Friday, September 14, 2007

Moronic DIY Electricians

After the CHA250B antenna install I was doing some cleanup work on the roof. Went to ground the mast and noticed a bit of a tingle on my hands when I was holding the mast and touched the ground wire. I put my trusty Fluke multimeter on there and was amazed to find about 74 VAC on the mast! No current to speak of, which accounts for the fact that I didn't get zapped off the roof, but enough to feel it when barely touching the ground wire.

I headed back inside to do some testing. Poking around my shack, I discovered that some of the AC outlets had reversed hot/neutral wiring!! The only thing that saved me from destroying my gear (or myself) is that thankfully I'd never used a correct outlet and an incorrect outlet at the same time for anything that was connected. (e.g. computer on one and rig on the other.)

I'm annoyed beyond belief that the previous owner of my house did this. The real kicker is that he was also a ham. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, because this isn't the first electrical oddity I've found in this house. Apparently Mr. Fixit fancied himself quite the handyman. I'm not going to name names here, but he's the moron that after 5 years still hasn't updated his license address in the FCC database.

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