Author Topic: Lightning  (Read 1663 times)

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KF7SZX

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Lightning
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:53:18 AM »
So we had a gnarly lighting storm last night and as I was driving around with a 3' antenna on my truck I started wondering...

Does rx raise you chance on an antenna strike?
Does TX?
Does just having an antenna with no radio connected lessen your chance?

Anyone have any idea about lighting tendencies?
KF7SZX, Eric

spacecase0

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 03:12:13 PM »
transmitting can make ion paths and can make lightning strike your antenna,
listening will not do that, but you still have metal sticking up in the air that is connected to inside your radio...
I have an antenna switch set up when I have the radio in my car,
so I disconnect the radio from the antenna and ground out the antenna,
and I leave it switched that way when I am not using the radio so that an EMP will likely not get to my radio.
not sure that will help much if lightning hits, but it sure can't hurt.

not sure if disconnecting the antenna form the radio would help you not get hit,
but it would save your radio (and maybe your car) if you did get hit.

cars usually deal with lightning well, but run it down coax cable to something that is connected to your electrical system can't be good.

KC9TNH

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 08:53:20 AM »
The important thing in a vehicle strike is that you aren't grounded. Absent touching anything metallic, inside your vehicle is not the worst place to be. That's personal safety. Your radio is another matter. If you take a hit your rig is probably toast unless you're also disconnected from the straight (and grounded) power source in the vehicle that you worked so hard to achieve. I would not bet that disconnecting from an external antenna is protection from an EMP event; the surface mounted stuff in the rig is gonna get hammered probably unless you're living in a Faraday cage.

I very much DO like the idea of spacecase's disconn switch for a different reason.  Up here, even with the t'storms we get, one of the biggest hazards is the potential during winter - particularly a snow storm - for static buildup (on the antenna).  We don't typically drive down the road with static dissipation wicks hanging off our car/truck. If I had no plans on talking right away & was focused instead on making my way thru a blizzard safely, that disconn switch isn't a bad idea.  I do the same thing in the shack during the winter because the wire antennas out there can still accumulate some buildup.  It's just DC looking for a place to go, no?  (Even with good human attempts at grounds;  electrons are lazy & that governs alot.)
 :)