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Jan 20 2015

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Disclaimer / Safety / Liability

{{ Updated 2015-01-20: Just a quick reminder … }}

( You have been Warned ! )

Death is permanent

Death is permanent

( Again: You have been Warned ! )

Life-long paralysis is … uncomfortable
( Again: You have been Warned ! )

{{ And this is NOT about Happy Haloween ! }}

Electron tube based devices, as well as some silicon based devices, such as amplifiers, pre-amplifiers, radios, buffer stages, television sets, contain high voltages that can be deadly.

Before you start using information that is available on this website, be advised:

Do not attempt to work on electron tube equipment, be it amplifiers or other devices, unless you have the necessary theoretical and practical background, have read a few books on the subject and generally exactly know what you are doing. High voltage experience is a must – as the basic, “low voltage” transistor circuit “experience” may prove to be a false advisor and be highly insufficient an experience in terms of preserving your life and well being when you are working with high voltages.

The owner, administrator and/or  other people taking care of http://hiend-audio.com accept no responsibility or liability whatsoever, for any damage of any kind, to property, for personal injury or loss of life, be it yours or somebody else’s that suffers, consequences that may come to be as a result of any and all actions that you take or errors that you make, in relation to the use, or misuse, of any and all information, made available on this website.

The information, schematics, solutions, ideas, or other, as published on this website, are published “as is” – some times they are verified and tested designs, but other times they are merely unverified and vague “ideas or concepts” (yet to be tested!), in either case – with no explicit or implied warranty as to their correct functioning, safety or otherwise. Always use common sense at applying these ideas or solutions, with a fair degree of healthy mistrust.  Verify, compare and consult with other sources, if need be.

I attach some general Safety Warnings, that I recommend that you read, BEFORE using this website.


{{ Update 2015-01-20 …
BEWARE:  Ultra High Voltages are even more deadly than high voltages. 

Insulation?  Distances? Humidity?   In the ultra high voltages world – not all is what it seems.
Never trust an insulated wire.
Never trust a 1 cm distance to be sufficient.
Never assume that the air is dry today.  (etc, etc).
Never assume that a 450V rated capacitor will not explode, even if you “think” or are “certain” that such a high voltage shall “never appear at this part” of your circuit.
Never say Never.
Not all is what it seems
Voltages within your operating circuit may be actually even higher (much higher!) than the “maximum” possible voltage that you would think of at “first glance”.
Dear DIY’er.  If in doubt – assume (for certain) that you are WRONG.
The output voltage of your power supply at idle is **NOT** the highest possible voltage that can be witnessed within your circuit.

NEVER USE BOTH HANDS !!!   Never put BOTH of your HANDS into an electron tube device that you are testing, measuring, implementing, starting-up, regulating, fine-tuning or otherwise.   ALWAYS put your LEFT hand into the POCKET of your TROUSERS …

… and KEEP IT THERE !!  Never use more than one hand when working with a tube device.    Good rubber soled shoes also tend to help in preserving life in such cases.

NEVER connect a device to the mains, if you see that the power cord is damaged.

ADOPT a logical color scheme in your constructs. Use a specific (red? orange?) color to designate live or HV lines.  Stick to your adopted scheme.  At first glance, you should be capable of distinguishing ground from HV from earth from LIVE Mains …..

NEVER connect a device to the mains, if you see visual signs of component failure within.

NEVER apply power to old, vintage tube equipment, that you have come to possession of – without first checking it’s technical condition.

NEVER connect a device to the mains, if you see COBWEBS inside it !!!!

NEVER AssUMe that something has an isolation transformer embedded within its topology. There is still quite a quantity of vintage tube based devices out there that do NOT use a separation transformer, rendering the device deadly.

In general, the electricity grid can deliver deadly shocks, be it as high as 240VAC, or as low as 115VAC.   Even lower voltages can prove to be deadly – in certain unfavorable conditions.

A current flow of only 40mA is perfectly enough to kill an adult person. The process is called “electrocution” – takes no more than half a second and results in your heart stopping pumping (ventricular fibrillation).  Always apply common sense when handling tube equipment.

CAPACITANCES are DEADLY - the high voltage ones that come in abundance in electron tube circuits. Deadly, even long after you pull the power cord from the mains socket and totally disconnect the device from the electricity grid. They STORE ENERGY.  Energy that can KILL. Pulling the power cord from the wall electricity socket does NOT provide you with safety. Always make sure, prior to working with such a disconnected device, that the lethal charge from all of the capacitors has subsided, has been safely discharged .. or otherwise taken care of.  To put this in perspective: My amplifier, after pulling the lead from the wall socket, continues to play at full volume for a full minute long.

B.T.W.  Low voltage, high capacitance electrolytic capacitors are ALSO a hazard. A Welding hazard.  Imagine a 63V rated capacitor with 47 000 uF and with M8 screws that serve the purpose of connecting the cables (with a diameter of a size of your finger). … Now imagine that the terminals of this fully loaded capacitor get in contact with your metallic wedding ring, or a screw driver, or another piece of metal object.  Have you ever experienced the thrill of your gold wedding ring melting whilst upon your finger?  No?  Please, do NOT try it.   Have you ever seen a screwdriver evaporate? I hope not. I actually did, and to not intend to see it again. Luckily I wore safety glasses.   Evaporating screwdrivers are a serious hazard to your health and well-being. 

Old capacitors tend to explode if suddenly submitted to their “full operating” voltage, if they have not been used for an extensive period of time (which you can assess by the amounts of cobwebs within the device).   If you need to power up such an old circuit – use eye protection (goggles, or similar). USE A VARIAC (a variable transformer) to slowly increase the mains voltage.  Exploding capacitors, be it low voltage, or (the more so) high voltage capacitors – tend to behave like army grenades.  Grenades, when triggered, may prove to be harmful.

Tube equipment contains transformers. Some of these are step-up transformers, where on the secondary side you have voltages that are even far more lethal that your mains voltage. Voltages that can range from as low as 150V up to an astronomical 1400V or even more, depending on the type of tubes used. Some transformer types and chokes have exposed terminals, so mind where you put your hands into.

Transformers and chokes are a hazard in their own right, as they tend to store energy within the magnetic field flowing through their magnetic core, and hence they tend to “generate” high voltages on their terminals in situations of a sudden change or disruption of current flowing through them. The voltage on the terminals of a choke or transformer can be several, several tens, or even several hundreds of times higher than what you would “expect at first glance”.   If you do not believe me, please bear in mind that a stupid 1,5V dry cell battery, when you start connecting and disconnecting it to the leads of a big choke or transformer, can essentially electrocute you.  Yes, you shall be exposed to a high voltage shock.  It will probably not kill you, but the experience is …. EYE OPENING !   (pun intended).

When you are routing high voltage cables, or high current cables, through your chassis, always provide healthy insulation sleeves, wherever possible. Try to eliminate, or at least minimize the amount of “open”, uninsulated leads, or tracks, that are readily exposed for accidental touching. 

If you have a ventilated chassis, with holes from the top side, try to make the holes of a diameter that is SMALLER than the diameter of your child’s finger.  Smaller, than the diameter of any metal object, that your child may happily wish to put in or throw inside through the holes of the device, while you are not aware of it.  The more insulated the “insides” of the device, the better a chance is that such an inserted object will not constitute a major safety hazard. 

Organize your work place as a clean, appropriately illuminated  surface, free of any unnecessary clutter, free of wandering metal objects. Always use isolation safety transformers and/or Residual Current Detectors so as to achieve a reasonable level of protection against electric shock.  These MAY save your life, but are not obliged to.  These do NOT provide full and fail-safe protection. They reduce the risk of instantaneous terminal death, but to not alleviate it completely.

Common Sense is your best protection.

USE IT !!!

…. Due to a recent development / line of new interests ….

Mercury Vapor is poisonous and instantly binds with your blood as soon as you inhale it into your lungs. If you break a mercury vapor tube which is in operation – RUN FOR YOUR LIFE like HELL !!       Once the havoc cools down, once you thoroughly ventilate the premises, you may start to collect the remains of the mercury vapor tube and the droplets of mercury. Do not do it with your bare hands. Dispose of it carefully and completely. Treat it as toxic waste. Get rid of the mop, the gloves, and the other stuff that was in contact with the mercury. Wash your hands thoroughly. 


Readers of hiend-audio.com herewith indemnify the owner, administrator and/or other people who are taking care of the website under  http://hiend-audio.com from any and all damages, costs and expenses, including attorney’s fees, arising from personal injury, loss of life, or property damage, occurring as a result of the making, experimenting with, using or selling devices, products, prototypes, solutions or concepts, which have been derived from publications as placed within this website, and used by the Reader in person, or on his behalf, as well as by any of his assignees, or licensees.

By starting to read any content whatsoever on hiend-audio.com,

you have herewith agreed to such indemnification as mentioned above. 

P.S.  Last but not least, I would just like to mention, that I have some aliases to my hiend-audio.com site.  Any of the following links as below shall bring you to these pages: http://capacitorless.com 
http://currentdriven.com  http://diy-hi-fi.com diy-hi-fi.com.pl  http://diy-hi-fi.eu  http://diy-hi-fi.pl  http://hi-fi-diy.com  http://hi-fi-diy.com.pl  http://hi-fi-diy.eu  http://hi-fi-diy.pl  http://hiend-audio.com.pl  http://hiend-audio.eu  http://hiend-audio.pl  http://hiend-system.com  http://hiend-systems.com  http://hiendsystem.com  http://hiendsystems.com  http://highend-system.com
http://highend-systems.com  http://otlaudio.com  http://straightwiregain.com  http://transformerless.com  http://zjjaudio.com 

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