[AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood


sbjohnston at aol.com sbjohnston at aol.com
Mon Jan 19 23:33:20 EST 2009


Sorry, I reversed the #1 and #2 in my story of the transmitter fire.  I 
just reread my own article and realized I had them backwards as I wrote 
a few minutes ago.

Steve WD8DAS

sbjohnston at aol.com
http://www.wd8das.net/
-----------------------------------------------------
Radio is your best entertainment value.
-----------------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: sbjohnston at aol.com
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Sent: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 10:27 pm
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood










Hey, *I* was there...  It was at my "Boat Harbor" transmitter site at
WGH in Virginia. 
 

What a hoot - the #2 of a combined FM transmitter was on fire and Fred
opened the cavity door and bent over to try to blow out the fire.  But
the blower was blowing a huge amount of air on it already - how else
can you get teflon to burn?!  I just turned off the other transmitter
and killed the blower breaker and the fire stopped immediately. 
 

The trouble was that we didn't know that the reject load was no longer
50 ohms, and when we shut down the #2 transmitter, RF from #1 got back
into #2 via the now-unbalanced combiner, arc'ed over the plate blocker
and set the insulating shelf on fire. 
 

It had happened before at that site (before Susquehanna owned it) when
no one was around and burned up the entire transm
itter.  The Chief
Engineer lost his job over it - but it wasn't his fault, it was those
terrible oil cooled Bird loads.  I switched to an Electro-Impulse air
load for the reject and the trouble never happened again. 
 

I wrote an article about it for Radio Guide - see 
 

http://www.wd8das.net/RCAfire.JPG 
 


Steve WD8DAS 
 

sbjohnston at aol.com 

http://www.wd8das.net/ 

----------------------------------------------------- 

Radio is your best entertainment value. 

----------------------------------------------------- 
 


-----Original Message----- 

From: BILL GUYGER <bguyger at sbcglobal.net> 

To: Discussion of AM Radio20in the Amateur Service
<amradio at mailman.qth.net> 

Sent: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 10:10 pm 

Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood 
 

 

 

 

 


Steve 
 

This isn't going to mean a thing to the rest of the list, but your
story 

reminded me of the tim Fred Greaves got his picture taken when he
opened the PA 

cavity door of a FM transmitter that was off, but the cavity was still
hot with 

RF from another transmitter getting back through the combiner. At least
I think 

those are the facts, I've slept since Norm Philips told me about it. 
 

Bill AD5OL 
 

 


----- Original Message ---- 

From: "sbjohnston at aol.com" <sbjohnston at aol.com> 

To: amradio at mailman.qth.net 

Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 8:20:33 PM 

Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Amazed any young ham made it to adulthood 
 


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/ 

----------------------------------------------------- 

Radio is your best entertainment value. 

----------------------------------------------------- 
 


-----Original Mes 

sage----- 

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 0D

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=2 

0hobby can be dangerous, just like everything in life 

is 

dangerous.  If you take care in what your do
ing, 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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