In my 2nd childhood now. This here lec-ertricity is the greatest thing
since sliced bread to jump-start my ailing 78-year old ticker.
Have one foot in the grave and the other foot on a slippery banana peel.
Heck, just to get going every morning I have to fall down a couple of
times, to get my juices flowing in the right direction.
Now don't lecture me about safety, I am entitled to play after a
lifetime of work.
Besides, I live in a rural location where if my house burns down it
would actually be a service to other residents, because this 50 year old
house of mine is an eyesore.
Only thing still holding my house together is the fact that all my
termites are holding hands.
My house wiring is totally shot, various arcing noises and the smell of
ozone coming from behind my walls.
Has a benefit though, all the mice keep getting electrocuted from the
bare wires, installed by my house builder because he was too cheap to
Back to playing with electricity -
DISCLAIMER - DO NOT try to do this yourself, any one of a number of
things could go wrong and you would wind up dead. I know what I am
doing, having worked around high voltages for 34 years
The agenda yesterday called for charging up my small compact car to
10,000 volts, as measured by my DC field-effect voltmeter. Got the car
to 11,000 volts, then let it bleed down to 10-kv for the "test".
Those field-effect voltmeters are fairly accurate, once you learn how to
use them. For example, I can measure the voltage of a 9 volt battery
plus or minus one volt, even though the voltmeter is designed for
measuring voltages up to 20,000vdc.
It is very tough to measure the voltage on small items. About a week
ago I charged up a small stainless steel pot to 9 vdc, then removed the
My field effect voltmeter accurately measured that charge. The voltage
was not affected by the voltmeter, staying at a constant 9 volts,
despite repeated measurements.
Over time, of course, the charge on the pot slowly gets destroyed by
stray ions in the air. After about a half hour there was not much of
the original 9 volt charge still left on the pot.
Back to the fun 10,000 volt "test" -
Stood with my right foot in soggy ground, then took the full blast of
the 10,000 volts by grabbing the car door handle with my left hand.
WOW, that will curl your hair, Whatta jolt! Whee!
Lemme see, figure my body resistance was about 5,000 ohms from bare
right foot to clammy left hand.
What was the approximate current through my body -
10,000 volts, divided by 5,000 ohms = 2 amps.
That means I probably had about 2 amps going through my chest area for a
I figure the RC time constant was approx' two-and-a-half micro-seconds
to reach the 63% point of where the voltage drops down to 3,680 volts.
(estimating that the car's capacitance to earth ground was somewhere
around 500 pico-farads... I did not have the motivation to accurately
15 years ago