QSO365 struck by lightning, future in jeopardy

At around 17:05 yesterday (28th June) my house suffered a very near lightning strike. My wife and daughter described it as a very bright white flash and a simultaneous bang which sounded as though a huge goldfish bowl had smashed right behind them. My neighbours have described a feeling of something going through them and one was lifted out of her chair.

I got home over an hour later to find them still shaken and with a number of electrical items in my shack and through the house damaged. Our telephone is out. Another neighbour still has no power this morning.

My initial list of items damaged is as follows:

My Yaesu FT-847, the main station transceiver
Yaesu G-450C rotator
Microset VHF masthead preamp
Microset SR200 VHF 200w linear
Apple Mac Pro
microHAM USB Interface III
Apple Mac Mini
Truecall phone filter
Draytek Vigor 120 ADSL2+ modem
Apple 2Tb Time Capsule

There may be more – it looks as though the rig took the brunt and it went through the uHAM interface to my Mac Pro, I don’t know if the other USB devices which were connected have been hit as well.

My insurance company have already been contacted and they will be calling me today for a list but I suspect this isn’t going to be a straightforward claim.

Regarding QSO365, I had a contact on 20m RTTY yesterday morning and will do all I can to continue the project but don’t expect too many updates over the next few days. I don’t want to fail.

Luckily nobody is hurt, this could have been a lot worse. I’ve been asked why I didn’t unplug the aerials, the answer to that is simple. I didn’t know there were storms forecast and disconnecting the aerials isn’t something I normally do as part of the daily routine. I suspect this will change in the future.


Add a Comment
  1. Would be such a shame if you has to stop because of this.

    Love reading the updates.

    As I said on Twitter glad you’re all fine, albeit a little shaken. Could have been so much worse.

    Maybe use iPhone to have few Echolink-> RF QSOs? Would that be valid in you eyes?

    Good luck, hope the challenge goes on.


  2. Thanks Paul. I’ve been quite vocal in the past about echolink so it would be hypocritical of me to resort to it now.


  3. Hi Keith, Glad you’re all ok, albeit a bit depressed over the gear, etc. I don’t know which weather forecast you saw, but storms were forecast, and they got it spot on with times etc. The rigs are never plugged in when I’m not in the shack or close by. Yesterday at the first clap of thunder I unplugged everything including the mains plugs of all the gear and accessories in the shack. Not much you can do with the house appilances though.

    Hope you can carry on the adventure.
    Bob G8HGN

  4. Hi Bob, I didn’t see any weather forecast, that’s why I had no idea! I do normally disconnect my aerials when there are storms but because I work a fair distance from home I could do nothing once the weather struck yesterday.

    I was looking forward to VHF NFD this weekend and hoping to have a go in the Fixed Sweeper section with my goal being to try and get the Gold award as I missed out on it last year by just a few percentage points but that’s gone out of the window now.

    My whole VHF aerial system is going to have to come down because the rotator isn’t spinning properly and I’m pretty sure the masthead preamp has failed. It’s only been up a year.

  5. Hi Keith, hope you can continue the project. But indeed most important is that there is no personal injury. These thunderstorms where already expected for days. The forecast in the Netherlands warned for them on the news since Sunday evening. Better stay informed next time and disconnect the antennas. 73, Bas

  6. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I’m finding more broken stuff all the time, our fridge/freezer isn’t working and I have network connectivity problems but they’re impossible to track down without working computers.

  7. Keith,
    Sorry to hear about the lightning strike, my father G1IVF had a similar strike. Basically it hit hit his TV Aerial and the coax from the aerial split and melted down the whole length of coax, it then blew the TV aerial amplifier to bits and in doing so looks like it jumped across into the mains throughout the house. His Ham gear all failed as the PSU blew and rather than outputting 13.8vdc it was putting out near 30v and that took out his FT857. His old Trio 2m radio that was on packet also blew. On his normal house domestic equipment the kettle element blow as did the oven element and on the majority of his 13amp plugs the earth terminal on the plug had signs or arcing.
    He luckily also got paid out in full and ended up upgrading most of his shack as he had a new for old policy.
    Hope to see you on QRSS again soon 73 de Colin G1IVG

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.