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Old 03-30-2011, 04:39 AM #1
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Default Dangers of amperage

This may belong in the safety section..if it does, please forgive.

I've always heard that amperage is the biggest danger of electricity, and that current running at just a few amps and be lethal.

There are several diodes on this forum and in CPF that pull 2000-9000 mA. That means 2-9 amps, right? Is the current in these systems dangerous, or does the low voltage keep it safe?


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Old 03-30-2011, 05:12 AM #2
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

It's actually power that is most dangerous because it is derived from P=VI (where P is power in Watts and V for voltage and I for current). So either way high current or high voltage is lethal and both high current and high voltage is the most dangerous. It only takes 16 volts to stop the heart and as little as 50mA to cause a ventricular filbrillation.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:13 AM #3
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Yea 60ma across the heart is enough to put your lights out.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:48 AM #4
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

You wont need to worry however about most *typical* systems here (I rarely see more then 24VDC, although some people here do mains wiring and other stuff), for this current to do anything to you the source must first overcome the resistance of your skin.

Thats more less why an 18650 won't drop you dead on your ass and dump 2-3A into you, your resistance prevents it from doing anything, but when you start to get into 50V+, then you run into the risk of shock (and it will vary.. dry hands, sweat, etc). higher and higher you go, the easier it is for your skin's resistance to become neglegable as any form of resistance against a power source. but as stated earlier, this is where watts also come into play, there are quite many variables to consider, but this is the general idea.

More or less, ideally 16V will not kill you.. should I jab some probes into your chest and touch your heart, then I might just kill you (although you will probably die from blood loss first of said probes rather then the juice behind them).

Just respect it and keep out of trouble, Ive had my own close call once and it is not something that you want to take lightly, when you do respect it however, you can have alot of fun!
just once again, gain more knowledge, learn the risks and what is needed to protect youself from and what isn't and then follow those messures.



^^^ 6KV (6000V) @ 60Hz... 500ma-700ma.. forgot.. I made this transformer over a year and a half ago.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:53 AM #5
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Your Cap on the floor may bite you as I see no shorting bar or leads.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:00 AM #6
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

No need, its a 10V 0.2F (200,000uF) capacitor. This picture is quite old and I dont have it anymore anyways (died from bloating somehow). your in more danger touching a car battery then this capacitor fully charged.

Ambient charging is usually around 2V and barly gives anything upon discharge.

I have bigger pulse capacitors and higher votlage electrolytics in storage that are shorted with a piece of wire on the other hand.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:17 AM #7
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Exclamation Re: Dangers of amperage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradpr View Post
This may belong in the safety section..if it does, please forgive.

I've always heard that amperage is the biggest danger of electricity, and that current running at just a few amps and be lethal.

There are several diodes on this forum and in CPF that pull 2000-9000 mA. That means 2-9 amps, right? Is the current in these systems dangerous, or does the low voltage keep it safe?
Well to be honest there is nowhere near enough potential (voltage) to cause any problems with any diode we are using here. The exception are gas lasers and flash lamp pumped lasers, which tend to use 1000's of volts at higher currents. Anything above 38-50VDC has a potential shock hazard as this seems to be the threshold for transmission to our nervous system. Diode laser = 100% safe from electric shock!

CO2 powered laser using a Neon Xmfr is LETHAL, generally operating 60mA at 12Kv. More than enough to kill you instantly under the right circumstances.
Xenon flashlamp powered lasers have capacitors that store 100s or 1000s of amps at 2Kv and can not only electrocute you but blow your fingers off or appendages.

Don't you just love those gory details!
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:22 AM #8
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Glad to hear that, and it's kinda hard to tell a Cap value by size alone. We had some 100,000KV caps at a Radar instillation I was stationed at, and They would definitely Kill You. They were largest value Caps I have ever seen to this day, and you can bet they were always shorted if the weren't in the system.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:26 AM #9
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

This thread reminded me of this

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:23 AM #10
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Talking Re: Dangers of amperage

Just thought I'd share this little pic from a home movie I made on an oldie digital camera.

This is my 7KW rated tesla coil doing about 5.5KW. Powered by a 0.5A 12Kv Neon sign bank/ ahem..Bombarder.

Output is about 10ft -12ft when properly tuned. Voltage is around 2MV or 2,000,000V

There was so much EMF from the coil that it magnetized all the relays in the garage and knocked out TV for a few neighbours. Hmm, line filters didn't work.

Emperor Palpatine would be envious!
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:25 AM #11
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Well been hit with allot of juice in my day, if it take electricity Ive probably worked on it, I would agree with the W being the danger though, unless its multi phase AC I would say most big AC jolts will knock you back but a strong DC charge hurts, as its hard to let go.

my close calls though, a 4 phase heating circuit, I locked out my box but a practical joke played om me about did me in.

I will tell you that a low amp very high volt jolt can still kill you though, in my teenage years I was soldering a large lead to an antenna for an old friends Ham repeater station, he turned off the radio, but his computer kicked it back on for station identification, low amps but it still put me though a good portion of his drywall and left a hole in my thumb, the shock was not that bad but my head bouncing off a stud sure hurt.

I tend to think of it like water, a small steam moving fast not that scary, a large river moving slow is just as safe, but a large river moving fast is gonna suck.

No way to predict a fatal shock though as its hard to predict the path of current in the body and the resistance of the skin.

Its kinda like winning the lotto but if you win you die.

But in no way a laser driver is gonna do you in imo.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:57 AM #12
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

It would take an amazing set of circumstances for a Li-Ion to bite you.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:04 PM #13
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

lol, however you may be poisoned by it or in one case at least it could explode and take you out if in your pocket.


once again death is just like winning the lotto but everyone gets a ticket.

Btw about 70 to 80% of all deaths from shock reported from very high watts is really burn trauma if I am not mistaken
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:16 PM #14
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Most cases I heard with high power sources, wasn't so much shock itself either, it was arc flash.

More or less an electrical explosion that occurs when a high powered source is shorted out (sending out plasma, molten copper and all sorts of fun stuff in your general direction).
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:29 PM #15
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

their is a very large coated zener diode behind the power distribution panel in a AH64 helicopter,

very pretty but never had the urge to stick my finger in it.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:53 PM #16
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Default Re: Dangers of amperage

Most of the posts above have filled the gaps in, but the truth is that current (amps) voltage and even frequency need to meet sufficient criteria to be dangerous.

Electricity needs to have sufficient voltage to penetrate our somewhat resistive skin, have enough current to saturate nerves (or boil), and be at sufficient low enough frequency to not simply bounce off skin/cell walls.

A car battery has hundred's if not thousands of potential amps, but is harmless (unless you're wet) due to limited volts. A Tesla coil has hundreds of thousands if not millions of volts and some current behind it, but the frequency is so high it tends to wrap around skin and not penetrate. Static electricity has a lot of volts but little current.

I forget what the voltage limit is for skin, but I believe it averages around 16-24volts before the epidermis is penetrated (dry).

AC circuits as I understand it are more forgiving than DC in terms of cardiac arrest or brain damage. As also evidenced by the fact my 48v LED power supplies at an amp will knock you down. AC line pokes will ring your bell, but you usually walk away and look to see nobody watched you be so stupid.

There's this stupid board game where you hold onto 'deadman' handles until somebody lets go while it puts a nice little poke through you. That thing....hurts.
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