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Stay Grounded, Be Happy (by Tony Fortunato)

Lighting

As wireless becomes more common outside, in warehouses and basically any traditional non-wired environments, I am seeing a disturbing pattern.  No Grounding!!

I’m learning that some LAN folks might not have a traditional radio or electrical background which leaves them exposed to the most dangerous and oldest issue involving outdoor installs.

In the Electrical, Cable TV, Radio and Satellite industry it is common to be fully aware of ‘grounding’  fundamentals and ensure you have protected yourself against these possible risks. The concept is quite simple: you need to protect your equipment against electrical surges or lightning damage.

In the past, many wireless radios had external antennas/cabling and the lighting arrestor was typically connected between the radio and antenna cabling. I have even seen many manufactures include the arrestor with the AP to ensure it isn’t forgotten.

Now with POE and integrated antenna’s there doesn’t seem to be an obvious place to put a suppressor/arrestor. I guess if you didnt know and don't see it in the box, how would you know this was a requirement.

There are CAT5, N-male/female and various other flavors of suppressors/arrestors, so make sure you know what you need, or what your manufacturer recommends.

I have seen installations where the arrestor was installed, connected to the Cat5 cabling, but no ground cabling was connected to the arrestor.  The technician honestly believed that the mounting screws for the arrestor was ‘ground enough’.

The funniest story I can remember is when I gave a technician a lightning arrestor and asked him to, “don’t forget to toss this in with the AP install”.   A week later I went by to document the cabinet and there it was, “STILL IN THE BOX!!”. When I asked him why he didn’t connect the arrestor, he responded that I didn’t ask him to ‘connect it’, just to ‘toss it in’.  Really???…

I wish I could make this stuff up, but sadly enough, technicians seem to provide me with this type of material in abundance.

So before you walk away from that outdoor Access Point/radio install, please make sure you INSTALL a lighting arrestor or surge suppressor, clear enough?

I have included a photo of my Lighting Arrestor in case you have not seen one.

IMG_1892

 

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