[AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood


sbjohnston at aol.com sbjohnston at aol.com
Mon Jan 19 21:20:33 EST 2009


The shock I experienced did not deter me - it just made me more 
careful.  And now I have over 25 years as a broadcast engineer working 
with plenty of high, low and indifferent voltages.   I've been shocked 
a few more times, too.   But I still have the good habit of only using 
one hand on live gear.   The other hand is down my pants, er, I mean, 
hooked in my belt around the back.

Steve WD8DAS

sbjohnston at aol.com
http://www.wd8das.net/
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Radio is your best entertainment value.
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-----Original Message-----
From: CL in NC <mjcal77 at yahoo.com>
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Sent: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 8:00 pm
Subject: [AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood










I thought electric shock was a right a passage.  I tried to build a 
Jacobs
ladder as a kid of about 10, using brazing rods, a Ford ignition coil, 
and a
Lionel train transformer.  Yes, I knocked the stuffing out of myself, 
but I
learned something in the process.  I had a real Gilbert Erector set 
too, with
all kinds of sharp metal items, a real 110VAC electric motor, and an 
imagination
to build twirling things of great danger.  My first electronic project 
was right
out of Boys Life Magazine as a Cub Scout, a 2 tube audio amp, 
transformerless I
might add.  Worked like a champ, and not a word of warning in the 
directions
about how this could be dangerous, just if it hummed  turn the AC plug 
around.
The only 'real' shock I have endured was from my GE Prog Line, I had 
mounted to
a 19 inch rack panel with speaker, discriminator meter, volume, 
squelch, and a
pot to adjust the screen voltage of the final to change power out.  It 
was on,
and I needed to turn it
  over, and when I reached around both sides of the radio chassis, I 
grabbed hold
of the 110 in.  The weight of the radio is what broke the connection 
when it
shook loose from my hands.

Everything in this hobby can be dangerous, just like everything in life 
is
dangerous.  If you take care in what your doing, you can avoid the 
stupid
mistakes, but failures of interlocks, insulation, or tower sections 
will claim
even the most careful.  To leave the 'dangerous stuff' to a real 
technician is
fine if you bought a Volvo just because it's a safe car.  But, to be 
afraid to
open up a piece of equipment after following the safety rules because 
it says
'Danger HV', makes as much sense as buying a rifle and never firing it 
because
it has the words, "may cause injury or death" engraved on top of the 
barrel.

Charlie W4MEC in NC



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