Trade ya War Stories, Fossil

A case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair)? Tell us about your war stories!
User avatar
RGORJANCE
Posts: 1364
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:48 am
Location: RACINE, WI

Re: TICK, TICK, - BOOM!

Post by RGORJANCE » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:55 am

Just remembered another "war story".

"Back in the day" of the suit and tie, I got a call at a motel one night that a customer was off the air. Bright and early the next morning, before coffee, I headed to the station. Arrived and met up with the CE at the site. The 5kw FM rig was down and we suspected that the pwr xfmr had shorted out. We did a quick turn on and saw the breaker trip. We then went inside to start lifting secondary wires to run the test. As the door came off, I grabbed the chicken stick and started hitting the "places where evil lurks".

The last place was the fuse block.....by the way, due to a good sized roof leak, there was a puddle of water about three feet off the back of the xmttr. I hit the fuse block --- tick, tick, BOOM flash, arc and spark, as we noticed that the AM xmttr had dumped off and the AM circuit breaker tripped! We did find that the pwr xfmr was shorted.

We determined that some previous engineer had somehow wired the AC to the AM rig thru the FM fuse block! The station engineer calmly announced that both stations would remain off the air until the wiring and the leak in the roof was professionally fixed.

The moral to the story is to use the chicken stick on everything!

Fossil

User avatar
Deep Thought
Posts: 3159
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:23 am
Location: La Grange, IL
Contact:

Re: TICK, TICK, - BOOM!

Post by Deep Thought » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:22 am

RGORJANCE wrote:
The moral to the story is to use the chicken stick on everything!

Fossil
^^ this ^^

Remember the 'forgotten' 110VAC feed to the crystal ovens that was on a separate breaker in those old 'mitters? I do. One got me early in my career. Let's just say I never forgot to look for and turn that breaker off after that... :shock:
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

User avatar
RGORJANCE
Posts: 1364
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:48 am
Location: RACINE, WI

Re: Trade ya War Stories, Fossil

Post by RGORJANCE » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:41 am

Isn't it remarkable just how hard a hit 110vac can deliver?

As a kid, I had just got out of the tub, sorta dried off and started my career in electronics by removing a light bulb in a lamp, looking inside the bulb socket and flipped the switch a couple of times, but didn't notice any movement of the tongue shaped center conductor. Sooo, I stuck my finger on the contact-----------then it hit me! I vaguely recall my dad picking me up off the floor and asking what I did. I proceeded to demonstrate the move, but got stopped just short of putting my finger near the opening on the socket. I don't think I would have been so stupid as to do it the seconds time.

Fossil

User avatar
NECRAT
Site Admin
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:13 pm
Location: Taunton, MA
Contact:

Re: Trade ya War Stories, Fossil

Post by NECRAT » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:56 pm

It always amazes me when you see people, usually electricians, who tend to be nonchalant about dealing with live voltages. Like it's cool to be dangerous and forget safety.

Sorry, in my opinion, it's much cooler to go home at night instead of the ER (or worse the morgue).

I got crap once from an older boss at a previous job about going into the HV cabinet at the transmitter by myself. I refused, and still refuse, to go into a HV cabinet, without a second trained body in the room with me. 31KV is not anything to sneeze at or joke about. Even when shut down.
http://www.necrat.us

"Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig. After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it"

User avatar
RGORJANCE
Posts: 1364
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:48 am
Location: RACINE, WI

Re: 31KV is not anything to sneeze at or joke about

Post by RGORJANCE » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:44 pm

I know what you mean. With anything high enough to getchya, you don't even get a first chance. All nine lies are instantly used up!

Twice I got the odor of my burnt skin. Fortunately, it was at a tender young age and it was a very strong learning experience. Not to mention being very, very lucky!

Fossil

TPT
Posts: 630
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:18 pm
Location: St. Marys, WV

Re: Trade ya War Stories, Fossil

Post by TPT » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:59 pm

Our old 10 kw FM transmitter was fed by a three phase breaker from the studio, thence underground 15 feet to a separate transmitter building, where the 220 went through a 3 phase disconnect switch then into the transmitter.

Doing a routine cleaning one Saturday--turned the transmitter off, switched to the 2.5K backup, threw the disconnect switch and touched the grounding stick to the incoming line fuse in the back of the transmitter.

K-pow. :shock: :lol:

Seems the transfer switch partially failed. Designed like an old-fashioned knife switch (albeit in a pretty box with a handle), one of the three blades broke away from the other two & remained connected to the AC when we tried to open the connection.

Spent the rest of that afternoon removing the disconnect & splicing the AC leads together.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest