. . . . . . . . Be Careful ! . . . . . . . . . . . Take Steps to Protect Your Radio Shack from Being Struck by Lightning

A Story from the Words of Don Rawlinson WA7VNQ:

“At around midnight on Sunday, August 24, 2014, a lightning bolt struck a maple tree about 25 feet from the front door of the house.  There was essentially no thunder but rather the sound of a loud explosion and bright flash.  Included is a picture of the strike.  As luck would have it, my neighbor to the back was doing a video from his deck of the lightning as it came from the direction of the Point of the Mountain. To somewhat orient you, we live near the base of the “G” mountain in Pleasant Grove.  So the picture is a frame from his video.  And is looking toward the NW.”

Lightning Strike

PLEASE CLICK ON EACH OF THE PHOTO’S TO ENLARGE THEM FOR A BETTER VIEW.

“Of course, since it was dark, the lens wide open (iPhone I think) and when the flash occurred this close to him, it lit up the whole neighborhood and blew out the highlights in the lightning bolt itself.  But the “fireball” is very evident in the tree.  I felt real lucky to get this picture as you can probably understand.”

List of Damage:

“After assuring ourselves that the house was not on fire, we could however smell hot wires somewhere and we discovered it coming from the upstairs furnace room.  It had apparently severely damaged a plug strip.  Plugged into this strip were the water softener (still OK, we think) and an old piece of telephone equipment which also reeked of hot wires.  Additionally the SWiM device for DirecTV was also plugged in there. We just unplugged them and eventually the smell subsided.  Still without lights we checked and the main breaker outside (125 amp) was tripped as were 7 different breakers in the house.  That probably saved a lot of appliances!

We carefully turned them on without incident and had lights back.  We both noticed that the DVRs from DirecTV, we have two since two families live here, we noticed that the DVRs looked like they were reloading the directory like when the power goes out to them and we thought that may have been what they were doing. They never stopped and there was no signal to the TVs.  We share this account with our son who owns the house.  Our power comes in underground as do all the other electrical utilities.”

Lightning Strike Don WA7VNQ (1)

Covers from his phone junction box blew off and into his neighbor's yard.

Covers from his phone junction box blew off and into his neighbor’s yard.

One of the junction boxes which had the cover blown off

One of the junction boxes which had the cover blown off

A closer look at the phone junction box - look at the left side where arching took place

A closer look at the phone junction box – look at the left side where arching took place

 

Don asked his Comcast Serviceman how many homes have been hit by lightning.  The man said, 15 homes - just this summer!  Remember this is just ONE Vender!  Don't let anyone buffalo you into believing that having your home struck by lightning doesn't happen. Obviously, they don't know what their talking about.

THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A VERY POOR GROUND. Don asked his Comcast Serviceman how many homes have been hit by lightning. The man said, 15 homes – just this summer! Remember this is just ONE Vender! Don’t let anyone buffalo you into believing that having your home struck by lightning doesn’t happen. Obviously, they don’t know what they’re talking about . . .

“Finally, in the end, here is a list of the damage discovered so far.

1.  DirecTV had to replace the LNB on their antenna, the SWiM adapter on their signal line, and both of the DVRs.  The other non-DVR receivers (2) are both operational although my son’s bedroom plug strip was blown and won’t even work anymore.  I guess it saved the system there and the same with the TV and receiver in my den – no damage.

2. My sons Denon 7.1 receiver and surround sound is toast.  (I imagine that the speakers may still be fine.)  The system will not turn on and we don’t see any fuse or reset so it must have been damaged by the line voltage.

3.  My Sony 5.1 System and Blue Ray DVD and FM receiver will go on but, in a somewhat taunting way, only says “Please Wait!”  No other functions work and even the “eject” button does nothing.

4.  I also can’t get my Apple TV system to turn on at all so I am pretty sure it is toast.

5.  The current flowing from the DVR to the HDMI input on my 55″ Samsung TV, took out that input (HDMI2), but everything else seems to be working fine on the TV including all of the other inputs  There are 3 other HDMI inputs and they all seem to work.

6. Comcast had to replace the line going from our house input to their box on the street.  I saw that and it was really “fried”.  Comcast provides our Internet and VoIP phone system and all the components inside the house are still working.

Oh, and while I am at it, I heard from another neighbor yesterday, that our neighbor to the north (where the box covers are lying on his grass) lost a TV as well.

BUT, as is my habit, I had disconnected the coax coming from my J-Pole and see no damage to anything on the radio and computer desk.  I did have one USB port, on an adapter that is powered, that will no longer work, but that may be just coincidental.  We are holding our breath on the rest of the computers in the room.  Right now they are fine.”

Be Careful!  Lighting can, at the very least, destroy electronics and electrical equipment and at most, can and will kill you, family members and or your pets.

Don WA7VNQ

Editor’s Note: We’d like to thank Don ~ WA7VNQ for taking and sending his pictures to us.  And for making a detailed report about lightning hitting his home.  It not only happens, but apparently a lot more than we thought.  It’s folks like Don, when they hear the Thunder they automatically disconnect their coax from their radios.  Certainly a great practice!  Otherwise, he likely would have been replacing his radio’s too.

UPDATE: On September 2nd, 2014 Don reported the following: “We learned that additional damage was discovered.  They also found that the person to our north in addition to his TV also lost a freezer and the control for his electronic sprinkler controller and his modem from Quest for his internet.  The neighbor to the south also lost his router on his internet system.  It appears that the damage is broader than initially thought.”

 

2014 Swap Meet / Picnic in the Park

On Saturday, August 16, 2014 we had our second activity for this season.  There were around 45 to 50 in attendance.  This was the second year we held the Swap Meet and it seemed that there was a lot more items to choose from this time around.

We’d like to thank Jeremy – K7TEH for taking the photos below.  They help say more than what words could say.  During the Picnic Braeden – KG7NJE was given his own Baofeng dual band HT and many other items to help him get his signal out.  He was very surprised and grateful for receiving so many gifts.  Braeden, to date, is our youngest 76’er.  He has an older brother, Josh, and his Dad Brett who are hams too.  It was certainly a good time.  We’re sorry to those who weren’t able to attend.  They really missed out.  Maybe next year.

Picnic in the Park 2014 (33) Picnic in the Park 2014 (32) Picnic in the Park 2014 (31) Picnic in the Park 2014 (30) Picnic in the Park 2014 (29) Picnic in the Park 2014 (28) Picnic in the Park 2014 (27) Picnic in the Park 2014 (26) Picnic in the Park 2014 (25) Picnic in the Park 2014 (24) Picnic in the Park 2014 (23) Picnic in the Park 2014 (22) Picnic in the Park 2014 (21) Picnic in the Park 2014 (20) Picnic in the Park 2014 (19) Picnic in the Park 2014 (18) Picnic in the Park 2014 (17) Picnic in the Park 2014 (16) Picnic in the Park 2014 (15) Picnic in the Park 2014 (14) Picnic in the Park 2014 (13) Picnic in the Park 2014 (12) Picnic in the Park 2014 (11) Picnic in the Park 2014 (10) Picnic in the Park 2014 (9) Picnic in the Park 2014 (8) Picnic in the Park 2014 (7) Picnic in the Park 2014 (6) Picnic in the Park 2014 (5) Picnic in the Park 2014 (4) Picnic in the Park 2014 (3) Picnic in the Park 2014 (2) Picnic in the Park 2014 (1)

 

Field Day 2014

Image

Field Day 2014

Photo’s taken by Don Rawlinson WA7VNQ

Field Day 2014 (1)

Weather was very accomodating

Field Day 2014 (3)

Kevin – N0KVN trying his hand at HF Radio

Field Day 2014 (2)

Field Day 2014 (4)

One of the towers used there

Field Day 2014 (7)

Gordon Smith – K7HFV

Field Day 2014 (8)

The Tallest Tower Used

Field Day 2014 (13)

Doug Bosen’s KG7GOV grandson

Field Day 2014 (14)

It was reported, he was quite a natural at the radio

Field Day 2014 (15)

We believe his name was Jordan

Field Day 2014 (17)

WE7BBQ, N1RSE & WE7OMG

Field Day 2014 (18)

Carl – WE7OMG

Field Day 2014 (19)

Doug – WE7BBQ

Field Day 2014 (20)

The Bowcuts Chad – KD7BKO & Kate – K8BKT

Field Day 2014 (21)

UARC’s Huge Yellow Push Pin

Field Day 2014 (5) Field Day 2014 (6) Field Day 2014 (9) Field Day 2014 (10) Field Day 2014 (11) Field Day 2014 (12) Field Day 2014 (16) Field Day 2014 (22)

4th Annual BBQ ~ Jun14, 2014

Image

This photo is a good share of those who attended. We had a few who had to leave early and others who remained indoors despite our pestering to come out. We had a great time. The food was scrumptious and the company divine. The Big Hit was the Pockrus Calico Beans! Carl and his wife brought a huge giant pot of them – not a bean remained, was the report I was given. A great deal of us were inquiring about the recipe and Carl generously posted it as soon as he got home that night.

The next big hit was the homemade Root Beer made by Dan (KB6UNC) and his family. In my opinion, it was the best tasting Root Beer I’ve every had the opportunity to taste. It was simply wonderful. There were many who were sorely missed – but we understand things come up. We’d like to thank each of you who attended and especially Randy (N7OXG) and his sweet wife Becky (KF7THB) for their wonderful hospitality opening up their home to our social group – the UARC 76’ers! We’d also like to thank the clean up crew who helped Randy & Becky put their home back in order. Again, thanks to each of you for your contribution to making this such a wonderful memory and such a great event.4th Annual BBQ Group Pic4th Annual BBQ 02
4th Annual BBQ 014th Annual BBQ 034th Annual BBQ 044th Annual BBQ 054th Annual BBQ 064th Annual BBQ 084th Annual BBQ 074th Annual BBQ 094th Annual BBQ 10

Heartfelt Condolences

It’s with heavy hearts we give our deep heartfelt condolences to Pat Larter – KF7PKT, who recently lost his wife ~ KF7URU to a valiant fight with cancer. Linda was also a member of the 76’ers – and she will be missed by all. She passed away Thursday, January 23, 2014 around 6 am. Pat, to you – our best and my the Lord bless you during this most difficult time.

Richard Heward – K7KGK
76’ers Chairman

A Reminder of Who We Are – The UARC – 76’ers!

More recently, over the last few weeks – I’ve received some emails inquiring as to why the 76’ers don’t have certain types of training meetings, above and beyond our net. We’ve had others asking why a certain training item isn’t being covered during the net.

Now, I want to stress here . . . that . . . there isn’t anything wrong with these types of questions but it certainly appears that a reminder of who the 76’ers are – needs to be restated. We’ve had to do this in our past history and it appears that we need to take time to cover it once again.

In our preamble, it states that we are not a Ham Radio Club. We are a Social Group. With this in mind, the 76’ers have been known to roll up their sleeves and go to work helping an entire community in Utah County. We have helped many hams, from out of town to find a location, or have water brought to them, or get them aid. We’ve called the police, and stand ready to do so. We’ve provided aid in various forms. Even among ourselves.

This is who we are . . . in part, but it isn’t our focus, it’s not what drives us, or why we call ourselves the 76’ers.

So, what I’d like to do is give a little background about the 76’ers because it will lead into my final point. Nearly two years ago, we had a representative from ARRL inquire about what was done to cause the 76’ers to come together and not only maintain its numbers, but sustain growth.

The ARRL Rep let me know that for many decades they had tried and tried again . . . to form a group or a club of ham radio operators many times. Each attempt ended in failure. They resolved that Utah County would basically not have a club or group.

The simple answer for this is the PURPOSE of the 76’ers. It’s true other radio clubs have socials and get together once in a while – but their purpose is usually to be a more formal group of Ham operators – as it should be.

However, the 76’ers started out with an idea – to be a place where everyone can come, put their feet up, if you will, and basically relax. Just rag-chew, share personal stories, and learn from one another. This is even why our roll call policies are laid back as they are. We don’t want to cause undue pressure. This is our main focus.
This isn’t to say we won’t take time to teach or help Elmer a new operator. As time went along, we noticed that some training was needed. This is why our net formed the Discussion Forum.

And during our discussion forum – each of you are welcomed to bring up any question about what interest you. There is a good chance that your listeners will have the experience to help you with your question.

So, as your chairman – I’d encourage you to use this time to bring up a question for discussion. We hope that each of you won’t feel any trepidation using this forum. It’s our experience that many of us, if not all of us – learn something each day when we go on the air – or simply possum on the side.
We’d hope that each of you would feel like you are part of a huge family – because you are as a member of the 76’ers.

So, I’d like to motivate each of you to remember what the focus of the UARC 76’ers is. We also encourage you to join UARC and attend their meetings, for in depth discussions or training. We’d also suggest joining emergency preparedness groups if this is what you’d like to do.

As 76’ers, we don’t want to lose our identity by allowing our focus to be spread out in several different veins of interests. The camaraderie is the cohesiveness which bonds us together. This camaraderie must be maintained and nurtured by staying on track.

Personally, I can’t thank each of you enough for what each of you bring to the table. Your knowledge and experience enriches us. Your camaraderie strengthens each of us. Your desire to help your fellowman enhances us and deepens our appreciation for who we are.

Several years ago – those who were members of the 76’ers at that time – asked me to be your Chairman – and I couldn’t be more proud to know each and every one of you. I feel a deep heartfelt gratitude to be involved in each of your lives.

I also want to thank BBQ, OMG, MGT, & RUR for their unwavering help and support – because there is no way to run a group like this by yourself. There is so much more that they do behind the scenes to help the 76’ers thrive. Again I give my thanks to them – and so many more of you.

Respectively,

L. Richard Heward – K7KGK
UARC-76’ers Chairman

With Our Condolences to Pat Larter KF7PKT

It’s with heavy hearts we give our deep heartfelt condolences to Pat Larter – KF7PKT, who recently lost his wife ~ KF7URU to a valiant fight with cancer.

Linda was also a member of the 76’ers – and she will be missed by all.

She passed away Thursday, January 23, 2014 around 6 am.

Pat, to you – our best and my the Lord bless you during this most difficult time.

Richard Heward – K7KGK
76’ers Chairman

Wall Map Being Released to our Members for Printing

The 18″ x 24″ wall map which shows where the Intertie & Sinbad Systems are will be made available soon.  After Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 we will be emailing them to each of our members.

We’d like to thank Ellie, KG7EKS, for using her Graphic Artist talents for the use of the 76’ers.  Please note, when you take the file to be printed, you don’t need to request the file be enlarged.  Simply tell them the file is ready to be printed on a piece of paper which measures 18″ x 24″.  Catch you on the net.

Our First Chili Cook Off August 10th, 2013

Image

Winners of the 2013 Chili Cook Off

On August 10, 2013 we held our first Swap-meet and Chili Cook-Off Competition.  We had a very good turnout and a ton of fun.  Tons of good food to eat and great friendship and camaraderie were enjoyed by all.

We’d like to thank everyone who attended – and especially thank those who participated in the Chili Cook-Off Competition.  It isn’t always easy to put yourself out there – with the risk of your receipt not being chosen.

But, in my view – everyone there, who attended this fine event, is a winner.  You won the appreciation of a lot of satisfied chili connoisseurs.  It was heard throughout the day, on the 76, how they would have hated to be one of the judges.  It would have been too difficult for them to choose.

By being there, you also won a face to face with several 76’ers who were there and add upon the wonderful memories each of us have had coming together and socializing.  It really was a success.

We had 48 people who attended the chili cook off.  There were no mishaps we were aware of and, heck, the City of Spanish Fork came through – the restrooms were open this time.  What a total elation it was for those who needed to use those facilities.  We were so pleased those doors were unlocked.

A huge grateful thank you goes to WE7BBQ – Doug.  Who more than fulfilled his assignment with organizing the fine event.  Most of you didn’t know that BBQ solely took it upon himself to pay for the first and second prizes of this event.  He refused any financial assistance and shouldered the cost all by himself.  Also, Carl WE7OMG deserves our thanks for building and providing two Aluminum J-Pole Antenna’s for 3rd and 4th prizes.

We’d also like to thank our Judges – two of which were last minute subs.  Our first sub was Mindy – N1RSE, and Doug WE7BBQ was our second sub. – Our final judge is a non-ham operator Kelly Swalburg.  We extend our thanks for your willingness to help us out in this department. It’s kind of tough to have a contest without judges.

Our Judges had to pick four contestants who would take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.  They had to taste 15 different entries.

Those who placed 3rd and 4th place were Bruce Fereday –KF7OZK, of Salt Lake City, and Brian Brinkerhoff – WE8FSH, of Benjamin.  Each of these men was given an aluminum dual band J-pole antenna. 2nd place went to Carl Pockrus – WE7OMG, of American Fork.  Our 1st place winner went to Thomas Lerman, KF7ZTM, of Provo.  We give our congratulations to each of them for a job well done.

3rd Annual BBQ

Image

Our 3rd Annual Barbecue was held on June 8th, 2013 at the home of Randy and Becky Wells (N7OXG & KF7THB).  We’d like to thank both of them for their gracious hospitality and for opening their home up to members of the 76’ers and their loved ones.

Again, we had scrumptious food to eat, and plenty of it! Everyone brought their own meat to cook, and a food assignment.  The weather couldn’t have been better or more accommodating.

We look forward earnestly to our next annual event in 2014.