[amsat-bb] Re: FT847 and Lightning

Jeff KB2M kb2m at comcast.net
Fri Mar 12 17:08:53 PST 2010

 Joel, I took a lightning hit with my 847 in 1997. It was a big one, took
out my sat tv, phone, TNC's , KCT card, computer's, etc.  I had
disconnected the antennas, power, everything except the modem(remember
them?), that's where it got in, through the phone line, to the rs-232 port.
I had an APRS station I left up and didn't disconnect during the event and
it was fine! Go figure. To make a long story short I sent the 847 in that
was only 3 weeks old to be looked at. Yaesu graciously fixed it under
warranty. I was also Leary about keeping a lightning compromised radio after
a lightning hit but I really didn't want to sell it to anyone so I kept it.
Now 11 years later it is still working the birds! So you never know, good
luck if you decide to go for the repair. 

73 Jeff kb2m

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of Joel Black
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 19:33 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] FT847 and Lightning

I appreciate everyone who has responded to my incessant questions here 
lately regarding radios, etc..  Tuesday morning, I took a hit to my 
VHF/UHF vertical antenna.  It came into the ham shack and got the 
following equipment:

either the LVB Tracker, the G5400 controller or both (the G5400 
controller is sluggish and the LVB tracker doesn't even turn on)
cable modem
my PC's NIC
my kids' PC's NIC
and reset a couple of GFI outlets throughout the house.

I have been asking the questions of the radios because I have an FT857 
that I was not in use at the time; however, it does not have full duplex 
capability.  I really like the 857 and wouldn't mind having another, but 
the FT817 would be (from what I read) a great little receiver and it's a 
bit less expensive (I can add filters to it at that cost).  As for the 
847, I work in telecom and I know what kind of damage you fight from a 
lightning strike.  I could send it to Yaesu, but when it comes back, 
I'll be fighting with it from now on.  I just don't want to spend $500 
for repairs only to have to send it back six months later for repairs 
again.  I'll try to fix it, but that's going to be kind of slow - it'll 
also make for a good teacher.

As for the rotor controller, I was already going to completely take down 
the HEO antenna array and put up either homebrew eggbeaters or 
turnstiles.  The 22 elements on 2m and 44 elements on 70cm are a tad 
overkill for what is up there and they need work.  I really want to put 
a hexbeam up on that tower anyway.  :)

I guess I'm looking for advice.  Do I send the radio to Yaesu for repair 
or purchase a companion for the 857?  Any other advice is also welcome.

Folks, unplug and disconnect everything.  We had another lightning storm 
last night.  At 3am, my wife woke me and said, "Honey, there's 
light..."  I ran into the hamshack and just pulled everything out of the 
wall.  It's funny looking back on it, but I still have a sick feeling in 
my stomach.
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