VE6/RA-012 - Snap - Crackle - Pop!

I can categorically confirm that CFRP poles conduct static electricity as does wire for EFHW antenna.

My plan today was to ride/hike/carry my mountain bike up Jumpingpound Mountain VE6/RA-012 +7300ft and Cox Hill VE6/RA-017+7100ft.

This requires some 3000ft of ascent and 25miles (40km) of riding. Although hot +30ºC (low 90sºF) I did arrive at Jumpingpound peak with plenty of time to setup.

I have been experimenting with an End Fed Half Wave (EFHW) inverted L antenna with a Hendricks Matchbox for 20m using x2 7m long Carbon Fibre poles (CFRP) as support. As I was laying out my antenna wire I noticed my fingers were tingling, but I dismissed this as phantom pain from the hard climb. Furthermore I thought I could hear a crackling sound and buzz as I pushed up the sections of the CFRP pole.

I dismissed this empirical evidence and continued with setting up the other end of my EFHW inverted L, but as I lifted the 2nd pole in the air there was a jolt and reflex release as I was shocked. This was not a lightning strike but buildup of static electricity. However it was enough for me to drop everything and gingerly take down all my gear and beat a hasty retreat to the comparative safety of a nearby forest.

It is true that there was thunderstorm activity going on around me but enthusiasm for a SOTA activation made me ignore the obvious….Oh well another successful summit without activation.