Billy.Pettit at wdc.com
Thu Feb 8 17:17:47 CST 2007
Chuck Guzis wrote:
True, high-voltage (low current) DC is usually far less dangerous
than AC, but there can arise nasty side effects from the involuntary
When I was much younger, I was working on a 3KV transmitter power
supply. I *thought* that the bleeder had sufficiently discharged
things, but it wasn't so. I brushed the top of an oil capacitor and
Unfortunately, about 6 inches in back of me was a concrete block
wall. The muscle contraction proceeded to slam my elbow with great
force into said wall. It hurt like hell for days. I'm fortunate I
didn't fracture something.
It's truly amazing how many lessons you can learn in the space of a
millisecond or so:
1) Never trust a bleeder--they can and do open.
2) Leave plenty of working space around you.
3) Try to work with one hand in a back pocket.
In the Army in 1960, I took radar school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersy. After
Basic Electronics, we moved to the TPS-1D radar lab for orientation. 4 hour
safety class - what to wear, to do, not do, etc. For example, we all wore a
small florescent tube on our shirts. At the end was a tour and the
instructor pointed out the various systems and risks. We got to the
kylstron modulator and he pointed out with a wooden pencil where the high
voltage lead was. Of course the inevitable happened, the arc came up the
graphite, and his muscles convulsing threw him into wall. A few of us had
sense enough not to laugh. The MSgt in charge of the lab came running over
and helped him back on his feet. He asked the instructor what the hell
happened? This guy was still in a daze and answered, "I don't know. All I
did was touch this point with a pencil like this..." The next day he left
for Fort Dix for infantry training.
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