Lightning, Grounding and Bonding for Hams
The general rule is, “KISS” (Keep It Simple Silly).
Lightning-A mega-discharge of electricitThe general rule is y between earth and sky.
Grounding-Providing a path for the return to earth of potential energy.
Bonding-The hardware connections of grounding networks.
Earth-The zero point, the source of lightning energy.
- Every electric current tries to return to its source- “complete circuit”.
- Most Lightning leaves earth (-) to clouds (+) then returns to earth (-).
- Electricity seeks the path of least resistance, but the other parallel paths also conduct at that time. (Think resistors in parallel).
- Totally eliminating lightning is not possible, but do your best to keep it out of your shack.
- Ground Potential Rise – When lightning strikes on the ground, it causes a ground potential gradient. This will cause some small surges. Example : A 100MV lightning strike at 30,000A can cause a Ground Potential Rise of 75000V!
- The most important thing that needs to be done to avoid lightning strike damage is to ensure that all critical equipment potentials rise together and no potential difference between equipment is created. When there is a potential difference, this will cause arcing which is a source of ignition and extreme heat. It is important that all metallic equipment be connected together with the earthing network. No Ground loops!
- A single ground point is critical. All electrical devices need to be grounded at the same point (includes house power, telephone, CATV, antennas, etc.).
Links and Resources (Click for more information)..
For more detailed information, download THIS PDF: https://www.bwcelectronics.com/articles/WP30A190.pdf
The ARRL reference book:
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