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Re: [TCML] top load and photography (tripod grounding)

In a message dated 3/4/08 9:02:50 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
bartb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

>Actually Peter, the tingle was probably due to "you" at a high  potential 

>and not the camera. 
    But it's implied that after Peter grounded the  tripod, the "tingle" went 
away. This would mean that the camera was originally  not at ground 
potential, but Peter's body was.
>I understand keeping the body at the same potential >as  the camera. 
>This is perfectly acceptable and understood. But, the grounding of either 
>you or the camera is simply something I personally would  not do.
    The same theory that "standard" safety grounding  is based on applies 
here as well. If a conductive object is in contact  with your body, if it's 
grounded then the current should take the path of the  grounding conductor instead 
of your body. 
> I also won't run a coil bare foot for similar reasons.  

I don't think being in bare feet would make much  difference WRT strikes from 
the topload. But it might save your life if you  get in contact with anything 
on the primary side (or the line side!). Besides,  you might step on 
something painful which causes you to jump or fall into live  equipment.
    Who does this stuff in bare feet, anyhow? 
>As you say, if a camera strike occurred to the camera or tripod  itself, 
>yes, most likely you would be protected. However, if you are  touching 

>the camera "you" become grounded. The strike might hit you instead  of 

>the camera. Well, the strike will travel through you to get to  tripod. 

    That's a valid point, but I bet even if the tripod  wasn't intentionally 
grounded you'd still be in bad shape if you took that  strike. I don't think a 
ground wire to the camera would make much difference. 
    If I was out in the middle of a field holding a  lightning rod, I'd 
really prefer to have the lightning rod solidly grounded, not  free floating in my 
hands. Almost a moot point? Better to stay out of a bad  situation!

    FWIW, I remember when I was running my 4" coil in  the garage, and the 
thing reached out with a 4' strike to a big  polyethylene trash barrel. One 
strike only! Apparently it was attracted to the  static surface charge on the 
barrel. Once it "sucked all the charge" off the  barrel with a hot strike, it 
never tried to hit it again. So even if  you're conscientiously wearing 
well-insulated footwear and  staying away from grounded objects, you might still make a 
highly  attractive target to a strike.
-Phil LaBudde
Center for the Advanced Study of Ballistic  Improbabilities

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