Things that close your thread

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Wendy, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    It is spelt out in the forum rules, but we regularly see requests or circuits and applications that get the thread closed as soon as a moderator sees it.

    Most of them fall under Section 2 for the Rules posted on the top of the page.

    So how does this transfer into real world posts?

    1. Transformerless power supplies: You may save money not using a transformer, but it could cost you your life (or worse, someone else). They can not be made safe, no ifs, ands or buts. You post it, they'll close it. Period.

    2. LEDs connected to house voltage and outlets. They exist commercially, but the manufacturer is responsible to make them safe. If you are doing this you don't have the resources to do it safely. Plus, if you have to ask you aren't ready for a project like this. Since this kind of project has the very real risk of hurting a 3rd party it too is taboo.

    3. Shocking people with high voltage. Often meant as a joke, people keep wanting to modify circuits, notably camera flashes, for a yuk. These circuits can kill, it is not funny. Another type of circuit that will get the ax is bug zappers, mainly because if you can zap a bug then you can zap a person.

    High voltage circuits are a legitimate topic. It is the application of the high voltage that will get your thread closed.

    4. Rail Guns. High energy projectiles. Enough said.

    The moderators are the sole judge of what threads to close, though they do get help and input from people who have been on this site for a while and whose reputation is trusted. Which brings up a last point.

    5. Two posters want to build a Tesla Coil. One just won the lottery and has a large chunk he wants to spent for his first project. The other is a hobbyist who has been doing it for many years and is aware where the dangers are. One is going to have this thread closed, while the other gets technical advice. In all things your competence counts. Since we don't know you, we have to judge from the questions you ask. Trust me, it is obvious after a few posts.

    I think high power lasers and RF circuits would fall under item 5.


    Some posters might not think this is fair. This is life. We get a lot of new users who really don't know what is safe or not. We must care about their safety and those around them even if they do not, either through negligence or ignorance. Everyone here does care about other people, and we want everyone to have a good time. Funerals and hospitals don't fit that model.

    The internet is vast, if you can't do what you want here there are many other sites. I believe this site is one of the best however.

    A big aspect of this site is teaching. It is fun to learn new things, and some folks enjoy teaching. AAC brings them together.

    Did I leave anything out?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  2. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    But you need to test this kind of circuit on yourself, like you know, to make sure it works! :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Post #2 must have been meant as a joke.

    I completely agree with the AAC policy and think the moderators have shown excellent judgment in distinguishing mains-powered projects that pose substantial risk versus mains-powered projects that have no more than nominal risk, e.g., a mains powered transformer or home wiring projects.

    I would also expand the definition for closing a thread to anything that involves medical treatments with unproven modalities and substantial risks, such as some proposed devices to "rid the body of parasites by disintegrating them." As an example of applying judgment to medical devices , iontophoresis devices are more suspect than threads for EKG monitoring, some of which have been quite enlightening. Again, I cannot in memory fault a moderator's decision to close some threads while leaving others open to further discussion.

    John


    Moderator's note: That OP was not joking, so the post has been moderated. That is why the reference to post #2 is no longer valid.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2010
  4. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    You could also get injured by RF signals.
    I had it when I was repairing a 10 Watt transmitter.
    I touched one of the coils near the end stage and got a nasty burn.

    Microwaves can also cause injuries.
    Even a low power 10 Ghz transmitter in a small parabole antenna can give burns under the skin.

    You also can get injured by laser light.
    Even a small laser of a CD or DVD player can cause injuries to the eyes.

    Greetings,
    Bertus
     
  5. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    :) I added a blurb after point 5 because of your email, the point is taken. I think this falls under the competence issue.

    Someone once had the tagline, "Just because something can be done doesn't mean it must be done."

    I also agree with Jpanhalt, I don't think I've disagreed with any of the closures I've seen. There have been some I would like to have discussed under other circumstances, but as an intellectual exercise. Too many beginners think that handling AC is no big deal, and don't give it the respect they would give a campfire.

    There are several items in the AAC book that give the mods grief on these fronts. I think they need to be in there, but I don't think a beginner needs to build them. If building a 10KW laser became easy (which given the way technology is going could come to pass) I would still say they should be off limits, just building a rifle or explosive should be.

    Many people don't like being told what to do. We can't tell anyone not to do anything, but we're not going help them do it either.
     
  6. hobbyist

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 10, 2008
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    The Moderators are doing a EXCELLENT job, on the threads, they close, it shows GOOD JUDGEMENT, that they have, that they see potential wrong, and are willing to take the initiative, to make the call.

    Also there are a few regulars on here who have shown THE SAME GOOD judgement, in suggesting a thread should be closed.

    VERY EXCELLENT work on the moderators and the veterens on this site.

    Keep up the EXCELLENT work...
     
  7. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,648
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    Hello,

    I have just been added to the moderators.
    I hope to assist you all and have a clean forum.
    You can always draw the attention of the forum leaders by using the report button [​IMG]

    You can use the button for offending stuff or dangerous things or spam.

    Greetings,
    Bertus
     
  8. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    So i guess I'm not going to get any help building my Light Saber! lol :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2010
  9. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    A forum member pointed out to me that there is an entry here. That discusses connecting LEDs to 240VAC. If it is taboo discussion then it probably should be removed from the lessons.
     
  10. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    That diagram has been noted recently and there is a discussion among the administrators to eliminate it in keeping with the forum's policy.

    hgmjr
     
  11. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    I had the exact same thing happen to me; except with higher power. I was trying to test my antenna, and something appeared to be wrong. So as I went to touch it, I received this excrutiating pain on the tips of my fingers. Originally, I thought I had my power output on 5W, but it was actually 50W!

    Austin
     
  12. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    We don't allow discussion about zapping-devices because someone might get hurt.

    We don't allow discussion of overunity devices because they don't work and people get scammed out of their money.

    Question: Can we allow the discussion of overunity powered zappers? It seems to me that no one can get hurt because it wont work, and if the person loses money in the attempt, it's suitable punishment for an inconsiderate prankster.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
    sbombs likes this.
  13. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Reread post #1 and #6. LED circuits running off AC exist commercially, the theory needs taught. They don't need built by beginners however.

    Goes straight to the competence issue. If I were to build this circuit I wouldn't need help. I probably wouldn't do it off mains, but the point is it is being done, and this isn't going away. I suspect it will need expanded in the future, as the tech develops.

    If we start censoring because we think what is taught is dangerous (but is being performed by industry) then we do the book no service. It is instead better to teach why you don't do it that way for home projects (IE, wall warts are cheap and much safer).

    My own belief is we are going to have to live with a disconnect between the book and the forum. The forum in many cases must be dumbed down, but I really don't think the text book should be. The textbook should be college level where appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  14. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Microwave ovens, experimenting with the magnetrons, or worse the transformer and HV capacitor. Those things are very lethal, of all the appliances commonly available that an idiot could pull the cover off and start poking around the microwave oven probably ranks #1 in lethal potential.

    Well worth discouraging!
     
  15. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    I heard someone made a stupid move and put their dog in the microwave to dry him/her off after getting wet. It was instantly killed.

    Austin
     
  16. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    That's why we have the annual Darwin and Stella awards. That person is a candidate for both.

    John
     
  17. boriz

    New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
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    Surely this site is for everyone, regardless of experience or competence. To remove any references to potentially lethal electronics would turn this place into an almost useless baby-proof playpen. If that’s the way you want to go, then fine, but I don’t think I’ll be hanging around for long.

    There are lots of people here, competent/ experienced/educated that can discuss such matters without more than the ‘normal’ risks associated with lethal voltages. So what do you do? Ban certain topics? Delete posts referring to HV or even TV repair? Close threads because someone said tazer?

    Let’s not go mad chaps.

    I say keep the speech free and make appropriate warnings obvious.
     
  18. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    I think I'm closer to your point of view than you realize.

    But what if someone says, " I want to turn a camera flash circuit into a gag for all my friends, and shock them". Real world question, it happened. It is a totally different slant than "Help me understand how a Xenon Flash works?". One is going out of his way to hurt people, the other is asking for knowledge.

    If you have to ask how to connect LEDs to an AC power line then you aren't ready to try it, and shouldn't be doing so. The subject is simple, but the danger is real for beginners. Asking the question itself marks you as a beginner, and therefore not qualified to do it. It is a catch 22, but it is also real as is the hazard for the person doing it.

    Transformerless power supplies are so insanely dangerous that an experience person would not do it, but someone trying to save a few bucks for a home made power supply and brand new to the field would. Trying to do it also marks you as a beginner, and a potential Darwin Award Candidate at that.

    It is the mods job to draw the line, I'm trying to show other people where the line is.

    I thought the LED article on using line voltage for LEDs was extremely interesting, and learned something new reading it. I wasn't tempted to try it out though. We're going to see more real world examples, as LEDs take over for incandescent bulbs. I think people need to know how they work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  19. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    It is, but we must keep the very inexperienced users in mind. That is why we have the olicy of not allowing discussion of potentially harmful devices.

    That is your opinion, but we have been applying our policy for some time.
    In effect, we do. The forums are very public. We cannot control how people apply the electronics discussed here, so we feel we must limit discussion of obviously harmful devices - tasers being one.

    It follows from rule 2 in the Code of Conduct -
    It may seem unreasonable to you
    However, that is the policy.
     
  20. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    How you approach a topic is as important as the topic itself. I've seen things slide because people wanted to understand, without the itch to build one. I used to be there myself, I have enough projects under my belt that I can look at something and see how it basically works, which is what it is all about.

    Asking how to make 10KV doesn't necessarily get a thread closed, but wanting to build one probably will.

    I'd would have made it as an engineer if something like this had been available as a teenager. I had a major itch to build and understand circuits, but was so busy taking useless college bound course I missed the boat.
     
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