EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

Hi, I'm looking for some suggestions about installing a omni-directional antenna in my attic.  I've sent off my late 7 knob AW23 with two antenna posts for repair, and I'm hoping to have a good antenna in place for it once I get it back.  There is about 4' of clearance at it's highest point.  Because the wire to the radio will have to run down the side of the house, I feel that it would be a good idea to have it insulated to prevent damage from lightning.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Eric

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Lightning doesn't care whether a wire is insulated or not.  Your best protection is to have a lightning arrester (spark gap) between the lowest point of the antenna lead and a wire direct to ground.  Keep the antenna off the radio during electrical storms.

Norman

Thanks Norman.  Is there a company that sells a specialized antenna that I can utilize in my attic? 

Norman S Braithwaite said:

Lightning doesn't care whether a wire is insulated or not.  Your best protection is to have a lightning arrester (spark gap) between the lowest point of the antenna lead and a wire direct to ground.  Keep the antenna off the radio during electrical storms.

Norman

Th roofing material and attic airspace is a negligible barrier to lightning - which has already traveled maybe 1 to 30 miles through the air to what ever it hits.

If you can find one, Scott recommended Vis-O-Glow lightning arrestor. They were clear (plastic or glass) with a little neon bulb between the antenna and ground terminal. I have both a single lead and a twin lead version. When discharging normal static electricity, the neon bulb flickers, and produces no static. Be neat to watch flicker, but it belongs outdoors, not indoors.

But as Norman says, arrange lead-in for placement low with a direct path to a good ground for possible lightning hit travel.

And disconnect the lead-in from all radios when an electrical storm is in the area - maybe with one of the hefty knife switches that look like lab equipment rather than those wimpy knife switches Radio Shake used to carry.

Thanks David for dispelling my notion that a antenna in my attic would be safe from lightning.  I'll keep this in mind when I come up with some type of antenna.  I have I HAM nearby, and perhaps he might have some suggestions about the antenna type......Eric

David:  

Your suggestion to disconnect antenna leads when an electrical storm is nearby is excellent.  I believe the safe thing to do is leave it disconnected, with a convenient way to hook it up when you want to play.

Your antenna *could* be protected, mostly, if it was in the attic, and you had lightning rods on your house. Otherwise, no.

I experience a lightning strike when I was young. It hit our outdoor tower, which had a two-way radio antenna on the top. It travelled into the house, via the coax, and exited out the side of the two-way radio power supply, and into the metal filing cabinet the radio was sitting on. BOOM! A huge hole in the side of the case, and it melted the filing cabinet into the linoleum floor!

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