Electrical hacking (was Re: [Techtalk] [OT] charging USB device without a PC)

sara neuroticia at neuroticia.net
Sun Apr 13 15:38:40 EST 2003

Maria Blackmore wrote: 
> Remember that things with a power supply always have capacitors in the
> power supply in order to smooth the voltage.  Often these capacitors
> hold
> quite chunky amounts of voltage, more than enough to overcome the
> resistance of your skin and do what capacitors do best through you :)
> Fortunately, this is rarely harmful, unless you get one arm connected
> to
> each side of the capacitor, it's usually voltage flowing across your
> chest
> in any direction that will kill.  Anything else just hurts

Might be wrong, but isn't it also harmful if you're touching the
capacitor with one hand, and a piece of metal with the other, or if
you're wearing non rubber-soled shoes, or are in any way grounded in a
manner that would allow the electricity to travel through, as opposed to
down-one-side? I would think that it's a bit more than just "one finger
on hand A on capacitor side A and one finger on hand B on capacitor side



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