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[TowerTalk] Amatuer Engineers vs Amateurs

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Amatuer Engineers vs Amateurs
From: (John Holliman)
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 11:48:41 -0700
Lee Buller wrote:
> Ladies and Gentlemen...
> IT seems to me that there are a lot of engineering types on the various
> reflectors.  I am sure glad they are here, but......  Now, don't get me
> wrong, I like engineers.  I wanted to be one, but calculus and girls got in
> the way.
> When can something be so over engineered that it is not longer fun, in the
> sense that amateur radio is suppose to be fun?  I guess we can talk about
> the fine points of all subjects, but when does it become facts and figures
> and not fun.
> Sure, lets have good engineering practice.  Lets make sure our towers are
> safe, but are we having fun?  I remember the guy who got me into this hobby
> was a railroad telegrapher.  He had no engineering degree, but he built
> things by the seat of his pants.  He had fun and taught be how to have fun
> with the hobby too.  He was on the air very early with SSB, actually DSB,
> but he was on the air with it.
> So, can we over engineer this stuff...or can we just have good common sense?
>  Are we having fun?
> Comments and flames are welcome, but share with the whole community. :-)
> Lee  8>)
> --
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I am an engineer and an amateur.  I had to reduce the height of my first 
tower (actually a modified push up pole) by ten feet.  I had correctly 
analyzed the in-place strength, but it wan't strong enough to stand the 
erection stress.  I got better and have actually designed some hurricane 
proof stuff.  

Your point is well taken.  Common sense and mechanical aptitude are at 
least as important as engineering calculations.  Then again a safety 
factor is nice....

The best looking and probably strongest installations I have seen have 
all been done by technicians, draftsmen, etc.  In fact, my stuff doesn't 
look all that good - but I am really having fun.  Beside having fun, the 
other key thought is don't take any chances where safety is concerned.

73 de John ,WA5TWL

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