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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an antenna attached to a very long pole which is bolted to my pool screen and going way up into the trees to get my ota hd signals. Ever since I put it up lightning is striking the back yard every time there is a thunderstorm (10 times at least). I have not gotten any equipment damage yet but I am thinking about taking it down and finding another solution. I sit in my living room very nervous as I hear the snaps and the kaboom just outside my window. Sometimes I have to go sit in the bedroom for fear of the lightning crawling into the house.


Does anyone have any issues similar to this?
 

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Is the pole grounded? If it's not you should probably think about doing it..SOON! Lightning can fry everything connected to the object that it hits if it's not properly grounded. If you are grounded and still nervous there are lightning arrestor products that you can put on the top of the pole that basically catch the charge and direct it to ground better. They look like big wire pom poms.


Good Luck

EAS
 

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Hi roomy101,


Having the antenna mast and coax grounded is required per NEC. Grounding however won't prevent damage from to a direct lightning strike.


The sheer energy of a lightning bolt could glassify the soil the ground is pounded into and melt/damage everything tied to it including all the electrical wires and appliances in the house.


You're a lot braver than most since most would have taken the antenna down with the frequency of strikes you're getting.


Are you at the top of a hill or the highest point in your area?

Thanks,

Errol


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Hill? In South Florida? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif They have to dump a load of sand in the schoolyard so kids here can see what a hill looks like!


Ground the mast to 20 ft. of copper rod pushed straight into the ground and make sure your homeowner's insurance is paid up.


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HiDefDave
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The pole is attached directly to the aluminum frame of the pool screen. Since the frame of the screen is bolted to the ground doesn't it mean that the pole is grounded too?
 

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I'd just like to reiterate a point made by kealii....


Grounding your antenna will not prevent damage from a direct strike. In fact, grounding the antenna and coax turns the assembly into a lightning rod that repels lightning. Here is an oustanding article that tells you everything you need to know about grounding, I highly recommend (indeed, I strongly urge) you to read it.
http://www.dbsforums.com/reviews/tech1_5.html


Tim


PS -- if that recommendation was not enough, here's a quote from the article to whet your appetite...


"Grounding your dish structure alone (without a properly designed and installed lightning rod system) is worse than not grounding it at all. It will result in the ENTIRE lightning strike being dissipated through the dish, which is guaranteed to fry your LNB."




[This message has been edited by thollida (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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Romy is talking about an OTA antenna rather than a dish but the same rules apply. Ground the mast, and since we both live in the Lightning Capital of North America, Florida, do what I do and disconnect the antenna coax and power cords and shut everything down during closeby lightning events. I get the "Frankenstein's Castle" treatment several times a year here in Lake Worth! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Your mast is NOT grounded just because its attached to a pool screen that's in turn attached to a concrete foundation.


Here's what the oldtimer South Florida broadcast engineers that I work with advise: the soil here along the coast is pure white sand...just dig a hole 1 foot deep in your yard and that's what you'll get down there. Sand is a semiconductor...not a very good ground. That's why you need to get the kind of copper grounding rods that screw together in sections and get a total of about 20 feet down there. Attach it to your mast, following the NEC recommendations cited above. And as I said, unplug everything from the wall and from the coax when you get nearby strikes.


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HiDefDave




[This message has been edited by David McRoy (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by romy101:
lightning is striking the back yard every time there is a thunderstorm (10 times at least)... I sit in my living room very nervous as I hear the snaps and the kaboom just outside my window.
omg! you got some balls! video tape that stuff and send me a copy. that is awesome.


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Danger! Danger! Danger!
 

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ADebar,


Yep, it's pretty cool. There are guys with the NOAA who come down here in the Summer, check their wife and kids into oceanfront hotels, and spend all their time during thunderstorms in their hotel rooms while the wife and kids are at the malls...just looking at the 30,000 ft. anvil-top clouds form. We don't have any hills, let alone mountains here, but the cloud formations are awesome and the "lightning events," as meteorologists call them, are World Class. Of course living here year round as I do has its downsides...91 degrees F, 86% humidity, and, once in Blue Moon, 140 mph winds! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif That's why I always vacation in the mountains or in Europe in September!


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HiDefDave


[This message has been edited by David McRoy (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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romy101,


You've got some very good advice going here.I might also add that Lightning hates to go in circles,so do 3-4 turns of coax at the base of your mast,next to the ground.Also ,if you haven't aready,ground the coax right before it goes into the house using a grounding block and another good ground rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I will certainly ground everything now. I suppose that grounding does not make the pole any let resistant to being hit so I will still sit in my room nervous. I have about 60 cypress trees in my back yard very close to the house and pool area. When it strikes I hear the zapping or cracking sound (kind of like when you touch two live electrical wires together) close to the house and a wail of thunder. It is very frightening even for a guy like me who isn't scared of much.


Is there an alternate indoor solution? I would hate to fry all my gear.
 

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