[RFI] Flourescent lighting

Roger (K8RI) k8ri at rogerhalstead.com
Sun Jul 31 02:17:01 EDT 2016

That arcing sound "shower of sparks" brought back a vivid memory from a 
former life, where I had to work for a living, but not as hard as farming.

We has an overhead, 3 phase buss supplying rows of 12 KW RF generators.  
The buss was the standard, steel enclosed, 3 copper rods that IIRC were 
1" in dia. To add a new drop, the electricians would simply pop off a 
cover and snap a new, "large" switch in place.  The connections to the 
buss looked like large fuse clips that snapped over those copper rods.
To be fair, it was the night shift getting on toward morning and every 
one was tired. When the Electrician stuck that "big" screwdriver in to 
pop off the cover, he shoved it in a wee bit too far. No big bag. 
Rather, it sounded like a big and LOUD arc welder  The whole three phase 
buss including the steel cover looked like a giant size sparkler albeit 
a very loud sparkler just slowly burning along. It was enough to melt 
those three 1" copper rods along with the steel enclosure, but not 
enough to trip the breaker.  The sub for that area was an enclosed steel 
cabinet. The main breaker was one of those big, spring loaded affairs 
with about a 4' cocking handle.

Somebody had to trip that thing which sounded like a 12 ga shotgun. 
There was a very loud bag and it got really dark in there before the 
battery powered spots came on.  That was one expensive slip of the 


Roger (K8RI)

On 7/31/2016 Sunday 12:39 AM, KD7JYK DM09 wrote:
> : One thing that may help motivate them is to point out that a ballast that
> : has started making radio noise is probably failing and may melt down
> : completely at some point.
> Perhaps suggest that the "arcing sound" could very well be arcing-
> internally, but MAYBE not.  Eventually is COULD become external and let them
> formulate in their own mind how bad an external shower of sparks could be...
> Kurt
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