Lightning Static Tips

Introduction

Lightning storms, dust storms, dry snowstorms and, strong dry winds can all cause static electricity to build up on a mast structure. If this static electricity discharges through a weather instrument, it can cause the instrument to latch-up or fail.

Prevention Tips

  • Ground your mounting mast. It is best to follow the grounding instructions that came with your mounting mast. The grounding of masts is required by most local building codes (ask your local building department about local regulations). Generally, the National Electric Code produced by the National Fire Protection Association is used by most localities.
     
    If you do not have instructions for the mast system that you purchased, the following generic instructions may be helpful:
    • Connect an 8AWG (American Wire Gauge) or larger bare metal wire to the metal of the mast so that it makes a good electrical connection
    • Run the wire from the mast to the ground using the shortest possible route.
    • At the ground, connect the 8AWG wire to an eight-foot long ground rod that has been driven into the earth.

        Telescoping masts often require special installation techniques. Often the ground wire must 
        be run all the way to the top of the mast and, connected to each telescoping section.
 
        The wire and ground rod should be available from the same company that sold you the mast.

  • Use surge protectors. We offer a surge protector to install in the sensor wiring. For the AC Adapter, a surge protector with a low clamping voltage and built-in EMI filtering is best. A clamping voltage of 350VAC or less is preferred.
  • For WeatherMAX and/or WeatherLogger only, disconnect the serial port cable when static producing storms are in your area. The serial port connection on a personal computer contains a poor connection to earth ground. Many factors can cause a difference in electrical voltage between the ground of the serial port and the ground of a mast. If the voltage difference is large enough then it can discharge through the instrument and computer causing one or both to latch-up or fail.

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