Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K8EA, Jun 12, 2019.
I would use a BNC before using a push on.
Those 'push-on' PL-259 shields do work. But, they also cause wear on the SO-239 connector that does damage the threads. Just depends on how often you do that connecting/disconnecting, naturally, but a switch really is cheaper in the long run. And just because... If you intend a push-on shield to start with, don't leave off that threaded shield! Just let it slide down the cable someplace. You won't regret that later.
Buy an Alpha Delta 2 or 4 position and switch it to off.
I have eight of those set up in my ham Shack, they have built-in lightning protection also. And we'll handle 1500 watts. It's fast, easy and you're always protected.
And remember "if you're not connected to a Ground you're not Protected"
It does if you live in an area with high number of lightning strikes.
How so? If the coax coming into the shack presents a hazard, what happens when you disconnect it? What do you do with it?
And what about everything plugged in at your house, connected to the overhead distribution system? Do people unhook their TV from the antenna every time they turn it off?
The correct way is to do your installation properly to begin with. Disconnecting when not in use for extended periods is one thing (e.g., vacation home), disconnecting every time you use it is another. If you live in an area with a high number of lightning strikes, you should pay extra attention to a proper grounding system.
But in the event of a strike, a thick glass jar creates more spectacular shrapnel, and associated damage/injuries!
Actually...not. Unless you can disconnect them OUTSIDE the house and lay the ends on the ground.
Disconnecting the cables inside the house offers about zero protection.
Remember, repeaters, pagers, broadcast transmitters, commercial/industrial LMR installations, cell sites, etc. never disconnect anything and are up 24/7/365 irrespective of weather. Many of those are on mountaintops or tall towers and are more exposed to lightning than the average home...and it doesn’t matter. You just need to “follow the rules” about grounding.
I live in a lightning intense area and I have a real respect for the stuff. One thing that I do know is that lightning has no respect for rules and it doesn't have a shopping list of the places it can strike and places where it cannot strike. I took a major strike to my antenna. It hit the W5GI and traveled down the buried RG213. I had the coax disconnected in the house. Halfway down the buried coax run the lightning blew the coax apart. Lightning did not get into my house via the coax. It did however, get into my house via the internet. It hit the outside box and destroyed everything terminated to the internet in my house. This included a TS590 and a honking Bose sound system... I should also note that I was on my computer when it hit. It was like the 4th. of July ....
I firsthand know of some of the potential in a bolt of lightning. I will forever disconnect the coax no matter what Steve says...
That's fine, but you state that in your first hand experience it came in via the Internet - not the coax.
As hams, sure, we worry about and discuss the issues with lightning and our antennas. But lightning doesn't care if we're a ham. And lots of lightning damage is done every day to non-hams who don't have ham antennas. The issue is lightning. and mitigation of the risks. Anything and everything that enters your house - power, telephone, TV antenna, Sat antenna, Internet, ham radio antennas, even gas and waterlines - can be a conduit for lightning to get in. Grounding and bonding allows everything to rise and fall together, so there isn't huge voltage potentials between wires, objects, etc. And this is where the electrical damage occurs - when things are not grounded and bonded you get differences in potential between things, say, your antenna's coax shield (should be bonded to ground) and the AC electrical ground feeding the equipment. All a strike has to do is be closer to one ground than the other (if there are separate) an the damage is done, potentially resulting in fireworks and a fire. Even if the coax is disconnected - there will still be the difference in potential, and the high risk of damage, fire, etc.
Just disconnecting your radio without considering what's really going on is false security. DO IT RIGHT.
It came along the coax and destroyed several feet of coax half way down the run. I can't help but think that it may had come the entire length of the coax had I left it terminated to my radios. I'm not about to test another incident by leaving the coax terminated. We had fiber coming into our house and I ever gave thought that lightning would gain access via this medium. In our old qth cable was coax strung between power poles. This seemed to be a vulnerable system.
Regarding prevention based on my experience, you can bet your bippy that I've installed all appropriate technology to defend against such situations. But, I do realise that no matter what you do, you will always be vulnerable.... False or not, I will continue to disconnect my antennas. If anything, my wife is happy that I disconnect my radios and I can't fault her for wanting this.