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I made fire today!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Antennas' started by ButtFuzz, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. ButtFuzz

    ButtFuzz Anti-BS Advocate ● N4REV ● Reverend Doctor

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    [​IMG]

    I have not had good luck with a G5RV or similar design antenna. Burnt up a connector or two on those. So I went with a 40 meter - trapped 80 meter dipole. The feed point on the trapped dipole antenna kept getting water in it, and shorting or opening the circuit... causing nastiness.

    So this morning I got up and fashioned a new, supposed earthquake-proof feed point for this trapped dipole... then dropped the antenna, removed the errant parts, and soldered (yes, SOLDERED) the feed wire / feed point assembly to the legs of the dipole and hoisted it back into the air.



    Into the shack I go to test... at first everything A-OK. then, cranked up the power to 500 watts carrier... everything still A-OK. Then, the SWR starts going bananas, so I shut down quickly and made a decision to just pull the antenna for the winter... I have better things to do than fool with this problem right now.

    5 minutes later I go outside to take the antenna down, and smell fire... rubber, melty fire... hey! and someone is burning leaves! Hmmmm... walk around the back of the house and the feed point is down on the ground. The plastic parts are aflame, so something must have arc'd, gotten insanely hot and exceeded the flash point of the plastic feed point housing. Once on fire, it melted right through the Dacron support line and the whole affair came crashing to the ground... setting fire to the leaves!

    Stomped out the fire.

    Grumbled several expletives containing letters in the word "firetruck" and headed back inside... disgusted.
     

  2. Low_Boy

    Low_Boy Well-Known Member

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    LoL.
     
  3. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

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    BFfire.jpg
     
    ButtFuzz likes this.
  4. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    That's REALLY strange. The feedpoint should be at a low voltage point with the ends being the part to worry about. Then again I suppose it depends what frequency you were operating on versus what the antenna was tuned too. Were you using a tuner at the time? I actually set fire to a Ten-Tec AT-227 tuner one time. Set the plastic toroid coil form on fire inside the case.
     
    BJ radionut and Robb like this.
  5. ButtFuzz

    ButtFuzz Anti-BS Advocate ● N4REV ● Reverend Doctor

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    No tuner... Just the Mighty Fine Junk 40- trapped 80 dipole. I removed the short little wires that are connected to the existing SO-239 in the "feedpoint", too.

    Errant Spider? Crappy antenna?

    The world may never know.

    I'm going to fashion a straight dipole for 3.865 for the winter and call it done.
     
    #5 ButtFuzz, Nov 21, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  6. BammBamm

    BammBamm Instigators ...173 on the southside.

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    Fire truck!
     
  7. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    considered http://www.w8ji.com/windom_off_center_fed.htm ??
     

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