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Arcing and sparking


#1

They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place. It’s not true!
I’m on the Begwns, GW/MW-025 and I’ve been forced to QRT AGAIN due to an electrical storm causing sparks to jump across my feeder!
You couldn’t make it up …

73, Walt GW3NYY/P


#2

In reply to G3NYY:

Yes it’s been crashing and banging down here on the Severn Vale since about noon,
I’ve been listening for you but you’re way down in the noise on 14Mhz! (we need 7Mhz!)


#3

In reply to G4ISJ:
Hi!
Yes, I had to take the antenna down and put it back up again several times due to recurring storms of electrically charged hail. QRN was very loud at times. Eventually I abandoned the activation as it was just too dangerous. Sorry to those chasers I didn’t work, and thanks for the patience of those I did. Special thanks to W7CNL who chased me from Idaho!
I did work a few G stations on 14 MHz but I agree 7MHz is better for the UK.

73,
Walt (G3NYY/M at Ross on Wye, on the way home)


#4

In reply to G3NYY:

Eventually I abandoned the activation

It might have been prudent to abandon a whole lot earlier. You might not be so lucky next time!

I have one of these:

http://www.weathershop.com/strikealert.htm

…although I seldom remember to bring it!

73

Richard
G3CWI


#5

In reply to G3CWI:

I have one of these:

http://www.weathershop.com/strikealert.htm

…although I seldom remember to bring it!

LOL! That’s a bit like buying a steering lock for your car but always leaving it lying on the back seat. :slight_smile:

That is the second time I’ve activated The Begwns and encountered serious atmospheric static at The Roundabout. The previous occasion was in June last year. What is it with this place???

73,
Walt (G3NYY)


#6

In reply to G3NYY:

you can build one as well see

http://www.techlib.com/electronics/lightning.html

if you add the meter remember to calibrate it

1 Take down mast roll up antenna and pack away radio neatly in bag
2 Take down mast roll up antenna and pack away radio in bag
3 Take down mast roll up antenna and pack away radio
4 Take down mast and put antenna and radio in the bag
5 Take down mast and antenna and throw radio in bag
6 Drop mast and antenna and quickly throw radio in bag
7 Drop mast and antenna and drag down hill quickly with radio
8 Drop mast and antenna pick up Radio and Run away
9 Drop mast leave everything Run away
10 Run away! Run away! Run away!

“10” does not normally require any special equipment as that’s when your hair is standing on end along with a tingling scalp Ive had this once years ago, although those wearing a hat or follicly challenged may still require an advanced warning device


#7

In reply to GM1CMF:

““10” does not normally require any special equipment as that’s when your hair is standing on end along with a tingling scalp Ive had this once years ago, although those wearing a hat or follicly challenged may still require an advanced warning device”

St Elmo’s fire on mast or walking poles might be considered to be a useful clue!

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to G8ADD:

I encountered a similar problem again last week … this time on Win Green near Shaftesbury. I had to drop the mast twice due to charged hail showers. Not enough to cause visible sparks this time, but I did get shocks off the equipment and the static in the receiver was S9. Aside from the personal risk, I am quite concerned by the prospect of static damage to the receiver front end device. Some years ago, I lost the front end transistor in a Lowe HF-225 receiver during a shower of charged rain at home.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)


#9

In reply to G3NYY:

Walt

I can sympathise. Years back, my father G3ZGJ and I (then a teenage SWL) used to operate /P on top band with a 3/4 wave wire under a kite. I used to be in charge of the antenna and still remember the first (and ony) time I drew eight-inch sparks off the end of the wire! Really scarey.

Subsequently we always used an earth spike and a Z-Match tuning unit which provided a DC path to earth at all times. I attached the wire to the ATU before launching the kite, and did not disconnect it until it was safely back on the ground. Even though we operated in all sorts of conditions, neither I nor the EC10 receiver ever came to any harm.

Mike GM0OAA