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 Lightning Preparations.

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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeTue May 11, 2021 8:13 am

Lightning Preparation.
The half wave is up in the garden, and I was doing my usual earth spiking the pole, when it started raining hard and BANG! a lightning bolt hit a power line post in the field behind me some 200m away.

First thought? Sh** the rig is still plugged in!
Back inside to "Did you hear that?" from SWMBO, I ripped the aerial lead out of the SWR meter.

I knew lightning was forecast this week and blitzortung was running on the laptop BUT (and I know we're all guilty of this), there was a delay between good intentions (unplugging the aerial lead and finishing the earthing), and going shopping for those important things in life, i.e. FOOD!

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents states that ’30-60 people are struck by lightning each year in the UK, 3 (5-10%) of these strikes are fatal.’

Not much to worry about on a personal level is there ?
Only I've got a question.
How much did your setup cost you?

And finally the good news.
The rig is still working!
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Hotel Zulu 253
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Hotel Zulu 253

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Join date : 2021-04-25
QTH or Location : South Australia
Equipment Used : Galaxy 959, GE 3-5826A, 1/2 wave Station Master

Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeTue May 11, 2021 10:16 am

I've been guilty of neglecting to unplug my rig when it's forecast. I should be more careful. My mast is earthed with 4 foot length of stainless rod driven into the ground and a heavy gauge length of copper wire fixed.
Thanks for the timely reminder, it's that time of year in South Australia. I reckon a direct strike would fry every single component within a radio... possibly even the operator if you were unlucky enough to be holding the microphone at the time.

I've heard salting the ground at the earth stake works well to improve the earth.

Glad to hear you got away with that one.

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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeTue May 11, 2021 3:20 pm

As I type, there was a cluster of grief to the South of us but it looks like they are fizzling out.
Needless to say, the lightning monitor is set to VERY LOUD clicks.

Keep safe
Paul Gray
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26uk81
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeThu Jun 10, 2021 12:03 am

I've heard that if you go up on a hill, stand in a bucket of water and hold your aerial up in the air you can increase your tx power,
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Hotel Zulu 253
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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeThu Jun 10, 2021 4:24 am

26uk81 wrote:
I've heard that if you go up on a hill, stand in a bucket of water and hold your aerial up in the air you can increase your tx power,
Thats true, you may increase your power by about 30 million volts with about 30,000 amps behind it.
Unfortunately most of that power is purely input.

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Alan Pilot
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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeThu Jun 10, 2021 8:11 am

Hotel Zulu 253 wrote:
26uk81 wrote:
I've heard that if you go up on a hill, stand in a bucket of water and hold your aerial up in the air you can increase your tx power,
Thats true, you may increase your power by about 30 million volts with about 30,000 amps behind it.
Unfortunately most of that power is purely input.
Quick way to boil the water tho lol.

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Alan Pilot
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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeThu Jun 10, 2021 2:22 pm

Got the T shirt ?.

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2NC556
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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 11, 2021 2:59 am

Major storms happening tonight here in my little corner of N.C. USA. Lots of lightning and thunder happening at this very moment. Radio gear unplugged and disconnected. Lights in house flickering off and on. Going to be a long night with lots of rain and flash floods happening. Seems to be a lot of that happening here these days.
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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 11, 2021 9:26 am

FFS doing my head in.
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G0RQQ
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 11:33 am

Good comments above on the dangers of lightning-induced EMF’s into equipment. Remember that it doesn’t necessarily require a direct hit to damage your radios. 

For many years I used to deal professionally with the subject of lightning and surge protection in general in the radio communications market-places in North America and Europe, and heard some really scary stories!
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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 11:44 am

Blown up my fax machine years ago down the phone line and many cordless phones.
BT did all sorts but never sorted it out.
Don't live there now so somebody new has the problem.
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glenn dog
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 8:51 pm

Only had one brush with a lightning strike, 6 years ago hit my small Summer shack in the forest, or I should say, close to the building, saw a flash in side and bad smell , came from the sauna area of the building, very bad storm that day, but could not see any damage, we ran out to sit in the car.

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Lightning Preparations. Empty
PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 8:52 pm

Oh, and the A99 was fine and no damage to any radio, TV and so on.
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SangueG
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 9:04 pm

Can hear some distant rumbles here at the moment, and I know it's not my tummy. Twigs are in the loft, so don't think as much of a concern as those who have high up outside, but still disconnected the radios anyway. A long time ago after a nearby strike a friend found he had lost a receive on the single channel he had left his Stalker IX on afterwards. Don't know how or why that should be, or if it was the result of the lightening or not, but not risking leaving mine plugged in.

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glenn dog
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 9:11 pm

Yes, I unplug when ever I leave the house during Summer time

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glenn dog
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeWed Jun 16, 2021 9:14 pm

There are a few apps these days for Storm tracking, I use 1,works very well, Maxmountainworld on YT gave me the name and link to it.

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Hotel Zulu 253
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitimeThu Jun 17, 2021 4:30 am

What's the app called Glenn? I might have a look.

I had access to a lightning tracking website not long ago that was really good, you could zoom in on the map and pinpoint strikes with great accuracy. That particular website was a subscription set-up.
I was looking for something similar but free only the other night but can't find anything nearly as good... ill keep looking.

My equipment was unplugged a couple of nights ago as we had a lightning storm pass over, to be honest I probably should have unplugged it all many hours earlier.
I might try to get into the habit of unplugging every time I'm finished using it, especially this time of year.
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PostSubject: Re: Lightning Preparations.   Lightning Preparations. Icon_minitime

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