TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3
EMERGENCY COORDINATOR WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 18.46 DATE: November 18, 2018
SUBJECT: WIND STATIC
It's been a few years since I said anything about Wind Static, and it can happen at any time of the year. Most of the time it is developed on your wire antennas, and mostly in the Winter, but it can happen at any time. In the Winter most, Amateurs don't disconnect the antennas from their radio equipment because there is a lack of lightening, so why worry about disconnecting them.
What is wind static? Wind static is electricity that is generated when a piece of wire, such as an antenna, is suspended in the air. Wind static usually happens when the air outside is cool and dry, and there is a wind blowing. As the air passes by the wire it displaces electrons like the passing of a comb through your hair. Static Electricity can build up to several thousand volts and can do the same amount of damage to your radio equipment as a nearby lightning strike.
Grounding the transmission lines of the antennas, and the communications equipment will help greatly to reduce the chances of electronic equipment from being damaged. Wind Static can be produced in the Winter or the Summer, all that is needed is the proper weather conditions and your radio equipment can be damaged the same as if it were hit by lightning.
To protect your Amateur Radio equipment, it's best to disconnect, and ground the radio antenna transmission line, when not in use, winter or summer, to discharge any Wind Static that builds up.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV