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Old 7th October 2002, 12:42 PM   #1
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Location: Pickering, Canada
Default Worst DIY project that you did.

I must have been around 10 or 12 years old at the time. Found my father's soldering gun the one that looks like a gun with a light bulb above the trigger, and I was living in a 220V supply at the time. Got a mains cord only has two wires no ground, decided to solder a mini chrismas tree light light bulb to it. I was smart /stupid enough to know how to use solder/flux and proceed to solder one little light bulb to the end of the wire. Assembled a plug had in my mind wondering how bright it would get. Holding the end of the wire may be six inches away from the buld and went the plug into the wall. Just a bright flash and pop then I could not see the bulb any more. Just blew away all the glass. Count myself lucky that I did not lose an eye or electrocuted or serious injury.

Do you have horror story like this, please share with me.
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Old 7th October 2002, 12:51 PM   #2
sangram is offline sangram  India
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An electric heater (useful for cooking food in dormitory situations in boarding school) that we had assembled needed to be brought online post-haste. I must've been around ten or eleven. Stripped lots of wire to make really good contact, as these guys needed about 10 amps of mains power. Made solid contacts with the screws in the plug, sealed up the plug. To be sure stray wires didn't cause injury, braided the exposed wire around itself, causing a dead short at the plug. And then flipped the switch.

I'm still here, thankfully...
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Old 7th October 2002, 12:54 PM   #3
Dirk is offline Dirk  Belgium
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* Powering a car halogen lamp (12V, 55W) using a 24V transformer and an electrolytic series capacitor: all went well for several minutes, then the capacitor started smoking real bad.

* Soldering inside a tube amplifier while it is switched on ...; I used to keep the soldering wire in my mouth at that time, so I guess I was lucky then.

* A collegue of mine once made a speaker system, and used a 220V plug as a connector; when his sister connected the "loose plug", the sound was loud but short.
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Old 7th October 2002, 08:02 PM   #4
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When I was very young, I stuffed an aluminum flashlight
in a lamp socket.

And it flashed very nicely!

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Old 7th October 2002, 08:12 PM   #5
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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When I was (very) young and experimenting with electomagnets in a kit I decided that a 500' spool of 20 gauge wire might make an excellant one if I plugged it into the mains. I guess the inductance was pretty high because instead of immediately blowing the circuit the lights dimmed and all of the coils of wire on the spool proceeded to dance around like crazy. Didn't try that one again.
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Old 7th October 2002, 10:20 PM   #6
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Location: USA,NorthCarolina
My father and I were putting in doorbell in an old house
when I was about twelve.Dad drilled a hole through the floor which he was planning to run the wiring to the transformer.The
house didn't have a basement just a crawl space.Well,dad told me
to go into the crawl space and pull the wire through.As some of you know crawl spaces are usually kinda damp because of the dirt
floor.The house being old must have had some some wire that the
insulation had rotted off or something, up between the floor joists
I remember raising my head up to look for the wire that dad was feeding through the hole.All of a sudden I felt this jolt through my
head ( I was on my knee's with my hands on the dirt floor )which
made me jerk up.Well,this happen repeatedly until I finally made
it to the door leading out of the of the crawl space.When I came out. My dad was standing their waiting because he heard me crying out.Well, except for the multiple knots on my head, I was fine.
Cambe
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Old 7th October 2002, 10:23 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Seattle
At the age of about 5, I went out into the garage, climbed up on the old round tub washing machine (with the rollers on the side bracket and the Rubber Wheels), reached up to the house fuse box on the garage wall and unscrewed a fuse. Stuck my thumb in the socket.

Found myself on the concrete floor, with a very sore thumb. Looking back now, I figure the rubber wheels on the washer saved my hide, but I have been

ZAPPED ever since.

Larry Wright
Seattle area
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Old 8th October 2002, 12:26 AM   #8
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Back in my slot car days (early teens), I started making my own DC motors. These were 100,000rpm screamers that would fly around the slot car track at 60mph (~100kph). My first attempt was a “triple wound” (3 parallel windings), oven-cured epoxy, balanced on a pair of razor blades, and mounted in a ball bearing housing with ALNICO V magnets. I couldn’t wait to catch the bus to the slot car track and try out my new motor. I arrived and bought my track time. I put the car on the track and let ‘er rip. It took off like a bat out of hell, but started slowing down at about ¾ lap. It barely made it back in front of me. When I pressed the trigger to make it go again, it just sat there and started smoking. Back to the drawing board.

Those were the days.
Rodd Yamas***a
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Old 8th October 2002, 01:44 AM   #9
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Location: Columbia, SC
The reason I work solo...
--I was repairing the tube mono amplifer out of a movie projector back when I was in school. I had my hands deep in the innards in much the same twisted way that you have to do to get to spark plugs, oil filters, and such in cars. Some jerk wandered by and thought it would be hilarious to switch the amp on. I couldn't get my hands out before he hit the switch. I still sport a scar from a 2nd degree electrical burn on the forefinger of my right hand.
--Another amp, another day, another idiot. He wired the AC mains directly to the speaker output. I thought we were done--din't check behind him. Switched it on. The little four inch speaker jumped clear across the room. I jumped nearly the same distance vertically. Since it was dead, I took the speaker apart after I calmed down (they had to restrain me from killing the moron). No voice coil. None. The coil former, however, was still there and wasn't even scorched.
--The absolute dumbest thing I ever did involved gunpowder, a ketchup bottle, and a magnifying glass, but since it doesn't involve electronics, I'll leave that one in the back of the closet. I've been scatterbrained enough this week without people thinking that I'm worse than I really am.
I promise I'll get some sleep...someday...

Grey
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Old 8th October 2002, 02:08 AM   #10
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It was 1981 and I was asked to have a look at my friend's receiver. I just started playing with electronics about that time and didn't have much clue about what was going on inside that thing. I remember having my head above the receiver, looking inside, while suddenly I was hearing increasing in volume, strange sound and then baam! Out of nowhere I was hit right in the left eye. It was an electrolytic capacitor.

I spent two weeks in hospital and left out with a cataract (small dot on the inside of a lens) and my iris doesn't work well since then either. Six years ago I had an inplant done (artificial lens) and with correction glasses my left eye is OK.

That's how my affair with electronics started. There is no escape for me now.
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