This was originally posted on APC forums on 8/7/2010
In addition to my 3 workstations and a middle-sized server in my "shack" - I am also an amateur radio enthusiast [ ke5sbg ]. Up until last September, in addition to the computer equipment, I HAD three excellent Yaesu transceivers, cassette recorders, top of the line Heil mics, four power supplies, each with an output of a minimum of 13.7Amp Their capable output was considerably greater, but 13.6 m- 13.8 is the sweet area for them. I won't go into the antenna farm too far as it can become very boring for folks without an interest in HAM radio. However, I will talk about my grounding system. Oh, just one more thing...My SHORTEST vertical antenna ( 27.5 ft plus a 20 foot mast down to dirt).
Now, for my ground system which was composed of 6 eight foot long one/half inch diameter copper rods (solid), each driven 6 feet deep in a reverse bowling pin setup with 2 foot separation between each pin from any view (like this)
0 0 0
All were grooved one foot from the top and each was connected to each other with flat 1 inch webbed copper wire. The final cable from the rods to the shack (house) was the center peg. Same cable to a ground block just inside the shack (approx 3.75 feet from the copper rod) Everything was fed from the block to each piece of equipment. Only the computers were protected by inexpensive power taps.
I won't tell you what it cost when lightning split the shortest antenna (while I was wearing earphones, yet!), but it was significant. So what do I do? There was no call for thunderstorms, this was the first shot from the earth to the cloud and then returning back to my antenna. ka-boom
I lost everything electrical on the south- west side of the house but (thank the LORD) but for out 4-day old 72" screen complete Samsung system....not a piece was damaged.
Okay, finally the question: Where did I go wrong with the grounding? It seems that I did everything by the book....but it sure did split that antenna in half and burned up my electrical system on the south- west half of the house.
By the way shack = radio shack = Radio Shack. Call it a shack if it holds transceiver(s)
I've got the same set-up today or I don't know any better way of protecting my equipment.