Do You Unplug For Lightning Storms ?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by NN4RH, Nov 13, 2019.


What (if anything) do you unplug for Lightning Storms ?

  1. Disconnect feed lines outside - Explain details in Reply

  2. Disconnect feed lines indoors - Explain details in Reply

  3. Unplug radio/power supply power cords

  4. Disconnect shack ground

  5. I don't disconnect anything - I trust my lightning protection system

  6. I don't disconnect anything - If lightning is going to get me it doesn't matter what I do

  7. I don't get lightning here

  8. Unplug computer and disconnect from radio gear

  9. Other - Explain in Reply

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  1. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hv knife switched balanced feed line wires for both doublets, spark gaps outside and a main AC switch...
    I keep my 'modern' washing machine unplugged. I've had my ref icemakers hit twice, nothing else...
  2. KO4ESA

    KO4ESA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kenwood thd74 and the ic705. I use portable only due to power lines and transformer on my property. It is easier for me just to be portable radio. So no unplugging during storms.
  3. NQ4T

    NQ4T XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "took a strike" about 2 years ago....early Sept 2019. Prior to that, I didn't unplug anything except antennas; and my antenna disconnect was outside the shack. This strike was on the very back edge of the storm cell and literally the last thing anyone in the area heard out of the storm; meaning there's a chance it was a positive strike event.

    Either hit a tree about 130ft from my house; this tree exploded...I mean exploded. The debris field was a good 300ft radius around the tree. How none of this stuff actually hit my house is was all around the house. I had a nice 15ft chunk of tree laying 4ft from my house with evidence it slid a good 20ft after hitting the ground. There was thankfully no fire and no smoldering trunk...because there was quite literally nothing left. Every bit of moisture in this tree basically vaporized. Only minor body damage to vehicles...scratches and dings from stuff hitting it. Somehow a 25ft chunk flew *between* my power lines and landed 120ft away on the neighbors property. People literally thought something major exploded due to the sound. My looked like swiss cheese though. Numerous random holes appeared.

    My main breaker for the house tripped...but it didn't actually trip anything else. After flipping it back on, the power was still there.

    The best I can tell...most of my damage was actually ground and pulse related. The wiring to my outdoor LED lamps...which weren't even actually connected to a power supply....well many of those holes were along the path of the cable run. The LEDs had clearly vaporized leaving a black metallic coating. I had a piece of old RG-6 in the ground that wasn't connected to anything on either end anymore; the cable had stopped functioning and had been decomissioned. I know knew where that cable was run because there were not only holes blown along it's length...but it had also vaporized. This was literally just a piece of coax with both ends cut and buried in the ground. My security camera system had relocated itself to the other side of the attic. There are burn marks in areas where those wires were running. My wired network was toast. I have a line buried between the house and the like all the underground wiring it too pretty much vaporized...but not after causing every network switch to blow up. I'm not talking a little smoke...I'm talking "there used to be a network switch here where this burn mark used to be; oh look, here's some pieces of it on the other side of the basement".

    Everything was fine. My major appliances, my TV's that didn't have a physical ethernet connection, everything. The secondary breakers for my septic and well pumps popped....but they just required flipping them back on. It was clear that all the damage came in through the network and ground. I had a ethernet surge protector too....yeah, that didn't survive.

    I mean it could have been a lot worse...but, it was pretty bad considering it wasn't even a direct strike. I was just in close proximity to it. Several neighbors said they saw that bolt, that it didn't look normal, and that they saw a nice fireball rise up after it. I just remember the simultaneous blinding flash and the house shaking.

    I will say a lot of the leftover tree I picked up made EXCELLENT kindling for the wood stove. It lost all it's moisture content when it exploded.
    N0TZU, W0JKT and KD2RDG like this.
  4. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I live near the top of a hill and it can sometimes look like Doctor Frankenstein's laBORatory when the storms fire up.

    The coax is disconnected and rolled up on a reel beside the house. There's a good 50' between the coax to the antenna and the coax to the house.
    The power supply for the equipment is unplugged from the wall.
  5. AA3GL

    AA3GL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean like this, here is a screenshot of a typical storm passing in Maryland , the app on my phone will delete a strike after 15 minute. The strike count that day for a 15 mile radius was 1800+ according to the electric company's website.

    lightning 080121.jpg


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