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From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: Explosions in electronics.
References: <3D956D97.276B4910@imit.kth.se> <3D9600A4.email@example.com> <3D961C4D.13FBEB18@webaccess.net>
Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 10:56:10 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 02 Oct 2002 03:56:10 PDT
Frithiof Andreas Jensen wrote:
> "Chuck Simmons" wrote in message
> > Leeper wrote:
> > going off while it had the problem. Fire shot more than a foot out of
> > the motorized main breaker when it tripped. It was really quite a sight.
> I once experienced the tripping of a 2 kV, 6000A DC breaker in a substation
> for an electric railway - this thing emitted a huge orange fireball out of
> the top with the sound of a cannon going off.
> My colleagues - which of course tripped it *on purpose* - almost pissed
> themselves laughing, as I almost did the same out of fear ;-)
Back when I was in high school, a friend and I became interested in a
"Scientific American" article about exploding wires. Accordingly, we set
afoot a search for materials. The local scrap yards netted a 0-10kv
power supply with a punctured case (the oil had run out) and a bunch of
oil filled paper high voltage capacitors. The capacitors were mounted in
a wooden box we called the "joule box." A large de-ion circuit breaker
completed the apparatus. We wired the thing using 0.5 inch flat copper
braid and removed the de-ion structure from the circuit breaker. The
wires to be exploded were 3 to 4 inch long bits of 40 AWG copper wire.
The results were spectacular especially the under water explosions which
produced incredibly powerful shcck waves in the water. I suppose that
these exploding wires qualify as on topic in this thread.
My friend and I eventually ran out of experiments for the joule box and
moved on to building a hydraulic version of a Hindle type vertical
spindle mirror grinding machine which had the unfortunate property of
spraying the entire garage with power steering fluid whenever one of the
hydraulic valves failed.
There followed the wonderfully powerful spark gap Tesla coil which, to
our chagrin, caught fire due to an arc on the secondary and burned to
ashes on the work bench. The coils had been heavily coated with paraffin
to prevent arcs. (sigh)
... The times have been,
That, when the brains were out,
the man would die. ... Macbeth
Chuck Simmons firstname.lastname@example.org
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