Outdoor antenna set ups and lightning

MountainMoose

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
Messages
24
Location
El Paso County Co
Just wondering how many have discone or other antennas outdoors and what if any lightning precaution measures are taken?
I'm thinking about putting my new discone on our 2nd level deck/patio and just want to make sure it's not going to be a lightning rod!
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
16,596
Location
From the land of sky blue waters!
I have one at home and one at work. Polyphasers on both of them.

It's required by the NEC.
It won't protect from a direct strike, but it can help protect things from a burst of induced energy from a nearby strike. Putting any metal up in the air risks it becoming a lightning rod. No realistic way around that. Surviving a direct strike is unlikely for a residential application, the grounding/building design just isn't there. But the bigger risk is the nearby strikes, and that is something you can manage.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,649
This is something I need to start taking seriously! So far all my antennas have been indoors in my home office so no worries about lightning. That's going to change this fall as I plan on putting a few on 10' mast on top of a two story home. Today S.E. Michigan (Macomb County) came under attack from a violent storm with lots of lightning, much more than usual! I'm assuming you're all installing these protection devices outside the home prior to the coax entering the home?
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
16,596
Location
From the land of sky blue waters!
I'm assuming you're all installing these protection devices outside the home prior to the coax entering the home?
Depends on the specific install, but we usually have them indoors right where the cable enters, attached to a copper buss bar, similar to what Viking1 shows. That bar is usually mounted on the wall and attached into the grounding network.

We don't get a lot of lightning around here, but it does happen. When it happens, it can be weird. Last time it happened at work, it energized an underground telephone cable and blew out a terminal server (back in the olden' days) back at our main network hub.
Lightning doesn't play nice, and it laughs at mans attempt to control it. Best thing you can do is follow the NEC.
 

Viking1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
14
Location
Neither here nor there
This is something I need to start taking seriously! So far all my antennas have been indoors in my home office so no worries about lightning. That's going to change this fall as I plan on putting a few on 10' mast on top of a two story home. Today S.E. Michigan (Macomb County) came under attack from a violent storm with lots of lightning, much more than usual! I'm assuming you're all installing these protection devices outside the home prior to the coax entering the home?
installed at the entrance tied to a ground bar and ground rod, also have another set behind the desk tied to the desk ground wire that's tied to the outside rod. Outside the house there is a 8ft ground rod every 12ft to the other side of the house where its tied into the main ground. You want the potential to rise and fall equally, if one side has a higher potential than the other during a strike, you have major issues. (the desk ground can be disconnected and outside antennas switched to ground and disconnected at the entrance for further protection.)

Motorola R56
 

MountainMoose

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2014
Messages
24
Location
El Paso County Co
I'm thinking I'll go with an attic install. I'm in Colorado and in. Very lightning prone area. The attic install seems a bit easier and out of site as well. Will probably still ground it though.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
16,596
Location
From the land of sky blue waters!
Putting the antenna in the attic won't do anything to prevent a lightning strike. The roof won't protect it, unless it's metal, and then that will impact reception.
It won't require grounding/protectors per the NEC, but it's still a good idea.

A direct lightning strike isn't the only concern. Even a nearby lightning strike and induce a lot of energy into nearby conductive objects, like an antenna sitting in the attic.
 
Top