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Author Topic: possible eletrical and antenna problems or no?  (Read 1913 times)

Posts: 10

« on: May 03, 2012, 04:31:31 PM »


I have some questions. Related to taking a lightning strike in 2007.

I currently have no, radio capabilities. I do have a Comet GP9 on a 40ft Television tower, but no radio. However back in November 2007 I had a Yaesu FT100D with the accompanying Power Supply and Tuner that both matched. there was a slight /chance of very light storms that day and it turned out to be a /much/ worse storm than intended. I ended up with no working FT100d, and my computer's modem at that time got hit too,both were on opposite ends of the house, approx. 60 ft apart, they were the only things that got hit, but I was not home at the time, neither was anyone else. I am currently looking to at least get a 2m mobile possibly dual band mobile and hopefully soon a HF radio and a hf antenna up.
Howerver my question is. Would it be safe to have another mobile run on the GP-9 and as the outlet that the power strip was plugged into, hasn't been replaced would it be alright to run things out of the same outlet? Also would the lighting strike have any affect on the SWR of the GP9? I know that I should check the SWR and even voltage on the outlet out but I cannot afford a MFJ 269 or something similar, or a multimeter to use only a few times.

Posts: 6252

« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 04:52:49 PM »

If I were you, I would check the grounding of your electrical panel.  Make sure that the ground rod is good and that the connection from that to the electrical panel is also good.  At the same time, check the grounding of your telephone/cable feeds.  Both should be grounded, possibly to the same ground as your electrical panel.  Most of the time, those ground leads are connected to a water pipe or the ground cable below the panel.  If the connection to the ground rod is bad or non-existent, those grounds will be useless--or may even redirect a surge into your house wiring.

If you don't know how to check that, I'm sure that a ham in your area could do it for you, or it would be well worth it to have an experienced electrician do it.  That would cost far less than the damages that you may suffer in the future from another lightning induced power surge.

Added--Also, by all means, be sure that your shack antenna system has an adaquate grounding system to drain static charges, and if it a separate grounding system, tie it together with--bond it to--the house electrical ground.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 04:56:53 PM by K1CJS » Logged

Posts: 1054

« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »

Take K1CJS's advice about the electrical panel. You might also consider having the electrician put in a surge protector at the entrance panel.

Since you suspect a bolt of lightning may have hit the antenna, I would definitely take it down for a visual and electrical inspection, and an inspection of the coax as well.  I've seen lightning-struck coax that looks fine at the base, but had the shield vaporized at the antenna end!  Since the antenna has been up close to five years or more, it is probably overdue an inspection anyway (you know, clean the connections, check the hardware, replace the coax if necessary, and check the weatherproofing seals).

Harbor Freight has a simple digital multimeter, usually on sale for $3 or $4, that shouldn't break the bank.  It will help you verify continuity in your coax and antenna. GL

Posts: 2808

« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 09:34:29 AM »

Most ham clubs have somebody who owns an antenna analyzer, and is willing to share it.   Join a local club, and see if someone will let you borrow one, or visit your shack.

+1 to the idea that, if you suspect a lightning hit, you really should inspect the antenna.  That's "just common sense", but it needs to be said anyway.

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