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Is there a chance to get blind or serious physical damage while prototyping ?

Ehsan

Jun 12, 2014
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The voltages I am playing with are below 40v DC. and the devices are resistors, capacitors, discrete transistors, op amps, and diodes ...

I FREQUENTLY blow things up, capacitors get exploded, transistors smoke and disappear in air, resistors burn to ashes and op amps get baked

Last night while I was probing a negative voltage an Electrolytic capacitor got exploded due to wrong polarity and the tip of my finger got hurt, but no bleeding! lol

Do I need to buy safety eye glasses and gloves ( I hate to wear them ) or 40v limit is safe no matter what ?
 

Harald Kapp

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It is not the voltage alone, that poses a possible threat, it is the power. An electric arc welder operates on less than 50V but on hundreds of amperes - and it melts steel.

I recommend goggles. A few hours of inconvenience are nothing compared to living the rest of your live in blindness.

Gloves should be available in case you really need them. But: If they are relly protective, they are unwieldy and may be in the way when it comes to fine manipulations. If the are suitable for fine manipulations, they are probably not very protective.

Decide for yourself, have protective gear at the ready and use it on an informed case-by-case decision.
 

KrisBlueNZ

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Nov 28, 2011
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You're very unlikely to electrocute yourself with 40V (but keep any open cuts covered), but low voltages can be dangerous if high currents are possible, which is why you need to be careful when working on vehicle electrical systems. If an item of jewellery, e.g. a wedding ring, shorts across the battery, hundreds of amps will flow, causing severe burns and even requiring amputation. But with power supplies that can only deliver a few amps, you're pretty safe from that too.

But electrolytics and semiconductors can explode and shatter, and resistors can overheat, at low voltages and relatively low currents, so these are always possible sources of injury. And there are special risks with specific components such as lasers. And with soldering irons!

I've never used safety glasses or gloves when prototyping. My suggestion would be to avoid putting your face near any components, and avoid grabbing components to test their temperature.
 

OLIVE2222

Oct 2, 2011
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Already being face hit by a small piece of an exploded SMD ceramic cap, supply was far bellow 40V!
So I recommend safety goggles too.
 

duke37

Jan 9, 2011
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Diconnecting a soldered wire from a tag strip can flick a blob of solder. I had a burn close to my eye, this taught me a lesson and I always wear glasses when soldering. These days they will be reading glasses.
 

Thesecret20111

Apr 11, 2014
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Diconnecting a soldered wire from a tag strip can flick a blob of solder. I had a burn close to my eye, this taught me a lesson and I always wear glasses when soldering. These days they will be reading glasses.
Yeah, a blob of hot solder to the eye is a scary thought :/
 

pyromaniac4382

Feb 7, 2013
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Do you like your eyes? Wear goggles. Do you like your fingers? Don't touch things that get hot, and will burn you. Do you like your lungs? Don't suck in the Soldering fumes.

As a rule of thumb, just don't be careless
 

shumifan50

Jan 16, 2014
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To check temperature an infrared thermometer like THIS ONE is great as it takes the subjectiveness out of whether it is too hot or not. The one in the link looks similar to the one I have,but mine was off ebay and it works great.
In my case age has caught up and I am half blind, so always wear glasses and sometimes even magnifying goggles for SMT work. After all that it doesn't mean I don't still burn my fingers LOL.
 

(*steve*)

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I agree. Burning your fingers is normally a case of it hurts a lot before you do lots of damage (rings and current sources excluded).

Damaging your eyes is a greater risk. And you have limited spares.
 

KJ6EAD

Aug 13, 2011
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Diconnecting a soldered wire from a tag strip can flick a blob of solder.
I flicked a tiny droplet of molten solder into one of my eyes in exactly that way. It didn't hit the cornea or iris, just the sclera, but it hurt A LOT for a few days. Now I usually hide behind a big magnifier light or microscope when soldering or wear safety glasses, especially when desoldering wire or through-hole leads.
 

(*steve*)

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Just to put another piece of personal info out there, I have a scarred cornea, fortunately away from where I look through it. I have met a person who has lost her eyesight from the same cause.

Firstly, it is incredibly painful. Take my word for it that you don't want to injure your eye.

Secondly, it is incredibly sobering to be on the inside of your head when the windows start fogging over.

Thirdly, you never want to hear someone say "I'll just scrape some of that off your cornea".

Fourthly, in my case the problem is chronic, recurring, and leads to a loss of sensation in the eye -- not a good thing when the first symptom is pain.

My condition leads to blindness, preceded by pain. It has caused me to be in clinics (and ER) with people have acute and/or traumatic eye injuries. You NEVER want to be there. Trust me on this one.
 

Ehsan

Jun 12, 2014
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Good to know your personal experiences regarding this issue, It seems this is extremely serious! I am going to get safety eye glasses from local market today.
 

gorgon

Jun 6, 2011
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Thirdly, you never want to hear someone say "I'll just scrape some of that off your cornea".

Been there, done that. I once got a piece of a disk sander embedded in the middle of my cornea, and that distorted 'view' of a scalpel scraping and pulling your cornea is not recommended. Neither are the pain and light sensitivity for days afterwards.

I did use normal glasses, but not safety glasses that time. I always do now!
 

duke37

Jan 9, 2011
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One hazzard which has not been mentioned is when snipping component legs. I always put my thumb over the leg to stop it flying. It also has the advantage that I do not have to grovel to find them.
 

davelectronic

Dec 13, 2010
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Electrolytics always make me a bit edgy if there is a chance of wirring error. When you see how they explode can be a worry yes protective eye wear.
 

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