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Receive Antennas (below 30MHz) - For all topics related to receive antennas used on HF, MW, LW, etc. For transmit antennas use the Amateur Radio Antennas forum.

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Old 11-09-2017, 9:39 PM
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Default Can lightning damage my radio with this setup?

I hacked out a decent shortwave antenna for my AOR 8200 MK3:

I connect a normal telescoping antenna to the BNC port and twist one end of a 20 Gauge copper wire near the top. I run the wire outside my window and twist the other end around my fire escape railing.

If lightning were to hit the railing or the wire directly, could this damage or permanently break the radio? If I were touching the radio during the strike, could I get injured?
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:11 PM
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Yes and Yes.
Even a near strike could damage your radio.
Even a thundercloud overheard could raise the field potential high enough to damage your radio.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:12 PM
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Yes to all. A direct lightning hit will explosively vaporize wire much heavier than 20 gauge, destroy your radio, and likely kill you as well, given the setup you describe.

Google NEC 810 for info on how to ground an antenna properly. You need a dedicated ground rod for the antenna, which should be connected to your electric service ground rod(s) by #6 or heavier wire, as well as a lightning arrestor on the coax where it enters the house. A good grounding job won't completely protect you from a direct hit, but it will prevent static buildup and protect you from near-misses. What you have now will not protect you from anything.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
Yes to all. A direct lightning hit will explosively vaporize wire much heavier than 20 gauge, destroy your radio, and likely kill you as well, given the setup you describe.

Google NEC 810 for info on how to ground an antenna properly. You need a dedicated ground rod for the antenna, which should be connected to your electric service ground rod(s) by #6 or heavier wire, as well as a lightning arrestor on the coax where it enters the house. A good grounding job won't completely protect you from a direct hit, but it will prevent static buildup and protect you from near-misses. What you have now will not protect you from anything.

Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:50 PM
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Stoneridge Engineering - Theory of Operation of the Quarter Shrinker

They use a capacitor bank and a coil of heavy copper wire to shrink quarters. The coil is destroyed in the process. Note that the energy involved, while impressive, is still a small fraction of an actual lightning strike.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonwienke View Post
Stoneridge Engineering - Theory of Operation of the Quarter Shrinker

They use a capacitor bank and a coil of heavy copper wire to shrink quarters. The coil is destroyed in the process. Note that the energy involved, while impressive, is still a small fraction of an actual lightning strike.
Jonwienke! Now see what you have done...

I followed the link, read the information and HAD to buy a shrunken quarter and it non-shrunken mate of Ohio my home state. You cost me $20. Where can I send the bill.


In the spirit of the thread. YES and YES! Never trust lighting to behave!
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:00 AM
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LOL

I just thought it was an interesting demo of the sort of damage a lightning strike can do, on a reduced scale, and how inadequate 20-gauge wire would be protecting against a lightning strike.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:41 AM
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+1 with what's all been posted.
Lightning doesn't care about human rules; it has it's own.
You can follow certain steps to help minimize the dangers of lightning.
When lightning is coming to town, I unplug ever thing; power supply, coax, the whole kit and caboodle.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:20 AM
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I am not an expert on how much energy comes from lightening. However, I have heard that a bolt may contain enough energy to light up an entire city. Thus, as has been said a direct hit or near hit will certainly have enough energy to do significant damage.
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Old 11-16-2017, 7:37 AM
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Another thing to consider is that the AOR may or may not have adequate diode protection inside to protect against static discharges, which can also happen during the winter when the air is dry. I'm guessing it has internal protection, but have no idea whether it does or not. Some radios don't.

Like another poster here said -- any time I use an outdoor antenna, everything gets disconnected any time there's a chance of a lightning storm. Just isn't worth chancing it with lightning.
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