[time-nuts] GPS Antenna Grounding/Lightning protection.

Chris Smith chris.smith at alum.mit.edu
Mon Jun 18 14:38:29 EDT 2018

I have purchased and deployed Huber+Suhner lightning protectors
in the past but have thankfully never suffered an actual strike, so I can't
say how well they work under duress.

I've heard it said that basically nothing can protect you from a direct
hit, but again, I haven't had the opportunity to test that theory that you
so recently suffered.

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 2:29 PM, Dan Kemppainen <dan at irtelemetrics.com>

> Hi,
> I have (or had, I guess) a GPS antenna on a tower that took a lightning
> hit yesterday.
> You can tell it's going to be a bad day when you walk into your shop, and
> smell burnt electronics. Still have to troubleshoot exactly what got hit,
> but the GPSDO was flashing no GPS signal, the 5V supply for the antenna to
> the GPS splitter was dead, the data logging computer had rebooted and the
> data logging computer monitor was dead. Other network hardware was dead
> also.
> This is a bit surprising since the tower itself is grounded with 4 ground
> rods and bonded to a 150 foot deep well casing near by. The antenna is on
> the end of 250 ft run of RG6. The GPS antenna cable shield has a grounding
> block bonded to two ground rods driven down below the basement foundation
> where it enters the house. I'm guessing the surge ran the coax into the
> splitter, then through everything connected to it, despite the grounding
> block.
> So, I'm wondering if there are better surge protectors for lightning
> protection? Maybe something that actually protect the center conductor
> also? Hopefully something that will pass GPS signal reasonably and let DC
> power through. If so, can you recommend some starting points? Other
> suggestions also welcome.
> Also, If you are considering upgrading your own lightning protection,
> hopefully this will be some inspiration to get started. As I said earlier,
> it's a bad day when you smell burnt electronics in the shop.
> Thanks,
> Dan
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