How to Protect Your Equipment During Lightning Season

August 24, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

No matter how lucky you are, the thought of lightning striking your expensive communications equipment can be a scary thought. Depending on your location, the time of year and your proximity to other buildings, the chances of a lightning strike can be higher or lower, but any lightning strike can be debilitating for sensitive electronic equipment. Both direct and indirect strikes can cause extensive damage that includes loss of data, downtime and the cost of replacement.

 

Electromagnetic fields and earth-voltage spikes caused by lightning can also wreak havoc on electronic power and signal circuits. This can damage the Ethernet, coaxial and telephone lines, or anything connected to the circuits. Even entire campuses can experience long-range voltage spikes that can ruin all electronics connected by the above-ground and below-ground cabling systems that run throughout the campus.

 

There’s no single cure-all method, but lightning protectors are an inexpensive way to help protect equipment in the event of a lightning strike. Here are some of the best solutions to give your equipment a fighting chance:

 

 

Coaxial Protectors – These lightning protectors use gas-filled tubes to discharge electrical spikes before they can cause damage. They are used in both wired and wireless networks to protect radios, communications equipment and anything else attached to coaxial cable, which becomes a target for lightning. They feature popular connector types including N, TNC, RP-BNC and F.

 

Low-PIM Coaxial Protectors – Theses are ideal for use with Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) because of their low-PIM performance of -150dBc. They feature bi-directional protection and there are no gas tubes to replace.

 

Cat5/5e/6 and PoE Protectors – These protectors ground-out and discharge spikes that can permanently blackout security cameras, switches routers and other critical equipment. They are ideal for 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet networks. Some models even feature integral PoE injectors that can deliver remote power to access points, access servers, outdoor routers and other Ethernet IP enabled devices.

 

Telephone/DSL/T1 Protectors – They protectors can prevent your POTS or other telephone system from expensive downtime and are perfect for indoor or outdoor installations. These protectors are available in multiple styles including screw terminal 

and RJ11 options.

 

RS232/422/485 Protectors – These are ideal for protecting RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485 lines. They can also save sensors, control lines and AISG lines from lightning’s damaging effects.

 

To see all the products L-com offers to protect your equipment from lightning, click here.

 

Properly Grounding Outdoor Lightning Protectors

December 1, 2016 at 8:00 AM

 

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but one strike is all it takes to destroy your expensive electrical communications equipment. A single bolt of lightning can carry as much as 100 million volts of electricity, there’s no way to know exactly where it will strike and indirect strikes can be just as destructive as direct strikes. Damage from lightning can be extensive and costly, from downtime to loss of important data and compromised security systems.

 

Lightning protectors are an effective and inexpensive way to make sure that your valuable equipment doesn’t get damaged. L-com offers an extensive line of coaxial and data line lightning surge protectors for every application. But in order for them to fully protect your equipment it is crucial that the lightning protector be properly grounded.  Here are 5 tips to make sure you don’t get burned by Mother Nature.

 

1.  Never ground to a building's electrical ground

 

2.  Always use at least 8-10 gauge copper wire from the arrestor to the ground stake

 

3.  If possible, connect to an existing telephone company interface. These are usually on the outside of the building and have a heavy ground stake and wire near them

 

4.  If you are using an indoor device, such as a PoE interface with lightning protection, you must still run copper ground wire to the outside of the facility

 

5.  Use a grounding rod. With proper installation, grounding rods complete a safe path for lightning to discharge. They become the final connector of a grounding electrode, meeting or exceeding most local electric codes with resistance of 25 Ohms or less

 

© L-com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. L-com, Inc., 50 High Street, West Mill, Third Floor, Suite 30, North Andover, MA 01845