[CQ-Contest] Portable Generators

TOMK5RC TOMK5RC at aol.com
Thu Jan 15 10:41:51 EST 1998

I have been known, over they years, to try pragmatic solutions to RF and AC
problems, especially in the heat of a contest. Fortunately, there have never
been any serious problems as a result, except the scar across my left forearm
from 4,000 Volts I touched trying to fix an amp during a contest.

Ironically, while this thread has been going on, the main 240 VAC lines to my
house have burned up underground, taking the phone lines with them. After
several days of investigation, it turns out that the previous owner (5 year
old house) took some shortcuts in running the AC power from the street to the
house (800'). In fact, he buried 250mcm AC lines, phone lines and water pipes
in the same trench. The only disconnect is at the street (none in the house).
Virtually nothing about the external installation meets the local and NEC
codes. It's going to cost abou $11K to make it right. We've got at least two
inspectors and a previous owner to go after in, what will be, expensive,
painful and agonizing legal action.

Prior to this week, I would have scabbed in a portable generator to run my
water well and water heater for the next week while they put in a new set of
power mains. After this lesson, I'm going to have a licensed electrician do

As an old German ham-friend used to say "We get too soon old and too late

Tom, K5RC/7

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