J&J News & Events

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Protecting Your Batting Cages

by Kevin Derrickson

Protecting Your Cage

A flash from the sky, a burst of wind, or an unexpected lake inside your batting cages.  Any or all of these events can produce severe, and expensive, damage to your batting cage.  Some of you know better than others how capable Mother Nature is at wreaking havoc.  Preemptive planning is essential before any battle, and this Lady is a worthy foe.  Here are some preventative measures you can take to protect your cage.


High Winds

While not particularly vulnerable to moderate winds, high winds and certainly hurricane force winds can rip netting and bend pipe.  Your best defense is to lower the canopy net all the way down and untie the ropes attached to the perimeter poles.  Let the net lay on the cage floor until the danger passes.  Sounds like a lot of work?  Not really if you consider the alternative.  Replacing or repairing bent center poles, perimeter pipes and netting is a lengthy and expensive job.


Water Damage

High winds and electrical power outages usually go hand in hand.  No power, no sump pump.  No sump pump and your cage can fill up in a hurry during heavy rains.  Consider an alternative power source, like a portable generator (4000 to 5000 watts in most cases should be adequate), to power the sump pump.  You could also use an engine-driven centrifugal pump.  If none of these options are available, get on your hip waders.  Remove the light boxes and get them above the perimeter level.  You may be able to get them up high enough without disconnecting all the cords and cables by suspending them from the roof or setting them securely on top the baseball machines.   Lifting the dual machines from their mounting pipes and moving them to higher ground would also be a good idea.  Again, a lot of work, but a better alternative than extended down time for repairs or replacement.


Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes are not only extremely dangerous to employees and patrons, they have the potential of causing severe damage to the electronic system in your cage.  Since the pipes in the cage are surrounded by concrete they are not truly grounded.  This makes them very attractive to lightning strikes.  Unfortunately there is not a highly effective method to protect your equipment.  If you are expecting a lightning storm it may help to unplug all the equipment and electronics from the receptacles, and remove all the program cards from your processor.  If you have the new PT-6 Electronics, in addition to unplugging the light boxes, disconnect the Control Computer from the data line.  Consider disconnecting the low voltage cable wires inside the light box.  By isolating the components from each other, the main electrical system and even from ungrounded, conductive mounting pipes, you will hopefully experience less damage.  The best alternative is to seek out a company in your area that specializes in grounding systems and have one installed.  Lightning is the number one cause of electronic component damage in batting cages.  Any measures taken to reduce or eliminate this hazard will be well worth the expense.


I hope this helps.  If you have any questions about these or other preventative actions you can take, please contact our Customer Service Dept.


~Dan Hansen