OK, this may be a rant, but lets face it: Our equipment and livelihood is dependant on how the local electric company delivers power to the building we happen to be in. (Unless you bring your own generator!) I witness some of the greatest electrical atrocities when I am riding as a passenger in a car. Inevitably, my eyes are always looking upwards to see what the next thing that will chill me to the bone will be. I’ll start with my own house. I have a 200 amp service, which is common. The feed from the service head to the meter base and to the breaker box is 4/0 aluminum. This is the area that the home owner is responsible for. From the service head out is the responsibility of the local electrical company. Ok…. At the service entrance head, my 4/0 entrance feed cable is bugged onto #6 aluminum triplex! The very visual is almost hilarious. As I have ranted elsewhere, the neutral conductor also serves as the guy-wire. Nice to know it would be the first wire to break if a tree came down on my 100 foot street loop. Now, a little math: 200 X 2 X 120 volts tells me that the max load for my house should be 48kw. Following the triplex down the street, I can see that I share a transformer with 4 other homes, each with 200 amp services as well. Said transformer is clearly marked as 20kw !! Hummm… A little more math tells me that the max draw of all the homes is 192kw, which is ten times the rating of the transformer! OK, we all know that homes are not going to use their full draw, but still….. The primary on the transformer is a 7kv leg on a 13kv 3 phase Y type distribution. In other words, it ties from one of the (very) hots, to the neutral/ground run which also serves as the neutral/ground run for the secondary triplex, which also serves as a support guy-wire. Hummm… Hoping for no car accidents. 13kv runs require a larger insulator then the old fashion 1.2kv runs that power companies used in the past. Some of the insulators on my street are the larger insulators normally used for 13kv runs. The rest of them are the old style 1.2kv insulators that look like a whiskey shot glass. Why the mix? Well, as the poles catch fire, they are upgraded to the new insulators! I guess they will ultimately end up with them all replaced. About two miles down the street, we have what I like to call the “substation on a pole.” Three very large transformers, each the size of a VW, which downvert the main distribution to the local distribution. This pole is now “S” shaped from the weight, and has been for the last few years. I wish I could say it is only a local problem, but over the years and in my travels, it appears it is more the “norm” than the exception. I find that these days I start looking at the poles as I near a venue. Feel free to add your own observations.