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Old 07-08-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

I'm planning a trip to southern AZ during the monsoon season and that includes lightning. In fact, I'm seeking lightning and storms for photography. I'm concerned that what I am after may end up right above me. Out in the sonoran desert, my van may be the tallest object during a strike. If I were in a van with a metal roof, I would worry less. One strike would fry a LOT of electronic gear (solar panels, etc.) and may even render the vehicle inoperable. I'm also concerned for my life!

Are there portable lightning rods that can be setup next to or around a van to keep the vehicle from being struck? Some sort of telescoping metal tubes on tripods or similar device that would be taller than the van.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

no skills here, just thinking that automobiles of every kind would be getting struck quite often due to being the highest object on the landscape

rods and such might be an attractant
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

... but you could get some killa pix!
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:17 PM   #4
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

I think you are probably more likely to die of a heart attack from stressing over lightning, than you are from getting struck by lightning.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:47 PM   #5
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
I think you are probably more likely to die of a heart attack from stressing over lightning, than you are from getting struck by lightning.
+1. If you're really affraid about that, you can install a roof rack which il operate like a Faradet cage and protect you in case of strike...
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

Depends on the potential of the strike.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11800
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

Whoaaa now, hold on there partner. I'm not stressing or afraid. Just trying to be prepared and remain safe.

I found some portable vertical mast tripod based lightning rods that you can place next to a small structure for protection. The cost was nearly what my electrical system is worth. I think I'll just drive the opposite direction!
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:07 PM   #8
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

I know the Airstream guys I used to talk to were concerned about lightning strikes, I guess since those things are big tin cans anyway, but then again aren't all vehicles? I'm a little concerned about such things too, but I don't spend all that much time in a vehicle in a storm, unless it's a work truck and I don't have a choice.

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:11 PM   #9
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

I wouldn't worry about death unless it's your SMB. A good strike can blow your tires and might fry the electrical system. Most faraday cages are designed to deal with high voltage lower amp situations. Not that they won't work but they need to be designed around high amps if you get so lucky as to receive a bolt that is considered a mega-bolt which isn't that common. I had a large strike hit a pole 40 feet from me...I didn't even feel or see the flash similar to this video but somebody a block away said I was engulfed in a pick colored bolt. It blew the pole to smithereens. Sure wouldn't be happy if it was my van top.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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Re: Lightning safety in a plastic top SMB

Then there is this possibility Jeffery:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/12/us/colora ... index.html

But these people are typically exposed.
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