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FR 24 Receiver survived Lightning Strike

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  • #16
    In Australia, and I am not sure about other countries, residential insurance companies request that a home owner discloses if they are using their premises for any business or commercial purpose. I think they expect to charge higher premiums for equivalent insurance cover if commercial activities are being undertaken. Does anyone know if feeding to FR24 constitutes commercial activity for insurance purposes? I would assume that any sort of money-making activity could be deemed commercial and while we, as home-owners (or tenants), are not making any money from this activity, insurance companies are known to be a little pedantic with their policies to avoid claims. I wonder that they could assert that FR24 feeding activity is a commercial enterprise and was not disclosed to them before a claim is made. Are we open for them to refuse a claim for, say, lightning damage to an ABS-B antenna and other consequential damage to the home or public liability? Has anyone already had discussion with their insurance company over this? Maybe the team at FR24 has researched this but wonder if they have resources to consider all the Product Disclosure Statements for all insurance companies in all countries? Hence my request for wider general experiences.


    • #17
      Your radar is the same thing as your TV/SAT anntena/receiver is.
      For official support use Contact Form


      • #18
        Insurance companies require that you install and ground all antenna equipment in accordance with all local building and electrical codes.

        Hosting an FR24 is not running a commercial enterprise out of your home.


        • #19
          Originally posted by paradiselost View Post

          My FR24 box is housed in an unearthed electrical box along side of my earthed mast. The FR24 antenna via the N connector is connected to the mast, earthed or unearthed.
          That's a good idea, however you still have network and power running from that box to inside your home. Keep in mind that no ground is a perfect ground and even if 99.9% of the million volt strike gets directed to that outside ground rod, 1000 volts may still find it's way in over the network cable, enough voltage to do damage to your homes router, modem, switches, etc. So a surge arrestor on that network cable entering your home from the FR24 would be a good idea... another idea would be to use WiFi as a means of isolation for the network ... you also have the power line to protect.


          • #20
            Could an insurance company consider that an FR24 supplied antenna (not owned by householder) is a commercial activity and reject a lightning damage or public liability claim to the house?


            • #21
              Originally posted by Kemistry View Post
              Could an insurance company consider that an FR24 supplied antenna (not owned by householder) is a commercial activity and reject a lightning damage or public liability claim to the house?
              Ask your Insurance broker and see what he says.


              • #22
                I don't have a broker - I deal only with the actual insurance company.
                It does sound like an untested risk. Hope we are covered.
                Does anyone have any actual experience with this?


                • #23
                  Lightning travels thousands of feet through the air with millions of volts and tens of thousands of amps. A thin layer of plastic, fiberglass or other insulator is NOT going to stop it from finding a path to ground. If you really want to prove me wrong, put on a pair of dishwashing gloves and go climb up a power pole, grab onto the conductor and let me know how that works out for you.
                  Think about that.

                  An air gap between your antenna mast any anything else conductive is not going to stop it.

                  Lightning will find a path to ground. That might be your mast, or using your antenna, coax, receiver, power supply and electrical wiring.
                  The trick here is providing a -SAFE- path to ground. A safe path isn't through your coax to your receiver. A safe path is a heavy ground conductor that runs as straight as possible to a ground rod. The National Electric Code here in the US is quite clear about that. Any internal protection in the receiver is not intended for lightning strikes. Think about the millions of volts and amps involved, a small SMT component on a PC board isn't going to stop it.

                  Not grounding your mast isn't going to protect you. Nothing is going to stop a direct strike, not even gas tube suppressors. All they do is help reduce the damage from nearby strikes.

                  Added in edit…
                  In the USA, the National Electric Code, part of the National Fire Protection Association, requires antenna mast grounding in Section 810. While the NEC only applies in the USA, you'll likely find that most countries have similar standards.

                  "The antenna mast that supports radio, HAM, television and satellite receiving antennas must be grounded [810.15]. In addition, each conductor (coaxial, control, and signal conductors) of a lead-in from an "outdoor antenna" must be provided with a listed antenna discharge unit (grounding block). The antenna discharge unit shall be grounded and it must be located outside or inside as near as practicable to the entrance of the conductors to the building and it must not be located near combustible material [810.20]."

                  Electrical Ground, RF Ground and Lighting Ground are all different things, and shouldn't be confused. A proper grounding system for all three are often combined to provide equal potential between all, however the requirements are different.
                  Last edited by mmckenna; 2014-02-25, 06:29.


                  • #24
                    You really don't want a lightening strike to go through your house wiring, where the insulation gets burned from the conductors in the conduits and the power outlets get blown from the housings fixed in the walls (probably) due to the explosive heating of the air in conduits ... never mind the destruction of all electrical items plugged in at the time.

                    Major work replacing the wiring that could involve replacing conduits too if the old wiring is welded to them or the new cable cant be drawn through.

                    Fitting an earth conductor and spike is just simpler.


                    • #25
                      So assuming lightning damage cannot be avoided without serious earthing, how many feeders have installed their antenna to local code earthing standards? Since many of us rely on our residential insurance to cover the risk of consequential household damage or public liability after a strike to our antenna, is it safe to assume insurance companies may not pay for these claims if our antenna does not have code-compliant earthing? Does FR24 have an insurance policy to cover this risk for us? Does this policy only apply to FR24 owned receivers and T- feeders are on-their-own?


                      • #26
                        Is it safe to assume that insurance companies will do what they can to try to avoid paying out - even if the ADSB antenna is no more of a hazard than a TV antenna fixed to the highest part of the building,