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. WQ4G

    WQ4G Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could check with the Building Official(s) in your area. They SHOULD know the applicable code and can give you a good idea of what they want to 'see' (what they will approve) during the inspection process.

    Dan WQ4G
  2. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    good idea, I was thinking of our provincial govt. They stick their 2 "Loonies" worth (no more pennies here) into federal guidelines
    I am failrly positive that since cable & bell still ground to water pipes that outside antennas would be ok to do the same

    Just read the bell expressview install guide and they provide a grounding block & ground rod. they explain that the coax(s) must attach to the gnd rod, and comply with local codes. It does not say to wire that to the service panel gnd. Maybe thats suggested in the local codes
    This is fairly new, a several years ago they would give you the dish and the rx but nothing for grounding, I've never seen any dishs grounded, I suppose there are some and new installs that are.

    There is a new large electrical contractor close to here and I may go in and see if they can show via the code book, if a tv tower gnd can go to the cold water copper
  3. WB7OKU

    WB7OKU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am returning to ham radio after a 50yr absence, so I'm still erecting antennas. Lightning protocol will come sometime before June. June is the start of the rainy season and frequent lightning displays here in central Florida. We currently have a lightening detector that gives us a 15 to 20 mile warning of approaching storms. We also took advantage of the power company supplied shunt at the meter. The insurance that comes with it would cover all of our electrical stuff if we take a local power line hit. Hopefully those coax lightening arresters work as I plan to put one on both of my antennas where they connect to the exterior wall feed through. I plan to disconnect the radios at the inside of the feed through when a storm approaches.
  4. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since most of my operating is "Portable" conditions i.e. even when using my 4BTV at my Mother-In-Laws place the Coax is not permanently installed, I run the coax out when I am going to operate and put it up when I am done. Here at the apartment when I operate on the balcony I hook things up when I am operating QRP and then typically disconnect. It is a hassle to always be connecting/disconnecting things and probably results in less time casually operating it does have the up side of not having to worry about lighting, I just don't hook up if it is storming.
  5. KQ9J

    KQ9J Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm just glad somebody spelled Lightning correctly :D
  6. KC9OSX

    KC9OSX Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was a kid, we had a cb antenna and scanner antenna get struck. The scanners were hooked up, but the CB was disconnected. The scanners both survived, but the CB and TV were fried, as well as other electronics in the house, and we never did find all of the pieces of the antennas.
    My current tower is grounded with one 8' ground rod, and is right on the outside of the house, less than 5' from my radio equipment. I normally disconnect the coax, if I know a storm is coming, but one time I was at work when my neighbor called and said he watched lightning hit my tower. I DIDN'T HAVE IT DISCONNECTED. My copper ground cable turned black, there was a burn mark down 1 leg of the tower, and both my internet and tv dishes were toast (not connected in any way to the tower), but all my radio stuff was ok. Lightning is very unpredictable, and I think it's a gamble, no matter what precautions you take.
    VE3CGA likes this.
  7. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Until we moved 19 months ago we lived in an area which got frequent lightning storms/strikes during certain times of the year. I had a 100 ft tower with a large tribander, numerous wire antennas including a 160 meter horizontal loop, and a vertical. The entire antenna system along with the shack and the house service ground were all tied together in a single point ground system. Every feedline coming into the shack via a grounded pass through panel did so via a polyphaser. The rotator and remote coax switch lines were also protected.

    More than once I observed lightning strike the ground on our 7 acre property. Not once was there any damage of any kind to anything on the property including house, shop, antennas, radios, computers etc. Partly luck and partly, I believe, the result of a well constructed ground system
    N0TZU and KV6O like this.
  8. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I unplug coax from the bulkhead pass through lines coming into the house if I am around - during t-storm season or if on vacation I leave them unplugged.

    I have a lightning rod system on the house and a bonding wire / ground rod system around the house.

    Polyphasers on the outside of the house going to the bulkhead connectors bonded to the common utility ground few feet away.

    Whole house surge suppressor. Surge suppressors on all radio and computer AC feeds.

    Turn off computers , unplug them if a bad storm or on vacation.

    Attic antenna for 2M / 440 for storm communications.
  9. G4COE

    G4COE Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not lightening storms that bothers me. I was in a friends shack one day, no sign of thunder, warm humid day and grey overcast sky then the heavens opened the next minute and almighty flash from where his long wire antenna comes through the window right down 'smack bang' in the middle of the top of his FT101....... I was inches away, "boy, did I move", a few seconds later after we both recovered was the biggest flash and a deafening rumble that seemed to last for ages.

    No anti-static, lightening diverter or nothing in his upstairs shack! Sadly the guy is now SK.

    What would I do..... er, now lemme fink.

    Have a box of chocolates handy for 'her who must be obeyed' and then scarper to the local pub! Well I mean, it's better than removing the shacks ground, if lightening can jump yards across the sky..... it ain't gonna have problems jumping a few feet!

    Remember one CRT telly I repaired, lightening came in via the TV antenna BLEW the regulator valve clean off the central heating radiator, funny thing is the telly worked after I fitted a new power switch for one that ended up at the bottom of the cabinet and turned to a pile of ash.

    This was when telly's had wooden cabinets, Lightening can sure do funny things.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
    VE3CGA likes this.
  10. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    At first I thought you had typed "scraper" which might have been appropriate for both your chairs :D:D
    I had a strike at my first house 30yrs ago. Had just disconnected the TS520 & laid the RG8 on the basement floor when bang, coax connector arced like an arc welder, the loud bang, air filled with ozone+burnt connector smell. Equipment & tower were grounded there but not the coax
    Neighbours next door out in their gazebo all screamed but no one came over until next days afternoon to tell me the tower was hit :D

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