Monday, October 12, 2009

Flash Circuit: 4 Olga: 0

So, I was working on my engineering homework this morning (after 1 am). The assignment was to analyze a disposable camera and write a memo to our pretend company's disposable camera development team.

I was actually kind of excited to do this project because I had heard about how flash circuits work but I had never seen or played with one. So, I start tearing this thing up; plastic parts are flying everywhere, camera film is rolling
around the desk, then I finally get to the flash circuit.

First thing I do is close the charge switch. I listen as the current is pulled from the battery through resistors into the capacitor hidden in the back. The charge-ready bulb lights up and I'm ready to witness Bremsstrahlung radiation in action. As I reach to close flash contact I accidentally make contact with the leaf metal charging contact and capacitor discharges through me.

Ahhhhhh. "Ouch" and "shit" were the only two words out of my mouth for a while after that. It hurt a surprising amount. And that's not even the end of this story. Still cursing I took the battery out and was determined to get the damn circuit free from the plastic casing. I managed to shock myself 3(!!!) MORE times doing that. I'm not talking rub-your-feet-on-the-carpet-in-a-Vegas-hotel-and-touch-a-metal-door-handle shock either. This was painful enough for me to yell obscenities at the circuit for a few minutes, while I was alone in the room, mind you. All 4 of those shocks were through the same finger. I'm wondering if there was a blood vessel that popped because I now see a thin red line under my skin.
Ta daaaa!

5 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Olga. You make me smile. But I'm not likin this shocking thing!

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  4. Flash Circuit: 4 - Olga: 0?

    Let me know if I left anything out but...
    You tore out a disposable camera's living guts piece by piece. Plastic parts flying everywhere, camera film rolling around the desk. The helpless device engages its' self defense mechanism not once, not twice, but FOUR times until your wrath finally overthrows anything it has to defend itself. You even have a picture of yourself holding what it kept dear for such a long time...
    That's no 4 - 0 if you ask me.


    Also, that thin red line is most likely a burn. You need to be careful, this can/could've been something extremely serious. I strongly suggest you invest in a pair of gloves for next time.

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  5. The last time I discharged a disposable camera flash it felt like a rush of wind threw me backwards.

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