[AMRadio] Antenna Idea and lightning precautions

Clarke, Tom VX-20 OPS frederic.clarke at navy.mil
Mon Aug 7 10:32:31 EDT 2006

   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
--------------------------------tom sez-------------------------------

Try visiting the PolyPhaser website and read their treatise on Lightning
protection.  Lots of great information and practical ideas.

Several locals here swear by the "brush" or "porcupine" type of device
for the top of your tower/mast.  These devices are rather controversial
in the professional side of lightning protection.  There have been
several discussions, some quite lively, on the repeater-builders and
tower groups.  Probably wouldn't hurt to use them and might help!
Google lightning protection and you will find lots of interesting
reading.  There is actually a lightning protection group out there.

I have no personal experience with them, other than the fact that the
condition of static wicks/points on an airplane lessen the damage from a
strike on the airframe.  Next time you are in a jet, take a look at the
trailing edge/wing tips and you will see some sharp pointed wicks to
drain the static charge from the airframe.

I think the conventional wisdom is to use at least #6 copper clad to
bond the tower/mast to the rod field.  #12 would probably vaporize with
a direct hit, as would #6 I suppose, but the heavier wire would conduct
a greater amount of the surge and offer more protection.  It sounds like
you are on the right trail!

Good luck on your adventure,
73 de Tom/W4OKW

Although not applicable to this current thread, here is a common error
seen in discussions:

Lightning = noun, the flashing of light produced by a discharge of
atmospheric electricity.
Lightening = verb, to illuminate or to make light or clear; to relieve
of a burden.

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