Mast as Lightning Rod

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KD9VV, Jun 9, 2021.

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  1. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've read quite a bit about lightning protection.
    That said and fully understanding lightning has a mind of it's own, I am trying to mitigate a strike to my mast, which is obviously a great lightning rod.

    My mast is a steel guyed 30 foot telescoping.
    The steel guys are encased in a plastic sleeve.
    The mast sits in the ground app 6 inches deep.

    Pics attached of how I ground the mast.
    Essentially, I do not want the lightning strike to jump from the mast to my house which is 25 feet away.

    The photo shows sold copper wire attached to the mast with hose clamps, giving what I feel is good contact for 5 to 6 inches.

    I use 4 four foot ground rods spaced at 1 foot, 3 foot, 5 foot and 8 foot from the mast base also secured with hose clamps.

    On a side note, I have considered stripping back some of the plastic on the steel guys and ground a few also.

    Big question: is this effective enough or is there a better way.

    Attached Files:

  2. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm no expert on this---but you should also should bond the mast all the way back to your AC service panel ground electrode as well for the best protection. That way, everything is at the same potential which is the point of all that we do with earthing everything.
    AE8W likes this.
  3. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not a expert either but the gnd service entrance is 75 feet from my masts. Yikes.
  4. W9KEY

    W9KEY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's easy to receive conflicting information when discussing grounding.
    I found this to be an excellent resource - available from ARRL, Amazon, and distributors like a local HRO store:

    Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur
    WB5THT and N0TZU like this.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    AE8W, K2WH and AK5B like this.
  6. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Think about Ohm's Law and all that dirt's resistance---creates a large potential ready to do some damage unless that potential is reduced to zero by bonding.

    You need at least 75 feet of #6 gauge copper for starters...
    AE8W and KD9VV like this.
  7. AA4PB

    AA4PB Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's on the mast, antennas? Do you have coax cables running down the mast and then into the house? If so then the cable shields should be bonded to the mast down low and bonded to a ground rod just before they enter the house. That ground rod should be bonded to the electrical service ground system (rod or cable) to ensure that you don't have two ground references in the house.

    If the mast doesn't have any cables running into the house then there is no reason to run a ground wire from the mast to the house electrical ground. To do that seems to be counterproductive to me, creating a problem where non exists.
  8. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Understand; just not sure how to bond the copper wire to a steel mast?
  9. KD9VV

    KD9VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, understand that too; that however requires I CUT the LMR 400 (or) strip away some jacket to expose the braid.
    6M LFA is the antenna up top.
  10. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Just think of it this way: YOU can do whatever YOU want. But lightning will do whatever IT wants.

    The idea is to give you a better chance of winning that battle if they choose to duke it out one stormy day :)

    AE8W, WA9SVD, AK5B and 1 other person like this.

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