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Old 24-03-2016, 15:25   #31
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Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
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Re: Lightning Strike - EPIRB etc

Fwiw, you can sometimes find metal boxes in thrift shops, even antique stores,maybe on ebay -- some used in the mining industry, too.. Some places even sell metal tool boxes, perfect for EPIRB, GPS, & PLBs. I can just see firing up the oven to pre-heat it, and cooking the electronics in there, now that's sort of a "NO GO" zone, so I like the idea of the metal box, somewhere quickly accessible.

Friends with a timber Herreshoff were struck by lightning at the sand bar in Kaneohe Bay. It killed all the lights, and the transmit side of their VHF, and that was the extent of the damage. However, the heat from the lightning in the chainplates scorched the timber, so they had a cloud of smoke with it.

Tied up in a marina, plugged into shorepower, strike on the land at the end of the finger, cooked our battery charger once.


Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 29-03-2016, 12:00   #32
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Re: Lightning Strike - EPIRB etc

Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
They won't survive a single device test so we don't test them. We, engineers, use multiple redundancy at the higher system level to provide a degraded capability when sub systems or components are lost.

The question is probably better reframed as 'how can we shield our safety critical systems during a lightning strike?'

Lightning ground path and isolation of components from the likely ground path will help. Having redundancy will also help.

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You are obviously right. My question came as a musing on the complaints of some posters in the thread against equipment manufacturers that did not test the units against lightening.

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Old 24-04-2016, 04:07   #33
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Re: Lightning Strike - EPIRB etc

Originally Posted by Frankly View Post
We had a close by strike a few years back. I say close by because none of the three onboard radios were harmed. IP connects one of the backstays to the bonding system as part of a lightning dissipation system. That conductor is a #10 AWG and the insulation had visual distortion because of heat. I had replaced that length of wire a few years earlier and it wasn't like that when I installed it. I had installed an external copper plate below the mast shortly after I purchased the boat for a real lightning dissipation system.

The most logical conclusion is there was enough current induced into that back stay to heat up that #10 copper wire.

Cbreeze was plugged into shore power as well as my 30' Hunter (both in the same receptacle, and both with mast connected copper ground plates). Got the Freedom 10 inverter/charger on the IP and the Radar on the Hunter. No other damage.

Lightning can be pretty fickle mistress.

Frankly, Can you describe a little bit more how you installed a copper plate on your IP and connected it to your mast. My new-to-me IP445 has connections from a couple of the chain plates to thru-hull fittings as you described, however I was surprised to learn that the base of the mast isn't grounded...


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Old 26-04-2016, 15:28   #34
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Re: Lightning Strike - EPIRB etc


There are some pictures at the IPYOA site.

Mast Ground Plate

Copper plate came from a copper company in Tennessee 1/4 x 6 x 24

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