Police UHF base station located on the upper floor of a block of residential flats (5 or 6 floors?).
The base station is placed within the building's dry riser area opposite to an access door in a corridor. Access to the base station is by opening (unlocking) the door and leaning across the riser void. Although having safer personal access than the previous locations, test equipment, withdrawn units, tools and half of the technician are effectively over the riser void when in use. Drop anything down the riser void and it clanks down all the floors before hitting the ground – resulting in much cursing and having to go down possibly to the basement for access to the bottom of the riser.
When attended, all services were down. The site exhibited the classic symptoms of a complete mains failure. After tests (some inadvertent!) it was found that the complete racking metalwork and all units of the installation were at full mains potential. The actual fault was traced to a blown fuse in the Neutral line to the racks. Such practice should, and has been, made illegal.
The vehicle was a non-standard Mini-Cooper used as a fast, covert observation vehicle. It exhibited the fault symptoms of complete radio and engine failure when turning right. The actual fault being dependant on the rate of turn and the speed of the vehicle. At some stage an additional second vehicle battery had been unofficially fitted to improve electrical performance, but NOT by the regular maintenance unit. The battery was located in the vehicle boot, in a near side well adjacent to the rear wheel. However, it had not been secured or covered and the failures were due to the battery rocking in the well and allowing the battery 'live' terminal to short-circuit against the protruding edge of metal on the vehicle frame. This had eroded the substance of the frame by severe sparking. The fuel access to the petrol tank is also in this position thus inviting a future explosion when the vehicle is in use under these conditions.
10th December 2007
Acknowledgement: Brian Hill