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Thread: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Ya. Except that the combustion sets up a plasma field of positive copper atoms and its free electrons - another low resistive path even better than the wire. Short-lived but deadly...

    An arc, as Petra showed is the plasma - ionized gas molecules.
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Ya. Except that the combustion sets up a plasma field of positive copper atoms and its free electrons - another low resistive path even better than the wire. Short-lived but deadly...
    Can you elaborate?
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Well, I am only an electrician so my formal theory is cursory at best. What knowledge I have is from my own initiative.

    There is a form of power generation that uses this concept of plasma generattion to strip outer electrons from thier loose orbits around atoms. I believe it is called MHD, magnetohydrodynamics. There are other methods as well.

    The creation of electricity is all about manipulating electrons. All atoms in thier neutral state have electrons orbiting the nucleous. Some atoms do not hold on to thier electrons tightly due to various factors, some to do with orbital shells and thier electron capacity.

    So, copper has two free electrons in its outer shell that can readily leave the atom under the correct conditions. Other atoms have other combination and charactetistics but the capacity to give up electrons has all to do with the outermost shell of electrons.

    If a potential high enough is present, that is if there is enough mmf (magnetomotive force), and an atom is within this field and had free electrons in its outer shell it will give these up to equal the electrical potential.

    When these free electrons leave the orbit of an atom, the atom is no longer neutral but positive. We term such atoms, ions.

    Since the atoms are 'charged' (no longer neutral) they are subject to the electrical or magnetic field's influence and begin travelling toward the opposite potential - plus charges migrate toward the negative portion of the field, and negative to the positive. The atoms are positively charged and the electrons are negative.

    This is what constitutes a plasma, positively charged atoms (ions) and negatively charged electrons. They whirl around the field trying to neutralize it. This plasma, then, acts like a conductor. It is even better than a conductor in that the mmf to make them move is already established and only needs the electrons to continue moving to support the field.

    It is a feedback loop. The potential of the lightening strike or other over-current event sets up the field that ionizes the atoms in the vicinity. The ionized gas then moves along the field maintaining the field by that very movement.

    Convoluted, perhaps someone else wants a shot at a better description - be my guest.

    sorry about spelling, using my phone
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 25th January 2019 at 13:26.
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    That's really interesting.
    Conclusion? Feedback loops are horrifying.

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Well, I am only an electrician so my formal theory is cursory at best. What knowledge I have is from my own initiative.

    There is a form of power generation that uses this concept of plasma generattion to strip outer electrons from thier loose orbits around atoms. I believe it is called MHD, magnetohydrodynamics. There are other methods as well.

    The creation of electricity is all about manipulating electrons. All atoms in thier neutral state have electrons orbiting the nucleous. Some atoms do not hold on to thier electrons tightly due to various factors, some to do with orbital shells and thier electron capacity.

    So, copper has two free electrons in its outer shell that can readily leave the atom under the correct conditions. Other atoms have other combination and charactetistics but the capacity to give up electrons has all to do with the outermost shell of electrons.

    If a potential high enough is present, that is if there is enough mmf (magnetomotive force), and an atom is within this field and had free electrons in its outer shell it will give these up to equal the electrical potential.

    When these free electrons leave the orbit of an atom, the atom is no longer neutral but positive. We term such atoms, ions.

    Since the atoms are 'charged' (no longer neutral) they are subject to the electrical or magnetic field's influence and begin travelling toward the opposite potential - plus charges migrate toward the negative portion of the field, and negative to the positive. The atoms are positively charged and the electrons are negative.

    This is what constitutes a plasma, positively charged atoms (ions) and negatively charged electrons. They whirl around the field trying to neutralize it. This plasma, then, acts like a conductor. It is even better than a conductor in that the mmf to make them move is already established and only needs the electrons to continue moving to support the field.

    It is a feedback loop. The potential of the lightening strike or other over-current event sets up the field that ionizes the atoms in the vicinity. The ionized gas then moves along the field maintaining the field by that very movement.

    Convoluted, perhaps someone else wants a shot at a better description - be my guest.

    sorry about spelling, using my phone
    That was a good illustration, i hear ya. I work on cars so i know basic dc (took a course on it years ago) and how electricity works so to speak (at least in a dc circuit). My point w/ the headphone thing is its a statistical impossibility. One could say anythings possible but thats not a realm I delve into.
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    I agree. I wanted to post a video of an ekectrician throwing a switch and an improperly prepared 16000 volt line arced and held him to the switch. In less than a minute there was nothong left of the guy but smoke. I guess utube no longer hosts such videos...

    A lightning strike is millions of volts...
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Wow! I dunno how you do it. I'm scared of electricity, every time i weld i'm triple checking everything. Fortunately I don't have to deal with stuff like that. Apparently folks that do work on that make good money though. Lightning is fun to watch but haha yeah def deadly. Dunno if its true or not but I read on another forum of (I'm gonna butcher this story) a lightning strike that ran through an underground line and blew a trench open in someones yard.

    I need to learn more about ac but i got enough on my plate as it is. Kinda offtopic but just remembered sad story from I think last summer some kid was working for a tree cutting service. He was getting out of the cab of a bucket truck when the bucket extended out, the truck leaned and touched the line. As soon as his foot hit the ground he was out.
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Well, I am only an electrician so my formal theory is cursory at best. What knowledge I have is from my own initiative.

    There is a form of power generation that uses this concept of plasma generattion to strip outer electrons from thier loose orbits around atoms. I believe it is called MHD, magnetohydrodynamics. There are other methods as well.

    The creation of electricity is all about manipulating electrons. All atoms in thier neutral state have electrons orbiting the nucleous. Some atoms do not hold on to thier electrons tightly due to various factors, some to do with orbital shells and thier electron capacity.

    So, copper has two free electrons in its outer shell that can readily leave the atom under the correct conditions. Other atoms have other combination and charactetistics but the capacity to give up electrons has all to do with the outermost shell of electrons.

    If a potential high enough is present, that is if there is enough mmf (magnetomotive force), and an atom is within this field and had free electrons in its outer shell it will give these up to equal the electrical potential.

    When these free electrons leave the orbit of an atom, the atom is no longer neutral but positive. We term such atoms, ions.

    Since the atoms are 'charged' (no longer neutral) they are subject to the electrical or magnetic field's influence and begin travelling toward the opposite potential - plus charges migrate toward the negative portion of the field, and negative to the positive. The atoms are positively charged and the electrons are negative.

    This is what constitutes a plasma, positively charged atoms (ions) and negatively charged electrons. They whirl around the field trying to neutralize it. This plasma, then, acts like a conductor. It is even better than a conductor in that the mmf to make them move is already established and only needs the electrons to continue moving to support the field.

    It is a feedback loop. The potential of the lightening strike or other over-current event sets up the field that ionizes the atoms in the vicinity. The ionized gas then moves along the field maintaining the field by that very movement.

    Convoluted, perhaps someone else wants a shot at a better description - be my guest.

    sorry about spelling, using my phone
    Simpler yet.. Soon as even a streamer (a very think not even normally perceivable thread of high voltage) starts to make a conductive path, just like a wire.. Pretty instantly that "streamer" allows the bigger charge with a lot of current (current is like horsepower) to then be conveyed. As Ernie mentioned with the guy with the switch, one is paralyzed, and the rest of the current does the thing it does, seeking the paths of lower resistance, the result being quite dramatic..

    I had a strike, and as I pointed out, it does make it into the room because there is a link to the outside.. If one is in an area where lightning can strike, taking a chance to me isn't worth it. Seek shelter and don't use anything that can give lightning a pathway to you.

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    A little story might illustrate the horrible destructive power of electrical energy.

    I ran the job at IBC call center (insurance bureau of canada). There was a punk kid apprentice with a terrible attitude - never serious, always goofing around. I identified his disruptive nature and immediately banned him from the electrical room and gave him low voltage work to do so he wouldn't hurt or kill himself or someone else.

    One day he defied me and went in the electrical room to shhoot the **** with one of the senior electricians. While in there he began twirling a piece of uninsulated copper wire around his head. It hit the panel and caused a short circuit.

    The short burned through the panel bus bars and created a plasma cascade.

    I was outside the room on the phone when sparks and flames and copious amounts of smoke began billowing out of the room.

    By the time I managed to turn off the mains four floors down, thete was nothing left in the electrical room. No panels (3), no pipes (big pipes, over twenty feet of them), no switches, no junction boxes - nothing.

    Everything melted to a puddle on the floor. Oddly all thst was left was multiple conductors with no insulation left on them. Hundreds of individual bare wires of shiny copper and nothing else.

    No one was hurt. We never saw or heard from that punk again...
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 25th January 2019 at 18:31.
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Wow! I dunno how you do it. I'm scared of electricity, every time i weld i'm triple checking everything. Fortunately I don't have to deal with stuff like that. Apparently folks that do work on that make good money though. Lightning is fun to watch but haha yeah def deadly. Dunno if its true or not but I read on another forum of (I'm gonna butcher this story) a lightning strike that ran through an underground line and blew a trench open in someones yard.

    I need to learn more about ac but i got enough on my plate as it is. Kinda offtopic but just remembered sad story from I think last summer some kid was working for a tree cutting service. He was getting out of the cab of a bucket truck when the bucket extended out, the truck leaned and touched the line. As soon as his foot hit the ground he was out.
    That's wild! I knew two acquaintances that were working a sand blasting job. Not sure what hit the overhead lines but they were both working in a few inches of water. It blew their feet off...
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 26th January 2019 at 00:23.
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    I agree. I wanted to post a video of an ekectrician throwing a switch and an improperly prepared 16000 volt line arced and held him to the switch. In less than a minute there was nothong left of the guy but smoke. I guess utube no longer hosts such videos...

    A lightning strike is millions of volts...
    Volts matter less though than other attributes ... you know this
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Volts though provide the ability to JUMP distances.

    Amps provide the ability to convey work.

    Work can be melting down switchgear, or being stepped down through transformers to eventually power one's toaster, a "controlled burn".

    Unregulated, unguided high voltage can go anywhere it can to complete it's "circuit"..

    The damage to meltdown comes from the amps, or the amount of charge density moving within a given space for a measured amount of time.

    To get to a person during a lightning event, the volts make the first contact. Then after a path is established, the amps proceed to help induce the "fried" effect.

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    In the mines we had to install a service 1 mile underground. We brought 16,000 volts from surface, stepped it down in a secure area to 5400 volts, ran that to the electrical room, then stepped it down again to 600 volts in another secure vault. The method of termination depended on electrical potential. The 16000 volt terminations require a very time consuming method all about arc mitigation. At 5400 volts the terminstions are somewhat less severe. At 600 volts the method of termination becomes almost moot. The arcing at high voltage is so dangerous that the spacing between terminations is over three feet plus contraptions to contain the inevitable arcing. At 600 volts the spacing between terminations is only a few inches..
    If something accidentally happens to the 16k to 5400 step down, then you've got enough voltage in the 5400VAC to jump he gap and sustain...and then the 600 can be overwhelmed, and then you've got some decent high powered welding going on....

    and then everything in the entire chain blows, maybe.... maybe before the breakers can open. But that's a lot of maybes.

    Considering everything in the mine is slated toward being electrical to cut the pollution, monoxide, oxygen loss, etc..then that's a system designed for a busload of current. Where a dead short with a sustained arc can look a lot like a normal day on the job, to any arc and shorting mitigation aspects of the design.

    Could be a messy one, which is why I suspect that it is designed to be a bit aggressive on the trip sensitivity. Seen pole transformers short and practically explode before, but not before they took out an entire electrical room.

    The video is probably still in existence, but likely to only be at 'live leak'. Which is not a place to go for the weak of constitution. Most videos there are uncensored non yootoob (forbidden at yootoob) types and can leave mental scars. Humans do rubberneck, though, which is why some will always look...
    Last edited by Carmody; 26th January 2019 at 14:07.
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Strat, you are the master of plasma wielding (welding). Welders use the arc to weld. That bright blue flame is a plasma.

    Carmody, the system installed was, if I remember correctly, a 1600amp service at 600volts.

    Dedukshun, it takes twenty milliamps across the heart to kill. And the most dangerous voltage is not the high ones - it is the 120 volt circuits. This is because 120 volts puts you into seizure, locking your muscles so you can't release or get away. Higher voltages throw you off the lines.

    When I was just a one week old green guy we had to install a 3-phase switch in a mall's service for a new store - live. I questioned whether that was safe but was told it was. Won't go into details but it was the most unsafe work one can imagine and today I would laugh at anyone who would suggest I do something that dangerous. I saved my journeyman's life that day - I grabbed his arm just as he was about to make contact with live parts with an uninsulated pair of channel locks. Unfortunately the fast motion disturbed my other hand with my insulated channel locks and the steel below the insulation touched the bus.

    We both woke up on our asses outside the electrical room, me still holding the pliers. They were melted down one side like a waterfall. How we ended up unhurt, or how we got thrown through a closed door, I have no idea...

    A few days later we went back and finished the job - on Sunday night and we turned all the power off - duh! I learned to respect electricity that day. That is why I am far above most other electricians. Because of that incident I went way above and beyond the cursory schooling most electricians have, studying in depth all aspects of the electrical field. My knowledge is vastly more comprehensive.
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 26th January 2019 at 16:26.
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Even if you were to be electrocuted via headphones you'd be fine (lightning aside). The wire gauge is too thin.
    Oh. So how many milliamps can a headphone cable carry, and how many milliamps are needed to kill via said headphones? Is that between brain lobes or just between brain and some ill-defined earthed point?
    Last edited by Nick Matkin; 26th January 2019 at 22:30.

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Top Tip: If you don't really understand anything about electricity; the electronics of SMPS; insulation; X and Y mains capacitors; the different national electrical regulations and their enforcement: voltages and frequencies of mains voltage; human biology and the conditions needed for electric shock; voltage and current relationships WRT human biology, maybe your contributions don't add anything to the OP.

    Sorry to be a know-it-all git, but it's true!

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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Nick Matkin (here)
    maybe your contributions don't add anything to the OP.
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Quote Posted by Nick Matkin (here)
    maybe your contributions don't add anything to the OP.
    Well that's calling the kettle black. Oh and top tip don't bite off more than you can chew.
    I dunno, I'd say when it comes to electricity the guy with the MOSFET diagram (iirc) as an avatar probably is putting out good info
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by TargeT (here)
    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Quote Posted by Nick Matkin (here)
    maybe your contributions don't add anything to the OP.
    Well that's calling the kettle black. Oh and top tip don't bite off more than you can chew.
    I dunno, I'd say when it comes to electricity the guy with the MOSFET diagram (iirc) as an avatar probably is putting out good info
    All true ... But if one goes through the whole thread, one will see that Strat had already been corrected for that view, and he happily accepted that. Nicks comment wasn't really needed. Just being objective here.
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    Default Re: Can people really die from getting electrocuted through their headphones?

    Quote Posted by DeDukshyn (here)
    Just being objective here.
    well, excuse me while I knock some things over on my way out... haha (I did not read more than the bottom of the 2nd page)
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