[aprssig] Physics and generators

John Gorkos jgorkos at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 14:39:42 EDT 2011

On Wednesday, June 08, 2011 10:54:55 Perry Chamberlain wrote:
> By going through the utilities and osha sites there are hundreds of
> examples of linemen being injured or killed by people back feeding a power
> line with a home generator. I'm not sure what branch of physics makes this
> impossible, but when you back feed several thousand watts into a pole
> transformer, the high voltage( thousands of volts) comes out tof the high
> side. The reason you havent heard of anyone getting hurt, is it is a
> <snip>
> Buy and install a ul rated transfer switch, and have it  installed
> properly.

This, this, and this again.  I just spent the morning meeting with the VP of 
operations at the local Electric Co-op, and this exact conversation came up.  
Linemen are injured and equipment damaged and destroyed after nearly EVERY 
large (>100 serviced endpoints down) outage because of people doing 
irresponsible things on the grid.  Often, the responsible party never knows 
how close they came to killing someone, or the dollar value of the equpment 
they scorched.
Circuit breakers are not designed to protect the upstream equipment or 
providers, and should never be used to do so.  Buy a real transfer switch and 
use it.  If you elect to use a suicide cable, or some other jury-rigged system 
to power your house when the electric company grid fails, perhaps we need to 
propose a new APRS symbol to Bob for "Doofus at this location" that you can 
use to mark your home QTH.  That way, the linemen know which house to just 
leave disconnected when they restore power.

John Gorkos

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