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Old 18th December 2012, 01:05 PM   #51
Join Date: Oct 2012
I know when i got lit up bad I couldn't move at all what it was I left my damn delay pedal hooked up in the loop and I reached across with my left arm because I forgot to turn it off and **** grabbed me. being half drunk reaching across an open chassis like that yeah I know real smart right? lol
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:59 PM   #52
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: West Virginia panhandle
I went to a technical high school in the late 60's. I was in a 3 year long electronics program. Being funded by the Miami Dade county public shcool system meant there was no budget and everything was old and out of date. We played with tubes! This is where I learned how to "make em glow"!

Much of our equipment and "scrap" was donated by local corporations and the Homestead Air Force Base. The donated scrap was available for the students to experiment on and if we built anything useful, it was ours to take home. The AFB had donated about 20 Stromberg Carlson PA amps that used 4 X 6L6GB's for output tubes. I had claimed two for building my stereo system. The AFB had also donated several hundred NIB metal 6L6's, so those went into the Strombergs.

Our workbenches were metal, and grounded through the electrical conduit that supplied each bench. Some benches had isolation transformers, but many did not. The transformer equipped benches were in the front of the class and reserved for the less experienced students that followed the lesson curriculum. The first hour of each 3 hour class was lecture and the last 2 hours was lab time. I did not do the simple "build an amplifier stage and measure it" labs, since I already knew this stuff. In fact I didn't do many of the lectures either, since I could ace the tests. There were 2 of us that just built or fixed stuff in the back of the lab.....on one of the grounded benches.

I got the Strombergs working and brought in my big speakers and a turntable for "testing" and one day we all learned several important lessons:

1) The metal case on a 6L6 and most other metal tubes is connected to pin 1.

2) Pin one on the tube in the back of the Stromberg amp is used as a tie point for the screen supply voltage.

3) The Steppenwolf Second album has a shiney foil cover over the cardboard. It CONDUCTS electricity quite well!

4) The album cover flies quite well Frisbee style when you accidentally touch it to the 6L6 tube while leaning against the metal bench rail.
Tubelab, it's 5 year mission. To explore strange new tubes, to seek out new circuits and topologies, to boldly go where no tube has gone before......
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:04 PM   #53
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:06 PM   #54
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madrid
I got zipped the other day badly. Getting tired of this. I was intoxicated - condition sine qua non - and playing guitar and doing mods witth the amp open and ready to kill. Well, it did not kill me but it sure tried. The flow went through my chest: had one hand holding the guitar (touching the strings) and the other hand was doing silly things. The first thought after a shock is always the same: my God that was fast! I can't believe the SPEED. It always strikes me how fast it goes, I mean it's faster than anything I have ever experienced. Anyway, the intensity is pretty much the same with 400 volts. A 250 volts shock is a third less intense (of course I'm talking about my own experiences).
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:10 PM   #55
Join Date: Oct 2012
When I want to school Industrial technology etc lol I was in a class with about 20 people and they had 1 of those like Electrical trainer machines with an assortment of relays, transformers and light bulbs etc lol just to experiment and learn and test stuff etc well we charge up caps like the little 6mm bastards and hide behind the machine and wait for that unsuspecting person to walk by or in front of it lol you get the idea lol
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:15 PM   #56
Join Date: Oct 2012
1 guy ended falling down scared him so bad lol they do sound kinda like a 22. going off when they blow up lol
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:45 PM   #57
GeorgK is offline GeorgK  Austria
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vienna
When working on some silverface Fender combo I put the chassis back in the cabinet, turned on, but realised that for some reason it was not ready yet. I wanted to go the fast way, and with the amp still powered up I reached under the chassis to pull it out by a few centimeters. Should have been aware of the fact that the cap cover had been lying on the desk the whole time.
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Old 18th December 2012, 04:55 PM   #58
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Skokie Il
I love these stories- thanks.

I started working on tube circuits when I was 11 or 12. (Built my first "real" amp at 15.) My buddie's dad was a real old school ham radio guy and he showed me how to work safely on circuits. He taught me to use a wire with alligator clips and series resistor to discharge caps (hook up the ground first!). So I never got a shock working on electronic circuits (yet).

But I have gotten a couple of whoppers. I was installing new electrical service once and I managed to get one of my clumsy hands across
both hots (really stupid). I got a very bad shock and was thrown down on the concrete. I was dizzy for about 15 minutes and went back to work. Another time I shorted both hot wires with a large vice grips. The whole top jaw was vaporised and I was subject to a blinding (literally) flash of light. My eyesight recovered in about a half an hour.
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Old 18th December 2012, 05:03 PM   #59
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Madrid
My eyesight recovered in about a half an hour.
Wow, that must have been scary.
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Old 18th December 2012, 05:38 PM   #60
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
For my second amplifier build, I purchased 8 10,000uF caps. They were the kind with threaded holes on top to bolt a ring or spade terminal. They also had a threaded shaft on the bottom, which, I assumed, was for mounting to a chassis. I built the power supply on a wooden block first, and everything went well. But when I transferred it to an aluminum chassis, putting the threaded shafts through holes drilled in the bottom - POW! Every time I turned it on I got an explosive flash, and blown fuses. It was driving me crazy. I checked and checked and tested for shorts and couldn't find anything. Finally, I flipped the amp over, and saw the chassis around the mounting holes was charred black. It turns out the shaft on the bottom of the caps was not for mounting them, but was actually a second lead, connected directly to one of the leads on the top of the cap. So I was creating a short from one of the rails to ground. I still can't imagine why anyone would make such a ridiculous design. I cut off the shafts, put a bunch of electrical tape over the bottom of the caps and mounted them with rings.
So I didn't actually light myself up, but scorched my amplifier chassis several times.
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