Lightning Arrestor: Need help In Selecting, Please ?

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BOBRR

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Hi,

Hope this is the correct Forum for this; seems to be appropriate ?

I do sw listening only, broadcast band up to vhf/uhf.

Have a 70 foot simple long wire horizontal ant. out back.
Feeds a coax run back into house.

Got to thinking about this a bit, as one end of the ant is held up by a hook eye into a really, really tall tree.

Getting worried about possible lightning strikes, so would like to buy a simple "lightning arrestor" to put in series with the ant.,
most likely where the wire transitions to the coax outside. Also I have a Balun there.

Looked at amazon and i see the brands i remember from many, many years ago:
Alpha Delta, PolyPhase, etc. These all seems to be about $60 or so, which is more than i would like to spend.

Lots of brands I never heard of for around $ 15. Seems correct, as i imagine it is nothing but a gas discharge tube inside.

I know you get what you pay for, as the saying goes, but $60 is a lot for this, unless you advise me strongly that that is the price range
I should/must consider to get one that would actually work, if required.

Again, listening only. Would like a "minimum" insertion loss always, of course.

Anyone have any thoughts on these "cheap" ones ? Anybody using ?

Might you pick out what you feel is a "good" one for me on Amazon; would be most appreciative.
BNC connectors on would be great.

Thanks, for help; appreciated,
Bob
 

mmckenna

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The cheap ones -should- work fine for your application. However, they are cheap Chinese products, so it could totally be a crap-shoot. A reputable manufacturer should be able to provide some specifications for the unit. If they don't, then I'd shy away form them.
That raises the safety aspect of this. Since the lightning arrestor is required by the NEC, and it should help protect your home, I'm not sure saving $45 on a cheap one is something I'd do. But I understand having budget limitations.
But I've never bought one of those cheap ones. I use Polyphasers at work and the cost on something like that really isn't an issue.
There are ways to make air gap supressors, but I'm not sure I'd fully trust one of those. The ARRL handbook has some good info on those.

You do need to install it where the coaxial cable enters the home, so depending where your balun is, it may or may not be a good place for it. Also, making sure you have a ground rod under it to connect to. That ground rod will need to be bonded to the rest of the house system.

And remember, it's not just direct strikes you need to be concerned with. A nearby strike can induce enough energy onto the antenna and/or coaxial cable to do serious damage.
 

mmckenna

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Yup, better to have a good one and not need it than have a cheap one that doesn't do it's job.
 

prcguy

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Its nearly impossible to make an antenna/radio setup lightning proof in a residence, house electrical systems are just not designed or laid out to handle lightning strikes. Its better to know and understand that a direct hit on your antenna, even with a Polyphaser will probably end up destroying your radio and much of the electronics in your house and you should disconnect your antenna lead and place it far away if lightning is eminent.

As mentioned, a properly installed lightning arrestor can and usually will protect from distant strikes which simply induce lots of voltage on a wire antenna that can damage a radio but is otherwise not dangerous to the rest of the house. For proper grounding for a lightning arrestor look up NEC article 810 which will give you the legal code requirements for antenna grounding.
 
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