Ham Radio lightning protection

December 6, 2023
Tower base and lightning
There is nothing inside these devices that will stop lightning or even just static from a nearby hit, from getting to your radio. The purchase of any of these devices is like throwing your money into the trash can.

DO NOT buy one of these products thinking that it will protect your expensive radio equipment from lightning or near miss lightning hits. They will not protect your equipment. Some of these devices have a gas filled pellet that is supposed to absorb the static electricity. Sorry but they can not stop lightning. They do not work.

Don't misunderstand my intentions with my uncomplimentary words about Lightning protectors. I am not saying they are bad products. I am just saying that they will not protect your equipment from lightning, as they have no internal circuitry that can prevent lightning form getting to your radio. But they work great as a connector point for grounding your antenna coax. Grounding your antenna is a good thing and should be done by all radio operators. But you could save a lot of money by grounding your system using simpler means.

(As in Fig 1 at left)-> If you stripped a couple of inches of the black jacket from your coax, wrapped a copper wire around the exposed copper shield, then connected the wire to a ground rod in the earth, you would have the exact same protection as any of the above pictured consumer devices can do, and the cost is zero $$$. Just remember use a couple of small hose clamps on the wire around the exposed shield for a more soild connection, and use silicone gel to seal the exposed shield area well against weather or water getting into the coax.

(As in Fig 2 at left)-> Or, you could cut your coax, put PL-259 connectors on the 2 cut ends, then connected them together with a UHF female to female coupler, you would have the same thing as pictured above. A ground wire could be wrapped around the coupler and grounded to a earth ground rod. Again, the exact same thing at the cost of 2 PL-259's and a barrel coupler.

Source: www.k3dav.com
Lightning Protection Systems Video by Nott Ltd
Lightning Protection Systems Video by Nott Ltd
Lightning Protection
Lightning Protection

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