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Author Topic: Unplug from power  (Read 481 times)
KC5SZUHAM
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Posts: 25




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« on: March 10, 2008, 09:16:09 PM »

Got one for you, I have a good surge protector in the shack to take care of any surges etc but is it realy needed to unplug my supply on my rig which is a Astron when I am finished for the day? I leave my pc etc plugged in to a good protector also and I unplug my dipole for sure. Thanks for your input. 73s KC5SZU
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1563




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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 10:12:07 PM »


Some food for thought: An average lightning hit has several THOUSAND amperes of current...at several million volts. It has just come through a MILE of air...  How large a conductor do you think it will take to have a decent chance of handling and guiding MEGA-watts of energy harmlessly to ground??!

Answer:  LARGE cables and an extensive ground system.

Unplugging can help a little if you get hit, but the only REAL protection is in a serious protection system.
A major hit will go though a protector like it isn't there and START looking for ground via your house wiring, water pipes, telephone, cable TV, etc. The lightning energy WILL find ground....the only question is how? A good system makes it easy for the energy to find what it wants...a low resistance path to ground.

If you live in a high lightning area, it will be more than worth your effort to dig into the details of a good protection set up. There are a TON of comments, suggestions and stories about lightning protection here on eHam in the archives. Well worth your time to research it.

The real question is how much money are you willing to bet that lightning will NOT strike you system and house?

You have a good start and are aware of the need, which is commendable. Do a little more digging on the subject; you will be glad you did when those boomers start shaking the neighborhood!

73,  K0ZN
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1563




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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 10:18:52 PM »


Follow up comment:

"... I unplug my dipole for sure..."

You didn't say, but you absolutely MUST ground the antenna and coax to a GOOD ground. I am assuming you do....because to leave it "floating" (un-grounded) is an invitation to a disaster.

The ARRL Handbook (about any reasonably new one) will have info on grounding. There are also other good publications, such as from PolyPhaser, etc.

Good luck.  73,  K0ZN
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TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 01:48:56 AM »

At the end of the day:

1) Unplug everything from the 120v/220v mains supply. Turning off at the main switch is NOT sufficient.

2) Disconnect incoming antenna feeders. If you have all your feeders connected into a switch you could probably get away with just disconnecting the switch. Some say you should ground this connection, opinion differs and I'm no expert.

Tanakasan

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K9KJM
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Posts: 2415




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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2008, 02:28:18 AM »

Lacking a properly designed protection system, The safe way is to unplug AND GROUND your antennas.

It is some effort to install a good lightning protection system, But well worth the effort.
For  some good information:

http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground0.htm
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2008, 03:29:42 AM »

Some say you should ground this connection, opinion differs


Nope, the consensus is a consensus.  Read up on the subject as noted.
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 5558




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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2008, 04:18:49 AM »

Ask yourself the question, "what are you trying to protect, and what are you trying to protect it from?"
Then, read up on lightning, surge protectors, grounding, etc... and decide the best methods that apply to your situation.
Not everyone can keep their eqpt in a double-Faraday shield, but protecting from the most obvious dangers is prudent!
73s.

-Mike.
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W8JI
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 05:05:17 AM »

Lacking a proper grounding and entrance system I wouuld always unplug. I would always disconnect the antenna from the equipment.

The cable shield should be permanently grounded outside the house. That ground MUST be tied to the mains entrance ground. Always.

If you do not have a proper outside ground for the cable entrance then the only safe thing to do is disconnect the cable and get it away from the house. Whether you ground it or not makes little difference once it is away from the house.

If you have a poor ground or an improper ground, like a rod outside the shack that is not bonded to the mains ground, then you can actually do harm by grounding the antenna.
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KB3FFH
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 05:12:25 AM »

The best protection is to unplug the power supply from the wall. Just having it turned off will not work. I had my antenna disconnected but power supply still pluged in and took a lighting hit. It went thru the power supply and thru 2 radio's and an auto tuner, all turned off. Unplug everything or do what ever you can afford.73 Bill
 
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W5FYI
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Posts: 1046




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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2008, 06:51:41 AM »

I unplug all equipment from the wall--radio, computer, wireless router, etc, whenever there's an approaching storm. (I leave the TV plugged in to watch the weather-guessers and radar. Besides, I'll need to get a new TV by next February anyway).

In addition to Alpha-Delta's web information, check the good stuff at www.iceradioproducts.com.

FYI, Stew
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W8JI
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 12:14:02 AM »

Removing the antenna does little to protect the equipment that is plugged into power mains if the power mains ground is not bonded to the shack ground.

As a matter of fact adding a ground rod that is NOT bonded to the power mains ground and connecting it to the gear in the house actually INCREASES the chance of damage. Many people miss that point.

73 Tom
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K5ZJQ
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2008, 04:52:33 AM »

Several questions, as I am new to grounding...

1) How important is it to tie your ground into your house mains? Could the same results be obtained by creating multiple ground points, instead? (such as a daisy chain)

2) Does your RF ground have to be separate from the lightning ground (for lack of a better way to describe it)?

I apologize for any head-slapping and asking yourselves, "Does this moron not have a clue?" which may occur...

:-)


73,

Thom - K5ZJQ
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 05:55:51 AM »

1) How important is it to tie your ground into your house mains?


It's REALLY REALLY REALLY important; maybe THE most important part of a properly designed and installed grounding system.  Read up on past posts for mucho discussion on the reasons for this bonding.



Could the same results be obtained by creating multiple ground points, instead? (such as a daisy chain)


Sure, as long as the grounds are all bonded together; there is not such thing as overgrounding but not having all the elements of a proper grounding system can be catastrophic.

2) Does your RF ground have to be separate from the lightning ground (for lack of a better way to describe it)?

Do you understand the differences between an RF ground and lightning/safety ground?  Yes they can be separate and one is usually not a substitute for the other.
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K5ZJQ
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2008, 06:13:07 AM »

Thanks for the input. I have a not-very-good understanding of the difference between a RF ground and an electrical ground. Could you elaborate? Thanks a lot!

73,

Thom
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