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Shocking experience

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Subject: Shocking experience
From: (
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 23:01:06 -0600 (CST)
1 JAN - 2230 CST


It doesn't take a helicopter downdraft or a 15 knot breeze through a 75 
foot or higher tower to cause unexpected electrical excitement...

Early in my ham career, I received a heavy jolt when I was attaching a 
coaxial line to an aluminum bulkhead-mounted mounted coaxial antenna 
lead.  The antenna was designed to be DC grounded.  But I forgot that at 
RF freqencies it was not grounded - and the bulkhead was, at that time, 
not grounded.

The weather was very cold and dry with blowing snow crystals in the air.
A check with a voltmeter showed about 200 volts difference between the 
center conductor and the shield, and 300 volts between the center 
conductor and true earth ground.

Since that day, I have always made sure the downlead wall bulkhead is
well grounded, and all disconnected antenna coax center conductors are 

Once was enough!

73 - Dick Isely, WD9GIG

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