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questions about power poles....

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  • questions about power poles....

    As I drive the area I notice all sorts of "stuff" secured to power poles.
    I recognize the step down transformers on residential poles. I recognize the various types of insulators and fuse devices.
    I just wonder about the other stuff?
    I notice on the taller high voltage poles they have different "boxes and devices"
    I notice on some residential wood poles assorted sized rectangular boxes and some places even have what looks like a manual switch of sorts. There is a long lever and rod with a padlock.

    I also know in this area we have cable tv running under the power lines with their assorted junction boxes and in-line amplifiers. Sometimes we even have telephone lines on the poles too.

    so for those of us not in the know as to what's on power poles can someone provide a basic primer on the usual stuff on the poles?

    Thanks
    p.s. As an Amateur Radio Operator I have tracked noise [qrm] to power poles and when the power company responded they have replaced bad/cracked insulators and corroded parts. The workers never have the time or desire to discuss the anatomy of the power pole.

    Cactus Man

  • #2
    Re: questions about power poles....

    Where you see the long rod, lever and padlock that's for a power disconnect that's up high on the pole. I have seen some pretty wild junction boxes on wood poles used by phone companies. Maybe if you can get and post pictures someone will have good ideas as to what is what. Where I am you'll see a box about 15" cube with a short antenna on it. It's a radio device that lets the power company repair crews know where there is and isn't power. When there's a power failure it sends out a coded signal about once per minute with the device ID. There's a rechargable battery inside it along with electronics and a low power radio transmitter. The cable company has a receiver besides the power company. They (cable co.) have a way using a bucket truck to disconnect their equip from the line power and rig up a portable generator. This is for long term power failures. Customers want cable even if they have to run their own generators. Yes, this YUP-PEE land and they have to have their PCs and High-Def big screen TVs up and working 24/7/365 or they go crazy. Anymore we also have fiber optic cables for businesses mostly but some home users too.

    By the way as a HAM you are helping more than you think by reporting RF noise troubles.


    WARNING: Do not put your hands on or go near anything on a utility pole. Doing so can result in someone getting killed and/or your being arrested and jailed. It's not your's so keep them cotton pickers in your pockets. This is for everyone that sees it.
    Last edited by Woussko; 09-08-2007, 04:48 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: questions about power poles....

      Since the Cable TV carriers are into telephone service (VOIP) now there may be some FCC regulation concerning uptime or reliability which they must adhere to, so they have generators to power up sections of their system and keep the phones working. that way you can order a pizza in the dark or call 911.

      Your standard POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) lines built and maintained by Ma Bell and now the Baby Bells run 24/7 on battery power. When the power goes out Ma Bell doesn't care 'cause she's already on battery power. They only use power from the AC Mains to keep their batteries charged, but they can use their own big diesel generators located at most COs (Central Offices or Switches) to do that easily.

      As far as your Qs about what lurks up on the poles. The best way to find out is to apply for a job on a line crew. There's a darn good reason why they won't tell you anything about that stuff, cause it will get you killed messing around with it.
      Last edited by Bob D.; 08-21-2007, 07:41 PM.
      ---------------
      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
      ---------------
      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
      ---------
      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
      ---------
      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: questions about power poles....

        well i don't know mutch about the power poles but just wanted to say hi to another ham .i'm not into it much but some day you never know .

        charlie N3WGV
        Charlie

        My seek the peek fundraiser page
        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

        new work pictures 12/09
        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: questions about power poles....

          GE OM, and welcome aboard.

          As a Ham you probably are more familiar with a whole 'nother type of power poles...Anderson Power Poles that is.


          ···-·-
          ---------------
          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
          ---------------
          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
          ---------
          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
          ---------
          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: questions about power poles....

            Idea: Maybe we can have Josh setup a place on this forum for Ham Radio guys and gals. I'm not one but know a few in my area and was related to one for many years until he was called to join the greatest of all Radio clubs with no limits. In emergencies they provide a great service.

            BobD brings up a good point about NOT messing with what's not your's. I've seen many squirles, racoons and crows really get zapped.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: questions about power poles....

              There are more Ham Radio related web sites than any other type on the internet (except maybe the porn sites), we don't need any more.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: questions about power poles....

                that's true ,if we want to talk about ham radio we could PM each other .
                Charlie

                My seek the peek fundraiser page
                http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                new work pictures 12/09
                http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: questions about power poles....

                  Originally posted by HVAC HAWK View Post
                  that's true ,if we want to talk about ham radio we could PM each other .
                  or.....talk on the radio. But that would be counterproductive
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: questions about power poles....

                    First of all..I strongly agree this is NOT the place for another Amateur Radio forum! I come here for knowledge related to tools and making stuff.

                    I'll go to QRZ.com or E-HAM.net for Ham radio stuff, just to mention two sites.

                    I am KA7GKN, I am on almost daily on 14.178mhz around 2200-2300utc

                    Go to www.qrz.com and type in my call sign for more information.

                    Getting back to the power pole question....
                    I am aware that reporting AC power line problems help the power company as well as unknowing homeowners wondering why their stuff is acting funny!

                    I am not planing to climb a power pole! My question is simply to understand the equipment.
                    Pointing a sniffer at a pole and hearing the noise from a cracked insulator is as close as I want to get.

                    Oh yes I'm familiar with anderson power poles.

                    Cactus Man

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: questions about power poles....

                      nothing wrong with starting a thread but a new forum would be way to inactive. Gotta keep it at least somewhat tool focused

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: questions about power poles....

                        CQ CQ CQ........The other stuff you see high atop utility poles "sometimes" besides the usual transformers are capacitors. Usually you may see several smaller rectangular boxes atop the pole every so often along the road. These capacitors balance out and restore the "power factor" of the electrical line. You may be aware of what is called inductive reactance (you should know this if you are a ham) a high inductive reactance on the electrical line causes a poor "power factor" due to the high I reactance. The capacitors counteract the inductive reatance with capacitive rectance and retores the power factor. Inductive reactance gets high on the power line due to the motor loads that are on it especially near big factories that have alot of motors running. I'll bet the things you don't recognize are the capacitors.
                        73 OM de W1QJ Lou

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: questions about power poles....

                          Cactusman: I am not a licensed electrician, but have done power line surveys. If you are looking for noise from the power system, the best tool is an infrared videocam, or just IR goggles. Bad connectors, corrosion, hot transformers, etc, all which contribute, are most readily identified by their heat signature. The problem could just as easily be a line splice as on a pole, so don't concentrate on just the poles. As the power company loses efficiency with any heat, and because they like to know where the weak spots are before they get the peak demand of 100+ degree weather, they probably would appreciate any info on trouble spots. Be aware that some items (ie transformers) naturally produce heat, so what you are looking for is hot spots out of the norm. A transformer will light up more on IR than the lines will, but one going bad will be significantly brighter than the rest. Arcing insulators or corroded splices will definitely highlight under IR.

                          Go
                          Practicing at practical wood working

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