By AA6J Bill Jeffrey
Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor
5. What about Safety precautions?
Learn the safety precautions for working with radio gear, particularly direct current and RF grounding.
Working on radios can be dangerous not only because they use electricity but also because radio frequencies themselves can cause burns if you touch an antenna when someone is transmitting. Some general safety rules follow but these are not a complete safety guide and are given only to assist in passing this merit badge requirement. PLEASE DON'T DO ANY WORK ON ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT YOURSELF until you have learned from someone more experienced. Also, remember it is illegal to work on radio transmitters without a license.
- Electrical shock can hurt or kill you - make sure the power is disconnected before working.
- Even with the power off, some parts inside the radio can hold a dangerous charge. If you don't know for sure what you are doing, get help.
- Radio Frequency (RF) can burn you badly - keep antennas out of reach of people and animals.
- RF radiation can be unhealthy - don't use a radio when it is not completely assembled. The case keeps the RF radiation in.
- Make sure the antennas can't touch any power lines or you could be electricuted when using the radio.
- Lightning can hit your antenna and travel down your lines to the radio. Make sure your antenna and radio are grounded to a good earth ground.
- Be careful working on towers and roofs so you don't fall or hurt someone on the ground.
|These notes are designed to help the Scout earn a merit badge that sometimes can seem a bit difficult. They are not intended to replace the Radio Merit Badge book.You will still need to meet with a merit badge counselor.|
5Links about this requirement below:
Copyright Bill Jeffrey 2000-2001. Rights to
reproduce and use for nonprofit purposes given.
Please do not copy this material to another web page. Thank you.
AC6V's DX & Amateur Radio - My friend Rod has the world's best collection of links to amateur radio information.
Last update October 6, 2001