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Many years ago, early 60s I think, I was aquainted with a radio engineer who had a shop but had done his time in the RN.
He told me about some experiments they had been involved in before WWII using more & more power to try to increase range. One day as he hit the key there was a big flash like lightning outside and he realised that they had got to the limit! Apparently some of this depended on the weather, relative humidity, etc.
From this I recall him telling me that the stay wires had 'egg' ceramic insulators fitted to stop the power on the main aerials from going to deck. I assumed that the masts were non-conductive.
Interesting point about lightning arresters - Thinking about it just how did the lightning get to ground if the main route down was insulated? Unless the insulators were fitted with lightning bypass rods and that's getting silly.
 
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