Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

A case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair)? Tell us about your war stories!
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NECRAT
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Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by NECRAT » Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:13 pm

Ever want to see something that comes pretty close to the top of the list of things that make high powered transmitter engineers cringe...

walking into the transmitter room to see this on the floor...

Image


Backstory. Old (Very old) RCA dummy load on the backup transmission system appears to have breached and got coolant into the antenna switch.
I was able to get the flow shut off before too much was lost. I haven't had a chance to break open the switch, however, to see if it is contaminated yet or not. The load failed not that long ago, electronically. I think I know why now.
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by PID_Stop » Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:53 am

"Oh, crap, now I have to truck the drum of wax and the floor buffer up this mountain again!"

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by KE0MI » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:29 am

Not as bad as discovering (after the transmitter went off), it had tripped a breaker on the heat exchanger fan, and the Technalogix had boiled the glycol out of the stainless reservoir into both exciters and upconverters! Swelled the tank up like a toad...

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by grich » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:50 am

PID_Stop wrote:"Oh, crap, now I have to truck the drum of wax and the floor buffer up this mountain again!"
Damn, that's a nice floor!

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by NECRAT » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:26 pm

grich wrote:
PID_Stop wrote:"Oh, crap, now I have to truck the drum of wax and the floor buffer up this mountain again!"
Damn, that's a nice floor!
Yup. I am pretty intent on keeping a nice clean transmitter room. I hate junk n' clutter rooms. It makes all the difference in the world when troubleshooting and when showing it off. Now that I work at a place where the site is mine, I get to do so. Although I do need to make an empty box disposal run sometime soon.

We had the floors buffed and waxed in October.
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by Kelly » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:51 pm

Oooh, I've got a good one.. Subject: ACKrodyne transmitter. Symptom: Beam supply O.L. as soon as turned on. Diagnosis: Engineer on site calls me at home in the middle of the night, convinced IOT is toast. I tell him to disconnect the beam supply going into the tube and tie it back so it won't arc to anything, then hit beam on. He does as I asks and still gets a Beam Supply O.L. (not the tube)

Calls me back.. Okay, take an ohmmeter and start looking for shorts starting at where he disconnected from the tube , disconnecting the HV supply lead as he goes until you find the short. The short was outside the building in the HV supply, but (here's the quiz) from what cause?
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by grich » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:37 pm

Mice

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by Kelly » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:50 pm

ACKrodyne decided to tie wrap the HV lead to the side of the cabinet using a sticky tie wrap pallet. When the sticky gave way, the HV lead fell across a big ceramic current limiting resistor, which burned through the insulation.
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by kkiddkkidd » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:56 pm

I am forever glad that I decided to stop before I got to the picture part of radio...
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Re: glad that I decided to stop

Post by RGORJANCE » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:21 am

That makes two of us.

I got out of TV when I was 22 years old. That "mirrors and voodoo stuff" is straaannge!

Things looked like a dead end in broadcasting so, becoming a draft dodger in 1961, I enlisted in the Air Force. Well, that only lasted 4 years and thru a grave tactical error, I got back into broadcasting..........duhhhhh! Although, Germany was a great place to spend just short of three years working in a nice environment...........beer, bratwurst, schnitzel, etc.

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by grich » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:46 am

Kelly wrote:ACKrodyne decided to tie wrap the HV lead to the side of the cabinet using a sticky tie wrap pallet. When the sticky gave way, the HV lead fell across a big ceramic current limiting resistor, which burned through the insulation.
Adhesive tie-wrap mounts are a curse, unless you're using the sticky to hold it in place while you send a screw through the center. :)

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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by Deep Thought » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:35 am

grich wrote: unless you're using the sticky to hold it in place while you send a screw through the center. :)
I use the ones with holes in the foot just for that purpose. :mrgreen:
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by Shane » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:02 am

Amen. My thoughts exactly. Can't trust that adhesive anyway but in that environment especially!
Mike Shane, CBRE
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by NECRAT » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:53 pm

kkiddkkidd wrote:I am forever glad that I decided to stop before I got to the picture part of radio...
It's not that bad. Playing with high (sometimes really high) level RF is quite fun. It's a different challenge, and sometimes can be frustrating, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Been doing TV transmitter work for 17 years now (yikes, has it been that long?), and love every second of it.
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Re: Want to know what makes (most) UHF engineers cringe?

Post by NECRAT » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:55 pm

FYI, the original picture was from a breached dummy load. I was able to break apart the antenna switch, and the glycol didn't get inside the switch, thank god.

Reassembled, tested, and all good.

That load is still off, but I don't really need it.
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