There’s been a reported sighting of the inevitable… radioactive bugs at W5RRR.
As we all know, our radio station regularly radiates radio waves, arguably indiscriminately through our various antennas at JSC.
We pay little attention to the errant bugs that get exposed to our electromagnetic fields…
This weekend we found creepy crawly ants in our antenna interface box at the base of the 80′ tower.
With the recent deluge of rain over the last 3 weeks, our comfy NEMA-enclosed box has also been a Holiday Inn for our ant friends.
Not the first, not the last. Looks like it’s time to seal up the ports from the ants and wasps.
For those of you not from the gulf coast, our friend the fire ant is the primary resident in the area. They thrive in underground nests and are *everywhere*.
Although they are known to swarm around electrical fields (unknown phenomenon), perhaps they are also attracted to RF??
“There is general consensus that when fire ants and other ant species get shocked, they release pheromones that attract other worker ants to the site. Those workers also get shocked, release pheromones, and attract still more ants to the site.
As a result, switching mechanisms can get stuck “open” due to an accumulation of dead ant bodies, which allows the current to flow. How and why worker ants are initially attracted to electrical switches and similar situations where they get shocked is poorly understood. Their presence in these areas could be due to random foraging, or there may be something about electrical fields that attracts them.
Dr. Brad Vinson, Professor of Entomology at Texas A&M University, was involved with earlier lab studies that seemed to indicate that the ants have “an affinity” for electrical fields that makes them rest in those areas, thus making it more likely that they get shocked…”