Lightning Retardant Cable (LRC) is a multi-patented technology designed to keep lightning off of wires and cable thus encouraging it to follow proper ground paths. In doing so, LRC enhances the operation and extends the life of surge protectors as well as any electrical devices connected to the cable. In order to understand how LRC works, one must understand how it is made. The following steps illustrate LRC’s construction and operation.

Step 1

A standard wire or cable such as HDTV antenna cable or airport runway cable is wrapped with a proprietary foil. This wrapping is at a specific angle to the standard cable. The foil offers 100% coverage and each turn is insulated from the other. The result is a large electrical choke down the length of the cable.

This foil choke accomplishes two things:

(1)   It takes advantage of an electrostatic phenomenon called the “skin effect”, thus keeps the lightning on the outside of the cable.

(2)   It creates a high impedance path to ground encouraging lightning to take the better lower impedance path.
If a battery were connected to the foil wrap, a magnetic field would be established as illustrated to the left. This field looks similar to that around the earth.

Step 2

A second insulated conductor is wrapped on top of the foil in the opposite direction. This is called a choke or drain. The drain is wrapped at the same angle as the foil.

The choke assists in canceling the magnetic fields of any induced current (strike) near the LRC. If you can remove the magnetic fields you greatly impede the flow of current down the cable.

This results in “localizing” effect on the cable. In other words, if the cable was connected to a number of light fixtures and lightning struck a fixture, the energy would stay there and not run down the cable. This effect has been proven in government field tests.

If you were to connect a battery to the drain, but in the opposite polarity that was connected to the foil, you would see a magnetic field in the opposite direction of that of the foil. This is illustrated to the right.

Step 3

If you were to connect both batteries to the cable as illustrated, you would have a full cancellation of the magnetic fields. This is illustrated below.

The theory is simple; cancel the magnetic fields and you stop the flow of current down the cable.

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