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Sherlock Ohms

West Wind Tilts Radio Antenna Out of Range

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GlennA
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Gold
Visual inspection ?
GlennA   6/13/2012 10:50:29 AM
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How long had this problem been going on ?  It sounds like others had been tasked to find the cause prior to your visit.  Do you know how many techs had failed to notice the broken legs ?  Of course it is always best to investigate the problem while it is occuring, if possible.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Visual inspection beats all
Ann R. Thryft   6/13/2012 12:47:47 PM
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This is a great example of how a technical problem can be caused by something as simple as checking out the physical environment: broken tower legs + a strong directional wind = no coverage. It reminded me of the freight train that interfered with the cellphone signal.

S.Wimmer
User Rank
Silver
Re: Visual inspection ?
S.Wimmer   6/13/2012 12:55:31 PM
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I don't know how long that had been a problem.  I got the impression that it was just that spring.  This was one of those 'it can't happen' things that Mr. Agan's talks about in his book.  It also illustrates a couple of his points, 'understand the system' and 'quit thinking and look'.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Visual inspection beats all
Nancy Golden   6/13/2012 5:38:00 PM
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I agree Ann - so many times people do everything except go and take a look...funny how the most obvious task is usually skipped as people look for more exotic reasons for a failure. It also speaks of the importance of environmental factors on equipment and that it should always be a design consideration whenever possible. Better to have more rugged tower legs in the first place...and avoid the problem completely.

Stephen
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Gold
Re: Visual inspection beats all
Stephen   6/14/2012 9:47:54 AM
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I'm guessing that prior techs didn't look at it up close because it was relatively inacessable -- being 1200' and 20min up the tower. Oops! 

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Visual inspection beats all
Nancy Golden   6/14/2012 10:37:24 AM
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Working for a radio service company so you know heights are involved and there is an elevator - I'm guessing the prior techs did not have much initiative...they sent the "new guy" when it seems more logical to send an experienced tech on that equipment with the new guy. I could be wrong but it looks more like a work culture issue than an inaccessibility issue...

ab3a
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Visual inspection beats all
ab3a   6/14/2012 11:06:14 AM
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Having climbed towers myself, let me assure you, this is not like an elevator ride in an office building.  There is still a lot of heart stopping climbing


Those who have been there, know all too well why the senior people don't like being up there.  This is definitely a task you give to the young.

 

Jake Brodsky

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Visual inspection ?
Ann R. Thryft   6/14/2012 11:39:49 AM
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I like "quit thinking and look." A very pragmatic, practical, on-the-ground kind of troubleshooting. What book are you referring to?

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Visual inspection beats all
Nancy Golden   6/14/2012 11:52:11 AM
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I apologize Jake -  I did not mean to imply it is a "walk in the park." My point was only that I would never apply for that type of job because if going up that tower was in the job description - I would be scared to death! But visual inspections are important and a part of any technical job. I guess I am thinking that different people have different personalities and heart stopping heights are a part of that field so it is something people in that field do. As far as seniors - of course I agree. But again, that is a work culture - youngsters doing that type of work is traditional and should be. Seniors have earned a pass. But experience does not necessarily mean senior - No offense intended!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Visual inspection beats all
Ann R. Thryft   6/14/2012 12:02:16 PM
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Nancy, I'm always surprised when in a group of people discussing what to do about a problem with a structure or a machine and most of them want to theorize about possible problems/solutions or wave their arms trying to describe the problem instead of going and looking at it. That sometimes includes engineers, I'm sorry to say. Good point about the tower legs design--why weren't they tested in/designed for high winds?

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