Breaking News
Blog

Fun with electrolytic capacitors

Blog
7/13/2011 10:16 PM EDT

 18 comments   post a comment
NO RATINGS
View Comments: Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
agk
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
agk   7/15/2011 5:59:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Making others to fear and we get enjoyment is not fun. Then what is fun?

Jeff.Petro
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
Jeff.Petro   7/15/2011 2:56:33 PM
NO RATINGS
While in school we used to place a capacitor across the 600V three phase lines and wait for the teacher to turn on the power. It always got a good laugh when the cap blew. I'm sure the teacher knew what was about to happen as it would have appeared strange to see the entire class wearing safety goggles. I'm most postive he knew but acted clueless anyway. Those were the days.

fmike
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
fmike   7/15/2011 6:45:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Who among us has not tossed a charged electrolytic across the room, yelling, "Catch!"

no clever name
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
no clever name   7/15/2011 6:55:32 PM
NO RATINGS
One of my classmates seemed to be fond of looking in my desk. So I left a well charged electrolitic for him. He picked it up, screaming and shaking his arm as the charge bled down. When it finally allowed him to release his fingers, the cap hit the window with enough velocity to punch a neat little round hole in it. We had to split the window cost, me for leaving a trap, and him for being stupid. He still got in my desk. Even after the exlax cookies. some people are slow learners. Rod

Rod Dalitz
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
Rod Dalitz   7/15/2011 9:25:32 PM
NO RATINGS
I had a long long discussion working that out. Fun is when you are on the edge, when you think you are in control but everyone around you think you are not. If things are too easy, that is boring. Too hard, that is frightening. Fun is just that narrow groove.

john_#3
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
john_#3   7/15/2011 10:39:56 PM
NO RATINGS
I once found some full-size Edison-base flashbulbs at a garage sale. They looked just like incandescent bulbs, other than being full of (I think) oxygen and magnesium wool. I had fun screwing them in in place of ordinary light bulbs. When someone flicked the light on - PAFF! Blinding flash!

David Ashton
User Rank
Blogger
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
David Ashton   7/16/2011 12:56:17 AM
NO RATINGS
Giving people a fright is acceptable, putting them in danger is not. As Rod says, it's a pretty narrow groove. Shrapnel from an exploding cap just might get in someone's eye, but it's pretty unlikely. Someone some time ago talked about someone putting a short on a large electric motor, now that is plain stupid.

Finleythewombat
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
Finleythewombat   7/18/2011 12:34:28 PM
NO RATINGS
The flashbulb thing is pretty funny, but the ones involving capacitors across mains powerlines and high-voltage charged electrolytics are just unbelievably stupid, cruel and dangerous, even for college kids. There are all sorts of ways pranks like that can go badly - or fatally - wrong. It's no wonder we engineers have a reputation as socially inept nitwits.

SmokenMirrors
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
SmokenMirrors   7/18/2011 3:04:49 PM
NO RATINGS
We had just learned about inductors and reactance in my basic electronics class and after the lecture, one of students came up and asked what I thought would happen if he stuck a small 10uH inductor in the lab bench wall socket (the class also doubled as a lab). I told him to figure it out, you have 120vac at 60 hertz an that if it was me I would think twice before doing it; I believe the current would be quite high. By then I was off on the other side of the class talking with my instructor and the other students- and then a BLAM! I can here pieces of the poor inductor ricocheted off the ceiling and walls. Fortuntely it was the end of class and most students had left. My respect for instructors in general went up another notch. You just never know what kind of students you will be getting... I wonder what job he has now???

Rangerdog
User Rank
Rookie
re: Fun with electrolytic capacitors
Rangerdog   7/18/2011 3:27:17 PM
NO RATINGS
A charged condensor from a car's distributor was a favorite for my eigth grade prinicpal. At recess he would walk around on the playground and yell "Here, catch" and toss it to you. We took it as fun and made him teach us how he didn't get shocked himself. This was in 1960. Today, I'm sure that he would be in a lot of trouble. But in my opinion he was a great "hands on" teacher.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs
Smart thermostats are not only for the well-to-do. One group is developing them to help keep tenement dwellers warm.
LG's G Watch R and Samsung's Gear S do little to shake up the wearable market. Perhaps Apple's upcoming device will.
Do you understand the consequences of California's new smartphone anti-theft law? Our FAQ will clear up the confusion.
Remember the names of these test-equipment companies? Most are long gone, but a few remain.
Custom system-on-chip from parent company mCube enables Ten Degrees to tackle indoor navigation with higher probability of success.
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times editor Junko Yoshida grills two executives --Rick Walker, senior product marketing manager for IoT and home automation for CSR, and Jim Reich, CTO and co-founder at Palatehome.
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed