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Author Topic: Short engines on EZ track?  (Read 5105 times)
JerryB

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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 06:42:45 PM »

Joshua:

I truly hope you didn't "electrocute" yourself!

The most commonly and generally accepted definition of "electrocute" is "to kill by electric shock."

I hope you instead just suffered an electrical shock.

And if there is a voltage (say 230V) on a pair of wires or in a device, having something else plugged in does not decrease, nor use up part of that voltage. If you come in contact with the output terminals, the full voltage (230V) is still present and that is what your body would feel.

Pretty shocking in any event!!  Shocked

Happy RRing,

Jerry
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 01:04:38 AM by JerryB » Logged

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Stephen D. Richards

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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2009, 06:53:52 PM »

Joshua, ya got me a little worried there!  330 volts at 15 or twenty amps and you WOULD have been electrocuted!  You need to do some math and research on electricity first.  The previous postings are correct; voltage doesn't get used up.  I'm sure there is a lot of good material on line and I don't have any links to get you started.  However, if you were in my house I have a library of books on this subject.  Please research this for yourself and ask questions if you don't understand.  A person can get shocked with 200,000 violts (Stun Gun)and survive with just a little embarasement if the amnps are very low, but can die with just 1.5 volts if the amps are high enough!     Stephen
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Santa Fe buff

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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 12:14:49 AM »

Yeah, I probably don't know much about electricity. The device was off, and I was just unplugging it. I reached down since I was in my chair. I tried to get it out of the 'Transformer' socket at the end of the tap, and I only got it so far. I reached down with my hand again to get it out all the way, and my first two fingers fell cold metal, one on each plug... I first though, "Uh oh." I touched the plug when it was still partly plugged in. It felt like a massage chair's vibration, but with that numb prickly feeling you get when you wake up... It jumped to the point in my arm where my shoulder is when I jumped up. My arm was fine, and I only felt a slight pain in my wrist. I knew that was my nerves from the electricity, but it didn't get bad. For the little pain, it was really enjoyable.  Cheesy I'm not saying put your fingers in a socket, I'm just saying I'm lucky. I have no idea how much I was shocked with, but it doesn't make you hair stand on end.

It didn't get that far. I did however (After sitting there for while thinking over what just happened) finish, carefully, unplugging the cord. Anyone know how much Joshy was exposed to? I was always curious too, looks like I'm not curious anymore.

Joshua
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jward


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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 06:06:57 AM »

if it was plugged into a standard wall outlet, it was only 110-120 volts.
not that you didn't get a jolt out of that......in a house, about the only thing that gets plugged in that uses more than 120 would be a clothes dryer which uses 220. but they have 3 prongs not 2.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 10:18:26 PM »

Well, I after talking with my mom. We don't think I was shocked, maybe very closed to it. I didn't get a jolt. I didn't get a sharp fast pain. I got a werid shacking thing, with some pain. No shooting pain. Is is possible to get only the electromagnetic waves? I didn't get the 3 prong plug, It was a common double prong plug that was inserted in the tap strip that was pluged into the outlet, power was in fact surging into the tap. The device was off.

Now, I guess we could consider further discussion about this, but let's try to start talking about the topic.

Joshua
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2009, 10:27:17 PM »

To understand shocks, you need to know something about house wiring.  Most importantly, you have two power wires to each outlet.  These connect to the two parallel slots, one to each slot. 1 

One slot is "hot"  which means it has 120 volts to "ground."  To put it another way, if you put one probe of a voltmeter into the soil of a well watered garden and the other probe into the hot slot, you would measure 120 volts or something close to it.  This is the slot where the electricity comes out to go to whatever appliance you are powering up, whether it is a tv set, a lamp, or a transformer in a model railroad power pack.

The other slot is the "return" slot where the electricity comes back out of the appliance and returns to the power station.  This is technically called the "neutral" slot and is at close to ground voltage.  If you used your voltmeter with one probe in damp soil and connected the other probe to this slot, you would measure little or no voltage.

There are two ways you can get a shock out of this system.  One is to connect from one slot to the other slot with some part of parts of your body.  And example would be accidentally touching the prongs of a plug as you plugged it in.  Then the electricity could flow from the prong in the hot slot, through your fingers and hand, to the prong in the return slot.  If your hands were very dry, you would get a small tingle.  If they were normal moist skin, more electricity would flow through your hand and you would get a big tingle.  And if your hand was wet, you could get a shock bad enough to burn your skin.

The second way of getting a shock is to accidentally touch the hot connection while some other part of your body is connected to ground.  Then the electricity can flow through your hand, through your body, and to the ground.  Any shock where the electricity flows through your body is a cross body shock and can be fatal.

The connection to ground could be as simple as standing on a damp floor.  How much electricity flows depends on if or how well you are insulated from the floor.  If you are wearing dry rubber boots or rubber soled shoes, very little can flow through the rubber so you get only a small shock.  If you are wearing leather soled shoes, the normally damp leather will carry more electricity than dry rubber so you get a worse shock.  And if you are standing barefoot on a damp floor, you can get an extremely bad shock.  Damp floors are particularly common in basements and garages, right where our trains are likely to be.  And they can be tricky - they can feel dry to the touch but still have enough dampness to kill.

Best way to deal with shocks is to be very, very careful to avoid them.

Jim

1  Many plugs have a third, round connection and plug into "U-ground" outlets.  That third connection is not supposed to carry any power except in an emergency.  It is connected to the ground either by a long rod driven into the soil or by connection to a water pipe that runs underground.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 10:34:08 PM by Jim Banner » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2009, 12:42:49 PM »

Thank Jim, that was very interesting, I don't know if I'm enlightened, but more perplexed or in awe at the properties of electrical current.
My hands are normally dry, or normal skin moist. I did get a big tingle, not a small one. So Jim, I think you just answered what happened to me.

So, I'm sorry to have to ask a likely stupid and already answered question, but was I shocked with all 120V?

Lucky it wasn't Ryan, he gets sweaty hands easily, and he has more moist hands.

Joshua
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2009, 05:19:27 PM »

Don't be sorry about asking questions!!  That is how we learn, all of us.

From your description, I would say you got the full 120 volts from finger to finger across your hand.  Ouch.

Jim
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2009, 10:29:30 AM »

I remember a time, when I was installing a new outlet, and thought the power was off (this was an old home with a mishmash of wiring). The circuit I was working on was off; however there was another set of wires that weren't. The result of my making contact was a bright flash (this occurred in the cellar), a spray of sparks and a notch taken out of the screwdriver! From that day onward, I always pulled the main circuit breaker before tackling any wiring in that old place.

Since I am short a pack or two of EZ track (straight), I will journey to Hobby Lobby and get what is needed to finish the Inglenook Switching Puzzle. Hobby Lobby has a 40% off coupon every other week that is applicable to anything in the store that isn't on sale...something to note if you are using EZ track (or anyother modeling supply) and are watching your money. Unfortunately they don't carry Peco products...darn!

Ray
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