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lighting and antennas

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lighting and antennas

Post by silver runner » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 16:36 PM

I was just thinking, does anyone know how likely it is for a mobile or base antenna to get struck by lighting and if it did, what kind of damnage would it do to the radio.
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Post by lonesome 500 » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 16:52 PM

terminal.......more likely to hit something taller

i can testify to what happens to fiberglass base antennas

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Post by linx » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 17:20 PM

lighting or lightning?

If your mobile gets hit by lightning, it will destroy your equipment. It will probably not hurt you unless you are touching metal as your tires are rubber.

For your base, you better have it well grounded with a 8ft co-p-per rod. If you have your equipment plugged in and you get hit by lightning, you will have the same results. Your equipment will be destroyed. If you have a fiberglass antenna, grounded or not, it will be destroyed as well. I'm not sure about aluminum. I'll let you know when my moonraker gets hit, lol. I have heard it will destroy your rotor regardless. They do make lightning arrestors, like the PolyPhaser, and I have mine installed, but you really never know if it'll work until it happens to you.

If you were refering to lighting, like a light fixture, then it doesn't hurt the equipment. I've knocked lights out at Checkers before, lol.
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Post by Visegrip » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 17:43 PM

I have to agree with you Linx

When God drops the *Censored* it will definitely get your attention

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Post by SwampHog » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 17:46 PM

Visegrip wrote:I have to agree with you Linx

When God drops the *Censored* it will definitely get your attention
haha, when God drops the *Censored*, thats a good way to put it. Yea i hear it fries everything in your moble..radio, amps, ect


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Post by Evan » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 18:31 PM

Make sure you unscrew your coax connection and hang it outside ( try to keep it dry) when a storm rolls in on the base station. I seen a A-99 get hit before, talk about a mess. :shock:

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Post by intimidator_SS » Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 18:39 PM

Given that a 1000ft long lighnting bolt has energy of about 100 terawatts thats equals 10^12 kw. Can you imagine 10 to the 12 power watts going straight into your radio? God must be runnin a SWP galaxy with a davemade amp the size of a football field

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Antenna's & Lighting

Post by Ranger Buck » Monday, 21 July 2008, 8:43 AM

Question concerning antenna strikes. Can the lead coax be screwed into a 2 KW dummy load? (2 gallon oil can) instead of hanging out a window? Would the strike blow the dummy load up? if so the oil may destroy the equipment?
your replies & comments welcome.

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Post by North Texas Mudduck » Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 18:10 PM

imagine a firecracker on the ground when it goes off

now take a firecracker put it in a bucket and stand beside it
no telling how hot the oil would be when it hit you and also the metal pieces flying around
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RE lighting and antennas

Post by PONY EXPRESS » Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 19:10 PM

silver runner wrote:I was just thinking, does anyone know how likely it is for a mobile or base antenna to get struck by lighting and if it did, what kind of damnage would it do to the radio.
devastation if your antenna is hit by lightning now lighting I have no idea.

I always unhook my antennas outside at home and have them grounded . In the car it stays always hooked up .
I have seen actual mobile antenna that got hit by mother nature and it destroyed the antenna and knocked out all the guys electronice. he survived the strike as he was in his car .

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Post by pipsqueek » Tuesday, 09 September 2008, 22:08 PM

I can tell you firsthand....devestating. Avoid getting hit....it's do-able (well, nothing is 100%),
but since I've applied what I had learned while working with a real smart cookie station engineer at a broadcast AM radio station years ago, my home station has gone unscaythed during the worst of storms.
Google this site on what I've written about it. It's late and typing sucks at this un-godly hour.
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Post by Texas Mobil 219 » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 2:38 AM

Im not for sure if lighting. But i lost a cobra 150. Disconnect your coax for your radio and put the end in a glass jar.
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Post by 721HACKSAW » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 5:08 AM

Please lets don't go down the "glass jar" road again, lightning destorys trees, bricks, melts metal, ect.... Why in the world would you think a small glass jar would prevent damage? Everything in this world is a conductor of electricity, it's just a matter of how much you force you put behind it. Disconnecting your coax and keeping your insurance premiums up to date are your best defense. Back out reading the mail.

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Post by linx » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 11:44 AM

Wow! Old topic!

I am not using 1x Poly Phaser lightning arrestor and 3x ICE lightning arrestors. Know what I still do? I still unplug my coax. These conventional arrestors and surge protectors still won't really protect against lightning. Most of these devises have some sort of glass tubes that are supposed to shunt the current and some have electrical devices that are supposed to do the same. I'm here to tell ya that 100m volts is not going to be stopped by a gap in metal created by some type of shunting device. In most cases if something gets in the way of lightning, it goes around the device and keeps going. The ultimate protection is to unplug your equipment when not in use. Modern day arrestors are to keep current from back feeding into your radio, and to keep static electricity from coming back into the radio and damaging it.
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Post by 998 » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 12:27 PM

Well I have not had to deal with this yet but it it does hit my antenna ill fill you guys in and i do know it will destroy your radoi and it can be fixed but your talking more money than its worth my tech in Va fixed a radio and it was a mess but he got it working again after replacing most of the radio but he did this just to see if he could as far as the coax i was once told to put it in a glass jar ?????? got me i just leave hooked up cause the chance of getting hit is like winning the lotto i guess we will find out one day till then i must keep on keeping on :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Post by SwampHog » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 14:35 PM

I actually witnessed my wilson 5000 get hit about a week ago, i was standing probably 50 yards away, luckly I had my coax unplugged. Loudest thing ive ever hurd, set off about 20 car alarms in the parking lot, and the alarm in home depot was going off for about 10 mins after. It was crazy, and now that I saw and hurd the power of lightning...I ant messin around outside in a storm ever again! :shock: :shock:

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Post by Texas Mobil 219 » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 15:52 PM

Say hacksaw. Glass will prevent the electricity from bouncing all over the inside for your car or truck. That is if your the luck one to get hit. Ive seen what it can do to a amp and a cb. Pretty my melted them together and blow the batteries. Wasn't a pretty site to see 2000 bucks down the drain.
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Post by Night Crawler » Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 16:01 PM

Nothing will protect you from a direct hit.

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Post by Grump » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 18:28 PM

I wonder if it hit your car and coax was plugged in would it blow out the computer in the car you know through the power leads

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Post by PONY EXPRESS » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 18:46 PM

linx wrote:lighting or lightning?

If your mobile gets hit by lightning, it will destroy your equipment. It will probably not hurt you unless you are touching metal as your tires are rubber.

For your base, you better have it well grounded with a 8ft co-p-per rod. If you have your equipment plugged in and you get hit by lightning, you will have the same results. Your equipment will be destroyed. If you have a fiberglass antenna, grounded or not, it will be destroyed as well. I'm not sure about aluminum. I'll let you know when my moonraker gets hit, lol. I have heard it will destroy your rotor regardless. They do make lightning arrestors, like the PolyPhaser, and I have mine installed, but you really never know if it'll work until it happens to you.

If you were refering to lighting, like a light fixture, then it doesn't hurt the equipment. I've knocked lights out at Checkers before, lol.
One thing we do on our rotator is we have a 8 PIN quick disconnect plug at the base of the tower so lightning can not come in via the rotor cable HEE HEE!
Its not a real radio unless it has tubes and USB/LSB on the front panel ....



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Post by jessejamesdallas » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 18:47 PM

Got news for you guys...pending on the lightning bolt...But if it's a BIG BOLT, even if your coax is unscrewed, stuck in a glass jar, or coiled up outside somewhere, the bolt can jump right into everything electrical in your house, and destroy everything! :shock: CB Radios included! :wink:

I have a uncle that had his tower hit, and he had disconnected the radio because he knew there was a bad electrical storm on the way. But it didn't do a bit of good, the lightning jumped from the tower to the electrical wire going into the house and fried everything from his radio, to the AC, TV's, dishwasher, refrigerator, phones, and I think it even got my aunt's vibrator! :shock:

Best thing to do, would be to have a crank-up tower or pole, that you could lower in the event of a storm...But even then, there's no such thing as being totally safe from Mother Nature... :wink:
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How about a Lightning hits Motorcycle

Post by PONY EXPRESS » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 18:52 PM

Its not a real radio unless it has tubes and USB/LSB on the front panel ....



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RE How about a Lightning hits Motorcycle

Post by jessejamesdallas » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 18:58 PM

See what I mean! You could actually see the lightning jump off that bike, right into the guys hand! :lol:
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Post by firefyter » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 19:07 PM

The glass jar thing is a hoax....if it comes through your coax and into the jar, you'll be picking glass up for a long time.

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Post by Texas Mobil 219 » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 19:52 PM

Well i haven't seen what lightning will do when it come down the coax into a glass jar. Ive herd it will give you alittle protection from a hit.

But what i can tell you. That my Cobra 150 and a 250 watt driver and and a 16 pill smoker pretty much melted to there chassis. Not a pretty site. Alot of money gone.

JJd is right nothing will protect you from a direct hit. The movie clip is prof of what can happen on a non direct hit.

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Post by 998 » Thursday, 13 November 2008, 20:52 PM

If you get hit you will know :shock: :shock: :shock: not a good thing but yea ground everything out not that its going to save you but just do it :wink:
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Post by pipsqueek » Friday, 14 November 2008, 1:02 AM

"The glass jar thing is a hoax"....... No it's not. It may not offer protection from all strikes but it will offer some. Before I had my ground system and lightning protection up to the point I have it now, I used to use an old heavy milk bottle for the coax ends. I had it wrapped with rubber electical tape and then with vinyl tape. Had it sitting in a heavy ceramic flowerpot bottom and that on top of a small sheet of rainbow rubber. I would throw a ground lead into the jar hoping that, if anything happened, the lead would be the path to take.
My receive long wire was hit years ago and vaporized. The coax end was destroyed. There was some flashout of the jar as I found scorch marks on my tuner (it was toast).
....The glass jar held together... on inspection, I found that the bottom of it had melted and re-solidified. It was all bubbled up and distorted.
I now have the more elaborate lightning system I spoke of in place and ....yes, a new glass bottle (just in case).
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Post by firefyter » Friday, 14 November 2008, 2:24 AM

What happened would have happened reguardless of your pickle jar. Its not a matter of opinion, its science.

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Post by pipsqueek » Friday, 14 November 2008, 7:26 AM

"it's science".....and what law of science are you basing your opinion on...the law of lightning and "pickle" jars. I'm convinced that in that nano-second of the strike the "heavy old milk bottle" bought me some time and protection.
Some of the strike may have went out the way of the groung lead I provided. Then there was the energy spent to melt the bottom of the glass. Get you a propane torch, sit there and see how long it takes to melt the thing yourself (not an easy task). All this may have lessened the amount of energy spilling into the shack, and I'll take any available protection I can get.
The fact that I wasn't picking glass up for a long time punches a l'il hole in your supposition.
Look, a lightning hit isn't an exacting science. There are variables all around. Some are killed by the energy given off by a near hit, some people have been hit directly and walked away. Some hits can devestate a house, other hits can't shatter a milk bottle. You can stick to your voodo science, I'll take the added protection that the glass affords.
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Post by firefyter » Friday, 14 November 2008, 8:06 AM

That's fine, you have your opinion even if it is wrong. Ask your engineer friend about it and he will laugh at you. Maybe we should buy pickle jars for all RF transmitting stations out there. Keep your coax in a jar and your head in the sand I'm not going to lose any sleep over it

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Post by lonesome 500 » Friday, 14 November 2008, 8:14 AM

it acts as an over volted incandesant [sp?] bulb........boom

ask the old timers who has exploded multiple glass jars this way

glass turned tp shrapnel
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Post by firefyter » Friday, 14 November 2008, 8:26 AM

BTW....it takes about 2500 degrees to melt glass and the average lightning bolt is 50000 degrees. You do the math or is that "voodoo" also

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Post by pipsqueek » Friday, 14 November 2008, 13:24 PM

"keep your head in the sand".......please get your head out of.....well, I won't go there. Just try to read all parts of the posts and comprehend them. I had stated that I now have a very elaborate ground field and system along with other static discharging methods to defray the possibility of strikes
and to minimize the effects of one if it does occur.
I will take any added protection I can get and if the "pickle" jar (again, please reread and try to get the facts straight) offers in the least any added protection (which I have experienced first hand)
, I will take it.

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Post by firefyter » Friday, 14 November 2008, 14:12 PM

pipsqueek wrote:I will take any added protection I can get and if the "pickle" jar (again, please reread and try to get the facts straight) offers in the least any added protection (which I have experienced first hand)
, I will take it.
Pickle jar, milk jug, whatever......It offers NO protection from a lightning strike. Facts are Facts

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Post by Texas Mobil 219 » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 2:23 AM

Two things i found about direct hits of lightning. One a mini van. All it did was damage the antenna.


And two and Airplane In Fight. And didnt come crashing to the ground.


If nothing can take a direct hit. (I know this from my old rig.) Than why did this two out of many make it. Exspecialy the plan. You would think it would come crashing to the ground.

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Post by pipsqueek » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 6:05 AM

Yes indeed .....not an exact science, is it. A strike had left every black sheep in a field unscaythed and killed every white one???? Go figure. As I had pointed out some folks walk away from a strike, some aren't so fortunate. There are strikes and there are STRIKES.

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Post by firefyter » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 13:13 PM

Texas Mobil 219 wrote:Two things i found about direct hits of lightning. One a mini van. All it did was damage the antenna.


And two and Airplane In Fight. And didnt come crashing to the ground.


If nothing can take a direct hit. (I know this from my old rig.) Than why did this two out of many make it. Expecialy the plan. You would think it would come crashing to the ground.
You are comparing apples to oranges.....Airplanes get hit all the time in flight.
A mobile is insulated from the ground(much like an airplane)

A base setup is NOT insulated from the ground and thats why lightning often damages equipment. Strikes are unavoidable but damaged equiptment is not. A properly setup and installed grounding system(Which does NOT include glass jars)will most likely save your radios and such. Your antenna may not be so lucky.

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Post by pipsqueek » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 13:30 PM

Hey , I was answering TM219's comment. You still continue to be-little my way of doing things. Ya know what .....you don't have to do it if ya don't like it. But don't put down my way of doing things.
You remind me of my brother-in-law....he likes Pepsi so he contends that Coke is no good and that anyone who likes Coke is off their nut.
Go blow your putdown comments out your a--

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Post by firefyter » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 14:41 PM

They are not putdown comments. They are scientific facts. Do a little research. A good place to start is with a couple fellas you may have heard of.....Thomas Edison and Benjiman Franklin. They seem to know a thing or two on electricity.

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Post by lonesome 500 » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 14:58 PM

sheez......

comparing a strike to a plane......or rubber/air insulated.......is like apples to enemas

the strike is single charge ... +OR- .......the damage happens where they meet = G.R.O.U.N.D.

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Post by firefyter » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 16:41 PM

lonesome 500 wrote:Knowledge
Evidently some arent that interested in having it lonesome. Its readily available in a google search

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Post by DOMINATOR » Sunday, 16 November 2008, 17:37 PM

Lightning follows no rules.
You can protect yourself but a direct hit will cook what it makes contact with. A hit 1 mile away will probably cook or damage your equipment. Disconnect your coax. Properly ground your system and antennas. I use ICE lightning arrestors directly grounded to building rod. These even ground the center not just the the shield. Even with those I disconnect coax when not in use. Take no chances, don't skimp on grounding and pray you dont get smoked.

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Post by pipsqueek » Monday, 17 November 2008, 7:17 AM

Franklin!!! Ya gotta be kidding, right? Uhhhh yea, I've heard of him. Patriot, superior statesman, postmaster general, inventor of the 100 dollar bill and avid cb enthusiast. Let's see ya want people to look up what he's accomplished with protecting radio stations from lightning strikes....wow.
Or maybe he did that on the side commercially for a larger venue. It would have to have been one of the older station, WOR, WHN perhaps. What a joke. Yea he did the key thing. Hardly gives him the authority to write the thesis on lightning protection.
While others have offered suggestions and firsthand experience here, all you have done is berate them while spouting jems like "facts is facts, science is science, and lightning is hot".

Go fly a kite.

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Post by firefyter » Monday, 17 November 2008, 11:40 AM

Sorry I got under your skin. I just don't want people using your logic and putting their coax in a pickle jar it offers NO protection from lightning as you say. I hope by ticking you off that I've made my point and no one else will believe your nonsense. I have tried to help educate you on lightning protection but you refuse. I have not berated you, only told you facts that you refuse to believe. Do some research for yourself

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Post by firefyter » Monday, 17 November 2008, 11:57 AM

BTW Pipsqueak.....you really need to do some research on subjects you think you know about. You can't possibly be that stupid. Franklin invented probably the most important piece of lightning protection equipment in history. Like I told you several times before. Inform yourself before debating something you have no knowledge in.

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Post by 721HACKSAW » Monday, 17 November 2008, 12:02 PM

Please try and be civil, no sense resorting to name calling. I am an electrician, been in the trade for over 25 years. I have done housewiring, high voltage line work, and now do industrial control cicuitry. I have worked with many good, knowledgable electricians for many years and we never, ever used any kind of glass jars as insulators. This is an old wives tale. Lightning knocks whole trees down, destroys metal, wood, concrete ect.. Why on earth would a glass jar provide any more protection? Do you ever see a glass jar on any of your electrical companys trucks? Unplug the coax and keep those insurance premiums paid!

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Post by lonesome 500 » Monday, 17 November 2008, 12:25 PM

exactly............

but glass was once used in electrical transmission line insulators....ie power poles

this started way back in the DC days of telograph

once it was found to be inefective at higher voltages.....they were changed to a ceramic

not for voltages of lightening
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Post by pipsqueek » Monday, 17 November 2008, 12:26 PM

As stated earlier the jar did help somewhat in a lightning incident I had years ago. This is why I still incorporate it as a last ditch bit of protection with a more elaborate setup(based on guess-who's lightning rod design).What happened, happened. I related the facts. Yea it gets under my skin when I'm basically being called a liar.
Get's worse when the **censored** calls me stupid in his last post. At least I'm smart enough to read and understand all parts of others' post, and not pick and choose the parts the dumbell wants to make his arguments.

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firefyter
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Post by firefyter » Monday, 17 November 2008, 12:58 PM

I'm not trying to make you look like an idiot, you have done a fine job of that yourself. You saying Franklin had nothing to do with lightning protection was a prime example af how unimformed you are

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pipsqueek
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Post by pipsqueek » Monday, 17 November 2008, 16:55 PM

Didn't you see the reference to "guess whos' lightning rod design" when talking about my system. Let me give you a hint there schmekie....uhh ...Franklin.
Please learn to read between the lines. There are none so blind as those who won't see.
I tried to break the tension with a humorous retort ( the $100bill thing, the WOR,WHN thing, the go fly a kite ((a poor Franklin joke)) ) while still trying to make my point.
Apparently it didn't make a difference to your miserable, humorless outlook.
So look you can have the last word after this. I'm sure you'll come back with more shouts of idiot, stupid, unimformed and such. People like you usually do.
If we cross threads on this site please don't engage me with any comments, and I won't with you. I'm done with you.


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