CB Radio Safety During Lightning Storms
Properly Grounding your Antennas to Avoid Damage
Today, we at CB Radio Supply want to talk about the weather. When using your CB radio at home, you’re bound to run into poor weather conditions. Some of these, like rain, snow, or wind, cause signal disruptions that may be more annoying than serious. However, when you add lightning, then conditions go from serious to downright dangerous.
An automatic lightning rod
This is due to the CB antenna attached to your roof or side of the house. Lightning is attracted to these tall pieces of metal. If not properly protected, these electrical charges do more than just singe the material.
Lightning could get into the coaxial cable connecting it to the CB. If it strikes, and the radio isn’t connected to an arrester of some sort, its components are going to fry. Subsequently, you may get injured as well if the electrical charge doesn’t stop at the radio.
Of course, the best solution is to unplug the antenna and radio prior to a storm. However, if you need it operational to report on emergency preparations, then something else needs to be done.
Grounding is the solution
Similar to power outlets and other electrical equipment in your home, grounding is extremely important when dealing with any type of antenna. There are a few ways of doing this.
The least expensive is through a surge protector. While not a ground per se, this should stop the electrical surge from going into the radio and yourself. As the protector detects the unusual burst of energy it automatically powers off to prevent further travel.
Another option is an in-line ground, or lightning arrester like the Workman A28. It is directly between the CB antenna and CB receiver at the coax cable. From there, a thick copper wire is connected to a ground rod. This option has to be examined regularly, for it tends to arc out if struck too many times.
The best prevention against lighting strikes is direct grounding at the CB antenna’s base. Copper wire is attached to one of the mounting bolts that clamp the aerial’s base to the support. This wire runs directly down to a metal rod hammered in at ground level. If there’s nowhere to place the rod, then the wire itself can be buried in the ground to prevent damaging lightning strikes.
Get a better understanding of what you need to protect yourself and your CB radio from electrical strikes by speaking to a CB Radio Supply specialist. They’ll review your setup to find the right grounding shield for you.