[AMRadio] Shorting stick

Mike Dorworth, K4XM k4xm at arczip.com
Sat Jun 3 15:15:58 EDT 2006

My buddies. Never has so simple a subject gotten so much attention. I see
extreme danger in using a resistor probe. Period.I have boxes of wirewounds
here that are brand new. Periodically I test them and find several wide
open. Old age I guess since they show no damage, Some still in paper, some
still in boxes. The broom handle suits me fine after 53 years as a ham. I
was taught at Ft. Gordon to work with one hand in 1956, the other behind my
back. After 50 years, I still work with one hand behind my back even with 12
volt stuff. Sure, a broom handle might have a little resistance. A Braid
firmly bolted to ground at all time, no clips please, and attached to a
bolt, nail or whatever firmly place in a broom handle is fine with me,
remember the braid is GROUNDED and about a few milli ohms at most. The wood,
even soaked in water is in the thousands of ohms(megohms really) in parallel
to ground. The insulation of the handle only comes into play if YOU are
grounded and the broom handle point is not. You will feel enough to get
away. The idea is to stay alive and as a LAST chance. Use you best judgement
as to unplugging from the wall, watching meters etc.  Wrap some electrical
tape around YOUR broomstick, it is 5 kV per thickness for Scotch 33 I think.
If it does have to work, hopefully never, the braid does the work. At work
we used personal locks, called lock out, tag out, and used shorting straps
to keep some one else from re-energizing a circuit while we were working.
This is NOT what I thought we were talking about here. I was talking about
the last line of defense for something that we hope never works. For this a
grounded wire with no insulation would be better that nothing! For small
stuff, 600 volts or less I have been known to use a jumper clip grounded to
chassis and moved about, sometimes a surprise results, not a shock! Do it
your way..just do something and do not trust a meter or bleeder. I read once
of a simple 6 volt filament transformer killing a ham, It had a primary to
secondary short and the frame was not grounded, contacting the 6 volt lead
and ground killed him, no fuse blow but  line voltage was present.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neal Newman" <groucho at skyweb.net>
To: "Mike Dorworth, K4XM" <k4xm at arczip.com>; "Discussion of AM Radio"
<amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Shorting stick

> Flames coming.......ZZZZZZZAP.
>  Broom Handle?  wooden broom handle?  Thats living on the Edge
> thats what you use  to play russian Roullette . Using that wooden stick
> and you just may see
> Jesus
>   I would never use a wooden Broom  handle with a nail in it as
> described below.
> wood retains moisture and will bite you at 4000 volts.or less. Make sure
> its a  non conductive Plastic or better yet Fiberglass pole/dowel...
> Mike Dorworth, K4XM wrote:
> >Discharging is not the idea. If all is well it will NEVER discharge
> >anything. A nail with a good hooked ground strap in a broom handle is
> >perfect. This is to keep you from making a sudden trip to the hereafter
> >only. If it should ever actually be called on to work you will normally
> >holler out the name of the Christian Savior in a loud voice! This is why
> >folks in the business call them "Jesus Sticks!"

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