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66695Re: [ksurf] How I started a forest fire with my kite

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  • theflyingtinman
    Aug 5, 2003
      --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, mdavido@a... wrote:
      > lol and i thought i was close to powerlines when i was 60+ ft. away...
      > although if you have ever been in a tree high up near powerlines you would see that
      > there is one thick cable (to hold up the lines) and another insulated cable
      > (about the thickness of an extension cord). i have even touched it, and know
      > that there is no current on the out side. The risk would come if you were to
      > punchure a hold or cut the black insulated wire. mabye its different out
      > west, i dont know but thats just my experence.

      That sounds like a low, or 'domestic' voltage power line. (a short cable
      that runs between a transformer and a house) Relatively safe ... but power
      lines come in a whole variety of voltages and cable types. Some insulated
      some not.

      The very dangerous high-voltage transmission lines (which transmit power
      over long distances from the power stations) are uninsulated (mostly because
      a few millimeters of plastic woudn't be any use at all against hundreds
      of thousands of volts. That kind of voltage could drive deadly current
      through your kite lines (even if dry) and your body, if you flew a kite
      into them. They are always on high pylons but some transmission lines are
      well within reach of kitelines.

      Medium voltage distribution lines (thousands or tens of thousands of
      volts - the kind that run between substations or from substations to
      transformers) may be insulated but are most often not insulated.
      That voltage may not be capable of killing you through dry kitelines but
      could easily do so through wet or damp lines and would have no problem
      frying you if you if you got dragged up onto them. Just pulling those
      conductors together (or close) by wrapping a kiteline around them will
      cause violent arcing, destroy your gear and probably cause fires.

      It a good idea to keep kites as far as possible from power lines,
      especially if you are not sure of the differences between
      transmission lines, distribution lines and domestic overhead cables.

      Steve T.
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