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Re: [TowerTalk] Birds on Antennas

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Birds on Antennas
From: "K8RI on TowerTalk" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 14:01:49 -0400
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> At 01:06 PM 7/25/2006, wrote:
>>rock salt in shotgun shells works best at removing pests.It hurts
>>lie hell but will not kill them
> ===================================
> I hope no one takes this seriously. Modern shotgun shells are
> difficult to open. Removing the shot, shot container and wads, then

Although this is drifiting off topic, modern shot shells are very easy to 

I'd prefer something like an airline run up the tower with a solenoid. OTOH 
I have an 80 gallon tank at 125 PSI out in the shop with the distribution 
pipe ending about 30 feet from the base of the tower. Unfortunately although 
that would be effiective, it is noisy and noise that is different from the 
every day stuff just doesn't set well with most neighbors.

> filling the cavity with rock salt and resealing the top is folly. I
> doubt that the author of this idea has ever tried it. No self
> respecting shotgun owner that I know would ever consider using a salt
> shell in his shotgun or modifying commercial ammunition.

Although I agree with the rock salt admonition as it's not good for the gun. 
Serious shooters have been reloading and working up favorite loads for many 
years.  Equipment is available from a simple die that does one shell at a 
time to the big Pontess Warren automated system that can load up to a couple 
cases an hour. I had the latter and went through something like 100,000 
shells (that's not a typo) in just a few years in competetive trap shooting.

> If you were to fire this ill conceived concoction, you would
> immediately need to clean the shotgun with hot soapy water and a hot

As "the load" is contained *within* in a plastic one-piece wadd there would 
likely be little damage or contamination, but I just don't like the idea of 
salt and steel together.

OTOH This is a shot gun, it's loud, fireing one in a populated area is 
probably illegal, fireing one (even with rock salt) at a protected bird is 
illegal, at close range the rock salt will kill small to medium size birds

We fire steel shot which can be really hard on chokes.

> water rinse, followed by a rust inhibitor application. Any modified
> shells which have been stored for a while will absorb moisture and
> the salt would probably exit the barrel in chunks.

Rock salt is in chunks to start which is why it's called rock salt.

> Rock salt crystals would only be a very short range propostion
> anyway. They are irregular, not round. Hence, they would fly off in
> an uncontrolled direction, once leaving the muzzle. Round shot has
> some ballistic coefficient. Irregular crystals have zero or negative.

They are guranteed to diverge, but even the odd shaped will follow the 
general direction. Range limitation is probably 20 to 30 feet max except for 
the occasional large chunk.
> Bad, bad idea.
> I have decent sucess just clanking the rotator selenoid. If that does
> not work, an EMPTY BB gun fired in the direction of the offender,
> seems to work also.

My antennas are over 100 feet up. Even a loaded BB gun is ineffective. 
Depending on the birds so are 12 Ga blanks. Bird shot and pellets are too 
risky on the antennas.

However unless the ham lives in the country noise and firearms are becoming 
highly regulated except for lawn mowers on Sunday morning. <:-))

If you run into stubborn birds, like the Cormorants I had stay for a few 
nights. (The best I could do was scare a couple off who would circle the 
neighborhood and then come back to join their buddies) about the best you 
can do is make sure the antennas are strong enough to hold the birds and the 
tower is far enough from the house so the bird crap doesn't get on anything 

Roger Halstead (K8RI and ARRL 40 year Life Member)
N833R - World's oldest Debonair CD-2 (Use return address from here) 


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