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Old 03-27-2012, 08:17 PM
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citfta citfta is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Hi Guys,

If you don't mind let me add some free advice and you can take for whatever you think it is worth. For several years I had a TV repair shop and installed Tv antennas in a semi rural area. This meant the antennas were usually fairly large and as high as reasonable. I always installed them with lightning protection. Slider if you put the plates in the attic and then ground the system I can assure you the lightning will pay no attention to the roof being in the way. I had one customer that just insisted I had to put her antenna on a tripod mount on the roof. I wanted to put it on a pole in the back of the house. One month later she called me to come put up the pole because lightning had punched 3 large holes in her roof and blew out her AC unit and blew the phone junction box over 50 feet away. The lightning arrestor stopped the lightning from damaging the TV but there was no lead-in wire left from the antenna to the arrestor.

If you want to experiment with this radiant collector I would suggest you put it on a pole at least 10 to 20 feet from your house. Put in a good ground rod (like an 8 ft copper rod) and drive it almost all the way in. For a lightning arrestor you can use an old spark plug. Connect the body of the plug to a heavy ground wire going to the ground rod. Then you can connect your collector wire to the top of the spark plug. You will want to close the gap some on the plug so it will fire at a lower voltage but not too close as you don't want it to interfere with what you are trying to collect. Since I have not tried this radiant collector I don't know if the pole could be metal or not. I am thinking it would still work even if the pole is metal as long as the collection plates are insulated from the pole. But I don't know that for sure. If you used a metal pole that would give the lightning a better path to follow to ground instead of through your circuit. I have had my Ham Radio tower hit several times because it is well grounded. None of the hits has ever hurt any of my other equipment. If you use the metal pole be sure and tie it to the ground rod too with a heavy cable like #2 or better.

I hope this gives you some ideas for safety. I would hate to hear one of you had your house burn down because you collected a lot more energy than you wanted.


PS: Bizzy, thanks for the words of support on that other thread.
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