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What Happens If You Happen to Touch an Active 6kW AM Antenna

Accepted submission by canopic jug at 2024-03-29 12:25:51 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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