The iambic paddle on the top right is my new UltiPaddle from my friend Max, I8NHJ. This is Max's design as implemented by a Russian friend of his in Dallas, TX who happens to be good with brass. It has a wonderful feel to it and I am honored to have it in my collection. Serial #1 out of 5 total.
30-10M - 12 element HD LPDA by Tennadyne @ 105' [Link]
160M Inverted Vee @ 100'
I used to live aboard this sailboat with my parents and brother. I operated /MM and as KZ5CC in the Canal Zone in the mid 1970s.
On 6 April 2014 at 1046 Central Time, my tower was struck by lightning during a storm. As is standard practice, my radios were disconnected from the antennas but were still connected to power and local area network. The strike entered the house via the wireless internet CAT5 cabling and destroyed the router, firewall, two switches, the web server (I host a number of amateur radio web sites) and every computer that had a LAN connection. Also destroyed were the internet radios on the tower and the Orion 2800 rotor motor. The control cable was terminated in a 6 Pin Male Jones plug which was sitting on the desk. The strike arced across some of the pins, leaving a flash burn on the desk and other cables. The jolt exited the USB and serial port on the radio room computer and destroyed the rotor controller which was connected to power and 9 pin serial only. The RS232 chip, PIC and 5 volt regulator sacrificed with the top being blown off the 232 chip. It passed through the station power supply which was off, blowing the fuses in my Kenwood TM-742A so hard they were vaporized against the glass and killing the radio. The ceramic 240VAC fuse in the amplifier was turned to sand in between the two metal caps. The only other damage to the amp were the meter lamp filiments being blown. My MicroHam MicroKeyer II was completely toasted in the incident via the USB connection.
My friend Tom K5TRA has a 900 MHz repeater on the tower. It suffered extensive damage to the AllStar computer, repeater controller and receiver preamp. The radios survived. Tom took the smoldering chassis away and rebuilt it. It is now back in service.
One piece of radio equipment was connected to the same power supply as the 742A and also to the LAN but did not suffer any apparent damage. I was beta testing the Flex Radio 6300 and had left it connected to everything except the antenna. It survived!
Flex 6300 Update After evaluating the radio, Flex says that there is apparently damage to one or more ESD devices in the unit. The good news is that the radio still functions and the ESD devices apparently did their job very well.
Plan Of Action
Orion 2800 Rotor destroyed. Replaced with a Prositel PST-71D. [Link]
Orion 2800 Rotor Controller destroyed. Replaced with Green Heron Engineering. [Link]
MicroHam Microkeyer II destroyed. Replaced with RigExpert TI-5. [Link]
Kenwood TM742A Triband FM Transceiver destroyed. Replaced with used Kenwood TM742A.
Dell Optiplex 990 radio room computer destroyed. Replaced with used Dell Optiplex 990. Now connects to internet via wireless.
Ameritron RC8 Remote Antenna Switch survived. Decided to run all antenna connections into the radio room to enable sharing antennas with second operating position. Replaced with ~ 1000 feet of LMR-400. [Link]
Installed Array Solutions Lighting Protection at the base of the tower in junction box and tied into tower ground. [Link]
Installed Extreme Isolation Transformer between house power and power that feeds anything on the tower.
Soldered up 28 PL-259 connectors to integrate lightning protection and eliminate the remote antenna switch.
Please see related discussion on eHam regarding external wall penetration at:
So after roughly 60 days of down time we are back on the air.
1073963 Last modified: 2014-07-03 23:02:34, 11304 bytes
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