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What was your worst injury as a hobbyist?

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Everything that so far has not proved fatal. ;)

You name it I have had it happen multiple times and some pretty severe as my many scars would prove.


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Not much worse.
I accidentally made contact with a 400Vac lead from a tube transformer. :eek:
Besides reminding me never to do that again it burned a nice little black hole in my finger.
Took awhile to heal.


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I got a broken foot, but didn't know it till a doctor twenty years later tells me my foot is healed nicely.


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Probably playing football or I twisted it in bed. Don't remember which as I didn't know till 20 years later.


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Probably playing football or I twisted it in bed. Don't remember which as I didn't know till 20 years later.

Stephen King could do (write) marvels starting just with that.


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Besides taking the soldering iron at the wrong end, breaking a long ferrite antenna which left a sore that lasted for long long time. To disapear, the scar, took years.
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Worst injury is when I fell off my Hobby Horse [pun]

Ian Rogers

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Besides reminding me never to do that again
Dragged into the milling machine..............
I now have nasty scars around my wrist... It's always doing little favours for people... I never get hurt when it's a proper job!!!!


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Not my injury, but...

When I was in Naval Electronics training "A" school (1967, Great Lakes, Il), we were using soldering pencils to put together some little circuit.

The guy next to me needed a third hand to temporarily hold his pencil while he connected a component's lead.

So he stuck the pencil in his mouth...

He was rushed from the room by the Chief giving the class, leaving behind a rather unpleasant smell. Never saw hin again.

Beau Schwabe

Active Member
Catching the HOT end of a live microwave transformer ... With my involuntary knee jerk reaction, I ended up backhanding me and a buddy of mine so hard it knocked both of us off our work chair and onto the ground. Next thing I know we are both picking ourselves up off the ground in a daze.

Another time, when I was a kid, I left a soldering iron plugged in and sitting on the garage floor concrete .... I went in the garage in the middle of the night barefoot to get something, and managed to step right on the soldering iron.


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Not electronics related, but as a dumb 18 year old apprentice, I had to clean out a partially-blocked nozzle for a schultz gun.
I folded a length of welding rod over at the end, creating a 2 inch tail, and put a piece of rag in the hook end, to pull though and clean out the crud.
As I yanked the rod through the blockage, the tail pierced the inside of my thumb at the 2nd knuckle and poked around just under the skin at the point facing me.
I was a bit green after realising what happened and even greener as I pulled the rod out.

schmitt trigger

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Long ago.....Before the electrolytic capacitors had safety vents, I reverse connected a 4700uF, 25v device.

While I was wondering why the output voltage was so low, the thing exploded and hit me in my cheekbone.

No one believed me. They thought I had been punched in a brawl.

I was lucky, though. It would have taken my eye out.


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the chainsaw, the hammerm the file and the drillpress.
Chainsaw: Kickback - grazed a finger. Took care of it myself. No real scar.

Hammer: Scrapping TV transformers. I pinched the side of my pinky and squished it. No bone hit fortunately.

File: I was making a custom lathe too. File slipped - finger hit sharp tool

Drill press: Always hold down sheet metal. It can turn into a rotating blade.


Spark plug wiring shocks:
The worst was I put a new throttle cable on a mower after changing the oil. I forgot to put the filler plug in (oils splasing everywhere) and did not check the kill switch. It was the wrong throttle thingy. Grabbed spark plug wire, Oil spilling everywhere.

Tried to catch the soldering iron:
Power failure. Foot pulled soldering iron. Somewhat dark. Got the wrong end.

6 years old - blue streak 3/4 up my arm

Montague Fracture of elbow
Climbing a gate when I was 6. Kids would not let me out of my own yard. Mom spanked me and then discovered my arm dangling. 6 months in a cast.

Shocks in general
120 V and possibly 600 VDC (Tube stuff)

rung on ladder broke
Plantar facitus - definately
Start of back problems. Direct cause. Maybe not.

Lasting impression
Tied up and held prisoner with at east one other friend for about 1/2 a day by older kids that made a brick fort in a being constructed development.


Active Member
Luckily, nothing major enough to cause serious injury, but I've taken a handful of shocks and burns over the years. some of the more notable ones include:

-When I was first getting into the hobby, I was messing around with the xenon flash circuits in disposable cameras and made the mistake of touching it with both hands. Took a hit right across the heart from a roughly 200-300V, 100uF cap. No major damage, but it definitely knocked the wind out of me.

-Once at work I was helping slide around a large, very heavy TWT amplifier with live 240VAC connections on a terminal block on the back. I reached around to grab the back corner and unwittingly put my fingers right over the terminals. Aside from uttering a few choice cusses in front of my supervisor and co-workers (and perhaps some minor injury to my pride), I was okay.

-At home, I was soldering in shorts and managed to get a big drip of solder on my thigh. Left a nasty burn that took a while to heal. The scar is mostly gone now.

-A little more recently, I managed to get my fingers a bit too close to the HV section of an analog oscilloscope. I'm not sure if I actually touched it directly, but I'm pretty sure saw (and heard) the spark jump to my fingertip. Definitely made me yelp, but thankfully no real damage.
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As a kid I was desoldering a voltage regulator from a board using a high power soldering iron used for soldering wires to chassis - The type with a tip that got red hot. Put too much pressure on one of the component legs and the whole iron slipped, catching me between my first and second finger. I heard a sizzle and smelled burnt skin before I really realized what happened.

Multiple electric shocks from 120V to 20kV.

Drilling holes in sheet metal for a hydrogen generator and it caught, spinning the sheet around and catching me in the thumb.


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Using a pillar drill to drill out an aluminium timing gear centre without using a drill vice. I was holding it tight until the drill snagged and spun round the gear. I stupidly tried to grip it tighter which resulted in it cutting through half my finger.

A lot of blood, nearly passing out and a cigarette later, I patched up the finger and finished off drilling the gears .... superglued it together later on and you can hardly see the scar now.


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Electronics wise, the most painful so far has been, stabbing myself in the leg with a high speed 1.4mm drill bit. Really hurt for a long time, burns i think are just part of the hobby. I did get a solder splash right near my eye once, it was close enough to make sure i wear eye protection now.

other hobbies I would say Chlorine exposure, got unlucky with a mask fail. Now i dont use chems like that unless working in a fume hood. The exposure wasnt that large but it dosnt have to be alot to scare the hell out of you.l You cough for a couple of days and its sore when you breathe, so for 72 hours your convinced you have pulmonary edema!! I think the mind side of it is worse that the physical effects!

Also i am utterly convinced i smell fresh cut hay every time i open old chloroform.......Obviously I am still here so its just a mind trick, i didnt ever smell it before i knew what the risks of old Chloroform were.

Oh and treading bare foot on opamps is a given at some stage.
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