The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

Do Not Enter!

[November 2019] Site security is always a concern, especially these days with the copper theft issues, etc. But, of all the possibilities, here is one time, that “Do Not Enter!” might literally be “loud and clear.”

It used to be “de rigor” for broadcast engineers to visit transmitter sites on a weekly basis, to check on the proper operation of the transmitter, as well as the condition and security of the site.

However, in recent years, reliable solid-state gear, budget cuts and the use of contractors, or severe weather have meant some sites are not visited for weeks – or even longer.

As most folks who have worked in the field for any length of time can testify, eventually “something happens.”

Common Signs and Not so Common Signs

In addition to surveillance equipment, “High Voltage” signs are a common warning at transmitter sites, as well as warning signs that display information about high RF levels.

For personal safety, legal reasons, or just to reduce vandalism, most stations make efforts to advise the general public to “Keep Out” for their safety.

Still, site inspections often turn up evidence that any number of un-invited visitors – two leg, four leg, or no leg – have been there.

For example, visitors to one site were recently “greeted” with this pretty obvious impediment to access:

Mike Murrell, who shared this picture he got from someone else, noted that it was a matter of only a few weeks between when the gate was easily access and this condition, when someone was confronted with a sizeable hornet nest. In the end, they opted to return another day.

In case you have never faced a hornet’s nest like this, Murrell advises that you are dealing with a flying insect that is large and nasty. “They fly at you fast, then tuck their tail at you and smack into you hard, pushing their stinger in deep. They are extremely painful and aggressive.”

In other words, unless you know what you are doing – and take strong precautions – this is where you call for someone experienced to deal with this kind of problem.

In fact, this same advice should apply if you run into a bee or wasp’s nest – or other kinds of fauna that might attack humans.

Snakes quickly come to mind, but depending upon what area you are in, there are quite a few possibilities of things you really do not want to find when you open a gate, door, or equipment cabinet.

Bottom line: Unless you are experienced – and very sure of yourself – it just is not worth risking your safety and/or health (are you really sure you would not have a dangerous reaction if stung?) while trying to save a few dollars.

Do you have any similar interesting pictures that can serve as a warning to others? Please share them here!

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The Worst I’ve Ever Seen is a periodic look at some of the curious things that happen in broadcasting.

It is never our intention to embarrass anyone, but to remember “stuff happens” at the various sites we have to deal with as we visit. And, after we chuckle a bit, it does remind us to check out our facilities … carefully!