I didn't even know it was raining. Dee opened the back door behind me in the den just as a huge rogue lightning strike happened right in my back yard. All power went out all over the neighborhood. Wow! Then I remembered that I still had the antennas connected to all my ham radio equipment. Can a preacher say "Oh crap!?" Well, this one did. I won't know if there is any damage until the power goes back on..... if it hit the tower, it could be major. Here's hoping not....
As a devout atheist .. I run low-hanging wire antennas exclusively!
Sorry Ken but I did say JUST --- Glad everything looks to be OK...
I religiously disconnect all my antennas, control lines, AC Power including computer. Computer connections are wireless. I also disconnect my ground in the shack! All my equipment floats and has no connection to the outside world. Over the last 50 years I have had 4 close strikes, two of which resulted in a call to the fire station - one by my neighbor who watched lightning hit the tower. The last strike resulted in a basement fire - you ought to try fighting a fire with a handheld extinguisher in the basement for excitement. I lost my TVs, stove, microwave, garage opener, Broadcast radio, household computer and had to replace a bunch of AC sockets and junction boxes - with associated wiring. However - nothing happened to my shack equipment! I use outside switch boxes to reduce the number of coax connections to disconnect and molex connectors on all control lines, basically I pigtail everything at the entrance to the shack. I have tower grounding, coax grounded at the top of the tower and surge suppression on coax and control lines at the bottom of the tower as well as at the entrance to the shack. With all this - it takes about 3 - 5 minutes to connect or disconnect the equipment. Pretty small investment.
I am a believer floating my equipment.
Keith - AC9S
Glad to hear everything ok. I live where we do get lightening and I want to try and setup some arresters but have yet to find one that I trust.
Anyone have recommendations?
Howard... I hate to let you know this but as a So. Cal. Pilot for many years flying between SBA and San Dieo and various other places in SD. You do in fact get lightening. Back in the hills behind you they get quite a bit AND recently in OK they measured and confirmed a lightening bolt that measured 199 miles in length so I think your tower could still be at risk. Of course far less than others like Ken but still you are not immune.
IC72 and IC-73 ($4) and two hour's labor.
It has been a long dry week without the"Big Kahuna" as the 6500 is affectionately called around here!
I am assuming that the two IC's are the ESD protection arrays.
I will be glad to be back on the air soon!
Ken - NM9P