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Old 03-17-2016, 11:21 AM   #1
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Location: Clearwater, FL
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Default High Power Antenna

While visiting this year’s Hamcation® in Orlando, my wife and I were in the NPOTA seminar and I heard a loud boom. I thought that's interesting, someone is firing a 12 noon cannon salute, but the time was a little off, it was 12:05. (Hams always know the correct time!)

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It turns out someone setting up their antenna had laid it across the high-power lines that run across the field. The area was roped off while the electric company powered down the lines to remove the antenna. No one was injured but the radio was hooked up at the time and most likely created a bunch of 'was-gates' out of the electronics. Looking around the camping area, we noticed another accident waiting to happen with another antenna 5 ft from the wires, swaying in the afternoon breeze.

The RV water and power plugs across the field are all on the poles so RVers clustered tightly around the poles. Like a moth to the flame....
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:03 PM   #2
Carl, nn5i
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Yes; I was about 30 feet away and it really was loud. I could see the antenna clearly, and there was a large (very large!) cloud of smoke.

People started streaming toward the event; I went the other way, because I knew I could not help and because I didn't want to be there if the wire came down.

I had not known until just now, from your post, that there were no injuries. Glad to learn that.

Incidentally, I did a double-take at your callsign. My first callsign in 1957 was KN4SCK, superseded by K4SCK. A guy in North Carolina has K4SCK now, as a vanity call; his initials are SCK. We exchanged e-mails a couple years ago; he seems a pleasant person.

I didn't keep K4SCK because, after I emblazoned it on my schoolbooks, the other high-school kids started pronouncing the suffix in the obvious way. Sigh.
-- Carl
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
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Location: Clearwater, FL
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After the antenna was removed and power was restored, the guy was talking to the officials. Still a little shaken and glad to be vertical. Betcha he doesn't do that again.

As a newbie, I'm curious about those antennas. They seem very popular with RV's since over dozen class A's had them. What band coverage do they have? I didn't notice any radials - do they need a ground plane? I assume they break down into smaller sections?
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:19 AM   #4
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Hey after a broswer reset (Cookie delete and catch clear) I finally remembered to check the "REMEMBER ME { } box

I have heard that sound before myself, only it was not an antenna hitting the power line, it was a falling tree limb on the power company right away.

The trimming crew arrived shortly after.. But it was IMPRESSIVE when it happened, I was only about 140 feet away. (If anyone wants I can do the Trig and figure out the exact distance) and that is, as they say, WAY TOO CLOSE
(Power line at back of lot, I was on sidewalk in front of house)

Friend of mine.. Freezing rain broke a limb on one of his trees and tore the DROP off his house. NO POWER.. he went out with a chain saw and started cutting up that tree for firewood to heat his house till power was restored......

Later that afternoon the power line snapped, fell across the drop to a neighbor's house, thousands of volts where 120/240 belonged, Fuse boxes (Genuine fuse boxes) blew up, Range elements shattered, Light fixtures which are no longer made shattered.. Much damage.

My friend had been cussing that tree all morning,, Suddenly he is thanking it and praising it's wisdom in falling across his drop and protecting his house.. NO damage.

Next day he got power back.. he was the only one on the street since the rest of them had to spend many dollars on electricians.
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