Grounding and Lightning Protection For Isolated Battery Powered Equipment?
For my amateur radio gear, I operate everything from a deep cycle battery that is solar charged.
Currently, I have an Icom 718 and an old icom 2 meter FM rig and the antennas are a Jpole up at 20 feet and a fan dipole 40/80m inverted V up at 20 feet on a different mast. The masts are PVC pipe with guy ropes to keep them vertical.
I read up on normal grounding, and it appears that most of the guides assume you're hooked up to grid power.
Should I put the lightning arrestors at the bases of the masts instead of right close to the shack? What about the ground for the radios themselves? Should I even bother with that?
You pose a interesting question regading the power supply off the grid. On the antennas, I would have a ground wire on the jpole for sure since it is DC grounded. On the inverted V, I would for sure add some type of coax grounding before it enters the house.
I hope your query draws more response. I have not installed my 3 55 watt solar panels yet, they will be attached to the roof of my metal barn, or course the frame and such will be bonded to my perimeter ground for my towers ( which are bonded to my electrical service entrance ground rod).
My plan will use armor jacketed cable (marine type) from solar panels to charger/batteries and ground both ends..I actually think the DC positive and negative leads will be suseptable to inducted voltage should my towers get struck, so anyone out there with feedback for us both would be helpful.
regards from a displaced Texan, KB5VWZ/XE3 land...Tom (radio permit in process for here)
Originally Posted by LA1BRA
The idea is simple, take the charger for the solar panels loose when you KNOW a severe
thunderstorm, lightning, or tornado is within 100 miles of your QTH, then operate 2 FM.
The 2 meter rig won't draw down the deep-cycle batteries to much and it's always good
to let the deep-cycles go down near 0 then recharge again. Doing this keeps the batteries
"fresh" and they don't develop a "memory" that would keep them from operating while say
85% charged. Then you can say, "It's good to be KING!", from The Princess Bride, LOL!
You have a very serious lightning protection problem when using insulated masts (PVC)
A basic for lightning protection is to provide a good path to ground for any lightning strikes. An insulated mast directs most all energy right to your radio via the coax. There is no arrestor commonly available that will handle that kind of energy.
If you want to protect from direct strikes, Replace the insulated masts with steel or aluminum, That are grounded well.