December 2012
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Oh, damn: la segunda parte

Emergency! The (AM) Transmitter keeps popping off the air and we can’t figure out why! YOU MUST HELP US!!1!!!


Some problems are easy to spot, difficult to fix

Some problems are easy to spot, difficult to fix

Well, with the ATU mounted about 1/4 inch away from the 90 degree, series excited tower, I wonder why.  It seemed to be especially problematic during rain, snow and ice storms.   When I asked how long this had been going on, I was told “About two years, ever since we put up the new tower!”

You don’t say.

We finally took care of this by moving the ATU back inside the shed after moving the transmitter to a different building.  The funny thing is, this was installed by a guy who had a BSEE.  I guess he must have been out sick the day they covered this in class.

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6 comments to Oh, damn: la segunda parte

  • Bob M.

    No, you fixed it all wrong. You were supposed to unground the ATU enclosure and eliminate the copper feed line going from it to the tower, then that contact point connection would be a “Martha Stewart Good Thing” and the station would work great in the rain and snow.

    Having a paper degree only means he knew how to pass all the theoretical exams in school. Without some common sense, experience, and practical knowledge, that sheepskin doesn’t mean much. It’s probably as useful as a GROL these days.

    I should know; I’ve got both! I am an enjinear.

  • Paul Thurst

    Or jam a piece of rubber in between the two surfaces, which is what the owner wanted to do.

  • I know the type well, they are always spouting off in 10 to the minus three blather but cannot diagnose a blown fuse problem. My Brother Jim (who has been an engineer with Microwave Associates for 35 years) and I were recently having a good laugh when he describes some of engineers he supervises, some so smart that they overthink
    a situation to death therefore nothing gets done. Sounds like politics dosen’t it.

  • neal

    Paul,we both know that a half roll of electrical tape would have given this BSEE a pass for a couple of years to learn some proper installation/post install technigue and never see this site again but,we both know that it 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

    I’m now in Sweden and as they say,they don’t make us the way they used to unless we fall off of a really good engineering tree.
    Welcome to the land of the keeboard,mouse and screen.
    The loud machine room is beyond their understanding,to be sure.

  • Paul Thurst

    Neal, you are correct. Not to pick on BSEE’s, I know many fine engineers. There are some, however, who passed the course but do not seem to have any practical sense.

  • Val Vashon

    I just jammed a (foil wrapped) short piece of 2×4 under the squirrel cage fan in my furnace at home. This was to stop it from shaking a bit and causing the sheet metal it was mounted on to flex and make snapping noises.

    So to me, the “jam a piece of rubber in there” method doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, at least temporarily. I’m not an AM broadcast engineer, but I probably wouldn’t have installed it like that, either.

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