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Author Topic: Help with phantom critter  (Read 4042 times)

Offline jFarley

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Help with phantom critter
« on: October 26, 2015, 1403 UTC »
Had to travel out of town the last 2 weekends.  When I returned from the first trip, the ferrite NDB loop was not working upon my return, and an autopsy revealed that an electrolytic cap had exploded inside the loop head.  Although it was new and very conservatively rated for both temp and voltage, it crapped out, possibly due to a hard freeze we had that weekend.  No biggy, shit happens, and it was an easy repair.

Upon firing up the loop after the 2nd trip, everything seemed fine on the power-CPU-stepper side of the loop, but there was no RF output.  A 2nd autopsy revealed that all 5 wires coming back from the winding on the ferrite rod had apparently been chewed through multiple times.  This includes the ground from the winding center tap, which was a length of shield from an RG174 coax.  A large percentage of the litz wire serving was missing.

This really creeps me out because the entire assembly is absolutely sealed and waterproofed.  All cable entries are via sealed cord grips, and the loop proper is contained in a waterproof PVC housing, mated to the enclosure via a PVC bulkhead fitting.  There is no point of entry for a critter, guaranteed.

What am I dealing with here? 

My only conclusion is that I have been attacked by a Quantum Mouse.  Even my trusty mouser jDog is scratching her head over this.
Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
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QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net

Offline ka1iic

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 2052 UTC »
Did you take pictures of the chewing??? Might help to ID the offender... 

But then... if you are like me, one foot on a banana peel and the other foot in the twilight zone... could be an evil radio spirit that is haunting you... it's close to H day ya know ;-)
73 Vince
KA1IIC

"If you can't be anything, you can at least be annoying"

Troy, Ohio. 20m Vertical & low long wire E/W, Yaesu FT-187ND, SDRplay 2, Ratt Shack 2 meter rig, and other little bits of electronics I'm not talking about, homebrewed and otherwise... so there bleech!

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 2128 UTC »
It's a quantum shape shifting squirrel, of course. George Noory refers to them as "skin climbers". They keep getting his nuts. The poor guy is practically out of guests and callers.

Offline jFarley

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 2133 UTC »
It's a quantum shape shifting squirrel, of course. George Noory refers to them as "skin climbers". They keep getting his nuts. The poor guy is practically out of guests and callers.

HA!  Then I am SOL, I guess.  The SOB also bent the rotor plates on the tuning cap.

I can't for the life of me figger out how something got in there, but all is working now and ready to go outside to the mast.
Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
Active 60" Whip / PA0RDT
QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net

Offline John Poet

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 0541 UTC »
It probably doesn't help that you are a fan of mine.  Certain rodents don't like that... and those kind can use a screwdriver...




John Poet

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Offline L Cee

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 1813 UTC »
I believe you will find an answer to this and any other question you may ever have about anything here:
http://prop1.org/protest/elijah/nature.htm
L Cee
East Coast - USA

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2015, 0005 UTC »
Ric Flair needs to stay out of the sun.

Offline Antennae

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 0326 UTC »
Maybe a nearby lightning strike blew out the wires?
California Coast
Antenna: random wire

Offline ka1iic

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 1756 UTC »
Mice can get in very very small holes, I leaned that fact by experience.  and because you found 'chewing' it must have been a rodent of some sort.

A lightening strike nearby or direct is possible but those things tend to leave a lot more damage and they don't 'chew'. They tend to pinhole and melt things.
73 Vince
KA1IIC

"If you can't be anything, you can at least be annoying"

Troy, Ohio. 20m Vertical & low long wire E/W, Yaesu FT-187ND, SDRplay 2, Ratt Shack 2 meter rig, and other little bits of electronics I'm not talking about, homebrewed and otherwise... so there bleech!

Offline moof

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 1956 UTC »
L Cee, I found his son's web site.  Even more disorganized religious thinking and unreadable colored text.
http://www.angelfire.com/wi/supremecipher/

That should clear things up.
And yeah probably mouse.

Offline Antennae

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2015, 2052 UTC »
Well, I just knew it had to be lightning that blew out the wires in an uncommmon non-pinhole manner. Because when I close my eyes and try to be the box, it just feels as if it was lightning that did it.
But now I'm not so certain about my box powers.
jFarley, is this a pic of your current loop box? Could it be the mini-beast crawled up through the PVC pipe that is supporting the gray plastic enclosure?
http://hfunderground.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_0530.jpg
California Coast
Antenna: random wire

Offline ka1iic

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 1651 UTC »
<sigh> I don't have 'box powers' but I'll ask Doctor Poo the next time I see him (Gin... give me Gin!)  We all know (?) that Doctor Poo has his litter box for time travel...

Help me... I'm as burned out as a 50C5 that was hit with 10,000 volts...

73 Vince
KA1IIC

"If you can't be anything, you can at least be annoying"

Troy, Ohio. 20m Vertical & low long wire E/W, Yaesu FT-187ND, SDRplay 2, Ratt Shack 2 meter rig, and other little bits of electronics I'm not talking about, homebrewed and otherwise... so there bleech!

Offline jFarley

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Re: Help with phantom critter
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2015, 1447 UTC »
jFarley, is this a pic of your current loop box? Could it be the mini-beast crawled up through the PVC pipe that is supporting the gray plastic enclosure?
http://hfunderground.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_0530.jpg

Antennae:

Yup; that is essentially it.  There is no opening between the box and the support pipe; this pipe attaches to the enclosure via a pair of conduit clamps.

The entire unit is waterproofed, and there simply are no openings for a critter to use to gain entry.  At the bottom are cable entry cord grips sealed with a rubber collar and there is not enough annular space there for an ant to get through.

At the top are 2 brass bolts supporting the aluminum shield.  These are sealed at the enclosure wall with rubber washers and a dab of aquarium RTV.

There is the bulkhead fitting (black ring) which mates to the Tee-shaped rod housing made from 1.5" PVC.  If joints have not been cemented then they have been sealed with RTV for repair dis-assembly.

There is no entry point period.

Could a direct lightning strike have done the dirty deed?  Possibly, but I see absolutely no evidence of a strike anywhere.  I have been involved with high voltages up to 300 kV in my career, and have seen the results of a fair number of HV arcs.  I don't see it here.  Could a nearby strike have caused this?  It's possible, but for the extent of the damage I found (I really should have taken a pic, but I was too pissed off to think clearly) I would have expected damage to the amp, which is a differential JFET (J310) amp with no protection on the input.  The amp is just fine.

It's got me hanging, but since all is working again it's time to DX and put this behind.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
Active 60" Whip / PA0RDT
QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net

 

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