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Thread: Lightning strike(no damage)

  1. #1
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    MaryB's Avatar
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    Lightning strike(no damage)

    Took a direct hit on one of the ham towers today. Neighbor was looking out her kitchen window and saw a leader coming off it then BANG/FLASH simultaneously. I was sitting at my desk reading because I had all the electronics unplugged and shut down. I was 4' from the ground entrance panel and it RANG at about 150+db. My ears are still ringing from it! My ground system worked and dissipated the energy with no damage to anything I saw with a quick inspection. Tomorrow I have to crank the tower down to 13 feet(it telescopes from 13 to 35'), block it with a 4x4 and inspect all the cables and pulleys for damage... not expecting any because of the #4 solid copper that runs down the tower to the ground system. Bet a bunch of nightcrawlers got fried!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    Did your hair stand up and did you smell ozone?

  3. #3
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    I have been with in 35 feet of a MAJOR strike, and yes.....the hair on my arms actually stood up!!!! Ears rang for 30 minutes. Hit a flagpole. Was totally safe on a covered porch, but the lightning in the AZ mountains can be very spectacular.

    And I DID smell ozone like crazy!

    Glad you are safe!!!!!! As a kid, on the farm in Iowa, my mom remembers a big lightning strike close to the house ran in on the telephone lines, blew the wall-mouned crank phone off the wall, ran down the lines and set the drapes on fire in the kitches. Those were in the days when most farmers did not have lightning rods on their houses....just on the barns!

    Respect Mother Nature.....she does what she wants!!!!!!

    Bangerjim

  4. #4
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    retread's Avatar
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    Glad neither you or your gear was injured Mary. A good grounding system is well worth the time and expense,

  5. #5
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    Mary, glad you and your equipment are no worse for the wear.
    Closest I've ever been to a lightning strike was about 100 yards. Don't feel a need to ever be closer.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms *shall not be infringed*.

    "The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."
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    "While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Mary - glad you and your equipment are O.K. Something like that would have put a few more gray hairs on my head! Three different times in the forty plus years we lived at our old house, lightening stuck the transformer out on the pole by the road (probably 400 feet away) and took out the transformer. Fortunately, we had a "lightening arrestor" on our service box - we lost a TV once but that was it. Glad you're O.K. and hope your tower and wiring is O.K. as well.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Ole Joe Clarke's Avatar
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    Thank God you are ok, I hope all of your electronics were not fried.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I've lived in 2 different trailer houses that took indirect hits. That's close enough for me. I'm glad to hear that you are okay.

  9. #9
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    Glad you are OK. Main thing.

    100yds for me, twice. Once at a gun range when a bolt hit the 100yd berm and second, when a bolt hit neighbors electric fence charger. Guess it was the emp that too out my tv. House sure lit up ,like a spotlight was aimed at it.

  10. #10
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    good on ya for the grounding setup.

    one of the oft overlooked basics.

    i've driven almost as many copper clad grounding rods as fence posts.
    73
    WebMonkey
    Retired 19D
    Psalm 91:9
    Honda 919

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Some years back my house took a strike. I have my tv antenna in the attic hanging from a light gauge tubing nailed to a rafter. The bolt, most bolts are from the ground up the cloud to ground are really destructive, went on each side of the rafter. Looked like a 12 gauge went off on each side. Set the sheaving on fire, had to get the FD to put it out, vaporized the 300 ohm twin lead to 75 ohm co-ax balum transformer. Lost some electronics, blew up the power switch on a power strip and killed a TV that wasn't plugged in but was still attached to the antenna. Oh yes, the Universal City FD nailed a piece of aluminum over the hole for me in the pouring rain, good bunch of guys.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Wow. Has the adrenaline rush from that died off yet? Hoping no gear was found damaged on inspection.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebMonkey View Post
    good on ya for the grounding setup.

    one of the oft overlooked basics.

    i've driven almost as many copper clad grounding rods as fence posts.
    73

    I have 13 in a x shape!

  14. #14
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    No damage found today, the lighting spike on the tower is a little melted on top is all...

    And my ears are still ringing a bit... set off the tinnitus I think...

  15. #15
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    I take the no damage back... looks like the lightning splashed to the old telescope observatory building roof(aluminum frame) then grounded through the telescope pier. I wouldn't have noticed it but I was checking the blueberry bush that survived, the raspberry bush and then when I looked at the rhubarb I notice a bunch of burnt wood laying in it... looked up... edge of the roof panel exploded for about 6" up from the bottom and 3' wide. Looks like someone took a bite out of it! Easy repair, that building is now storage so nothing inside damaged... mot enough to bother with an insurance claim, half a sheet of plywood and fixed...

    The tower ground wires are discolored and the weeds that were touching are brown/burnt so a LOT of energy was dissipated!

    You can see the edge of the aluminum frame inside the moving roof panel, and the middle hinge that WAS bolted to it(no clue where the bolts went! Probably end up in a mower tire!) The plywood skin exploded!

    Last edited by MaryB; 06-12-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Lightning is interesting stuff.

    I've seen it blow the bark completely off a tree and pile it at the base.

    A previous house of mine was located on the high point of an otherwise flat plateau. It was just SLIGHTLY higher than all of the land in every direction. I suffered more lightning damage there than all the other places I lived put together. I was glad to leave when the time came.

    A few times in my life I've been outside in the weather and very close to a strike. It's not a pleasant experience but if you can talk about it later, it's as good as it can be. The sensation is un-nerving to say the least. The flash and shock wave are simultaneous and beyond what you can really explain. On at least two of the occasions I recall hearing a rushing sound before the strike but it happened so fast that I didn't react to it before the event and can only recall it afterwards.
    If I go the rest of my life and never experience that again, I'll be happy.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 06-12-2018 at 11:32 PM.

  17. #17
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    Only been outside near a strike once. Storm chased us off the lake and the lightning was hitting the trees all around us so we huddled under the bait building canopy. Everyone's hair stood on end then the aluminum dock was hit right in front of us... maybe 50 feet away...

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I was sitting in my truck when a lamp post was hit 75 feet away. I'd rather not experience that again.
    A journey of a thousand feet begins with one mis-step at the edge of a cliff.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Lightning? Had some equipment tested at this place a few years back. https://hvpe.osu.edu/ Nobody could be in the building during a test.
    http://www.edisontechcenter.org/Ligh...ppression.html INteresting detais.
    In my earlier days I was on top of Mt Evans when the hair started standing up on my arms. Rocks started 'popping' so I left immediately. Not many large rocks on that 'flat-topped' mountain.
    Whatever!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    Co-worker and I had ducked inside an open bay door overhang when it started raining. Were standing there waiting for it to subside a bit and b/s-ing when we got the weird hairs on end feeling and ozone smell. Had just enough time to look at each other and think what the heck before there was a strike on a metal structure just outside of the building.

    Had it hit trees close enough to knock out our in-ground pet fence at home and outside pole barn light twice. The latest fence controller has a breaker for the power and boundary wires. The barn hasn't been hit as far as I know, usually it's one of the old oaks in the front yard. The in-ground fence I get, but I don't know why it knocks out the barn light. It was the photo eye once and the transformer another time. Put an LED barn light in last time two years ago.

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