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eHam.net Survey

Survey Question
OK, now, let's be honest here: we've ALL had close calls - at one time, or another - that very nearly made us join the ranks of the Silent Keys listed! So let's get "clean" & share this with others: what, specifically, was YOUR "...near miss"...?
  Posted: Aug 29, 2016   (320 votes, 66 comments) by VE3CUI

  Mine was electrical, i.e with the household AC mains, as detailed here...
  Mine was way up on high, whilst in the process of doing some antenna work, as detailed here...
  Mine was while I was working on a particular piece of gear on the work bench, as detailed here...
  Mine was while trying-out my newly-installed mobile set-up, as detailed here...
  Mine was a result of a "...close encounter of the WORST kind" (with a NON-Ham) that I had while engaged in a Ham radio project, as detailed here...
  Mine was a combination of unfortunate flooks --- the sum total of which COULD have spelled disaster for me! --- as detailed here...
  Mine is almost too unbelievable to imagine, as detailed here...
    (320 votes, 66 comments)

Survey Results
Mine was electrical, i.e with the household AC mains, as detailed here... 33% (104)
Mine was way up on high, whilst in the process of doing some antenna work, as detailed here... 15% (49)
Mine was while I was working on a particular piece of gear on the work bench, as detailed here... 32% (102)
Mine was while trying-out my newly-installed mobile set-up, as detailed here... 2% (7)
Mine was a result of a "...close encounter of the WORST kind" (with a NON-Ham) that I had while engaged in a Ham radio project, as detailed here... 3% (8)
Mine was a combination of unfortunate flooks --- the sum total of which COULD have spelled disaster for me! --- as detailed here... 3% (8)
Mine is almost too unbelievable to imagine, as detailed here... 13% (42)

Survey Comments
Close Call
I was in the basement workshop, building a tube-based VFO from the 1965 Handbook, checking the voltage of the B+ line. Couldn't get the positive voltmeter probe to latch onto the test point so I reached to reposition the chassis with my other hand ... and it's all a blur now, but I remember that in a split second I (involuntarily) threw the chassis across the bench and my arms went kind of numb for a few minutes. My Mom (RIP) was doing the laundry in the other room and asked me what all the racket was.. and was I okay. Of course I said okay, but it took a few more minutes to say that convincingly. I think I still have that (unfinished) VFO chassis in my collection.

Posted by VE3WGO on August 30, 2017

Never again....
Was working alone on the antenna up on the tower (1st mistake). This was the first time I had used this safety belt, which I had borrowed from a friend. As I acended, I would snap the lanyard at each x-bar. Worked for a few minutes and then started the decent. At that point I discovered that the x-bar and the spring latch on the lanyard were less than an 1/8" different. By the time I finally got it loose, my belt had jockeyed into a position that was too loose for the top rung and had slid down so far that I could not drop my leg down to the next lower rung. I was stuck--could not go either way up or down. Saw the neighbor come home from golfing but was not going to shout across the street to call the FD. Finally I just ran out of options and unbuckled the belt, wiggled out of it, and let it fall to the ground. Then I proceeded to free climb with bare hands down the tower. Never again will I use just a belt--ONLY SAFE way is with a harness, not a belt that you are not familiar with and may not be adjusted to correctly fit you.

Posted by K8TS on March 1, 2017

1-Hand in pocket
I was a youngster of about 15 newly licensed and learned the hard way that when poking around the transmitter finals, one hand should be in your pocket and NOT HOLDING THE MIKE!
I was knocked to the ground and have had instant respect for the voltage gods ever since!

Posted by AE1N on October 25, 2016

HELLO!
Is this survey broken or did someone forget to
end it?

Posted by KG4RUL on October 25, 2016

DX-20 Shock
I had a DX-20 as a Novice. When I got my general (1959), I built a cathode modulator for it. During the testing phase, I had the cabinet off the transmitter and was moving it (powered up)to another spot on the desk holding it with two hands. The DX-20 had a 'u' shaped chassis, and I accidentally touched one prong of the 5U4 socket with one hand and the chassis with the other. I could feel the shock thru my chest and luckily was able to drop the transmitter whereupon I fell on mu butt. I had a burn on the finger that touched the rectifier, and that was it. I was 16 then, and would not want to experience it now at 72. I was lucky.

Posted by K3JLS on October 23, 2016

Zzzzt
Age 4, 12 years before becoming a ham - stuck one of mom's hairpins in an outside receptacle, but luckily only ran screaming to mom with burned fingers. Did a few stupid things in the following decades, but never paid the price (years of TV and ham antenna installations with never a safety belt).

Posted by K4IQT on October 15, 2016

Transformer
In the 70's I was checking a power transformer for a homebrew 50W Modulator.
Had the Voltmeter probes one each hand and went across the secondary. Yep slipped while sitting in a wooden office chair.
The chair somehow went flying across the concrete floor against the far wall.
I don't know how long I had been unconscious but it taught me a valuable lesson. That has never happened again!!

Posted by N8XI on October 15, 2016

HELLO MIKE?!!
I'm thinking that Mike pays no more
attention to our comments OR the survey
"freshness" than VK5LA did.

"This survey is still up here?

>My "near miss" was hoping against hope
that after VK5LA was replaced the survey
questions wouldn't be left up this long.

Mine too, but apparently it is not to be.
Posted by K2CMH on October 11, 2016"

Posted by K0CBA on October 13, 2016

Still?
This survey is still up here?

>My "near miss" was hoping against hope that
after VK5LA was replaced the survey questions
wouldn't be left up this long.

Mine too, but apparently it is not to be.

Posted by K2CMH on October 11, 2016

My own close calls, all lightning!

One at Ave Maria Grotto. With no prior thunder in the area, lightning hit a power pole, and "the can" transformer fell off, striking the ground not 5 feet from me. I had just moved from that area!

Another at The Polo Club in Boca Raton Fl, where lighting struck, and blew the key caps off the computer I was working on, as well as me across the room in a swivel chair.

And the most recent, on the day the USA first bombed Iraq, I was in a shallow lake, repairing a fountain when lighting hit the lake, charged the wires and fountain, and gave me and my partner a really rough shock. That one, I got hospitalized, and was able to watch my heart vary from 30 to 240 bpm on one of the little boxes they had me connected to. Yikes!

Posted by K1VCT on October 8, 2016

Lightening
Lightening strike through my Beam to Century 21 to my
Straight Key to me.

Posted by N0TES on October 8, 2016

Attention: K0CBA
And it's not like "...Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bare"
of ideas & suggestions, either, I'm afraid...

Maybe there are some "computerized gymnastics" required in
order to post new surveys, that we aren't aware of...?

Posted by VE3CUI on October 8, 2016


My "near miss" was hoping against hope that
after VK5LA was replaced the survey questions
wouldn't be left up this long.

Posted by K0CBA on October 8, 2016

Sparks!
At a very young age, stuck tweezers into electrical outlet
just as Mom called me to dinner. Sparks flew! Smart kid
grabbed the tweezers and pulled them out of the socket.
Fuse ddi not blow and I never heard anything about it.
Guess I wasn't grounded? Tweezers conducted better
than flesh? I don't plan a repetition of the experiment.

Posted by KU5M on October 6, 2016

Close but no cigar
Long story but I almost drowned on a water/ice
rescue when an ice bank broke off and I ended
up riding it to the bottom of a swift flowing
creek.

Posted by W2EM on October 1, 2016

Ten more years of Ham Radio?
My "near miss" was not electrical.
Doctor took the time out of his busy schedule to personally phone me the urgent bad "life threating news" - "your glucose is way to high". Since then, I lost a lot of weight, my A1C and fasting sugar are now normal. No need for meds - just proper diet and exersize. I intentionally mis spelled excersize since I know that its a dirty word (proof source Dayton) and would get filtered out. Perhaps ten more years of Ham radio fun for some here just by getting a normal waistline.
I just returned from the 2016 Tokyo Hamfair Hamfest at Tokyo Bigsite - no lines at the snackbar. Ham Radio is to fun to pass early.

Posted by WB9YCJ on October 1, 2016

Ten more years of Ham Radio?
My "near miss" was not electrical.
Doctor took the time out of his busy schedule to personally phone me the urgent bad "life threating news" - "your glucose is way to high". Since then, I lost a lot of weight, my A1C and fasting sugar are now normal. No need for meds - just proper diet and exersize. I intentionally mis spelled excersize since I know that its a dirty word (proof source Dayton) and would get filtered out. Perhaps ten more years of Ham radio fun for some here just by getting a normal waistline.
I just returned from the 2016 Tokyo Hamfair Hamfest at Tokyo Bigsite - no lines at the snackbar. Ham Radio is to fun to pass early.

Posted by WB9YCJ on October 1, 2016

1 happening 1 nearly
1 happening, working up on a roof, lost my
footing, NO safety strap or catch rail,
entirely my fault, in a rush no time to plan,
slid down like a flamin bobsleigh, over the
edge landed on ground HARD, broke back in 2
places, luckily the bits flew out of the
spine, not in.

1 nearly, working alone on a big marine radar
in a steel hut, went to change the magnetron,
and and angel landed on my shoulder and said
its still running, so close.

Posted by ZL1BBW on October 1, 2016

It was 1982. I was working on a FM broadcast transmitter. I had just opened it up to change the final tube. Something made me reach for the grounding stick and a 2" arc caught me by surprise. After I put my pants back on I made sure all of the power supply capacitors were discharged! 3500 V and 2.5 A is not something you could walk away from...

Posted by N0QJA on September 30, 2016

A strong reminder to pay attention.
About 25 years ago. I received a little 600
volt zap, after replacing and neutralizing a
new set of finals in a Yaesu FT-101EE. The
end result, that jittery feeling from
receiving an electrical shock, and a sore
elbow after my arm slammed into the door
behind me. To me, a very small price to pay,
in exchange for a valuable safety lesson that
I will never forgot.

Posted by AB4D on September 29, 2016

I was in High School. I was fortunate to have an electronics teacher who was also a ham, and we could do for our final 'for grade' project a ham transmitter or receiver. I chose a transmitter...

I was having problems making the final amp tube key properly, and I was making voltage checks. I managed to touch the secondary of the plate voltage transformer and some other point, probably at ground potential.

Witnesses said I did a backflip and landed flat on my back. I don't remember. The teacher looked over & asked the nearest bystander if I was breathing. The bystander said 'Yes', so the teacher said 'He'll be OK in a little bit'...

Posted by K7NG on September 27, 2016

RE: AD5TD
Obviously your non ham related close call
deleted your sense of humor. Lighten up
man..... I think the details of fellow ham's
near misses are interesting and might save
someone else from a near miss!!!

Posted by N1AP on September 22, 2016

Mine is almost too unbelievable to imagine, as detailed here...
Although I have a degree in EE, I also have an undergraduate, and graduate degree in Safety Engineering. When I am performing electrical/electronics work, or contemplating climbing my tower, I visit and re-visit my safety assessments over and over. It takes me longer to do my work, but I have never had a near miss.

I must have had near misses or fiery hits back in my callow youth, but I don't remember any. I do know that I hate to get shocked, but that comes mostly spark-plugs on motorcycles. Other than soldering iron burns, here and there, I have nothing to report.

If the intended scope of work changes in mid-job, I stop and reevaluate before criticality is reached.

My sons do all my tower work with 100% fall protection (one is a certified tower climber), and I realize how fortunate I am in that regard. Prior to that I contented myself with wire thrown into trees.

I live in Chugaik, Alaska, and we have zero thunderstorms or associated lightning, otherwise I am sure that I would have had something untoward occur, since none of my antenna systems are grounded (no wind either, for the most part). I almost had a bull moose get his rack tied up in one of my dipoles, but he wandered away from the ladder line before connecting. I know of a guy who had all of his rigs pulled to the corner of his shack by such an event, so I guess that might be a near miss. I elevated the line above antler height after that.

Aside from nearly working myself to death while digging and mixing the concrete for my tower, all by myself, by hand, I haven't got any hairy stories to tell. I find myself planning and re-planning everything that I do, then working the plan. I believe in zero incidents with proper planning.

Posted by KL2TC on September 22, 2016

Flyback
Took about 30kV in a fluke accident from a
crt flyback. Came to on the floor with
people about to call 911. Fried nerves in
my arm. Had my other hand not have been in
my back pocket..who knows what would have
happened.

That was not the only encounter with a
flyback, sadly. But Im still kickin..so I
got that goin for me.

Posted by NQ4T on September 21, 2016

Attention: AD5TD
"...Quite possibly the worst/dumbest survey ever..."

I must say, I do take some personal offence by such
callously-made & off-handed remarks like these, OM,
because considerable thought was expended on my part
in crafting this modest little "fun" questionnaire...

But if you can do better --- and you CAN too, doubtlessly
judging by the very many past flawless surveys that you've
submitted herein...? --- please, by all means privilege us
with your astute supremacy in the art of public polls, and
allow me here to humbly & grovingly learn a thing, or two,
at the feet of your obvious mastery...

Posted by VE3CUI on September 18, 2016

OMG
quite possibly the worst/dumbest survey ever.

Mine was not ham related.

Posted by AD5TD on September 17, 2016

A Charge Out of Lightning
A former employer kindly allowed me to have a 2 meter antenna about half-way up their 350' commercial tower. The coax was usually connected to my HT so I could monitor while working in my office. One day at lunchtime, I was removing the coax when lightning struck the tower. I immediately threw down the metal connector but not before a small blue spark jumped about an inch from my knee to my metal file cabinet. Thanks to a very well-grounded tower, that's the only portion of the electrical discharge I experienced.

Posted by WD4AOG on September 17, 2016

don't tig weld when you're cranky
Pal of mine emailed me at 10am and asked if I could do some quick tig welding on his art project. "When?" "In an hour." "What?" "I'm driving to New York today and need to leave at noon."

So I start welding his project but it doesn't fit on my welding table and I'm in a bad mood doing "free welding" so I put it on the floor and go to weld.

I forgot to move the ground off the table and on to the art project.

Electricity went from my tig gun, thru my leather glove, through my hand, down my left(!) side, through my Wesco boots, in to the concrete floor of my studio, and eventually to some common ground.

artist pal: "Are you ok?"
me: "are we both alive or did I kill us both and this is purgatory?"

Posted by KC3HSO on September 16, 2016

Unbelievable
I was shot in the head, flying UH-1C gunship during TET 1968.

Posted by KQ4KK on September 16, 2016

35kv
Mine was when working in an RF screen room and working on a rather large old color monitor TV, the Communtating/Trace SCR driven high voltage got out of control and as my hand with my ring finger on it waved within 6 inches of the 2nd anode, and it arced to me...
Threw me clear across the other side of the room against the door. Knocked the stuffing out of me for a little bit.

Posted by KC0NIB on September 14, 2016

BAD!!!! ADVICE
20+ years ago, the QTH was in a high rise condo near Lake Michigan & "Big John". Being up 400+ feet I got the idea to "monitor" SHF transmissions using a UPM-84A spectrum analyzer into a WJ receiver to demodulate the -84A's IF output. The -84A developed a short -- pinched LV control wiring. This was one of the most diabolical shorts on record; it ONLY happened when the -84A was in it's dust cover/case. You couldn't find it with a VTVM/VOM. I asked an "extra" on a two meter net for help. "YOU GOT SOFT CAPS IN THE POWER SUPPLY. JUST REPLACE THE AC LINE FUSE WITH SLO-BLO FUSES." I took his advice and replaced the 6.5 amp line fuse with a 6.5 amp slo-blo fuse. Turned on the -84A and walked away. I smelled smoke and saw it coming out of my shack/office. I made a mad dash for the -84A and tried to turn it off. NO GO! Dived for the floor and the power cord, hoping to pull the plug fast!!! OUR CONDO HAD FIRE SPRINKLERS!

LESSONS LEARNED: Study fuse types and how fast the different types work. Don't believe everything an "extra" says.

Posted by N9LCD on September 11, 2016

RF bites or mains zapped, or lightning?
I was working for a defense contractor who shall remain nameless. They had some sort of test set up using the famous SR71 Blackbird, high speed high altitude spy plane, long after it's supposed decommissioning, and donation to NASA. I had worked at places like Raytheon, and got RF bit off the ceiling grid, metal furniture etc. Well, I was inside an old storage space Unidynamics had a bunch of explosives manufacturing junk still piled up in, and I was removing some of their old gear when I got RF bit harder than I ever had been before in my life. I got bit off a small galvanized nailer plate in the ceiling, and was not too sure how what or why, when I noticed what looked like arc welding going on in the next room. I was thinking, "I don't remember any welders coming in today. Why would we need any welders anyway?" so I dropped my boom lift to the ground and looked around the corner just in time to see the second of 3 pole mounted transformers explode in a shower of sparks. It was raining sparks all over a person in a car, stopped at an intersection, on base. I never did find out what experiment they were doing with the SR71 whether it was a success or not, or even what they were attempting to do. I packed up my tools, and called it a day, after a few dozen other employees complained about RF bites. The ones that effectively ended my career were tangling with a 12,470 volt draw out breaker, where a previous crew had left a wrench inside the substation, and an incident with 480 volts and a core driller. I almost lost my right foot. I had a dust devil blow into a 2000 amp service entrance and the gear exploded, but I was not all that close. I have had a few employees die on jobs, from electrocution. One was using a freshly repaired bucket truck, set up for bare hand work, with a fiberglass boom, and fiberglass, & nylon control linkages. The repair shop used steel braided hydraulic lines rather than Kevlar, and that was his last job. His wife and kids sued the company and the repair shop, but he was much too dead to enjoy the money. My first good zap was from the 450 volt B+ on an old Supro guitar amplifier. I get a 1624T model in from time to time, and I usually always get into that B+. The terminal strip is in the worst possible place they could put it. I seem to usually just discharge the filter caps now, but when I was about 12 years old I left behind a piece of sizzling finger. It was smoking and sizzling away between the B+ and the ground coming back from the speaker & output trans. I can laugh about it now, and fixing those guitars & amps is still what I do to earn dollars, and sense. Some days I need more sense than I do dollars. I do amp, radio, & guitar instead of working as an industrial electrician now, but I do really miss the work and I miss the paychecks even more. I have been zapped with my 6000 volt AC Hi Pot tester too. Shock proof leads my butt! Add moisture, and bare feet, and you may not get the full 6000 volts but it still hurts.

Posted by KI7AQJ on September 11, 2016

Young and Foolish
I was in high school and was working on a second-hand linear amplifier I had purchased from a friend. As was the style at the time, I was wearing a chain necklace with a medallion on it around my neck. Believing I had finally solved the problem with the amplifier, I reached across the open top to grab the cabinet lid. As I picked up the lid from the desk, my necklace came in contact with a plate cap. I woke up some time later on the floor looking up at my father and an ambulance driver. I was very, very fortunate. A lesson learned and never forgotten.

Posted by K9TXJ on September 10, 2016

In the 80s, a friend was working k a Heathkit
Warrior.

He had a gold chain on, and was holding a
D104 mic. Bent over his amp to troubleshoot
something, his chain caught a plate cap, and
his father found him dead, laying on top of
his amp, with a blown breaker.

Never worked on anything with other than a
plastic mic after that, lesson learned.

Rip, Dave.

Posted by KD6VXI on September 9, 2016

Flying without a plane or rocket
At age 14 I learned that flyback transformers and capacitors really will launch one across the room (if they are lucky.) Too close to a Darwin award for me! And who said that small and nearly mass less electrons were insignificant? My scars have healed, but my ego has not and I remain curious to this day.

Posted by W9GMT on September 9, 2016

Think about it.
Do you have an eye for safety, or are you blinded by bad habits?

Going out of your way to do the job safely may be old stuff, but then again, so are the hams who practice it.

Posted by AI2IA on September 8, 2016

None of the above
So far, I have not even come close to killing myself via ham radio.

Posted by WB4M on September 8, 2016

Be careful...
...those flooks can kill you!

Posted by KG6AF on September 8, 2016

No sweat
So an Elmer was helping me troubleshoot my
HW-101 back when I had just got my General.
It was a typical Arizona day, not hot but
warm enough to need air conditioning. As
we're peering down onto the upside-down
radio checking voltage levels, all of a
sudden sparks began to shoot out from the
board. One of us with enough presence of
mind quickly shut the power off. Bewildered
as to what caused the event, we again peered
down onto the board but this time with the
power turned off. Momentarily, a bead of
sweat fell from the Elmerís nose onto the
board. Knowing now what had happened, when
we found the "epicenter" of the event, a
single drop of sweat had fallen onto a B+
trace and ground causing a spectacular
display. Fortunately, it didnít cause any
other problems, the original issue was
resolved and the radio spent many years on
the air.

Add salty perspiration to the list of things
to keep away from high voltages.

Posted by KE7FD on September 7, 2016

Don't trust fuses
Late spring snow storm dropped 7200V lines
across highway and opened the overhead
feeder fuse. Sheriff's deputies stopped
traffic to keep cars from driving over the
downed overhead lying on the highway.
Buddy (former journeyman lineman) from the
REMC arrived to check it out and we
decided to drag the wire clear of the
road, after all we could see the end of
the fuse wire hanging out the bottom of
the fuse, so the fuse was open. We neatly
coiled the heavy wire on a road sign and
the backed up traffic was released. Buddy
went on to another site as the bucket
truck with a replacement fuse was on the
way. I walked back home. About 20 minutes
later, I heard a loud ripping-buzzing
sound which turned out to be the HV fuse
on fire, sparks flying everywhere. Arcs
were reaching several feet upward, arcing
across the fuse and melting the metal
disconnect. The arc eventually burned the
end of the cross arm off as well as
setting the road sign on fire. Twenty
minutes before, the line man and I had
been coiling that same conductor in our
hands. . . Moral: Never trust fuse holders
or "open" fuses and stay away from
7200/12.5kV.

Posted by WA9VEZ on September 6, 2016

Ouch
Working on a Laser Tube power supply in 1976, 2500Volt, Capacitor Bank. Lucky to still be here. It bounced me half way across the room. Have not slipped up on that type of mistake ever since.
Respect all monsters!

Posted by N6YFM on September 6, 2016

800 Volts in one arm and out the other
Worked repairing two-way radio for many years, RCA Service Company. Had a Motrack with the cage open on its side. Metal mic in one hand keying the radio, when it fell over placing the plate caps on the other wrist. I lived, but had had second thought about another job. Did not work. Spent 45 years repairing electronics.

Posted by WA7NDD on September 5, 2016

What almost killed me...
Back in the early 70-s I thought I was being careful servicing my GONSET amp, but alas I guess I wasn't because I contacted the B+ and I felt it in my underarm (2700V) but I was fortunate in that it obviously did not go through my chest cavity...It did leave a nice burn on the finger, and it is a lesson that has lasted for over 40 years..THANK GOD

Posted by K2LGO on September 5, 2016

Couldn't let go!
Back in the day (early 80's) I had an old metal cased
Tensor high intensity lamp that I was using to illuminate
something I was working on in the garage. Well I
needed to move it and I picked it up along with the
extension cord and started walking away. The plug had
partially became unplugged and the neck of the lamp
touched the hot prong. For the only time in my life I was
unable to let go as my hand clamped down on the wires
and the lamp. I was able to twist my body and break the
connection and then let go fast! That was the closest I
ever came to getting electrocuted.

Posted by KB8ASO on September 5, 2016

Close call
For me, the closest I've ever come was in a motorcycle accident. All my ham radio mishaps have been restricted to either 110/220 VAC minor bite or an RF burn here and there.

73,
K9CTB

Posted by K9CTB on September 4, 2016

Shock
I was working for the Navy as a Test Engineer, and asked to check on a new piece of test equipment. I went to turn it on and got a shock. The regular operator of the test equipment said "Oh that happens all the time". Using my authority I tagged it unsafe and do not use. It had come from the manufacturer with the ground and hot interchanged. The scary part was that people knew about the shock hazard and did nothing, till I got a shock. Easy fix, but some one could have been killed.

Posted by K4JPN on September 3, 2016

Task Orientation
Accidents don't just happen. They are caused. Electrical shock is never amusing, and should never be taken as anything less than a harbinger of what may come.
Work with one hand only on live circuits. Keep the rest of your body away from the bench. Stand on rubber or otherwise insulated mats. Respect low voltages. They can cause you to react and fall across higher voltages. Discharge large capacitors. Work with dead circuits whenever possible. Never work alone. Know what you are doing and be task oriented. Respect electrical power.Never daydream when troubleshooting. It is my desire that all hams live long and enjoy the hobby.

Posted by AI2IA on September 2, 2016

High voltage
As a a 16 year old novice, sticking my golden screw driver where it didn't belong. I was touching the metal of the screw driver when it happened; poking around the inside of a novice transmitter while it was on.... looking for an intermittent. I felt the voltage go across my chest and swear my heart stopped. Suddenly, I gasped for breath and my heart started pounding like I had just run a sprint. Lucky I had my Converse All Stars on! (Rubber soles)

Posted by WA8MEA on September 2, 2016

High voltage
As a a 16 year old novice, sticking my golden screw driver where it didn't belong. I was touching the metal of the screw driver when it happened; poking around the inside of a novice transmitter while it was on.... looking for an intermittent. I felt the voltage go across my chest and swear my heart stopped. Suddenly, I gasped for breath and my heart started pounding like I had just run a sprint. Lucky I had my Converse All Stars on! (Rubber soles)

Posted by WA8MEA on September 2, 2016

High voltage
As a a 16 year old novice, sticking my golden screw driver where it didn't belong. I was touching the metal of the screw driver when it happened; poking around the inside of a novice transmitter while it was on.... looking for an intermittent. I felt the voltage go across my chest and swear my heart stopped. Suddenly, I gasped for breath and my heart started pounding like I had just run a sprint. Lucky I had my Converse All Stars on! (Rubber soles)

Posted by WA8MEA on September 2, 2016

Close encounter
Being struck by Lightning.

Posted by W8LV on September 2, 2016

Close encounter
Being struck by Lightning.

Posted by W8LV on September 2, 2016

Well, it wasn't all that high...
... I was working on an antenna and was on my roof. A gust of wind blew my ladder down and I didn't notice it. I did not put the extension up high enough to be seen above the roofline. I stepped down where I expected to find the ladder rung.... oops, no... I fell about 10 feet, landing on my backside. I consider myself very lucky that all I got was a bruised buttcheek. Ouch!

Posted by K5WLR on September 1, 2016

Our Infamous Good Night Kiss
As first year newlyweds and starving students, I was gifted an old Ham radio receiver by my father-in-law. Sitting at the kitchen card table in an insulated chair and wearing tennis shoes, I was blissfully cruising the bands. My young and beautiful barefoot wife was turning in to bed so came in to kiss me goodnight. Laying my arm across the top of that receiver I puckered up for a sweet wet one. When our lips met we experienced 115 VAC lips-to-lips. What I was not aware of was that this particular receiver needed to be plugged in a certain way otherwise the chassis was hot with AC mains voltage. It was a good 15 years before I could take up the hobby again. That receiver was returned to its donor the very next day. BTW: We just celebrated our 43rd anniversary but we almost didn't make it to our first.

Posted by N7RV on August 31, 2016

In a Hurry!!
As, an SWL in 8th Grade... and soon to become a brand new licensed Ham(N7SCC); While, I was hooking up my Lafayette Shortwave receiver and outside wire antenna at my bedroom window and installing-nailing an extension cord to the wall for power behind the Desk when: !ZAP! white sparks were flying and I felt a shock! Pulling away, I saw that the extension cord (115V) was still plugged in!
Really careful around live AC/DC power after that!

Posted by AA7LX on August 31, 2016

In a Hurry!!
As, an SWL in 8th Grade... and soon to become a brand new licensed Ham(N7SCC); While, I was hooking up my Lafayette Shortwave receiver and outside wire antenna at my bedroom window and installing-nailing an extension cord to the wall for power behind the Desk when: !ZAP! white sparks were flying and I felt a shock! Pulling away, I saw that the extension cord (115V) was still plugged in!
Really careful around live AC/DC power after that!

Posted by AA7LX on August 31, 2016

Even "STOOPID" Can Sometimes Learn...!
It was 1973. I was a recently minted 21 year old Ham radio
operator in need of some insulated wire for a homebrew
creation that I was then working on...

My eyes fell upon a long, indoor run of grey, insulated
extension cord on the basement floor that would be ideal
--- it's socket connector end was intermittent at best, & I
had other extension cords to fall back upon, if I needed
one. So I looped the end of the cord in my left hand, &
proceeded to gamely cut away near the receptacle end
with a large, steel-handled knife, with my right hand.

All of a sudden, BWAM...!!! The knife literally was flung
from my fingers in a blue flash, & struck a wall of the
basement some 10-feet away. When the dust had cleared,
I could see what looked like a spotweld nugget in the
middle of the blade --- and sure enough, the plug end of
the extension cable WAS STILL SEATED INTO THE 120 VAC
OUTLET ON THE WALL ACROSS THE BASEMENT...!

Yes, I had attempted to cut through a LIVE WIRE in my
haste to get on with my project.

I STILL shake my head at how absolutely STOOPID I had
acted. But y'know what...? I NEVER cut ANY wire anymore
here, without first looking to see what either end might be
plugged into...!

Posted by VE3CUI on August 31, 2016

You can't see electricity
Working on a DX60 as a young teenager, I had
removed the bottom cover. When I reached
under the chassis to lift up the transmitter,
my finger hit the HV line. Most of the
current went through my hand but enough went
through my body to give me quite a jolt. The
tip of my finger hurt for weeks.

Posted by K4IA on August 31, 2016

Close Calls
Some 'ol lady pulled out in right in front of me when I was ridin my HD 883 Sportster...luckily she was makin a right instaed of a left ...she would have ate the front wheel & forks & maybe part of the engine & I might not be typin this @ the moment,Respectfuly KB3WGE. Jimi.

Posted by KB3WGE on August 31, 2016

Missing an option
Once again, a survey with no option for "Does
not apply"

Posted by K2CMH on August 30, 2016

Close Call
I was working my way down from the top of a 160FT tower making the coax look nice. I was tired and was going to lean back in the climbing harness at the 60 foot level. I did a quick check to see what was connected. My fall restraints were both not hooked up. My two 5 foot tie off straps were at my side and my chest loop with the 5 inch gorilla hook was against my chest. I did have both hands and both feet with contact but nothing else. What a wake up call!! Back to 3 points of contact and fall restraint. I was not in that big of a hurry to get down.

Posted by WB8LBZ on August 29, 2016

Dopey things we sometimes do
Winch on a tilt over tower slipped from my
hand and broke the ulna on my arm above the
wrist.

Served me right as I should not have been
playing with the tower during a tropical
storm.

Posted by WY4J on August 29, 2016

Microwave mishap.
Back in the days of microwave Polaplexers (precursor to the Gunnplexer.) Built a 726C Klystron soup can 3 GHz Polaplexer. Forgot the power supply was on and picked it up with both hands, one on the can and the other on the Klystron. Result was about 500VDC across the body. Somehow was able to drop it. So shaken that the rest of the evening was limited to working on my stamp collection!

Posted by WA6EJO on August 29, 2016

1st on the SCENE!
Field day - a few years ago we were set up in a shelter at a park. We'd reserved the shelter until 2:00 Sunday afternoon and there was a lady anxiously awaiting our club to vacate the area so she could bring a group of children there for a party and games.

The shelter - a roof without walls - had commercial electricity but we hadn't been using it. Instead, we powered our radio equipment from John's motorhome which was parked adjacent to the shelter. John's motorhome also had a 25' heavy duty vertical antenna mast that we had finished using.

John started the engine on the motorhome and somebody said, "I wonder if he realizes that he hasn't lowered his mast?"
"Stop! John, Stop! Somebody tell him to STOP!"

But John couldn't hear the yells and he continued forward. The aluminum mast ran into the commercial electric power lines that were feeding the shelter and sparks flew in all directions. The 220 wires stretched tight and the service weatherhead and riser leaned over and began ripping shingles off of the roof. Sparks began flying out of the breaker panel.

The lady with the childred were just driving up to unload the party favors and supplies as the power pole broke off at the ground. Two poles away, white smoke wafted from the mains transformer and sparks were flying off the insulators.

"Somebody tell him to STOP!" "STOP, John! STOP"

The power pole continued to fall the rest of the way down and the electric cables came to rest across the roof of the lady's car as she opened her door to get out.

"Tell her to STAY IN THE CAR!" "Somebody tell her NOT TO GET OUT!"

John stopped the motorhome, brearkers tripped, overloads terminated the power, sparks stopped flying, the lady stayed inside her car (with one foot out) and the smoke drifted away throught the trees.

One of our group dialed 911 on his cellphone, not realizing that he'd been TDY for the NSA in Maryland and the call went into the Maryland emergency services. They had to patch his call back to Tennessee to get in touch with our local emergency services and to get a utility truck dispatched on this Sunday afternoon.

We all stayed for the rest of the afternoon while emergency crews got the situation back under control. One thoughtful amateur radio operator commented, "Well, ham radio operators were first on the scene of this emergency!"

Posted by W4XKE on August 29, 2016

Close call
Working on a 'temporary' tower (all of 20ft high) it began to tip. One of the three guy lines had come loose. I just spun around to the other side and the tower then righted itself against the other two guy lines. My helpers then secured the third guy line and all was well.

Posted by WU0F on August 29, 2016

It was 1971 - in my 2nd floor apartment - I had a GE Tube UHF transceiver homemade power supply all in a metal cabinet and coax going out my patio door to a yagi antenna laying on patio railing. I was on the phone with a ham with whom I was trying to hear on that UHF receiver. I was wearing socks - no shoes. I stepped out onto the patio to re-aim the antenna ... and while standing on the metal patio door sill holding the antenna I received a massive shock through my entire body. If it were not for the fact that in my thrashing I momentarily shorted the antenna against the door sill I would probably not be here. That momentary break in the current through my body allowed me to lift my foot and then drop the antenna. Subsequently I discovered AC from the power supply was going directly to the chassis and right up the coax to the antenna.
Never again !

Posted by K7AAT on August 29, 2016

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