Author Topic: Lightning  (Read 3968 times)

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Offline VaWx

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Lightning
« on: March 14, 2013, 12:40:56 AM »
I have my Davis VP2 mounted on a galvanized steel pole that's about 20ft high in the middle of my yard (Anemometer at the top, ISS about 5ft off the ground). I dug down between 2-3 feet down to get a solid mount for it. It's out in the open with very little trees around and I'm worried about lightning this coming spring/summer. Is there any better way to ground it, or will I need to pray during everything thunderstorm that it doesn't get fried? Any advice is appreciated.  :grin:

Offline Scalphunter

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 02:27:29 AM »
run welding cable to it and ground. There is not much you can do for it if itis an direct hit. An preventive measure one can do it keep the static  charge  from building up on it  with #4 copper wire and 8 ft ground stake. If your not wireless there are some devices you can install to redirect the strike to ground.

John


Offline dalecoy

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 10:00:48 AM »
How is it mounted?  [You said you dug down, but.... what then?]  If it's essentially in contact with the ground, then I don't understand why Scalphunter's suggestions would help very much.

And exactly what are you worried about?  If lightning strikes the pole (or nearby), it's likely to blow out the VP2 electronics.  Not much you can do about that.

Offline VaWx

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 10:38:18 AM »
How is it mounted?  [You said you dug down, but.... what then?]  If it's essentially in contact with the ground, then I don't understand why Scalphunter's suggestions would help very much.

And exactly what are you worried about?  If lightning strikes the pole (or nearby), it's likely to blow out the VP2 electronics.  Not much you can do about that.

That there is exactly what I'm worried about. I was just curious to know if there were any preventive measures I could take to reduce my chances of that happening.

Offline George Richardson

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 11:35:34 AM »
"I was just curious to know if there were any preventive measures I could take to reduce my chances of that happening."     No  . . . but the placement of your weather station is not going to appreciably increase the likelihood that lighting will strike that location in your yard.

JMO

George

Offline VaWx

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 12:16:42 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I may invest in the wireless anemometer option when I get the chance and mount it on the roof of my house. There's already a solid, thick piece of PVC pipe up there from my other weather station that used to be mounted there. This would reduce the height of the pole in my yard (they can be unscrewed since it's threaded) and just keep the ISS in its current position.

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 12:17:40 PM »
How is it mounted?  [You said you dug down, but.... what then?]  If it's essentially in contact with the ground, then I don't understand why Scalphunter's suggestions would help very much.

And exactly what are you worried about?  If lightning strikes the pole (or nearby), it's likely to blow out the VP2 electronics.  Not much you can do about that.

That there is exactly what I'm worried about. I was just curious to know if there were any preventive measures I could take to reduce my chances of that happening.

Of what happening?  

But whichever thing you are talking about, the answer is probably no.  And reducing the height of the pipe won't change much, either.

...and you didn't answer the other question, either.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 12:20:08 PM by dalecoy »

Offline VaWx

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 12:41:31 PM »
How is it mounted?  [You said you dug down, but.... what then?]  If it's essentially in contact with the ground, then I don't understand why Scalphunter's suggestions would help very much.

And exactly what are you worried about?  If lightning strikes the pole (or nearby), it's likely to blow out the VP2 electronics.  Not much you can do about that.

That there is exactly what I'm worried about. I was just curious to know if there were any preventive measures I could take to reduce my chances of that happening.

Of what happening?  

But whichever thing you are talking about, the answer is probably no.  And reducing the height of the pipe won't change much, either.

...and you didn't answer the other question, either.

1) "How is it mounted?" It's on a big pole in the yard that's stuck in the ground. That's it. ISS at 6ft, anemometer at 20ft. I had limited options at the time I mounted it. There were multiple trees around that have since been cut down.

2) "Of what happening?" I bolded the part in your quote I was referring to. "If lightning strikes the pole (or nearby), it's likely to blow out the VP2 electronics"

Offline smorris

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 01:38:16 PM »
I think what dalecoy was getting at, is that your ISS will be fried if lightning strikes whether it is grounded or not. Same with the anemometer. Some of us ground rooftop units, some don't. The electronics will be toast whether it is grounded or not.

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Offline VaWx

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 01:51:27 PM »
I think what dalecoy was getting at, is that your ISS will be fried if lightning strikes whether it is grounded or not. Same with the anemometer. Some of us ground rooftop units, some don't. The electronics will be toast whether it is grounded or not.

Steve
Thanks for the reply, smorris. That's sort of the answer I was looking for and clears things up. The reason I started  this thread was to find out if there was anyway to reduce chances, but it doesn't look like there's much way to help reduce chances as a thought there would be.

Offline dalecoy

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 02:32:36 PM »

1) "How is it mounted?" It's on a big pole in the yard that's stuck in the ground. That's it. ISS at 6ft, anemometer at 20ft. I had limited options at the time I mounted it. There were multiple trees around that have since been cut down.


OK.  So, the pole is well grounded.  The additional measures that Scalphunter described would not provide significant additional grounding.  What you have done is OK.

But if lightning strikes (even close by - say 100 or 200 ft.), your ISS transmitter is probably toast.  Likewise for some electronics in your house, etc.  It's just a fact of life - and sticking a metal pole in the ground won't change the equation very much.

Offline VaWx

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 04:35:26 PM »

1) "How is it mounted?" It's on a big pole in the yard that's stuck in the ground. That's it. ISS at 6ft, anemometer at 20ft. I had limited options at the time I mounted it. There were multiple trees around that have since been cut down.


OK.  So, the pole is well grounded.  The additional measures that Scalphunter described would not provide significant additional grounding.  What you have done is OK.

But if lightning strikes (even close by - say 100 or 200 ft.), your ISS transmitter is probably toast.  Likewise for some electronics in your house, etc.  It's just a fact of life - and sticking a metal pole in the ground won't change the equation very much.

Thanks. That definitely clears things up a bit more as well. So in other words, we're all at risk of having our stations fried. :sad:

Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 04:57:31 PM »
Thanks. That definitely clears things up a bit more as well. So in other words, we're all at risk of having our stations fried. :sad:
...yep, we're all basically just waiting for Mother Nature and/or Thor to randomly hurl a thunderbolt at our WX-station and lightup the night (wink,wink)!

It's all about the "probability" of being struck by lightning.
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Offline sbuckler

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 06:09:27 PM »
I had a nearby lightning strike about 25' from my house.  The bolt hit a pine tree, blew apart a bird house on it, tore a trench about 8" deep in the ground and entered my koi pond (fish survived), blew apart the pond pump and wire, fried all my electronics in the house and actually exploded a neighbors tv and he's 300' away.  Moral of the story, keep your homeowners insurance up to date!

Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 06:27:32 PM »
A few years back, lightning hit one-branch of the tree in our front yard, killing that half of the tree. The same strike "fried" both our telephone "fuses" (yes Ma'Bell uses them) and the modem in my computer. Luckily the computer survived, but the modem suffered a couple crispy/black IC chips and -- obviously -- no longer funtioned.

Eventually, the live half of the tree weighed more than the dead half and the tree literally fell over during one of our summer monsoon rains (must've fried the roots too).
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Offline JohnN

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2013, 07:29:08 PM »
During the summer, my auto teacher's house. I thing he needed to replace some electronic devices and put up some new sheetrock. Thankfully it spared his '63 Corvette.
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Offline Skywatch

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 12:23:27 AM »
I've always been a bit curious about this too. I've got my station 27' and installed 2' in a concrete foundation. 2 of the guy wires holding it are attached to steel fence posts also using concrete. The 3rd guy wire is attached to a metal pipe driven into the ground a few feet or so. The station is grounded at the base but the grounding rod only goes down about a foot.

Also I've got 120 volt power supply running to the station to power a lamp in case I have to work on it at night. The supply also powers my weather cam through an AC adapter.

Lets say lightning hits 100-300' away give or take. Does it make a difference whether or not the station is installed in concrete?

I know this maybe a stupid question but when it comes to lightning and grounding I'm clueless.
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Offline dalecoy

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 12:38:55 AM »

Lets say lightning hits 100-300' away give or take. Does it make a difference whether or not the station is installed in concrete?


No.  [At least with the usual methods of installation]

Offline C5250

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 12:52:10 AM »
But if lightning strikes (even close by - say 100 or 200 ft.), your ISS transmitter is probably toast.

Presuming a wireless ISS, this in fact unlikely. Damage is only likely if there is a potential path to ground through the ISS, its connecting cables or support structure.
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Offline Old Tele man

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Re: Lightning
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 12:57:43 PM »
But if lightning strikes (even close by - say 100 or 200 ft.), your ISS transmitter is probably toast.

Presuming a wireless ISS, this in fact unlikely. Damage is only likely if there is a potential path to ground through the ISS, its connecting cables or support structure.

...partially correct: it's the horrendous "ground-loop" current caused by the lightning CURRENT dissipation into the earth that causes most of the "proximity" damages because of the huge induced magnetic field that it creates...ala' mini Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) bomb.
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