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'[OT:] curious Live wire experiment'
2004\02\21@101018 by Howard Winter

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Jake,

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 00:34:17 +1100, Jake Anderson wrote:

> this is simmilar in many respects to faraday flying the kite in the thunderstorm and no i dont mean
electrically

Funny, I thought about that too!  :-)  I forget: did the OP mention if they were standing on something
insulated?

I was astounded to see how they connect a new house to the electrical mains when I was working on a building
site as a student.  We dug a trench down through the path to expose the cable - it was armoured, about 40mm in
diameter and about 500mm under the surface.  Then the specialist turned up, placed a rubber mat in the bottom
of the trench, and stood on it, wearing rubber boots.  He cut and unwrapped the outer insulation and armour,
seperated out the conductors, chose the ones he wanted (one line and neutral) and unwrapped them one at a time
(still live) and made the connection by wrapping and soldering the tail cable, then re-insulating, then
re-made and waterproofed the bundle.  During this there were times when he was wrapping the bare conductors
together by hand, and I reckon the current capability of that cable would have been in the thousands of amps.
If someone had tapped him on the shoulder at the wrong moment, they would both have had it!  There's no way
I'd do that job...

Using a safety device such as an RCCD (as they're called here) as your only protection from potential death
(!) is *really* dangerous - it's fail-unsafe and a bit like propping a fire-check door open with a
fire-extinguisher, and justifying it by saying that if there is a fire someone will pick up the extinguisher
to put it out the fire, so the door will close...

I have a plug-in RCCD here that fails to trip when you press the "test" button (no, I never use it, I'm going
to dismantle it one day for interest) and I'm sure these things aren't all that reliable that you would be
allowed to have them as the only safety device (in lieu of insulation, for example).  They are designed as an
*added* safety feature, and probably do save some lives each year but alone they just aren't good enough.  I
personally knew someone who died from a mains shock, and I know of others who have done so.

Somewhere I saw a statistic for the number of people who die per year in the USA by checking 9V batteries on
their tongue - it's not zero, which I would have predicted!

Please be careful, people!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\02\21@123528 by Mark Jordan

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On 22 Feb 2004 at 0:34, Jake Anderson wrote:

> this is simmilar in many respects to faraday flying the kite in the
> thunderstorm and no i dont mean electrically

       I thought it was Benjamin Franklin...

       Mark Jordan

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2004\02\21@132930 by James Nick Sears

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> Somewhere I saw a statistic for the number of people who die per year in
the USA by checking 9V batteries on
> their tongue - it's not zero, which I would have predicted!

Wow.  I'd like to see that.  Even as respectful as I am of unobvious
phenomena with current passing through the body I still use my tongue fairly
regularly as a 9V voltmeter.  I imagine it's somewhere on the order of
hitting a $250,000,000 lottery jackpot in terms of likelihood, but hey,
somebody's eventually going to win the money.  Buy enough tickets and it
WILL be you.

It also would be interesting to see if the victims had any preexisting
condition to weaken their tolerance to electricity.

I just googled and the number I found is 3 ppl per year.  I'll probably
still lick the occasional 9V but it definitlely solidifies my belief that
any contact with mains voltage is something to be avoided.

Nick

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2004\02\21@133346 by Jim Franklin

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Maybe it was both, just one didn't get a zap !?



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Sent: 21 February 2004 17:33
To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT:] curious Live wire experiment


On 22 Feb 2004 at 0:34, Jake Anderson wrote:

> this is simmilar in many respects to faraday flying the kite in the
> thunderstorm and no i dont mean electrically

       I thought it was Benjamin Franklin...

       Mark Jordan

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2004\02\21@144657 by Alexander JJ Rice

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James,
> for all intents and purposes random - the frequency/phase difference
> between
> your relevant internal signals and the AC frequency.  That is to say that
> even a very brief shock with just the wrong timing could be the end of a
> person, even after he/she has sustained a much larger and otherwise
> identical shock due to subtle differences in the way that the 50 or 60Hz
> interacts with your body's signals.
>
> I am the first to admit that I have no hard evidence to back up this
> theory,
> but for my purposes I don't need any.

You are exactly correct - defribilators ("Clear!") basically work on this
principal. It is not simply a case of passing a large current through
somones chest, it has to be at exacly the right time in order to
stop/start the heart. Defrib units monitor the persons arrythmic heartbeat
and apply the shock at the right time. A shock from such a unit generally
lasts between 7 ms and 12 ms
 corresponding to a frequency range of 70Hz to 40Hz - congratulations to
whoever thought 50/60Hz was a nice frequency for mains electrity. The
response of your nerves varies greatly with frequency - below about 10Hz
or above 500Hz sensation of shock is vastly reduced.

There is no such thing as being accustomed to electric shocks, having
surived a shock before makes no difference, some people may however have
undiagonsed heart conditions which would make them more likley to die from
a given shock.

As regards the 9v batteries - are you sure people didn't die by testing
them with their tongue whilst operating heavy machinery / tightrope
walking / driving etc. i am quite sure that the tiny locallised dc current
is not enough to be dangerous even to people with heart conditions.

Regards

Alex Rice

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2004\02\21@144905 by Ken Pergola

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Regarding:

> Somewhere I saw a statistic for the number of people who die per year in
> the USA by checking 9V batteries on their tongue...

Back in 6th grade, some of us would touch a 9V battery to our dental braces
(connect battery to top and bottom braces).

What a feeling that was! Much more intense than touching your tongue.

Regards,

Ken Pergola

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2004\02\21@153302 by John Tserkezis

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Ken Pergola wrote:

> Back in 6th grade, some of us would touch a 9V battery to our dental braces
> (connect battery to top and bottom braces).

> What a feeling that was! Much more intense than touching your tongue.

 When I was in school, I had made up a 'zapper' that used the back-emf from a
buzzing relay wired to two terminals on the case.  You either come up behind
them to give them a "suprise" or hand it to anyone and say 'press the button
and feel a shock' (great social experiment-but that's a different story).

 After losing it for a while (some of the more popular guys had "borrowed" it
to zap as many others as they could) I managed to get a good sample of what
works with different kinds of people.

 Some would feel it more than others, but one guy was a freak.  He couldn't
feel it at all.  Thought it was faulty, so I tested it on myself- ouch.  Even
soaked his hands to try to improve conductivity.  The worst that happened to
him was he said he had a "sour" taste in his mouth- still couldn't feel it though.

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2004\02\21@175651 by Hopkins

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As they say in the electrical trade "Prove Test Prove"

This means take your test instrument and prove it works on a known source,
test the circuit to be worked on to see if it is dead then test instrument
and prove it works on a known source again to make shore your meter is still
working.

Then use a minimum of two points of isolation with a sign stating why the
circuit is dead.

Another words as a professional electrician I do not work on live wiring
unless absolutely necessary - then with precautions.
*************************************************
Roy Hopkins   :-)

Tauranga
New Zealand
*************************************************

> Basically - this is not a good experiment to do.
> Death is a possibility.
> Earth leak breakers help reduce the number of people who die. You cannot
be
> certain that an ELCB will always stop you dying.
>



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2004\02\21@185408 by Jake Anderson

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are those directly related to the 9v test though?
or is it a result of jumping when they find out it really isnt flat ;->


{Original Message removed}

2004\02\21@215205 by Bob Ammerman

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> i think the 50/60hz thing is why americans do that whole pounding on the
> chest thing before starting CPR.
> meant to restart the heart so i hear if it gets stunned by 60hz.
> take it with several kilos of salt i think

CPR, as currently taught and practiced in the US, does _not_ include
'pounding on the chest'.

CPR should only be used when the patient has no heartbeat, otherwise it will
do more harm than good.

CPR will seldom result in the restoration of a heartbeat, but simply keeps
the brain oxygenated long enough for advanced care to be brought to bear.

CPR serves only as a link in the 'chain of survival' until more advanced
personnel arrive with a defibrillator.

Automatic Electron Defibrillator (AED) units are becoming very popular
because they allow less highly trained personnel to get the heart beating
again, thus greatly improving survival rates.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

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2004\02\23@092910 by Jim Tellier

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Ken Pergola wrote:
> Back in 6th grade, some of us would touch a 9V battery to our dental
braces
> (connect battery to top and bottom braces).
>
> What a feeling that was! Much more intense than touching your tongue.

Now *That's* twisted!!! :^)   Since I never had braces, that thought never
occured to me!  But probably would've if I'd had! HA HA!!!!!
Jim (who had his first lesson in electricity at age 3, upon inserting a
paper clip in a wall socket!)
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2004\02\24@115041 by Mike Hord

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>Somewhere I saw a statistic for the number of people who die per year in
>the USA by checking 9V batteries on
>their tongue - it's not zero, which I would have predicted!

I discovered a number of years ago that using your lips instead of
your tongue to check the battery has, ah, interesting neurological
side effects, particluarly in your visual perception.

I also discovered that ~60 half-dead 9-volts can be used to arc weld
or cause serious injury to the unwary.

When I think back on my teenage years I'm amazed that I survived.

Mike H.

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2004\02\25@153726 by Jim Tellier

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Mike Hord wrote:
> I also discovered that ~60 half-dead 9-volts can be used to arc weld
> or cause serious injury to the unwary.
>
HA!  I never put 60 together, but used 40 or so, with a bunch of coils
having a variety of inductance values, a motor out of an old Waring blender,
etc., and built a great EMI generator!

> When I think back on my teenage years I'm amazed that I survived.
>
I can't tell you how many times I've uttered that *exact* phrase!! :^)

Jim

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2004\02\25@162604 by John Ferrell

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At least electric arcs don't make you bleed.... they are self cauterizing.
John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

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