Entire shack/shop/man cave lost to fire tonight

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7UUU, Oct 26, 2020.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    And then some Hammy Hambone gives them a hard time, saying NEC is wrong, electricians are just lining their pockets, etc.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    N2SR likes this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well....yes and no.

    There's the factor of "how much is your time worth?" If someone spends 100 hours on a project and saves $1000, their time is worth $10 an hour. If it's something they enjoy doing, that's a great deal, but if not, it's low paid drudgery at best.

    Also the factors of safety and completion time.

    And let's not forget....insurance.
    N2SR and US7IGN like this.
  3. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Or the I-35W bridge failure in Minneapolis, MN. Gee the model said the failure should not have happened! Turned out it was a gusset fabrication problem. You gott watch those gussets makers!
    N2EY likes this.
  4. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or the engineering of the original Tacoma Narrows bridge.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The gusset failure and inadequate thickness was the immediate cause, yes, but there's more to the I-35W bridge collapse.

    - The bridge was a non-redundant design, meaning that a single joint failure could likely result in total failure of the span - which is exactly what happened.

    - The road surface had been built up over the decades, adding about 20% to the static load.

    - In the 1950s and 1960s, bridge design became less conservative, to save money, time and material. It was expected that bridges would be routinely replaced in the future and that there was no need to overdesign as much as had been done in the past. After all, who would even need bridges in the 21st century, when we'd all be in George Jetson flying cars?

    Perhaps the best example of this design philosophy was the old Tappan Zee Bridge in New York. It opened in 1955, having been built in a budget of $81 million (about $800 million in today's money). It was designed at a time of material shortages (mostly steel) and had a design life of 50 years. With 7 lanes, it was meant to carry far fewer than the 138,000 vehicles per day that it carried in later years, and was often crowded.

    By careful maintenance and repairs, the old Tappan Zee Bridge lasted more than 61 years before being replaced. The new bridge (actually two bridges side by side) has a total of 10 lanes (2 are reserved for buses) and is designed to last at least 100 years before major repairs may be needed. The new bridge cost just under $4 billion (about 5 times the cost of the original bridge), which included the demolition of the old bridge and major changes at the approaches.

    IMHO, there's a lesson for radio amateurs in all this. When putting a station together, it's important to consider not only the initial cost (be it a simple vertical or dipole in the back yard and an entry-level transceiver) but also the costs of maintenance, repair, and replacement of various items, large and small. For example, even in my modest setup, it's a given that the coax and ropes of my inverted V will need periodic replacement due to weathering - and that it's MUCH easier to replace them BEFORE there's a problem.

    I've seen too many examples where someone puts together a big setup "on the cheap" but then can't afford to properly maintain it. Worse, there are some who think that everything should work forever without anything being done in the way of maintenance or replacement.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
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  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Silver Bridge Disaster, too.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    So with all due respect to all involved, let's not turn this thread into "engineering disasters" outside of the October 25th "mini-engineering disaster" that burned my shack down.... - perhaps another thread in another place might be better. ;)

    N3AB likes this.
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mothman did it. :D
  9. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ok I got rid of the couple of MOV based surge protectors, replaced with non-MOV metal power strips. Without going back through 63 pages, and with my bad memory I can't remember what I read yesterday, was there any data on the failure rate of these types of "surge protectors"? I know one is too many, and certainly it got you, a disaster obviously, but I know we have a zillion of similar surge protectors littering our corporate offices. I mean a ton. I've been with this company 12 years, and I've not heard of a single incident.
    Is it just the latest chinese based, cheapest, that have the worst designs?

    Sorry for the can of worms, but this question has been bothering me. Unfortunately, I haven't been in the office since the start of this thread, but I thought to go around and check brands etc just to get some data. I mean, yes facilities mgmt has forbidden the former practice of daisy chaining these surge protectors as a few teams used to do with regularity, and in our managed labs, good industrial racks and power strips are used... but out in the 'unmanaged wilderness of cubes'... anything goes, and has gone for decades.
    W1KU likes this.
  10. N3AB

    N3AB Subscriber QRZ Page

    What a difference compared to the "post Bar-B-Que" photos, Dave. It's looking great. Last call on my daughter's pink paint.

    John N3AB
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