This looks like an amazing toy for a 12yr old... yah... connect the AC mains, don't forget to link your fingers.
Right you are! Well, except for the "toy" part; like Coca-Cola, this is the Real Thing. The folks at the Kendrick "Build Your Own Amp Camp" have been helping kids of all ages (12 to 84) build tube guitar amps for many years:This looks like an amazing toy for a 12yr old...
https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/threads/electron-flow-in-a-vacuum-tube-guitar-amplifier.112582/page-6#post-878276This looks like an amazing toy for a 12yr old... yah... connect the AC mains, don't forget to link your fingers.
Perhaps it's a generational thing. When I was a kid, cars didn't even have seat belts, nobody wore a helmet to ride a bike, and any 12-year-old in the neighborhood knew how to cut the lawn, without supervision, using a power rotary mower. Most 12-year-old boys I meet today can't get a bit out of a power drill without help, and that just ain't right. Not my kid. He knows how to use all the common hand tools, several kinds of power saws (with those damn blade covers removed so you can see what you're doing), a drill press, a grinder, a wood lathe, etc; he knows how to solder with both an iron and a torch, how to weld (TIG and MIG), and how to cook his own potassium-nitrate-and-sugar rocket fuel in a pan. Almost forgot: he can shoot everything from a 9mm Glock to an AR-15. So "Don't fuss with those red wires when the thing is plugged in" is something he can (and has been able to) handle. Maybe someday I can get this guy...the last tube amp I modified had 140v plate voltage. I wouldn’t want my son plugging things in and out of those.
Those fire pistons are great -- I didn't know they existed. Thanks. They're on my bucket list now.Look up fire piston... we milled a metal one and it was fun at camp.
Turns out they discharge in about 4 seconds (with the whole amp wired), even without a bleed resistor. Even faster then. We use a piece of 14-gauge wire to discharge caps when we're working on a standard chassis. After being surprised by the spark the first time (I intentionally didn't warn him to ensure a memorable "limbic" experience), the kid was quickly convinced of the necessity of this step. It had the same effect as when we put a popsicle stick on a hot stove burner to explain why fingers should be kept away.So those caps discharge when you unplug the amp?
Of course. Can't check those plate voltages if the thing isn't plugged in. We use a clip on the ground side and poke around with the other probe with one hand holding the meter or behind our backs. We're not daredevils or adrenaline junkies. But we do like getting things done. But how can you line up the right tooth on a miter saw blade if you can't see it and push it around a little with your hand? Those laser guides (on inexpensive tools) are crap.In order to do what I do with them I have to have them plugged in and know where the voltages are when I poke around.
Rest easy. Never made a widow maker, and (probably) never will. I don't like having those exposed prongs (with the significantly different surface charges) within an inch of each other either. I got a shock once, in fact, trying to plug a cord in the wall behind a big piece of furniture when my thumb slipped over the edge of the halfway-inserted plug. But the Banana Jack Amp is different -- there's only one prong on the end of the wire, which is pretty much the same as a wire (with no plugs) in a standard chassis that has been attached at one end and is about to be soldered at the other. In both cases, safety is in proper procedure: unplug, drain caps, go to work.I don’t know about giving my kid something nicknamed widow maker or suicide cord.
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