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Old 12-07-2008, 01:11 AM #1
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Default Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Hey, I was just wondering how much voltage you need to feel on your skin. Not powerful enough to hurt, just enough to surprise someone, like the shocking pens. ;D They don't make stun guns less then 100,000 volts, and I'm pretty sure that would hurt badly.


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Old 12-07-2008, 01:18 AM #2
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

It's a combination of voltage and amperage... I've felt a very tingly and somewhat painful 18v supply with a high amperage, though I've been shocked by piezoelectric sparkers that have something like millions of volts at a few millionths of an amp that I could certainly feel, yet wasn't painful in the least. It's also greatly affected by whether the electricity is continuous or pulsed, ac or dc...

It also has to do with humidity in the air, the moisture and saltiness of your skin, as well as where on the body it touches, the thickness of the skin, the spacing of the electrodes, the barometric pressure, the phase of the moon, lots of stuff.

More reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_shock
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:43 AM #3
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Ever put a 9v battery on your tongue? lol
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:03 AM #4
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanSymphony
Ever put a 9v battery on your tongue? lol *
Yeah, that's what I mean, except on your skin. Those shock gum prank things are pretty powerful, do you think I could measure something like that with a DMM?
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:10 AM #5
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

If you're just talking about static electricity, like from wearing socks on the carpet or things like that, here's a general guideline: If you can feel it, it's 3000 volts; if you can hear it, it's 5000 volts; and if you can see it, it's 8000 volts. That's just when talking about static discharge through air, like touching the door knob after walking across carpet in socks. Very low current available, but you can get really high voltages just from static build-up.

For other things like from batteries and real energy sources, it depends on both the current and voltage (like pseudo said), which can both depend on a LOT of things. It's also different for every person as far as sensitivity, as well. Everyone reacts differently to electricity.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:19 AM #6
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

I was really shocked one nite..... a good friend (female) of mine had a girlfriend come over and invited me to have a ............. oops..... this is about electricity huh? : ....... ummmm nevermind! ;D

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Old 12-07-2008, 03:26 AM #7
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

The minimum "feelable" voltage really depends on the resistance of skin. IIRC, dry skin is a few thousand ohms... Usually 50 volts is enough to cause a tingling sensation.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:38 AM #8
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

From the wikipedia link I posted:


[table]
[tr]
[td]Electric current (amperes)[/td]

[td]Voltage at 10,000 ohms[/td]
[td]Voltage at 1,000 ohms[/td]
[td]Maximum power (watts)[/td]
[td]Physiological effect[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0.001 A[/td]
[td]10 V[/td]
[td]1 V[/td]
[td]0.01 W[/td]

[td]Threshold of feeling an electric shock, pain[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0.005 A[/td]
[td]50 V[/td]
[td]5 V[/td]
[td]0.25 W[/td]
[td]Maximum current which would be harmless[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0.01-0.02 A[/td]

[td]100-200 V[/td]
[td]10-20 V[/td]
[td]1-4 W[/td]
[td]Sustained muscular contraction. "Cannot let go" current.[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0.05 A[/td]
[td]500 V[/td]
[td]50 V[/td]
[td]25 W[/td]

[td]Ventricular interference, respiratory difficulty[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0.1-0.3 A[/td]
[td]1000-3000 V[/td]
[td]100-300 V[/td]
[td]100-900 W[/td]
[td]Ventricular fibrillation. Can be fatal.[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]6 A[/td]

[td]60,000 V[/td]
[td]6,000 V[/td]
[td]400,000 W[/td]
[td]Sustained ventricular contraction followed by normal heart rhythm.
These are the operation levels for a defibrillator. Temporary respiratory paralysis and possibly burns.
[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

Again, it really depends on a combination of voltage and amperage, whether it's continuous or pulsed, a lot of different variables make huge differences. A large van-de-graff generator might be giving off tens of millions of volts, yet it's harmless and fun to play with, yet under the right conditions, 50 volts can kill you. One of those shocking pen toys might be producing 10,000v pulses, whereas a single pulse from a camera flash capacitor at 300v can be dangerous, possibly fatal.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:51 AM #9
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Just keep in mind that as little as 5ma through your heart/blood will kill you. 50 volts from my labby PSU will start tingling...
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:51 AM #10
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pullbangdead
If you're just talking about static electricity, like from wearing socks on the carpet or things like that, here's a general guideline: If you can feel it, it's 3000 volts; if you can hear it, it's 5000 volts; and if you can see it, it's 8000 volts. *That's just when talking about static discharge through air, like touching the door knob after walking across carpet in socks. *Very low current available, but you can get really high voltages just from static build-up.

For other things like from batteries and real energy sources, it depends on both the current and voltage (like pseudo said), which can both depend on a LOT of things. *It's also different for every person as far as sensitivity, as well. *Everyone reacts differently to electricity.
So, a 3000V stun gun would be equal to a static shock? Not exactly, but it would it feel about the same.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:16 AM #11
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomlugia
So, a 3000V stun gun would be equal to a static shock? Not exactly, but it would it feel about the same.
No, because electrical shock power is a combination of volts and amps.

I'm sure a stun gun would hurt a little bit more than a static shock.

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:33 AM #12
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketparrotlet
[quote author=randomlugia link=1228615873/0#9 date=1228629104]So, a 3000V stun gun would be equal to a static shock? Not exactly, but it would it feel about the same.
No, because electrical shock power is a combination of volts and amps.

I'm sure a stun gun would hurt a little bit more than a static shock.

-Mark[/quote]

Correct, Mark. A stun gun will give you a lot more current, and the current will also be running through you typically (1 electrode to another on a stun gun, usually). Static electricity buildup will just let the charge jump to your skin or from your skin. It won't force any current through your body. So it's painless, because there's so little current, even though the voltages can be quite high.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:56 AM #13
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Static shocks can be quite painful. ;D Ok then, I give up. :P Mabye I'll just get a shocking gum prank, replace the battery with a 9-volt battery, and put the two wires next to each other so I can stick it on someone. ;D
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:02 AM #14
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

Ive been shocked by a 6V power supply before, quite frequently actually. The mains side isnt completely isolated, so you still get some mains frequencies etc on the low voltage side, which gives you a tingle if you touch something grounded at the same time
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:25 AM #15
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

with a car battery and dry skin, nothing happins. with just wet skin, nothing happens. if i get baking soda or salt on my wet hands, then i fell a little tingle.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:53 AM #16
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Default Re: Miniumum voltage needed to shock?

these metal/plastic swivel chairs we had in high school science classes were awesome at creating static. you could see it fly a half inch to your finger when you get up and touch the metal in the chair.


if you are looking to build something cheap, the modules inside of a dx shocking pen can be messed with.

hell those pens alone are good enough. you have to press pretty hard on the button before it goes off, so your holding tight
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