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Old 06-24-2013
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Frogwatch Lightning ground

Finally, got around to testing deployment of my new lightning ground system. It is designed to be deployed either at anchor or underway. It is made from stainless fabric with stainless rods at top and bottom and is joined to the boat with a #4 tinned Ancor cable and 3/8" line. To attach to the boat, it has a welding clamp that holds very securely and the 3/8' line goes to a cleat.
At anchor, is simply drops into the water beside the boat.
Underway, it tows on the surface at up to 10 kts. I tested it from my powerboat so I could tow it at various speeds. I hope the pics load.
My pics are too big to load and I cannot reduce them for some reason.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

Love to see your pictures. PM me if you continue to have problems reducing them.

How is it electrically connected to the boat?

I was thinking of a similar, if cruder, system of cutting an auto jumper cable in half, clamping each half the the shrouds and tossing the cut and bared end over the side.

How are you going to test it .

Graham

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Originally Posted by Frogwatch View Post
Finally, got around to testing deployment of my new lightning ground system. It is designed to be deployed either at anchor or underway. It is made from stainless fabric with stainless rods at top and bottom and is joined to the boat with a #4 tinned Ancor cable and 3/8" line. To attach to the boat, it has a welding clamp that holds very securely and the 3/8' line goes to a cleat.
At anchor, is simply drops into the water beside the boat.
Underway, it tows on the surface at up to 10 kts. I tested it from my powerboat so I could tow it at various speeds. I hope the pics load.
My pics are too big to load and I cannot reduce them for some reason.
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Last edited by GrahamO; 06-24-2013 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Added a question
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

Normal auto jumper cable does not last very long. One immersion in salt water and the corrosion wicks all the way up the insulation and turns the entire conductor to nothing but green slime.
Connection to boat is via the welding clamp. For a sailboat, it should be clamped on a bolt on the mast high enough to avoid bends in the cable. on a powerboat, it should be clamped to either the bimini or T-top with the 3/8' poly line going to a cleat. The poly line floats and the floats on the line/cable and on the ground itself keep it out of your prop while underway.
Up to 10 kts, it floats flat atop the water but above that the wake caused it to sort of "jump" over parts of the wake and can cause twisting. Use of a longer cable (it has 20') may allow higher speed.
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

Makes sense. I can run a wire down one of the shrouds. MAX speed is 8kts so that is not going to be a problem. Looking forward to images of the wet end.

Graham

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Normal auto jumper cable does not last very long. One immersion in salt water and the corrosion wicks all the way up the insulation and turns the entire conductor to nothing but green slime.
Connection to boat is via the welding clamp. For a sailboat, it should be clamped on a bolt on the mast high enough to avoid bends in the cable. on a powerboat, it should be clamped to either the bimini or T-top with the 3/8' poly line going to a cleat. The poly line floats and the floats on the line/cable and on the ground itself keep it out of your prop while underway.
Up to 10 kts, it floats flat atop the water but above that the wake caused it to sort of "jump" over parts of the wake and can cause twisting. Use of a longer cable (it has 20') may allow higher speed.
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

My camera takes pics at high res but the posting software seems to only allow 640 X 840 or less. What is easiest way to deal with this?
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

I would normally use Picasa or Photoshop but the quick and dirty way is to open them in Windows Photo Viewer (normally the default app) and email them to yourself (third option in the top left menu). This opens a dialog box that allows you to set the size. You can either send the email or (at least in Outlook) drag the now re-sized files from the attachments line into a folder on your computer. Sending them to yourself is bombproof.....

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My camera takes pics at high res but the posting software seems to only allow 640 X 840 or less. What is easiest way to deal with this?
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Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

You can also upload them to a photo sharing site like Photobucket and then embed the link (the [IMG] one) into your post. Photobucket will put HUGE pictures in your posts that may cause people to scroll back and forth, but it's a quick and easy way of uploading.
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

OK, here goes. First pic is of lightning ground aboard.
Next is of electrical connection to Bimini and to cleat, You can see the floats for the cable.
third is of towing it at 10 kts.
Attached Thumbnails
Frogwatch Lightning ground-lightning-ground-boat-compressed.jpg   Frogwatch Lightning ground-lightning-ground-attached-comp.jpg   Frogwatch Lightning ground-lightning-ground-10-kts.jpg  
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

Thanks for that. I will add it to my projects list.

I wonder if it will work as an SSB ground plane as well.....

Graham
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Re: Frogwatch Lightning ground

I'd think a prop would make a good SSB ground. For lightning, I wouldn't want 100,000 amps passing thru my prop or thru hulls.
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