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posted by janrinok on Sunday March 31, @04:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the this-time-with-an-actual-working-link-to-the-article dept.

Vlogger Jeff Geerling wanted to clear up just what might happen if he touched a 6kW AM transmitter's antenna.

IMPORTANT: Do not attempt to replicate our experiment. It is meant to demonstrate the dangers of RF, and there are a number of radio engineers, landscaping professionals, and other personnel who have written RF safety rules with their blood (or, in most cases, a permanent and painful RF burn that goes through the inside of their body). Don't touch radio towers—AM or otherwise.

[...] You really should watch the video for the full effect, though. Pictures can't convey what happens.

I predicted the hot dog would either explode, or do pretty much nothing. My Dad imagined there would be some arcing.

Well, he was right—the hot dog wound up being a very effective loudspeaker, transmitting the audible sound with pretty high fidelity, at a volume around that of a yelling human, maybe 80-100 dBa. (Next time we attempt such an experiment, we may bring a dB meter and spectrum analyzer to judge the sound reproduction capabilities of different meats1).

The bottom line is that experts recommend not messing with live towers. The fence is there for a reason.


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by sneftel on Sunday March 31, @04:44PM (1 child)

    by sneftel (29787) on Sunday March 31, @04:44PM (#1351115)

    You can keep your magnesium-ceramic Wharfdale speakers with the vibration isolators and the gyroscopic compensators, thanks. REAL audiophiles listen through Oscar Meyer.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SDRefugee on Sunday March 31, @04:57PM

    by SDRefugee (4477) on Sunday March 31, @04:57PM (#1351116)

    That being *only* 6Kw, can you IMAGINE this experiment with a FIFTY KW tower???? KABOOOM!!!

    --
    America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, @05:21PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, @05:21PM (#1351118)

    What effect does standing within 2 meters of a 6KW AM antenna have on the body?

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday April 01, @02:13AM

      by RS3 (6367) on Monday April 01, @02:13AM (#1351147)

      Probably nothing. Because skin is somewhat conductive, it would absorb some energy and maybe warm a bit, depending on how close you are, the total KW, etc., but that's all. Close enough and much higher frequencies you might worry about burning your corneas or optic nerve, which is the worry with microwave oven leakage.

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday April 01, @02:24AM

      by RS3 (6367) on Monday April 01, @02:24AM (#1351149)

      I meant to add: that 6 KW is radiating outward over the entire height of that tower, so the watts per square centimeter at 2 meters away is pretty low. I could probably calculate it but I'd need to know the height of the tower, and I'm too tired... you'd just look at the surface area of a cylinder with 2 meter radius and whatever that height is. Okay you roped me in. So figure maybe 120 meter height * pi * 2 meters = 754 square meters, so 6 KW / 754 = ~ 8 watts per square meter. Not much!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Mojibake Tengu on Sunday March 31, @06:00PM (1 child)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Sunday March 31, @06:00PM (#1351119) Journal

    If a hotdog can loudspeak the sound understandably, what about your brain, receiving this very signal?

    BTW, on WiFi, acoustic bandwidth of low frequencies modulation can be achieved by sending packet rate using a controlling frequency, no matter of the content.
    Doable so by local scripting like browser JavaScript or similar code.

    I for one, welcome the 5G radio technology...

    --
    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Sunday March 31, @08:02PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31, @08:02PM (#1351128) Journal

      If a hotdog can loudspeak the sound understandably, what about your brain, receiving this very signal?

      It would no doubt sound pretty loud, until the skull exploded. Then it would sound louder.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01, @01:43AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 01, @01:43AM (#1351146)

    I am sure the paint ( water sealant, galvanic coating ) was damaged to make the video. I hope the owner can repaint. Once water gets to steel, corrosion begins, and the demonstrator used a very mechanical load bearing element for demonstration. Obviously, the transmitter will have to power down to reseal the coating.

    Probably an old tube transmitter. They were pretty resilient to the arcing. I've never seen a bird roost on a transmitter tower The tower IS the antenna for broadcast band AM. The tower itself is tuned for frequency it is to transmit.

    It was rust that took down Arecibo.

    Had they fried themselves with that little stunt, some AM radio transmitter owner will likely lose his business. AM radio isn't very profitable anymore.

    I miss my little hometown AM station. It died from simple lack of interest, advertising revenue couldn't pay the power bill.

    I just don't appreciate seeing what I consider vandalism to make entertainment.

    • (Score: 2) by drussell on Monday April 01, @02:35AM

      by drussell (2678) on Monday April 01, @02:35AM (#1351152) Journal

      Have you ever actually watched that channel before?!

      Apparently not, otherwise the answers to your questions would already be abundantly clear. 🙄

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by drussell on Monday April 01, @02:43AM (3 children)

      by drussell (2678) on Monday April 01, @02:43AM (#1351153) Journal

      This video is provides a further explanation of that same site...

      https://youtu.be/Aax-ehkRTnQ [youtu.be]

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Monday April 01, @08:46AM (2 children)

        by anubi (2828) on Monday April 01, @08:46AM (#1351167) Journal

        Thanks for that, brussel!

        When I saw that first video, I was rather put off thinking someone was taking a lot of personal risk to vandalize a radio station for YouTube likes .

        I was not familiar with his channel. I was not aware of his relationship to that transmitter. I admit I was seething with indignation upon viewing the first video.

        But that second video you posted is a real gold mine full of very interesting commentary on running . I would strongly suggest anyone interested in radio broadcasting view it.

        I am the AC who posted that troll ( properly moderated btw for ignorant posting ). I gratefully stand corrected by that most informative link.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 1) by anubi on Monday April 01, @08:50AM (1 child)

          by anubi (2828) on Monday April 01, @08:50AM (#1351170) Journal

          Correction... running a radio station

          --
          "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
          • (Score: 2, Funny) by anubi on Monday April 01, @09:00AM

            by anubi (2828) on Monday April 01, @09:00AM (#1351171) Journal

            Dammit..I can't even read right, drussell!

            If I can't do better than this... geez.

            --
            "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
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