lightning and the dish

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skitheberks

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 26, 2008
108
6
CT
What happens when your satellite system gets a hit or near hit?

I have one of the Panamax surge protectors and a module for the wires.

Currently the Ku band cable is disconnected at the dish and is attached to the Panamax.

The Polorazation wires are also disconnected at the dish and are hooked to the "module" and then into the back of the Uniden receiver - which is turned off.

The motor wires are hooked to the actuator and go through the module and to the Uniden.

The last coax is LNBF and goes to the Panamax and to the DSR-410 receiver.

The dish is grounded with one of those copper poles and the grounding wire attached to the mount.

Am I protected from a strike?

Thanks.
 
sergei

sergei

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2007
1,266
5
iowa
Yes and NO... If you get a direct hit....then just call your insurance company because it's toast!...along with most electrical items in the house.

OtherWise.....something else to think about.

1)How about a Surgender for the LNB's....
2)Do you have your cables in gray electrical conduit? Would depends on where your dish is located.
3)GOOD UPS backup ...protect against other problems that a surge protector will not.
4)Are you using grounding blocks for coax and grounded to the house grounding common point..usually best at the fuse box ground. The last thing you need is a ground loop.
 
Last edited:
rv1pop

rv1pop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Most of the damage I have seen from near misses (distantance of over 2000 feet) have been from ground loops. I do not have quantitative evidence OR data, but, If the cable is grounded at the house, if you measure the ungrounded cable at the remote dish site, you may find a difference of 30 volts OR MORE. If you ground that second point, you have a ground loop, current flowing in your coax shield. A near miss throws extra power into that loop --- At this point my understanding lacks, but -- the circut with the current already flowing will be destroyed whereas one with a single point ground may survive. This training I got as a new ham, (in 1955) is why we disconnect coax cables from our verticals any time a lightning storm is in the area - they have a large ground plane...
 
sergei

sergei

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2007
1,266
5
iowa
Most of the damage I have seen from near misses (distantance of over 2000 feet) have been from ground loops. I do not have quantitative evidence OR data, but, If the cable is grounded at the house, if you measure the ungrounded cable at the remote dish site, you may find a difference of 30 volts OR MORE. If you ground that second point, you have a ground loop, current flowing in your coax shield. A near miss throws extra power into that loop --- At this point my understanding lacks, but -- the circut with the current already flowing will be destroyed whereas one with a single point ground may survive. This training I got as a new ham, (in 1955) is why we disconnect coax cables from our verticals any time a lightning storm is in the area - they have a large ground plane...

The bottom line is that all grounds need to be tied back to the same common point, probably a lot of installation are not and could help explain some problems. Also people should recognize lighting is not always the problem, power lines problems can also be a source of problems.
 
Corrado

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,414
292
Hudson Valley Region, NY
In my experience last July 07, a tree was struck that had the buried cables passing very close under the canopy of the tree. The surge followed the dish actuator wiring right into the house. Ruining TVs, Uniden Ultra, Fortec Ultra, DSR905, LNBFs, VCR, central AC compressor and the utility KWH meter and some other items I am not remembering at this moment. All through small gauge wire through interconnected components.

No amount of grounding saved anything. My rule is to disconnect when in doubt and point the BUD lower in the arc.

I think it was Anole that had the idea to use a automotive style trailer harness with multiple wires for a quick disconnect for C band. That's my plan for now. That would allow simple unplugging of the actuator motor and servo and pulse wiring.

Over the years I've had several LNBs ruined. The newer inexpensive "throw away" $15 ones for C band won't take it if the dish is pointed high in the arc and there is a strong storm. Just a burst off in the distance can take it out, like cloud to cloud lightning without any cloud to ground in the vicinity nearby.
 
sergei

sergei

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2007
1,266
5
iowa
In my experience last July 07, a tree was struck that had the buried cables passing very close under the canopy of the tree. The surge followed the dish actuator wiring right into the house. Ruining TVs, Uniden Ultra, Fortec Ultra, DSR905, LNBFs, VCR, central AC compressor and the utility KWH meter and some other items I am not remembering at this moment. All through small gauge wire through interconnected components.

No amount of grounding saved anything. My rule is to disconnect when in doubt and point the BUD lower in the arc.

I think it was Anole that had the idea to use a automotive style trailer harness with multiple wires for a quick disconnect for C band. That's my plan for now. That would allow simple unplugging of the actuator motor and servo and pulse wiring.

Over the years I've had several LNBs ruined. The newer inexpensive "throw away" $15 ones for C band won't take it if the dish is pointed high in the arc and there is a strong storm. Just a burst off in the distance can take it out, like cloud to cloud lightning without any cloud to ground in the vicinity nearby.

What happen to you is why I install my cables in the gray electrical
conduit, may not totally protect it ,but every little bit helps, lot of people may not realize the damage that water and even rodents can do to a buried cable. That's while I install the surgenders and have a panamax for my cables and then plug into a UPS. Years ago lighting hit my TV tower and play hell with every thing, not something I wish to repeat.
 
B

Bongu

FTA addict - suffering withdrawal since moving
Oct 20, 2010
648
65
Fort Worth 'burbs
Sounds like what we refer to as "Snake Oil." If you are serious about protecting from lightning damage, proper SINGLE POINT grounding is the best answer besides disconnecting during the storms.
 
FaT Air

FaT Air

HOA Free Zone
Feb 27, 2010
6,668
914
97W 48N
What happens when your satellite system gets a hit or near hit?
Having had two trees, within 100ft of the BUD, in the yard killed by lightning, No damage to my sat equip. And, I don't disconnect. Ground the dish, at the dish. Connect the drain of the ribbon cable, and any unused wires, to the dish ground. Coax and any other cables running into the house have a loop (loose knot) in them, approximately 6-8 inch diameter, just before entering the house. OTA antenna also. Surge protector cord is straight into a well grounded outlet. No loop in that cord, but the power cords from any equipment plugged into it, have a loop.
I think the chances for a direct hit are minimal, as the trees are a lot taller. (Or I'm just lucky)
I know the loops do help, I used this on 300 ft towers on buttes in western Nd and it decreased the calls about outages, caused by lightning, by over 50%. The lightning induced outages, after putting loops in the antenna, power and phone lines, were then usually only minor repairs.
 
W

Wobbly

New Member
Apr 6, 2010
1
0
Maryland
Just my 2 cents..I've had a BUD system for about 30 years. My original setup was a system from Radio Shack. The dish is about 175 feet from the house near a clump of tall trees. I needed to place it there to get a clear view of the arc. I am on a high ridge. The dish originally was not grounded. My thought was that if the pole was 4 feet into the ground, that should constitute a ground but was wrong!! About 7 years ago, lightning hit a tree about 20 feet from the dish, traveled down the tree, along a root, right into the dish. I know this because I was standing not far away and it threw mud all over me. The dirt along the root was blown out, about 6 inches deep, right to the dish. I went inside and the receiver and tv were fried, black soot on the tv stand under the tv and also under the receiver. The KU and C LNB's were toast also. The dish and motor were fine and I am still using them today. Called insurance company, got everything else replaced.

After installing the new equipment, I drove a ground rod into the ground about 4 feet from the dish and 8 feet into the ground, grounded the dish and ran all new cable through plastic conduit back to the house. Being on a high ridge there are all kinds of lightning around me but no more dish problems. Because I have a 4Dtv receiver (didn't want to lose program guide after power outages), I also have everything plugged into an APC UPS which has surge and backup protection. The lightning has been lurking around during storms but as I said, no more dish related issues. In the garage, nearby lightning blew out the door opener circuits and even blew the door sensors apart. I have a surge protector on the replacement opener along with a gfi breaker that trips when lightning strikes close enough to cause it to trip and no problems with that anymore although the door openers need to be reprogrammed occasionally.
 
S

shankle

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 10, 2010
338
0
florida
My 2 cents worth.
I live in the lightening capital of the world in North Central Florida.
The wiring was installed about 1999 by John McDougal(Captain Midnight) who I
assumed knew what he was doing in reference to lightening grounding.
In any event I had the entire house ground by the electric company.
I also unplug all electric to the dish during a storm and have a surge
suppressor at the box.
So far I have been lucky as far as lightening goes I guess.
 
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