The more you read, the more confused it becomes.
At least in regard to the less than perfect solutions we do in our home stations.
QST had a nice two part article, and there are several good posting here in the QRZ archives. I too have read the Polyphaser book, the Electrical code, and about 100 posts on the subject.
ONE little piece of advice, which, if you REALLY do things well, you can ignore, but, since you will likely NOT do things that well, FOLLOW the advice....Disconnect your antenna when not using the rig.
One poster here said that was like leaving an unatended hand grenade, but MOST rational people will just say it is just a simple way of removing the most obvious danger, burning out the rig by a NEAR strike that induces current in your antenna.
A DIRECT strike, which seems to be VERY rare overall, is difficult to protect from UNLESS you follow a LOT of precautions, and follow them CORRECTLY and completely. I never have, most hams never do.
We just take whatever we feel is common sense for US, and try our best.
I have had about 4 NEAR strikes in the last 40 years, a rotor went, a burn mark on top of a rig, a fryed capacitor on a hard to get to antenna, and a chared piece of plastic on a large antenna knife switch. No destroyed radios, no blown computers, no fires, no melted coax, just one rotor indicator resistor.
The yard guy who cuts my lawn accidently hit the ground rod (now protected) for my main tower. ( There are NOW two ground wires and rods on each tower) and THREE on the one next to the house). When he loosend up the connector, I KNEW I should re-tighten it, I didn't, we had a storm that day, and I THINK that may have contributed to the problem.
In ANY case, I now also have Cinch-Jones connectors on each rotor control box, and keep those ALSO disconnected when not in use.
Again, I am just doing what seems to make sense for me, YOU may find another approach, but, lightning (a direct strike) seems to avoid hams for the most part....
One reason I suspect that is true, is that we tend to put a LOT of crap (er, antennas) on our towers, and THAT tends to dissipate the building up of the 'streamer' charge that induces a strike......
ANYWAY, best of luck with the new antenna set up.
Last edited by WA9CWX; 06-29-2008 at 09:36 PM.
"Clear intent is the best predictor of experience"