What are Surges?
Transient surges are voltage spikes that reach peaks of tens of kilovolts, for just a few microseconds. Though these peaks are short, they often cause severe damage and service interruptions to equipment connected to the power grid.
These surges originate in the electromagnetic fields created by storms. When lightning generates, it creates a very intense electromagnetic field, which induces transient surges in all metallic conductors. Outdoor and longer distance lines are the ones that are most exposed to this field, receiving higher instances of surges.
Permanent overvoltage means an increase of hundreds of volts in the power grid, which can happen for an unknown period. These are usually caused by direct lightning strikes. Communication antennas, for example, are usually located in high exposure areas. Their irregular form and its metallic nature cause a great attraction to direct impacts of lightning bolts. When this happens, the lightning's energy not only causes induced surges but also overvoltage, which is much more intense.
How Can I Protect My Signal Booster?
Every piece of outdoor electronic equipment is at risk of being negatively affected by overvoltage, and one of the biggest threats is a bolt of lightning. A single lightning discharge close to a power supply cable can produce overvoltage, causing irreparable damage to your signal booster or other equipment. Lightning surge protectors come in handy if you want to mitigate these external issues. Their job is to protect the installed systems without affecting their regular operation.
Two types of protection exist for this type of installation. There’s external protection, based on a lightning surge protector, and internal protection. The latter is used to protect against the different induced surges in the cables. Internal security aims to prevent surges from damaging the receivers.
These cell booster accessories need to be connected to the cables that receive the surge. Should a voltage spike, the booster will be grounded, limiting the voltage taken by the receiver to a reasonable quantity. The possible paths in this type of installation are coaxial cables and electrical distribution cables, for transient overvoltage, and electrical distribution cables for permanent overvoltage.
There are two types of surges:
- Those that occur as a result of the direct discharge of a lightning bolt
- Those caused by mechanical damage to the network
In the latter, the resistance of the equipment is considered sufficient, and no additional protection is required. However, in some cases, the network may lack protection, especially if the conductors have a metal screen grounded at their two ends. This is because the cable is considered equivalent to an underground outlet. In cases of thunderstorms and lightning strikes, protection must be higher if we want to avoid losing our equipment.
How Can I Protect My Signal Booster?
These devices step in once voltage increases above normal levels. They overturn the extra energy, diverting it securely to the ground. This keeps it from damaging your booster and lets the standard voltage continue along its path, allowing the booster to continue functioning normally. When they are combined with a jumper cable, grounding rods, and an antenna pole mount, you get a complete industry lightning security system.
The surges produced by lightning have a short duration, so the protection devices must have the ability to respond immediately. For this reason, there are different types of lightning rods:
- Recommended to deal with the direct impact of a lightning bolt. Its energy absorption capacity is very high, while the speed of response is low or medium.
- For atmospheric surges, its absorption and response capacity is, in both cases, medium-high.
- Used in the same cases as # 2 devices, but its absorption capacity is low, and its response is very high.
So, a lightning surge protector provides two main functions:
- It absorbs and diverts excessive current to the ground, protecting your cell booster equipment
- Provides low impedance path for conducting the excessive current, and eliminates the extra voltage
Do I Genuinely Need a Lightning Surge Protector?
Before buying one, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your home near any tall structures, close to a hilltop, or located in an area with frequent lightning storms?
- Does your current lightning protection system have surge arrestors?
- Are these surges produced internally through your home’s power network?
If the answer is yes to any of these, strongly consider a lightning surge protector.
What Won’t a Lightning Surge Protector Help With?
In the unlikely event your home is struck by lightning, the electricity will spread all over your home. It will go through other conductors like wires, telephone and coax cable lines, among others. When we’re talking about this kind of voltage, you can expect it to discharge madly, through anything it finds, until it hits the ground. A tiny lightning surge protector will not be enough to keep your signal booster or other equipment safe.
The only way you can get real protection against a bolt of lightning is with a complete lightning mitigation system, which includes a pole mount. Nevertheless, sometimes even that won’t ensure the safety of your equipment. Lightning surge protectors protect up to a certain point, depending on the number of joules discharged. Considering a lightning bolt has billions of joules, your lightning protection system will probably be futile if your home gets a straight hit. Nonetheless, these cell signal booster accessories do work marvelously against electricity surges produced at the facilities itself. These types of surges are nothing compared them to a bolt of lightning.
What's this About a Mounting Pole?
While a mounting pole will certainly help protect your booster from lightning surges, its primary purpose is simply to make installation easier. They attach to any surface and serve as the ideal place to mount your outdoor antenna. Combined with a lightning surge protector, these are the most basic signal booster accessories for your new system.
So if you want an easy install and the most protection for your investment, get these booster accessories today at an excellent price: