2007.03.17

Unsafe at any Amperage?

22.54.58 - Mark

There's a neat round table discussion over at MAKE showing the thought process behind a decision to drop a high voltage project from the 9th issue. The project in question recommended using parts from an old CRT monitor to build a small levitation device.

I've seen these before, they're pretty neat and I can see building one. Even if I don't build it I want to see that article. However I also understand the issues at hand, I've been active on hardware hacking forums for years, and I've seen several dozen sides to the dangers of CRTs argument.

I will personally do some work in AIO macs and have taken apart a couple of monitors, but mucking about in a CRT monitor isn't my idea of a real good time. To date, I've never been shocked and I only have a few basic rules I go by (good insulated gloves, treat CRTs with respect, always have someone nearby in case the worst happens)

Getting to the point, I don't know if they were right or wrong in the decision to kill the article. I'm almost inclined to say they were wrong in cutting it. There are still mentions of the lifter project (page 54 - Electrogravitics), and there were at least two projects in the fringe issue that dealt with high voltage devices (page 66 - Kirlian Photography and page 138 - TV Set Salvage).

What I would probably do, especially where there doesn't seem to be any really solid resource on the threat posed by CRTs, is publish more safety information. Every single science textbook I've ever laid hands on had one of its first chapters dedicated to safety. A safety column or mini-poster in each issue wouldn't add too much cost, but add a good deal of value. Outline the dangers in that quarter's issue and run down the safety measures.

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