[AMRadio] Stock or modify? BC rig "value" -- Shorting Sticks

Alan Cohen acohen at texas.net
Thu Jun 1 16:05:03 EDT 2006


I've seen sticks that were anywhere from a bit over a foot to three  
feet long.  As far as material choice, even a good wooden broomstick  
or dowel seems like a good bet, because the business end is well  

BTW, I didn't mean to come on so strong in the original post.  It's  
just that I'm obviously a strong believer on this one point.  The  
other precautions about switches, meters and so forth are very  
important, but none of them are fool proof.  The shorting stick is  
just a very important fail safe.


On Jun 1, 2006, at 3:37 PM, Rick Brashear wrote:

> Speaking of "shorting sticks", I saw one a while back on the e- 
> place, but didn't seriously bid on it.  Can one of you guys  
> enlighten me as to the best material to use for the insulator and  
> about how long to make it?
> Thanks,
> Rick
>> Not only is a shorting stick not a bad idea, not using one is a   
>> terrible idea.  As someone who has spent many hours working on  
>> high  power transmitters, I would NEVER touch anything inside a  
>> transmitter  without first touching it with a shorting stick.   
>> When I do not have  a proper shorting stick available, I connect a  
>> grounded wire to a  well insulated screw driver and use that as a  
>> makeshift shorting  stick.  There is are no allowable exceptions  
>> to the shorting stick  rule, as far as I am concerned.
>> Never rely on meters, pilot lamps or switch positions to tell you  
>> if  HV is present.  Switches can short and pilot lights can burn  
>> out.   I've seen at least one high power uplink amplifier where  
>> the  designers used the bleeder resistor as part of the meter  
>> multiplier  string.  An open bleeder meant zero HV on the meter  
>> but possibly a  full charge on the filter caps.  In that situation  
>> a shorting stick  could be the difference between life and death.   
>> Never, ever, touch  anything inside of a high power transmitter  
>> without using a stick.   Period!
>> Alan
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