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What's the worst thing that has happened to you while on the air?
  Posted: Nov 22, 2015   (304 votes, 23 comments) by N2MG

  Power went out
  Lightning strike
  Domestic (family) interruption
  Fire, flood or similar
  Equipment failure
  Something else
    (304 votes, 23 comments)

Survey Results
Power went out 11% (33)
Lightning strike 8% (23)
Domestic (family) interruption 12% (37)
Fire, flood or similar 2% (6)
Equipment failure 38% (117)
QRM / QRN 15% (47)
Something else 13% (41)

Survey Comments
Power outages are a good thing
I love it when the power goes out!

Suddenly my noise floor drops to nothing when all of my neighbors' plasma TVs and other electronics shut off. I can hear and work stations that are otherwise in the noise.

I have a PowerGate 40 connected to a deep cycle RV battery, which has allowed me to work through outages lasting several hours at least.

Posted by KL2ZZ on November 29, 2015

Caught Fire
My shack was on the lower walkout level of our home. I went outside to adjust the 160M dipole fed with 450 Ohm line which required me to slide up the aluminum window screen. I came back in the shack and closed the screen pushing the feed line into the groove I had cut in the sill. I started CQing with my MLA2500 when I saw a light out of the corner of my eye. I had ignited the the plastic insulation! I created a resistive connection and was pumping a KW into the now shorted line. The fire was easily put out.

Posted by K3SX on November 29, 2015

Worst Thing That Happened
One evening about a dozen years ago, I was engaged in
a long ragchew when I heard a loud popping noise
behind me .... suddenly followed by the sound of
wooshing water.... My hot water tank had just blown
out its bottom promptly unleashing 50 gallons of HOT
water all over the basement. The QSO, at least for me,
ended rather abruptly so I cound handle the situation....

Posted by KR4BD on November 28, 2015

Band dies
In middle of contact 40 meters or some other band turns off. At least it has not been caused by the other selections!

Posted by K8BDW on November 28, 2015

Nothing Yet
I must have an Angel in my station. Do not recall
anything bad happening during my 52 years. Well, I
better say I do not remember such a thing after I "came
to"!! Gotta be careful around the tube gear power
supplies. As a novice in 1961 I did not know anything
about matching my antenna system to my transmitter.
Most of my Heathkit 50 watts was reflecting right back at
me and I was getting painful needle sharp rf burns off
the steel set screws in my gears' plastic knobs. I guess
that counts for this new question. Has been a great ham
radio life for me.

Posted by K7NSW on November 28, 2015

1987 was working a 2meter SSB contest when the
tower took a lightning strike out of the blue.
No storms in the area! Blew the antenna
completely off the tower and cooked my rig
along with a TV and stereo in the
house...Scared the crap out of me..I was
shaking for 30 minutes after!!!

Posted by N0FPE on November 27, 2015

Amplifier Transformer blew
In 1980 I was working the CQ WW SSB Dx Contest as single band 40 and Saturday Morning the Henry 2K Amp blew the power transformer. Hard to work 40 SSB with 100 watts.

Dave K4JRB

Posted by K4JRB on November 27, 2015

Worst thing that happened to you while you were on the air
P.S. That was in 2012 while operating fixed station KB3WGE

Posted by KB3WGE on November 27, 2015

Worst thing that happened to you while you were on the air.
Superstorm Sandy Oct.30-31 Bethlehem,PA. I'm mobile now currently heading out to the Southwest(in a slow lesirely fashiom)73' Jimi a,k,a, KB3WGE

Posted by KB3WGE on November 27, 2015

As a young General in about 1960 being told that I was in the Canadian Phone Band by a Canadian Ham. I saw the FCC trucks at the front door already.

Posted by DJ0RD on November 27, 2015

Sister Woes
Back many decades ago, when I was still living in the
family home with my parents & sister, I was in the middle
of an AM transmission on a local Sunday morning
roundtable 'phone net, when all of a sudden, my RFI-
plagued sister upstairs, poked her head through the shack
door, & yelled---at full throttle, too---"...GET OFF OF
THAT %^&*#@&*)^% RADIO...!!!"

I felt all of 2-feet tall as a result. It MUST have been
picked-up by the microphone, she was so VERY vocal. But
the guys on the net were discreet & polite enough not to
humiliate me any further by mentioning the incident...

Posted by VE3CUI on November 26, 2015


The new puppy pulled out my power supply cord from the wall outlet before chewing the plug up in the middle of a CW DX pileup.

Smart dog, most would chew the cord while still plugged in to the wall zapping themselves but not this little terror.

Right after this happened I knew what we were going to name him, 'Ivan The Terrible'

Posted by WB8VLC on November 25, 2015

equipment failure
The lock nut that holds wire to front of power supply came loose and lost ground wire. Hunted around checking stuff til I found the loose wire. Now I check that set of connections every time I get on the air!

Posted by K7ZSK on November 25, 2015

Amplifier Died AGAIN!
Had an Ameritron ALS-600 die when I keyed
it for the 4th or 5th time in just over a
month.It was the last time that it died on
me because I never removed it from the
boxes when it returned from Ameritron.
Traded it for another Ameritron tube
amplifier (811H) & never looked back or
had any other issues.I have had several
power outages while operating but the
amplifier blowing up was much worse in my
opinion since no gear was damaged during
any of the power failures.

Posted by W4KVW on November 24, 2015

I checked other
When I was still living in Chicago, I rigged a 2m radio to my bicycle. One day, I was riding down the street while checking into a net and a cab almost ran me over. I yelled a couple of four letter words at him, then I realized I was still pushing the PTT button. Lucky the mike wasn't right buy my mouth.

Posted by KB9SDS on November 24, 2015

Thankfully none of the really hazardous
stuff. I'd have to vote deliberate QRM. Why
some guys just have to wreck other people's
enjoyment of ham radio, is beyond my

Posted by AD7DB on November 24, 2015

Need an "all of the above" box :-)


Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark
County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing

Posted by K9ZF on November 23, 2015

Stuck Toddler
My toddler granddaughter got her foot stuck in the commode where it promptly swelled up. Fire department carried the commode and the child out to the front yard where they broke the commode apart to free the child.

Posted by AA4PB on November 23, 2015

End Loaded 80/40 Meter Dipole went on fire!
I was using an end loaded commercially made 80/40 Meter
dipole antenna on 80 CW with about 700 Watts back in the
1960's. The end loading coils were wound on some kind of
clear plastic rod that also supported the ends of the antenna.
One end melted and went on fire right around the time I was
signing off. A neighbor saw the fire and rang our door bell
preventing any damage to our roof!

Posted by NB2I on November 23, 2015

Shelling on base camp.

Posted by WB5X on November 23, 2015

Nice to see a new one

Nice to see a new survey - finally.

Can't really say anything bad has ever happened to me while on the air .... probably a domestic minor emergency would be the only interruption I can think of.

Posted by K7AAT on November 23, 2015

I sheet myself also.

Posted by KT4WO on November 23, 2015

Stupid Questions
I chit myself

Posted by HFHAM2 on November 22, 2015

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