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Lightning Arrestors



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Sometimes, yes.

They need to be properly installed, the rest of the site equipment needs to be properly grounded/bonded and protected. They are not magic. If you don't do the rest of the job right, tossing in a Polyphaser is just a waste of money.

If you pay attention to the rest of the job, install the surge protection properly, you will reduce your chances of damage to something closer to zero.

Search up the Motorola R56 standard. There might even be a video or two on it. It's a heavy read, but you will find out what you need to know to do it right.

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2 hours ago, AdmiralCochrane said:

WOW!  That should be labeled "The BIG Motorola manual" 

Yes, that is 'the book' on doing it right!

That said, NOTHING can guarantee 100% protection from lightening other than perhaps throwing the coax out the window during a storm.  However...

Lightening and damaging static buildup can occur anytime and under any conditions which is why proper suppression and grounding is a must do if you like your equipment. 

Just having wind blowing over ones antenna, for example, can generate a static charge/build-up.  In some cases, large enough to knock you on your ass.  Image what such a charge would do to your equipment!  The list of possibilities is long when it comes to noise, static discharge, and lightening.

The R56 manual was written as a standard for commercial systems. As such, some of the topics will seem expensive, difficult, and/pr impractical to implement for non-commercial operators. 

Still, one should strive to get as close to what is recommended for their own system. 

For example, something as simple as bleeding off static buildup in an antenna system alone, typically improves receiver performance.

If nothing else, the R56 is an incredible reference that should be read.

Just my opinion.


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Here's the latest (2017) Motorola R56 guidelines : https://wiki.w9cr.net/images/4/4a/68P81089E50-C_Standards_and_Guidelines_for_Communication_Sites_R56.pdf

And to answer the OP question "Do arresters work?" yes, but how and why they work is largely misunderstood. Here's a short description for the lay person : https://noji.com/hamradio/pdf-ppt/noji/Noji-Article-Lightning-Arrester.pdf

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58 minutes ago, Lscott said:

Oh, you don't need to experience a direct strike to suffer damage. A near strike can do damage as well from the EMP generated.

That’s much more likely as well, but the measures described in R56 and the Reeve presentation that I occasionally post protect against that as well. . 

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