April 2015
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Good only in Europe

And some parts of Asia:

Equipment rack outlet with 220 Volts to ground.

Equipment rack outlet with 220 Volts to ground.

It seems the power company has some work to do. The other leg measures 28 volts to ground, which to me means the Neutral has been lost somewhere. Fortunately, the transmitter was running on 240, which looks normal on the voltmeter. Everything in the rack; the remote control, exciter, STL, etc has been damaged or destroyed.

Then of course, there is this:

Utility line

Utility line

That is the power and phone line in those trees, as it leaves the road and travels approximately 1,700 feet through the woods.  It is a private line and the utility will not do any work until the trees are cleared away.  In all fairness to the current owners, who have owned the station for not quite a year, this situation has been like this for a long time.

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8 comments to Good only in Europe

  • Taylor

    Wow, it’s like a game of Where’s Waldo with power poles.

  • Paul Thurst

    Yeah, the station was put on the air in 1990, then pretty much forgotten, one of those 80/90 drop ins. No site maintenance has been done in many years, something we are working on correcting.

  • Kevin C. Kidd, CSRE/AMD

    Ouch. I had something similar when a clueless electrician moved a 120v breaker to the wild leg of a 3 phase service. Thankfully a large APC ups was the only causality but it could have been disastrous.

  • I worked on a site where the tower had only 3 10/2 UF cables strung up on guy wires through about 2,000 feet of woods to the panel. I know it smoked at least one UPS I had put in there. Prior to the very low powered FM, the only equipment were three police/fire Motorola repeaters. That site was a disaster from the get go, the owner wouldn’t pay the money to do any upgrades.

  • Paul Thurst

    Kevin, you remind me of the time a licensed electrician wired up an outlet in the break room to the 277 volt lighting circuit. The conversation went something like this:

    “Well, all set”

    (plugs in the soda machine)

    “Wow, that display light is very bright. Hey, do you smell something burning?”

    (breaker trips, lights go out)


    Mike, it is amazing to me some of the things one can still find out in the field. A few years ago, I found telephone wire, (AKA JK, 24 Gauge, Red, Black, Green, Yellow) with 120 VAC on it, powering the door light relay, unfused. It have been like that for 30 years.

  • Bill Frahm

    To get things going again find a 240 to 120/240 transformer for the 120 V things.

  • Chuck Gennaro

    “A few years ago, I found telephone wire, (AKA JK, 24 Gauge, Red, Black, Green, Yellow) with 120 VAC on it”

    I have lost track of the number of times I have snipped a run of Belden 8451 while cleaning up a new facility, only to be greeted by sparks and a tripped breaker somewhere.

    I believe the best find to date however was a transmitter failsafe consisting of a 48V relay across the door interlocks, connected a Telco DC loop, which was plugged into a wall socket at the GM’s house several miles away.

  • Paul Thurst

    Chuck, that is awesome. I can imagine some guy who didn’t want to go to the transmitter site to sign off the transmitter at night. “I’ll just rig it so I can unplug it… at my house.”

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