HOWTO turn a monitor into a Jacob's Ladder (and possibly die)


Originally published at:


@falcor: time slip


and not even one that can be rescued with the wayback machine.


Aw, but I was looking forward to some first class concern trollery!


Yeah, it’s gone. I was interested in seeing it, though I think the instructions probably weren’t too complex, just to discharge the CRT (which can kill you), pull the flyback transformer, and set up the electrodes (wiring would be the trick), then turn it on and avoid the electrodes (which can kill you). If you find an old neon light you can use the transformer from that for potentially deadly entertainment without the added CRT horrors. My neighbor made one with a neon light transformer and used to put it out at Halloween parties. It made for an extra scary decoration.



Out of curiosity, how long do capacitors keep that stored charge? Do they typically leak down to nothing eventually, or are landfill CRTs (for instance) still carrying that energy?


I don’t know how long they’ll remain potential death, but the best practice is to always assume they’ll kill you and always use a discharge tool first thing once you’ve opened the case. At some point in the early 2000s I talked to a service provider who got thrown across a room and burned by the tiny CRT from an old Mac 512 that hadn’t been powered on in more than a decade.





Treat all guns as loaded; treat all caps and CRTs as charged.


Why waste it on a Jacob’s ladder when ya can make a plasma speaker instead?

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