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This was quite a literal Shock!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KM6CND, Feb 20, 2021.

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  1. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back story first... I followed the "White Paper" from Palomar to build a full spectrum long wire (not random length) antenna. From the top of a 45 foot Pine tree, the wire angles down, 99' to a tree in front of the shack and then drops another 30 plus or minus feet vertical to the 9:1 Palomar 'Cube' mounted 18" off the ground as stated in the documentation. 135' of coax is required, I had 150' and so it was. I am more than happy with this antenna! :) I have had my call sign for about 8 years and have done my fair share of 'fiddle and faddle', trying new things, today marked a new experience. I moved an HF rig to the garage, as I spend most of my day there, as I care for my 92 year-young mother over the past 4 years, I attached 50' of coax to the antenna and brought it into the garage and as I connected the coax, sparks flew! The barrel of the connector showed signs of Spot Welding and burn marks! I have radials of random lengths, above ground and on the surface. There is an Edison power pole in the corner of the lot with steel cables anchored underground, so I grounded the counterpoise to this steel cable. At one point, I took a shock when I had the coax in hand and went to connect it. I seriously thought I just killed the radio! I know about RF Burn, but this is entirely knew... Anyone 'Been there Done That'? This is so not good. Everything still works, I just don't care to have that happen again. Perhaps a real ground rod?
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oops! Don't do that!
    I've seen many 'hot' downguys.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Paragraphs are your friends.
    WN8BLX, W0FS, N5PAR and 3 others like this.
  4. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    But it's anchored to the wood pole and then goes underground. I'm gonna get a ground rod from Home Depot...damn things are 8 feet long!
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like you’re inducing a current. I’d strongly suggest you immediately (well, when the sun comes up) disconnect the counterpoise from that steel cable, and keep it as isolated from the power pole subsystem as possible.

    And, not to sound snarky, but paragraphs ARE your friends!
    W7UUU, K4DP and PU2OZT like this.
  6. K8DO

    K8DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Make an emergency call to the power company now, tonight..
    . If some kid gets fried by that anchor cable and you knew there was an issue and did nothing, you will get blamed - and sued.
    I will skip the speculation about the problem being with the service entrance at the house. How old is the house?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  7. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    My editor was out to lunch. I now have a coax connector with burn marks and similar to spot welds, it took just a few milliseconds to do it, all I can guess is the antenna harvested electrons from the air and made their presence known with a spark gap. The radio was turned off at the time...
    K8BZ likes this.
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think there's any valid reason to 'ground' the end of your counterpoise.
    K8BZ and PU2OZT like this.
  9. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Keep them separate.

    Otherwise, when the inevitable happens, and I really hope it doesn’t, can I have your rigs?
    PU2OZT likes this.
  10. KM6CND

    KM6CND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Forget not, I am my mother's shadow 24/7. Most days mom and I debate what day of the week it is! I understand...

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