[AMRadio] THE VIKING II AND FRIED HAM


W4AWM at aol.com W4AWM at aol.com
Tue Mar 27 20:56:47 EST 2007


There has been a lot of talk tonight about a matching connector for the 
Viking II rear panel antenna changeover relay socket. The Ranger has a similar 
socket. In the case of the Viking II, one side of this socket is connected 
directly to one side of the line cord. If the external double fused plug has been 
removed and replaced with a standard 2 wire AC plug, there is no fuse between one 
side of the connector and the line.  In the Ranger, the same situation 
exists. To prevent disaster, the first thing that users of these transmitters should 
to is remove the fused plug and replace the line cord with a properly wired 3 
conductor line cord set. The antenna relay connector should be wired to the 
neutral side if the new line cord.

The original matching connector is a dangerous thing. It is all but 
impossible to get shrink tubing to stick to the pins and electrical tape around the 
whole connector will eventually dry up and come off. I have no connection with 
Glen, but his connector is a very safe way to access the antenna relay socket on 
both rigs.

Many hams, myself included, either mount the antenna changeover relay on the 
rear of the Viking or on the receiver rear panel. Some others simply use a 
double male SO-239 connector. My point here is that the terminals on the relay 
coil need to be insulated, too. Back in the 50s when I built my Viking II, I 
remember trying to get tape to stick to the supplied plug, but I don't recall 
ever insulating the terminals on the relay coil.  How I kept from being fried 
with this arrangement is a wonder to me. I guess being a fresh new ham, I never 
thought too much about it. All the cautions back in those days from my Elmer 
were to be wary of HV. I guess nobody gave line voltage a second thought and if 
they did, it was not talked about very much. 

Remember, it is not the voltage that kills, it's the current. An electrical 
current flowing through the body is looking to find a ground. When it does the 
body reacts by contracting muscle tissue. When this happens and you happen to 
be holding on to something, you can't let go. If nobody is there to stop the 
flow of current, ventricular fibrillation occurs when electrical signals from 
the brain to the heart are interrupted. The result is that the heart begins to 
beat in an irregular rhythm and is unable to pump blood properly. Unless the 
victim received proper and immediate first aid, death follows shortly. You have 
heard the phrase from old timers: "Keep one hand in your pocket while working 
around voltage sources." The idea here is to keep you from having current 
flow across your chest and through your heart.

I am not a doctor, nor a medical practioner of any sort, but many first aid 
courses, electrical safety seminars and a few nasty bites have taught me to 
respect all sources of voltage be they LV, HV Line voltage or even batteries. 
"Switch to safety" and install 3 wire cord sets on all your boatanchors. Being 
able to probe around in much of the solid state gear has caused many to become 
complacent about shock. Don't let your guard down.

73 and stay safe,

John,  W4AWM



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