[amsat-bb] Static Discharge Protection - location

Alan ve4yz at mts.net
Sat Sep 13 19:35:19 PDT 2008

Where do you suggest mounting discharge units such as the Diamond CA-23RS
- on the mast between the antenna and preamps? and grounded to the mast
which is well grounded?
- on the mast below the preamps and before the feedline enters your
house/shack etc?
- at the radio in the house or shack?  
- grounded to your service panel ground cable or grounded to the outside
where your tower is grounded to something like I use - a copper rod driven 5
or 6 feet into moist salty soil.
Knock on wood - I've never had an issue with static discharge that emanated
from the antenna that has effected any radio or other equipment. Antennas
and mast/tower are well grounded to earth outside my house and not to any
inside cold water pipe.  I ground my radio chassis ground lug to a copper
cable run to my electrical panel's ground cable.  All the 120 VAC is 3 wire
and grounded to the same electrical panel grounding.
I support there could be a potential between the service panel ground and
the ground for my mast, but, I've never bothered to check this.
I am slightly amused that these units are referred to by the various
manufactures as lighting protection or surge suppressors.  Lighting runs
down the outside of  a conductor.  However, I can see an antenna building up
a charge with wind or if my neighbour got a direct hit by lightning I house
probably get some residual EMP.  I suppose the discharge created by
shuffling across a carpet in socks with low humidity and touching a wall
switch could be call lighting of a few orders of magnitude less than what is
commonly understood a lightning.
Am I over thinking all this grounding and static discharge stuff and
unnecessarily worrying about which ground to use.  If I get a direct hit
with lightning, all bets are off.
Thanks all...
73, Alan VE4YZ

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