Forum Gestapo

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by windoze killa, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. windoze killa

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
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    Let me start by saying that I am not trying to put anyone down or say that there is anything wrong with the mods here.

    But there seems to be a lot of threads being closed without real consideration for what the people are asking.

    For example there was a recent one closed because the OP wanted to make his own tail light for his "dirt bike". If this bike is used on private property then who cares what he does to his tail light but he never got the chance to explain.

    Another was wanted to put bright lights under his dash board... closed without discussion. This may have been a "show car" never to be used on the road.

    Yet another wanted to build a bug zapper but was closed because of the high voltages used. Your forum rules state that you can't discuss anything connected directly to mains. Well transformers are connected directly to mains so we better ban all dicussion that involve transformers. People may kill themselves or others while wiring the transformer.

    How about a little consideration PRIOR to slamming a thread closed. Find out the real purpose of the project.
     
    Voltaire likes this.
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    The first person to spice his argument by comparing the other side to Nazi's, loses the argument.

    I personally don't agree fully with the rule(s), and the bug zapper got my attention too. At about the same time, someone wanted to build a human zapper (defibrillator) and nothing was said about that application. BUT, I would rather see the rule enforced than ignored at the whim of a moderator.

    Perhaps the rule(s) need to be modified. Do you have any suggestions for that?

    John
     
  3. windoze killa

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
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    With regards to the defibrillator I agree totally. Ban it. Anything that supplier a current to the human body is a no no. But from memory that guy only wanted to make a monitor for one not the actual device.

    With regards to rule changes I don't think they need changing just the way they are enforced. Discussion first then close the thread if required. For example there is a blanket ban on projects involving the ECU of a car because of air pollution regulations but what if the mod that a poster wants to do to the ECU actually improves emmissions?

    Also what a moderator might be closing a thread for maybe illegal/immoral/immproper in his country but maybe perfectly legal in the country of the OP.
     
  4. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    I think that part of the issue is that no matter how well-intentioned the OP may be, he may be inexperienced and get hurt as a result. Perhaps more importantly, another less well-intentioned observer may see some ideas and apply them maliciously.

    Keep in mind that the moderators are trying to protect the inexperienced OP, innocent bystanders of the malicious, the owners of the site, and (last but not least) any members that might respond in the thread. Everything is hunky dory until someone dies. Then, the lawyers pounce on everyone even remotely tied to the cause of the unfortunate event.
     
  5. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    AAC is a free service and I'm just glad it exists. It's their football and they can make up the rules -- or stop the game whenever they want. If the rules seem inappropriate, then feel free to start your own board and run it as you feel it should be (that's not meant to make you feel defensive, it's just acknowledging the freedom you have to do it your way).

    Trying to keep track of what's legal/moral in a bunch of different countries would be an administrative nightmare.
     
    DumboFixer likes this.
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    This forum is fair and most members feel at home here because of
    policy and rules.Your wording is not proper just to make a point.
    There has been a lot content to explain policy and most members
    agree that saftey is important world wide.We have the best moderators,
    and there judgement over time has been excellent.WE all have choices
    to make in live.Thanks for your opinion,be polite to our moderators,they
    work very hard to please every one.
     
  7. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I second that.
     
  8. windoze killa

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
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    I defence of my comments I did not see anything in what I wrote that was impolite. I was just giving examples of the abruptness of thread closure.

    One of the reasons I started this thread was to highlight the point that people out there need help. They come to forums like this to get it. And I must say 99.9% of the time they couldn't get better help anywhere else. My concern is turning people away from help will tend to force them to "do it themselves" and I feel that is even more dangerous then helping them out. They may go and build something with even less knowledge.

    On the subject of malicious acts occurring because of the content of a thread we better ban the whole internet. Someone may build a bomb.And that is just begging to start a gun control debate.
     
  9. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    How about the title of the thread?

    John
     
  10. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Then it comes to all sorts of vehicle modifications, so is that topic well debated in this forum. And the consensus is that it is better to be safe than sorry. The rules regarding vehicle modifications is somewhat strict. In order to protect the person that do modifications, but also innocent people. Almost all the vehicle related questions in this forum come from non professional. That perhaps do not understand the full scope of what they are trying to do.
     
  11. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    You can be a pro at the key board,but when you start taking things
    a part and making changes that a whole different world.
     
  12. windoze killa

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
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    Ok. For some reason the word Gestapo seems to be offensive so lets call it forum CIA instead.

    With regards to "Almost all the vehicle related questions in this forum come from non professionals" I would like to elaborate and say "Almost all the questions in this forum come from non professional". When nearly every post in the project area starts with "I am a noob" or "I havn't got any experience" implies "non professional".

    As I said in my first post the use of transformers does not make things safe. If these "non professionals" you speak of are that non professional then there funeral will be soon, transformer or not.

    PS. I have noticed the electric fence zapp counter thread is still alive unlike the poor raccoon that has been fried on it. Right up front the OP said it was 110V at 60Hz. Fairs fair. If you are going to close one mains related thread then they should all be closed.
     
  13. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    This argument reminds me of what judges and police hear from people who were stopped for speeding. "Hey, I was just going with the traffic", or "all people speed so it should be OK if I do it", or "if you are going to stop me, then everyone should be stopped".

    ... By the way, I think that "judge" or "police" are better words to use than "Gestapo" or "CIA"...

    Very often, the police may let the guy going 5 MPH over the speed limit go, but stop the guy going 30 MPH over the limit, and give him a ticket. And, they may even arrest a guy going 60 MPH over the limit. It's a judgement call, and the judgement depends on many things like traffic, weather, time etc. A real Judge may consider extenuating circumstances and let the charge go.

    Don't expect "black and white" rules to be perfectly applied to a "shades of gray" world. It's not your (nor my) job to decide. We decide if we want to risk helping in any open thread, and there is risk because we can be held liable for bad advice that leads to injury or death. The mods and cite owners have to make their own judgement on what risks they are willing to take to help others.

    There is the old rule of thumb that "no good deed goes unpunished". Ethical people don't let this truth stop them from being helpful, but wise people try to use good judgement as best they can. They are also wise enough to know that they are not always going to get it right, but that's life.
     
  14. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    A better name for this thread might be "The LAW!", or perhaps "The Man".

    A while back I posted this thread...

    Things that close your thread

    We got quite a reaction. I received several emails that were frankly offensive, one person managed to get banned over the topic (they quite literally asked for it, their header was "I want to be banned" and went on from there). Like as not there are rules, every site has them, they vary with the site. People don't like to be told what to do, but it is the moderators job to make sure we still have a site after they leave.

    My thought about the electric fence is it was a commercial product, the OP wasn't building it. That is only part of the story of course, but it is the reason it survived scrutiny.

    While 120VAC from a transformer is not safe, you will not die if you grab one lead (I still wouldn't recommend it). This is not true of line voltage. Without a transformer, it will remain uniquely dangerous, what is so hard about understanding this? Since a substantial number of our members are brand new to electricity we have to allow for them.

    I do not always agree with a moderators decision, but that is OK, it is his job, not mine. I have discussed my point of view via PM in a respectful and courteous manner, sometimes they even change their mind, and I have found they have a good sense of humor. They are the law for this site, since the internet is vast and there are other sites similar to this one you are not required to stay, everyone has options.

    If this were a court of law being discourteous would give you jail time, here you can only get banned (the highest penalty there is). From what I've seen it is used rarely, after repeated warnings. This site is extremely laid back most ways, one of many reasons I like it.

    We have several other threads attempting to spell out the rules a little better. I would like to see a compilation of them posted, but until then we'll just have to make due.
     
  15. windoze killa

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 23, 2006
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    I agree with almost everything you have said.

    I hope anything I have said has not been considered offensive as it was not ment to be in any way.

    I agree totally. All sites need rules and mods that are fair and reasonable but I also beleive they should be consistant.

    An automobile/motorcycle is a commercial product as well...... OPs are not trying to build one so they should also survive scrutiny.

    I do not beleive you said that. Please explain how 120VAC from a transformer is any different than 120VAC mains?????? If you attempt to explain it by saying that the 120VAC from the transformer is only low current you should remember that the heart will stop with as low a 40ma. Also I am from Australia and we have 240VAC.

    The Mods are the law but as I have said consistency would be nice.

    I don't beleive I have been discourteous at all and I would never do that. I was just voicing an opinion and also in a way trying to invoke a debate which I think I have. I think this site is probably the best of its kind that I have found and intend to continue contributing to it.

    I agree. I simple abridged version of the rules would be handy.

    Just to add another conflicting post. Awhile ago there was a thread about making an LED tail light for a motor bike (these are available from most dealers and also come standard on some bikes). It was closed almost straight away on the grounds that he was changing the wiring of the bike but I see another post about someone wanting to add lights all over his bike (also changing the wiring of his bike).
     
  16. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Transformers in most cases are as safe as you make them. The output from a transformer may kill you. If the voltage is high enough, both primary and secondary side. But transformers is a very important for all who have something to do with electronics. So they have become a standard part in the electronics toolbox like resistors, and ICs. So it would be very impractical to ban all transformers questions. Even if the transformer is connected to the mains. A parallel may be alcohol. Some say that if alcohol was introduced in the recent time it would be declared as a drug. But that is not the case, and we all do know the rest of the story regarding alcohol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  17. Potato Pudding

    Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    With rules I have to go back to things I learned when I was younger, and some of the best lessons were working in a n amusement park.

    There is a different dynamic when you look at either side of things.

    You have parents who come in with 4 year old pipsqueaks and want to take them on the rollercoasters. Their kid will be fine it is a stupid rule not letting their kid go on the ride. Same things with people and their cameras. They all want to take pictures from the top of the lift or video of their rollercoaster ride.

    But you HAVE to look at it from the other side. If we let kids too small to fit in the restraints or to hold on aboard the coaster, maybe one in a million is going to get seriously hurt or even killed. That is too many because with thousands of riders every day those odds are a disaster.. NO KIDS on the ride unless they have the size to fit safely.

    And Cameras? Even if it were once a day of people crying that they lost their camera off of the ride and can we send someone into the safety zones to look for it - and do we think the impact of landing after being ejected from an 80mph coaster will have damaged it very badly... Just get lost if you don't want to leave your camera on the platform. Don't argue with me because I don't get paid enough to argue, and everybody else in line is not going to allow me any time to argue. Besides that - the real problem is that you would be very upset with us for letting somebody else take a camcorder on the ride if they let go of it to hang onto the ride - like people need to be able to do - and their loose camcorder flies back and takes your teeth out. So why would we give you the chance to hurt somebody else with your camera.

    Here at the boards if you need something that is possibly hazardous, find a bonded professional because the people on these boards can't be watching over you shoulder to catch you making any mistakes, and even if you are a professional and are just looking for some information resources, keep in mind this is public and a nonprofessional IS going to read this and try it themselves with only 10% of the experience they need to keep out of trouble.

    For example the dirt bike tail light. You have to assume that topic would be read by a person with a street bike, and they would try it and then possibly have a serious accident when their wiring fails and they become invisible to other vehicles on a dark night. Motorcycles are already fighting to be noticed by other drivers so that they don't get run over or run off the road. Messing with their lighting woulod be very risky.

    And to compare all rules policing to the Gestapo is very ignorant. You are implying extreme malice when it is actually at the opposite extreme of being as caring as the mods can possibly be. Yes it is babying people a little, but when it comes to electronics with people just learning being considered it is the just best policy. Safety considerations are more important in any learning environment because you expect mistakes to be made.
     
  18. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I think that the managers of this site is doing a great job. And I appreciate the time and effort they put into this site.

    If they feel like closing one topic, so be it...

    Keep up the good work!
     
  19. The Electrician

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 9, 2007
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    Consider a simple 1 to 1 transformer; 240 VAC on the primary and 240 VAC on the secondary, with perhaps a few hundred watts power handling capability.

    Imagine you're sitting at your workbench, and your body is grounded (for safety considerations you should always assume you're grounded).

    If you touch either side of the 240 VAC coming out of the wall socket you will get a shock, and possibly suffer injury.

    If you touch either side of the 240 VAC secondary of your 1:1 transformer, you will not get a shock (assuming the primary is properly insulated from the secondary, and you haven't grounded one of the secondary terminals).

    Now, it's true that if you touch both of the transformer secondary terminals, you will get a shock, just as if you touched both of the terminals of the wall socket. That danger will always be there; a certain amount of care should always be exercised. But a transformer will protect you from getting a shock if you accidentally touch a single point in your circuit (assuming you haven't grounded one side of the transformer's secondary).

    And, there are other considerations. The 240 VAC at the wall socket is a CAT II circuit, with a maximum possible fault current of 5000 amps. See:

    http://www.ishn.com/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000228980

    http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_meter_safety_measure/

    http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/5019

    Once you have interposed a typical transformer such as a hobbyist might use, say several hundred watts capability, you are now working on a CAT I circuit. You can't get a short circuit current of 5000 amps out of such a transformer.

    The 5000 amp capability of a CAT II circuit is dangerous in ways over and above just the effects of shock (causing ventricular fibrillation, etc.). If you short a CAT II circuit with a slip of the screwdriver or meter probe, you can get a face full of molten copper and steel; you could start a fire, etc.

    If you were to touch the ground clip of your oscilloscope probe to one side of the wall socket terminals, you will probably destroy the internals of the scope (assuming you haven't defeated the safety ground of the scope's line cord). If you have used a transformer to power your project, this won't happen.

    The magnitude of the effects of a short across the secondary of a hobbyist grade transformer (CAT I circuit) are much less dangerous than those of a short across the wall socket (CAT II).

    Finally, most hobbyists will not be working with voltages as high as 240 VAC on the secondary of their transformer. They will most often want a voltage of 12 volts, or perhaps 24 volts to drive a voltage regulator, with the final regulated voltage often being 5 volts.

    When using such a step-down transformer, the safety factor is greatly increased:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extra-low_voltage
     
  20. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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