[AMRadio] Antenna Idea and lightning precautions

Jim candela jcandela at prodigy.net
Sat Aug 5 14:36:54 EDT 2006

Hi All,

   I am contemplating putting up an inverted Vee antenna where the center
point is above my house suspended with a 30' Lowes push up mast attached to
my roof with a tripod mast base made for roof mounting. This would make the
apex at almost 50', and with the trees around my home, the ends at about
30'. Other locations that I might have the antenna apex at will be densely
surrounded by trees, and I am trying to avoid that.

   My question is about lighting concerns with this approach. I would have
multiple 12 awg ground straps from the mast base to earth ground via copper
ground stakes at least 5' long. This would act as a counterpoise for the
antenna, and provide a DC ground reference for the 30' mast. My fear is that
the antenna would attract a lightning hit (direct) and that would cause my
home to burn up in a flaming fireball.

   Then I was thinking about how lightning rods work, and when done
properly, don't lightning rods work by having a sharp point at the tip,
where they bleed the static (a corona discharge) to prevent a lightning
strike? If so, why can't I take a 1/8" stainless 8' whip with a point on
top, mounted above the inverted Vee apex, and use that as a lightning rod? I
guess I'd need to beef up my ground wiring scheme just in case of a direct
hit. Any suggestions?

   I am hoping for having more lightning protection with my antenna in place
over that of no antenna at all? Is this possible?

Jim Candela
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