Lightning Strike at KA5AZK station July 5, 2011
Amateur Radio Station Grounding and Lightning Protection


During Texas' worst drought a late afternoon thunder storm popped up and produced a lightning strike to the tower and oak tree pictured below.  The antenna systems and feed-lines survived as did the station equipment; however, as can be seen below, a fresh water line near the tower exploded. A top guy line insulator also shattered and soil and concrete blew out from around the top of the entry ground rod. 

For an excellent real life grounding tutoral view W5IM's presentation.  Jim is an Extra Class and retired electrician that has the unquie knowledge of many years working on real world grounding systems - some that work and others that do not.


Oak  tree in the center of picture shared a lightning strike with the tower. 65 feet between tower and tree base. The blown-off bark strip can is just visible on the right side of the tree (in this view).

Better picture of stripped bark. Bark debris radius was 75 feet with some found 100 feet away from the trunk. 

Below is a view of the exploded water line. The line runs within a foot of the tower base but exploded about 25 feet from the tower.

Feed-line entry ground rod in the area just left of the down-spout. The ground rod top was completely buried and as can be seen, a cone of soil was blown out several inches deep. The soil was blown several feet high on the door and brick. 

Concrete fragments blown off the foundation footer - notice in-bedded river rock that fractured.

Fractured top guy line insulator. 

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