From: Fred Bloggs
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Subject: Re: OT (sort of) help for a total newbie
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3DB1721B.C79A99F3@webaccess.net>
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 16:29:52 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2002 09:29:52 PDT
Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net
Chuck Simmons wrote:
> Justin Farrelly wrote:
>>Like the others I too am concerned about you heading off into the world
>>of 110VAC on your first project. Many of us who are most probably
>>a little older than you are steer well clear of 110VAC, and basically
>>anything over 48V just because it does go wrong so easily. It is
>>very unforgiving if you accidently make yourself part of the circuit,
>>and most professionals who do design work at 110V work in an
>>environment where it is compulsory for other CPR trained workers
>>to be present at all times: I know, I work in that space sometimes,
>>and have a few scars to show for it!!
>>On a positive note, there are lots of really excellent things you
>>can do at low cost, that will run on batteries, and fit in your pocket
>>if you wish. Many of these you can experiment with to your
>>hearts content and even if you do get it wrong, many times the
>>components will forgive you (well, once or twice!!).
>>This is definitly the place to get help, with lots of friendly people,
>>and many, like myself would be happy to see if we can help you
>>get something built you can be proud of.
>>Have a think about what you want to do, and mail us back!!
> I have mixed feelings about the warnings in this thread. We don't know
> anything about the OP, of course, except that he is young. However, at
> my age, cops look like school children.
> Some of us here grew up in the 1950s and messed with electronics then.
> Everything seemed to involve voltages above 100 volts. The adults around
> me in those days seemed to assume that because I was smart enough not to
> touch a hot stove, I could probably manage to stay out of trouble with
> The warnings, however responsible and reasonable, are inconsistent with
> the behavior of some of us older posters when we were young.
> Did you ever see a bunch of grade school kids holding hands in a circle
> while someone cranked an old telephone ring generator? Ever see the old
> prank of connecting a Model T ignition coil to a door knob? There are a
> lot more that no one would ever do today.
Speaking as someone who has been electrocuted on and off since the age
of four, I agree 100% with your position. It is very difficult to even
get burned- although I have sustained a 3rd degree at times. That being
said it is my belief that the greatest danger of injury when dealing
with any kind of powerful source of electricity, regardless of voltage
level, is violent explosion of seriously underrated components- even
certain forms of potted power resistors can become dynamite sticks.
Therefore my advice to the OP, who I believe is posing as a youngster,
is to wear goggles at all times, double-double check the
interconnections before applying power, build the circuit in stages if
possible, check that the area is clear before applying power to include
inadvertent contact with bench objects, and always stand clear yourself-
maybe even behind a makeshift bench barrier, or a plastic bucket over
the prototype, to catch shrapnel, when applying power to *virgin*