3 F200s that repeatedly die to storms.

First radio is 50 ft up, top of tree and 60' of direct burial, shielded/drain wire Cat5e buried to the house. Customer was on ubiquiti NS M2 for several years with no issues, for the last year of the NS M2's life it was elevated.  When the NS was removed it was because limbs had grown out in front of it and the customer was going to have to have a bucket truck come out anyway (so we took the opportunity to replaced it with a F200 5Ghz and point it a closer tower).   Nothing changed other than there was now a F200 at the top of the pole instead of a NS M2. The surge suppressor on the house was the same Mccown tech SS that had been there all those years, the same cat5 , we even left the Ubiquiti power supply. All we did was change the radio.

In the next 2 months there was 3 storms, the radio died during each storm. No scorching, no signs of damage, just dead radio (won't power).  After the 1st time I replaced the Mccown tech SS with the Cambium Gig SS, and we replaced the PS with a ePMP PS.  After the 2nd time I added a Cambium Gig SS at the base of the tree.  Third time added a Cambium SS at the radio bonded to the pole the radio was mounted on, ran 10g copper down the tree from the SS and drove an 8' ground rod. The ground rod was bonded to the SS at the top of the tree, the one at the bottom of the tree, and we ran/buried cat5 and 10g copper to the ground/SS on the house.   The customer had also got in the habit of unplugging the radio when there was storms in the area.

Two months later the radio got zapped again. At the radio we bonded the ground to the dish of the F200 and ran a 6g copper wire inside a 1/2" pvc pipe sticking above the radio like a lightning rod and ran it all the the way down the tree to bond with the rest of the grounding at the base.  No problems all winter but no storms really and the family was unplugging the radio when bad weather approached.  

Recently they went out of town and forgot to unplug the radio and there was a storm and of course they lost the radio.  

This one stands out because for years with the NS radio they never once had a problem. Also less than 3,000' from their tree their neighbor has a 100' rohn 25G with an integrated ePMP 1000 mounted in a Mccown tech dish that has survived for 3+ years now and they never unplug it.  


Another F200 mounted on top of a post (post is 8' with 6' out of the ground).  Cable is buried for 200' were it enters an outbuilding via a Cambium Gig SS (started with a Mimosa SS but changed to the Cambium after several fried radios).  Have lost this radio a dozen times in the last 3 years. Tried much the same things as the F200 above, SS at radio, ground rod at radio, buried ground back to electric service pole from both the radio SS and the SS on the outbuilding.  Customer has a neighbor less than a thousand feet behind them with a f200 on the roof that has never been fried, and another neighbor less than a thousand feet across the street with a f200 on a 10ft mast on the roof that has never died. 


Another F200 on a pole, 300' from the house out into the woods. F200 is on a post just like above radio, surrounded by forest on all sides, with forest extending out in front of it for another 200' (just a gap through the trees where it can see the tower) cable buried a couple feet deep all the way to the house where there is about 10' of cable exposed before it goes into the SS and then into the house.   Gets fried several times a year.


None of them ever have scorching or other marks, just repeatedly die during storms.   

I have other F200's in trees, on poles and with buried cable/ aerial runs of 300+ foot , not even counting the radios on towers that go years without getting fried or that have gone years and never been fried. Shoot I have the first Canopy 900Mhz AP we ever installed that has been on the tower for around 12 years now and a couple more that have been in the air for 8+ years.  I have a slew of F180's on poles/posts 20+ feet in the air (in tree tops, and with 300'+ cable runs) for several years and while I lose one once in a while I don't have any repeat offenders like the above. 

I'm out of ideas here, anyone have any idea's / suggestions on how to protect these 3 radios from storms ? 

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I have forwarded this to the support and product teams.

"I have forwarded this to the support and product teams."

What does that mean ?

Anyway, adding a 4th F200. It was installed back in May, and today I will be replacing it for the 3rd time in the last two months. This one is on a 6ft post and only about 20ft of buried cable before SS and entering house. 200ft away is the neighbor's F200. Also on a 6ft post but 300ft buried cat5 going back to the house/SS that hasn't had a single problem.

What brand of cable are you using?  We use UBNT Cat5e sheilded and grounded with the RF Armor RJ45s with little to no issues.

Have you replaced the cable?  Generaly a common procedure for us if a customer has gone through multiple radios, to ensure that we cover all bases. 

Do you have customers use surge protectors?  This is a requirement for us and it has saved our bacon multiple times.  Sometimes, if we are having problems with a customers power we might elect to put them on a UPS to eliminate surges or drops in power.

Just a few things to try out or look at from a different angle.  Hope this helps you out.

We have seen the same issues in multiple outdoor installations (not only Cambium and not only Wireless). The units or the ethernet ports are fried without any sign of damage. Which make sense since you do not need a big surge to damage an electronic device. And especially low cost devices like ePMP.

I you dont measure the grounding (the overall resistance of your grounding system, from diferrent measuring points) you can not be sure that the radio is protected, regardless of your knowledge and effort.

So first step, I would suggest to call an electrician to measure (with proper equipment) your grounding system.

The surge may hit the unit from multiple routes. A very common route (and usually the most neglected) is the power feed of the house. Do they have T2 arrestors at the breaker panel?

With the same cost of a small UPS you may use a very good quality Voltage Stabilizer. In my opinion way better than a low cost UPS. 

Also you must check for any Grounding Loops.

The connection of add on groundings to the electric service pole is not allowed in Greece for safety reasons. I believe the same applies everywhere.

You are using a copper cable as a lighting rod. The copper cable can not replace a lighting rod, I am afraid that if it works as a rod (got hit by lighting) bad things may hapen. No offence but are you sure that it is safe to put a lighting rod on a tree?