Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bizarre Elecrical Phenomeon - WIERD!

So we got out of Santa Cruz around 7, after making a good shopping run at Safeway. Our motor up California (through San Jose, Hayward, Dublin, and Vacaville) was uneventful, except for a ton of killer conversation. Sometime around 9:30 we picked a random exit along the 505 and pulled off to stop and rest for a bit. The first ‘spot’ we found turned into a bizarre experience with electricity.

It turns out we parked our big metal box underneath a bunch of high tension power lines. As I got out and wandered off to water the daisies, Brian started whining something about getting shocked by his door. I responded by telling him to pull his skirt down and get the lawn chairs out, but at his insistence I tried to re-create his experience. Sure enough, if I rolled my flip-flop insulated foot over so it grounded on the tall grass, I could touch the chassis on the aarr vee and get a pretty startling shock.

What gives? We’re far from electricians, but the answer doesn’t seem to far from reach. If any technoids out there can help shed a clue on what we experienced, please speak up! Here’s what the lines and position of the aarrr veee looked like, taken as a still snap from a re-creation vid we shot. With any luck, I’ll get Brian to post it so you can see/hear some more details.



Blogger Jack Cain said...

Capacitance, my friend. I'm sure that someone can pull the exact details (because it's been 25 years since I worked with this stuff), but you have a big metal box inside a magnetic field generated by the high tension wires. Magnetic current through a coil generates electricity, and you are insulated from the ground by your tires. Can you say "mondo capacitor". I knew ya could! Remind me to tell you of the great practical joke you can play with a Megger and metal ash trays.

11:38 AM  

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