Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 7, 2009

High Voltage Short Circuits

at 3:51 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, What Were They Thinking


You may remember this high voltage demonstration that we featured in the past. High voltage electricity is not something to play around with. Here are some interesting examples of some high voltage short circuits. We normally think that wood is a fairly good insulator but as you crank up the voltage it isn’t that good as you will see.  I wonder what a squirrel is thinking just before he gets electrocuted?


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7 Responses to “High Voltage Short Circuits”

  1. Josh Says:

    Ahhh! There’s nothing like the smell of burnt cabling and ozone! 🙂

  2. Berni Says:

    As long as its not along the smell of burnt skin

  3. creid Says:

    Wood is a Godawful insulator. What would make you think differently?

    Carbon based.
    High water content.
    High saline content.
    Make a good resistor.. not a very good insulator

  4. Zed Says:

    I work for BART in the SF Bay Area, we had a short between the third rail (1000VDC) and ground a few months ago that “vaporized” 20+ feed of the rail in what the engineers called a “plasma ball”, no metal remained, not even slag, and the cars that were over that area were charred quite badly…;.) I would have loved to see it, but wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere near it when it happened.

  5. RJSC Says:

    DRY wood is a good insulator!
    Tree branches if not fully dry have water and salts, which are conductive.
    Notice that when all the fluids are evaporated, the arc/shor-circuit stops.

  6. creid Says:

    It would have to be extremely dry though.

    The reason i say that is that as a kid i touched an electric fence with a pretty dry rotted stick. Lets just say it didnt insulate me hehe

  7. Fred Says:

    This video may be well known, but I was impressed by it. What a short can do when the circuit breakers aren’t working: http://teslamania.delete.org/frames/longarc.htm#Blowup

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