dullara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 4

Ohio Section News

Scott Yonaly, N8SY Ohio Section Manager

Shack Safety

Can I use 2 – 120-volt lines to hook up a 240-volt appliance? I was asked this the other day by an Amateur Operator that had just purchased a linear amplifier at a hamfest. This was his first experience with this type of equipment, so he didn’t have as much savvy as he originally thought. You see he had purchased an amplifier that requires 240 volts instead of 120 volts, which is really not all that uncommon, especially with the higher wattage amplifiers. The Amateur that purchased the amplifier wasn’t aware that some amplifiers are specifically designed to be connected to 240 volts only. Now, admittedly his first clue that this wasn’t a devise that was going to be able to plug directly into a normal 120-volt outlet should have been the odd power connector on the cord of the amplifier. When he called me, he had already tried plugging it in and found to his dismay that it wouldn’t fit. He thought that they guy that sold him the amplifier had messed with the connector and broken it on purpose, which got him very upset and frustrated. I explained to him that some manufacturers design amplifiers to operate on 240 volts only, in order to keep the current usage low, thus saving you money on your electric bill  and expensive repairs to your electrical outlets. If you notice on the picture to the left, the one terminal is turned side-ways. This is the identifier of a plug designed for 240-volt applications. It definitely won’t fit into a regular 120-volt outlet with the terminal on its side like this. I explained to him that he would need to wire up a 240-volt outlet in the shack if he wanted the amplifier to work without problems, and that’s when he told me that he didn’t feel comfortable getting into his electrical panel. He gruffly told me that he would just use what he had around the shack to make it work. So, that’s where we left it. I didn’t ask too many questions since he was already upset, and it really didn’t seem like he wanted any of my advice or help at the time. About 2 days later I got another call from him. It seems that he had gotten the brilliant idea that he could get the 240 volts by using 2 power cords cut off from some old appliances that he had laying around, and just wire wrap the bare wires around the prongs of the connector leading to the amplifier. As he explained to me later, he felt that by doing this he had the needed 2 – 120- volt lines making it 240 volts total. Unfortunately, after doing this he quickly discovered that the amplifier wasn’t operating correctly and kept popping the circuit breaker off for some unknown (at that time) reason. That’s when he had decided to give me another call. When he told me what he had done, I told him to be very careful and unplug it, it wasn’t safe and he could do serious harm to the amplifier and possibly even injure himself in the process. I then told him not to do anything more than get it unplugged until I got there. Now, before I go on, I need to explain several things as to why I said this to him. First, and most importantly, you never just wire wrap any connection where you will end up with anything being energized and have exposed connections! This is extremely dangerous and should never be done, even in the best of intension, things can, and usually do, go wrong very quickly, and you’ll end up regretting it. Second, your home (unless you’ve had it specially wired by the electric company for commercial or industrial service) is for all intents and purposes, wired for what is called a single-phase service. Now, that statement in itself is not entirely precise, and this is where you have to be somewhat knowledgeable about electrical circuits in your home, and how things work out on the pole. Yes, the line that comes down from the transformer to your home has 2 separate – 120- volt lines and 1 neutral. This is done so that you can supply 120 volts to your regular household appliances as well as have 240 volts available for your high energy devices like your air conditioner, stove, clothes dryer and in this case, linear amplifier. BUT... and this is where it’s not so simple, you really need to understand some basic electrical codes, these 2 lines (Line 1 Hot, Neutral, Line 2 Hot) are actually “out of phase” with each other  by 180 degrees. This is done on purpose at the transformer on the pole outside. And, it’s done for a very good reason. Most household devices are not sensitive to phasing, unless you are speaking about devices that depend on that phasing to make them work, like motors, or in this particular example the linear amplifier. A single-phase supply connected to an alternating current electric motor does not produce a revolving magnetic field. Thus, they need this shift in phase to get them started.  Since this amplifier had several AC motors as blowers inside the cabinet, I figured that’s most likely where the problem originated with the circuit breaker kicking off. One or both of the motors may not have started and created an over-heating that caused an over current in the amplifier and it just didn’t like that idea. As I explained to the Amateur, his amplifier is needing to see this shift in phase to get the motors started, and since it is not seeing it, it is not operating correctly, and popping the circuit breaker out. He then asked about hooking this he could find another outlet on the other side of the electric line. That way he would have a line going into the amplifier with both phases like I told him that it needed. I did reluctantly advise him that it would work, but it is against electrical code, unless the 2 circuit breakers that are protecting those lines were connected together physically so that if one snapped off, the other would snap off as well. He didn’t understand why that was necessary. So, I explained it this way, if one breaker snapped off and the other one is still on, the device was still electrically energized through the other side of the electrical line, and thus making the unit still potentially dangerous. He could easily electrocute himself, thus making his widow very rich, but he would definitely have a very bad afternoon for sure. After letting all of what I said sink in fully, he finally got the idea that none of this was going to be quick and easy. So, that’s when he asked me if I could help him run a 240-volt line to the shack so that he could operate his linear amplifier. It took about 4 hours and $60 worth of component parts, but we now have him operating his amplifier at full power, and it’s all safe to operate! Oh yes, while we were at the store getting those supplies, I had him grab up around 150 feet of braided copper grounding wire as well, and when we got done wiring up the amplifier, we went to town running a ground bus line all the way around his shack. Now he has got everything in the shack safely grounded as well! Now, he’s happy, his wife is happy and the house is safe from any exposed and unhappy ground faults that may have been lingering around undetected! This past week was pretty quiet as far as updates to the website was concerned. I once again had a change to the DMR Net website. It seems that one is going to be forever changing with new nets coming on and others changing times and shifting around a bit on newly created TalkGroups. Last week I told you that we were getting close to our 675th member! We are only a couple of folks away from someone that will receive an ARRL ARES Mesh Vest. Will it be you? We are currently at 673 members and continuing to move forward. How’s about it, I know that there’s still a lot of you out there that have not taken the NIMS classes yet. C’mon, what have you got to lose? You’re gonna’ be stuck inside the house anyway with old man winter blasting away, why not put this time to good use and start your classes now. Here’s a link to get you started on your way:  http://arrl-ohio.org/SEC/training.html If you haven’t started your NIMS courses yet, why not. The hand writing is on the wall my friends, it just has to happen. There’s been way too many incidences where that training was  Absolutely necessary. The days of just having your license and being enough are coming to a close. We now have to keep up with the times and be trained! That’s going to do it this time around… I’ll catch you on down the log for sure, and stay warm my friends, remember the Dayton Hamvention is just 59 days away!!!! That’s less than 2 months! Will I see you there?

Section Traffic Manager

Dave Maynard, WA3EZN

Tornado Safety

Here is some information form the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website. http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/TornadoFacts.aspx  If you need more information just Google Tornado and you can also be overwhelmed with the information available, the stories being told and the pictures of the total destruction of businesses, homes and communities. Final Words: PREPARE NOW!! Useful links: eham Recommendations for Emergency Preparedness http://www.eham.net/articles/7176 NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/ >>Tornado Facts... http://www.weathersafety.ohio.gov/TornadoFacts.aspx As the severe weather season approaches, take some time during Severe Weather Safety Awareness Week to make a safety plan for your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Planning ahead will lower the chance of injury or death in the event severe weather strikes. Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths have exceeded the width of one mile and 50 miles long. Tornadoes generally move from southwest to northeast, but have also been recorded traveling in any direction. The forward speed of a tornado varies from 30 mph to 70 mph. Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, and they usually occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. FELICITY, Ohio -- A tornado touched down early Sunday morning February 25, 2018 in southwest Ohio, causing damage to homes, vehicles and knocking down trees and power lines as flooding plagues region. > Tornado Safety Tips Whether practicing in a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK! D - Go DOWN to the lowest level U - Get UNDER something C - COVER your head K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed Take responsibility for your safety and be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan to respond to tornado watches and warnings. Conduct regular tornado drills. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. * Tune in to one of the following for weather information: NOAA Weather Radio, local cable or television (Ohio News Network or the Weather Channel), or local radio stations. * If you are a person with special needs, register your name and address with your local emergency management agency, police and fire departments before any natural or man-made disaster. *The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible. * Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building's lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls. * If you're outside or in mobile home, find shelter immediately by going to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away. * If as a last resort you cannot quickly get to a shelter, get into your vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the nearest sturdy shelter. * If you experience flying debris while driving, pull over and park. Choose to either stay in your vehicle, stay buckled up, duck down below the windows and cover your head with your hands, or find a depression or ditch, exit your vehicle and use your arms and hands to protect your head. Never seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.

Section Training

Jim Yoder, W8ERW How long can this winter continue? I much prefer mowing the lawn rather than shoveling the walks and we have all done plenty of the later this season. Even Texas has had a serious go at winter this year. At one- point Fort Worth was enduring the same temperatures as we had here in Northern Ohio.  We take what is thrown at us and I for one enjoy the change of seasons in our state. I am just ready for the change to happen again. It’s time to raise antennas, run new coax and even start to think about Field Day. Please, let’s do it without the long johns and winter gloves on. The ARES conference is coming soon and our Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL tells me the gathering this year will be significant. If ARES is your thing, you won’t want to miss the program this year in Marion on April 7th. Stan has lined up quite a program and I will be on hand to give you a look at what I am doing to manage the growing database of Ohio Amateurs who are completing the FEMA NIMS online courses and answer all your questions. There is also some exciting ARES news to be presented by our Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams WA8EFK. I encourage everyone to attend. There is a signup tab on the arrlohio.org web page for you to indicate your intent to attend. We are asking that you do so, allowing us to accurately plan for the conference. Further details are available on the website, arrlohio.org. Your submissions to the training database continue to roll in almost daily. There is a total of 862 active ARES members now logged with 667 having completed all four of the required NIMS courses. The total number of classes reported now stands at 6,214. As soon as I receive and enter new or additional training certificates, I send an updated report to our Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY which he then posts to the website. The report lists those ARES Members who have completed all four of the  required NIMS courses. Scott also has a very nice certificate for those who have completed NIMS training. The training database has grown to over 1.5Mb in size after compression and the file directory containing the certificate copies has reached 10Gb in volume. Yes, this is a lot of information and it’s growing. In addition to the four required courses, ICS-100, 200, 700 and 800, there are many other courses being taken and submitted. If you are taking any of these, please submit them for inclusion. We can expect to be asked when the need arises for some the specialized skills these courses represent, and when the served agency requests, we will be able to identify you as having completed the necessary training. There are currently several who have submitted over 100 courses and many more who have over 50. Certifications outside of the FEMA courses are also welcome including the ARRL Emergency Communications series ES-001, 002 and 003 which many of you have completed. You may submit your training certificates individually or wait until you have completed all three. Just remember to save the email you receive from FEMA with your course certificate link. Please remember to include your call sign in your submission. I often receive certificates with no call. QRZ has been my go to resource for finding those calls. Also, it is important to tell us the county you reside in as well as the county ARES group you are associating with. QRZ is less than perfect with the county information and I have found it many times to be in error. Please also make sure that you copy your County Emergency Coordinator when you submit your training certificates to SM Scott Yonally n8sy@n8sy.com. You can save the .pdf certificate file that is sent from FEMA upon successful course completion and attach it/them to your email to your EC and SM Yonally. Earlier course completion certificates that were in hard copy form, can be scanned and saved in .pdf format as well. Just save the file as W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf. The other option which is especially good for those submitting additional courses is to ask for a FEMA transcript that will list all of your completed FEMA courses. We understand that sometimes the ideal is not possible, so send us what you have and we’ll make it work. You may also send your certificates directly to me: w8erw@arrl.net your EC, SEC Broadway and of course to SM Yonally. When you send all four certificates to Scott n8sy@n8sy.com he will send you back one of those nice NIMS completion certificates. Scott has also been awarding an ARES Safety Vest as we reach additional milestones. He has awarded three so far at the 600, 625 and 650 points of attainment. Number 675 is coming soon, so get those courses completed and send in the certificates. You might get lucky and be awarded a nice ARES Safety Vest. If you have not yet gotten started, the information is available on the arrlohio.org website on how to get registered with FEMA and begin taking your courses. We in Ohio are making a great showing. Our Section is ahead of the curve in NIMS completion and we are showing no signs of falling behind. My thanks to everyone who is or has been taking the time to take the NIMS courses and submit them to the database. Every time I send an updated roster to SM Yonally, I get an email back declaring “Fantastic”. Your efforts are appreciated and when ARES is called to serve we will be trained and ready. Thank you. Please let me know if you have any questions and EC’s, DEC’s remember I can send you a report of your county/district training and additional reports that you may find helpful.
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