's entrance to the shack, but I would like something that I can just leave in the line and not have to remember all the time.

    Any suggestions?

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    SparkLightning Arrester

    It appears WIK and I hit "SEND" at the same time. I think his solution is better.

    I don't know how these would affect your impedance but what if you used two of these,

    One in each line?

    Another route might be to use a spark gap: On one of the spreaders (maybe nearest the house), bring a wire from each line toward each other and space them say 1/8" apart with the ends in an "L" shape; then apply a lot of silicone sealer to keep out moisture.

    Phil - AC0OB
  4. KB1NXE

    KB1NXE Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you look at the Wireman product, and not to detract from it, it's nothing more than a couple of lawn mower spark plugs screwed to a plate with a cap covering the electrode end. If you borrow from this idea (unless it's patented) you should be able to make your own for about $10.00
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, that's what it is. Even if it were patented (I doubt it), you could copy it for your own use just fine. Patent protections don't cover private use.
  7. N4CR

    N4CR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Non resistor plugs are getting hard to find these days...
  8. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Subscriber QRZ Page

  9. AL7N

    AL7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ladder Line lightning arrestor

    Simple spark gap from each feeder wire to a ground plate.

    Can be made a couple different ways:
    1. Two Non-resistor spark plugs screwed into a ground plate or bar.
    2. Stand off an insulator block on the ground bar and thread two studs through it. Make the ends of the studs pointed, run them very close to the
    grond bar (very small air gap). Attach the feeder wires to the other end of the studs with ring terminals or something similar.

    Mount the thing OUTSIDE the house and bond it well to the electrical
    service ground as well as connecting it to a driven ground rod with a short direct heavy solid wire.

    The close air gaps will ionize and dump static accumulations just fine.

    Also (hopefully) they will discharge larger potentials from nearby lightning strikes by offering a path of least resistance that will work instead
    of the surge following the feeder leads inside.

    If the main lightning strike hits your antenna directly, it won't make any difference.
  10. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a ladder-line fed dipole up for 5 years before it blew down. Never had a lightning arrestor, never had a problem. And we have LOTS of lightning. Also have coax-fed dipoles/verticals. No arrestors. No problems.

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