Lightning Protection


Sep 11, 2023
Hello All,

In this diagram, does the camera mounted to the communications shelter need lightning protection, or does the tower provide a cone of protection as would a building?Comm Tower, Shelter Sketch.png


Jun 30, 2006
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
A communications shelter should have an elaborate ground system with ground ring around the tower and shelter bonded together. A well designed system can survive direct lightning hits with only damage to the antennas and a tall tower will have a cone of protection to some extent for things below it. However, lightning will go where it wants and if the camera gets hit it could not only wipe out the camera and whatever its connected to, it can bring lots of HV inside the shelter putting other things at risk. I think the camera should have lightning protection to help bypass a strike to ground and to keep all its conductors at the same ground potential as the tower and shelter grounds ring.

I like to mention a friend of mine who was reloading shells near a window in the basement of his two story house in Green Mountain Falls, CO and was hit in the chest by lightning. He survived but was partially paralyzed. Your camera looks like a sitting duck in comparison.


Premium Subscriber
Aug 17, 2010
EVERYTHING metal needs to be tied to the ground system. got a metal desk or filing cabinet in the shelter, got to tie it back. otherwise a strike can induce current thru it to the floor and anything nearby. so yes, that camera system needs to be fully protected as well.

i recently had a router blown up that was inside a metal cabinet mounted to a metal h frame with all devices tied back to the ground bar on the frame. problem was the buss bar had a broken ground to the ring so it was at a SLIGHTLY different potential than the rest of the site. this frame was 6 ft tall, a few feet outside a 8 foot bonded fence, under a 180 foot tower less than 40 feet away.