Please read this post at the risk of enjoying any humor you may find in it.
This is the only warning that can be given for those of you who have better
things to do with your lives.
Send flames to the guy with the asbestos underwear... I don't read them.
<Tower Lighting Solved In Liechtenstein>
It's recently come to the attention of Dr. Helfenschmaltz of the
Liechtenstein Amateur Radio Tower Owners Association <LARTOA>.... that
stateside hams were having trouble with the problem of tower illumination.
Fortunately, this is an old problem for the LARTOA hams since all 847 of
them live within a half mile of the town's single grass strip runway
airport.... Liechtenstein International Memorial Field.<LIMF>
Since painting towers and strobe or incandescent lighting them according to
international standards is vastly too expensive for any ham.... a simple
solution had to be found to provide approaching and departing aircraft with
adequate visibility of these obstructions.
While the anti-static Cling Free wipes flapping in unison from all 847
towers and antennas was more than adequate warning of obstructions during
the daylight hours... night time and heavy fog conditions still needed to be
Dr. Helfenschmaltz was completely stumped by this problem until his
children showed him the light over breakfast one morning. It seems that the
kids had retrieved some glow-in-the-dark monsters and worm toys that were
packaged with the dry Muscelix cereal they eat in Liechtenstein for
breakfast and were playing with them at the breakfast table when dad looked
up from his newspaper and the idea struck.
Why not tape these toys to the towers and the beams? He gathered up as many
of these sickening little toys as he could find and did just that... with
outstanding results... and every tower owner followed suit. In fact, on a
moonless night, the whole countryside of Liechtenstein began to take on an
eerie glow of sickening "glow-it-the-dark" green.... which was enough to
warn any approaching or departing aircraft.... to avoid this place
altogether.... especially since it was not Standard Aviation Green as
demanded by the FAA.
But, as luck would have it.... this was not enough! On very foggy nights
the towers were still hard to see. Better visibility was demanded. Back to
the drawing boards... or the breakfast table as the case may be.
Actually it turned out to be the dinner table this time. The Helfenschmaltzs
were gathered for dinner one evening awaiting the arrival of a nearby ham to
join them. As he pulled his VW Beatle onto the driveway.... on came the
automatic garage lights... triggered by the neat Radio Shack proximity
detector dad had imported for Father's Day last year.
That's when the idea struck Helfenschmaltz. Why not put the proximity
detector on the roof with a vastly improved detector sensor? Then, any
approaching aircraft for five miles around could trigger carbon-arc lamps
aimed at the towers. The crank up towers which are almost as ubiquitous in
Liechtenstein as parking meters... could have their motorized cranks keyed
to the proximity detectors... so that when an aircraft is approaching a)
the tower is instantly lit up and b) retracted. Naturally, when aircraft
are departing, the towers are again lit up and restored to their full,
glorious, motorized height.
For a long while this idea played itself out. The symphony of towers being
lit and raised and lowered automatically across the length and breadth of
Liechtenstein was a sight to behold. Actually the correct word should not
exactly be "symphony" but rather "cacophony"... to be more in keeping with
Tutonic precision. And, with all the lights coming on nearly at once... it
gave the entire night sky a deja vu appearance of a air raid bombing about
to take place... causing people to complain loudly. The only thing that was
missing was the wailing of sirens...which was actually supplied by the
whining and straining of tower motors.
Needless to mention... the simplest solution was to ban the whole lighting
and tower raising / lowering scheme altogether and to petition the airport
to close at night and under foggy conditions and the town of Liechtenstein
rapidly returned to it's normal peaceful self... after CC&R's were enacted
to ban Helfenschmaltz from ever living there again.
Respectfully submitted for your humorous consideration... by someone who
obviously has way too much time on his hands... and loves it.
Roger Elowitz, K2JAS
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