Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere. That means we will be entering the thunderstorm season in Minnesota – a dangerous time for remote base station equipment due to the risk of damage by lightning strikes. Even nearby lightning that does not strike the station antenna can damage station equipment.
In the case of nearby lightning – within 25 miles of the station – it is prudent to take the station offline and disconnect the antenna. But the hosting of an HF remote is a tricky business, since one cannot always be at the station location to take it offline when lightning strikes are nearby. Sometimes bad weather is predicted, but may not arrive for many hours. If the station owner cannot be available during that time frame, the station may have to be offline for an extended period. Since the service is offered by volunteers who share their stations, we all need to manage expectations. While we want to have the stations available as much as possible, the station manager cannot be available all the time!
You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about when the stations are available.
Happy Spring, everyone!