N4YEK, it is obvious that you haven't had much time to look into lightning protection, study grounding,
consult with you home owners insurance company, look through the NEC on grounding and had to
replace any equipment damaged by poor practices in grounding. You can withstand a direct hit
from lightning, but you have to have done your homework and put a number of things into place. I
might even say that you may not have even learned the basics of electronics from you comment.
Being a ham radio operator, you at least had to memorize a few things about radios and electronics
to get your license. Working at water treatment plants, you should have seen some sort of
protection used at those facilities.
With that said, how do you think the normal TV and radio station survive? You haven't been
watching a local TV station during a storm before. See the signal go away and come right back on.
Yup their tower took a hit. The measures they have taken, protected them from any significant
Look at your cell phone carrier. Do you think they could survive long if their towers didn't survive
taking hit? I use to design and build cell sites for a living. We took careful steps to insure that
the facilities could take a hit and continue working. There was no one thing we did that was the
HOLY GRAIL. There were a number of things like a good ground system around the site that
both the tower and shelter were connected to. The coax cables were grounded at the top of the
tower and at the bottom of the tower. There was a right angle bend in the cable before it went to
the shelter. There was additional grounding on the coax cable as it entered the shelter. Inside
the shelter, there was a surge protector on each cable that went to a common ground bar that
was connected to the ground system at the site. The power panel for the shelter had a surge
protector on it. The telco lines entering the shelter had surge protectors on each pair.
As you can see, a number of steps are taken to ensure the ability to have a chance to survive
a lightning strike. I have been in a vehicle near a tower that took a direct strike as I was watching.
The tower steel actually steamed in the rain from the heat of the high current going through it
to ground. I went inside and everything was playing just fine.
You can do as little as you feel you should or you can take the advice of a number of people
on the chat group here. This topic comes up fairly often. it's not my house or my radio
equipment, so I don't care what you do or feel.
By the way, I too am a ham and have been one since the early 60's. At least I don't go around
giving poor advice to those that are asking for help or need information.
Originally Posted by n4yek
Grounding the coax would not give you any more protection that you already have since you antenna mast is grounded. If lightning hits you directly, no amount of grounding will save you anyway. Just to be safe, during strong storms, just unplug the coax. Thats what I do.
Have a nice Day.