[Amps] Working on my Darwin award

Roger (K8RI) k8ri at rogerhalstead.com
Mon Feb 24 21:48:10 EST 2014

On 2/24/2014 8:25 PM, Vic Rosenthal K2VCO wrote:
> Sometimes in a very severe shock the muscle contraction can actually
> clamp the heart in your chest and keep it from beating -- or fibrillating.
> But don't count on it.
> On 2/24/2014 11:49 AM, Manfred Mornhinweg wrote:
>> I still have the burn scars. The muscle pains in my arms and chest
>> lasted for two weeks only. And the heart didn't miss a beat. So much for
>> fibrillation.

It can go into fibrillation or as stated, stop.  Although... I don't 
know if this sort of thing can cause fibrillation or just stop it.  I'm 
a computer guy, mot a Med Tech.   In either case it usually takes 
something to cause the hart to start again. An electrical pulse is 
normally used if a defibrillator is handy. A physical shock/blow can 
sometimes be used.  You sometimes see the person doing CPR, Whack the 
victim on the chest near the base of the rib cage. I don't know the 
exact spot.  This is no gentle whap. They sometimes break bones!  These 
methods, "sometimes" work assuming the heart's nerves and muscles are 
not too badly damaged.

Remember, when the current gos in one hand and out the other, the most 
conductice path is the blood, right through the heart.

I would think that those of us who lost a few minutes, did so because 
the heart stopped and something started the heart. Either the physical 
shock from falling or hitting the wall restarted the heart or something 

Normally the current causes the muscles to contract.  Depending on the 
muscles, the arms can pull or push violently.

I had one other close call, but not enough to pass out.
It was spring, the snow had melted and the grass was very green with the 
soil very wet.  My 1/4 wave, 40 meter vertical, in the West yard had a 
ground rod at the base where the coax shield and radials tied.  The 
radial were 1/4 wave plus about 10% with the ends bent and stuck in the 
ground Later they would be covered with the grass.  The end og one had 
come out of the ground and the wire lay, coiled up on the fround.  I 
took hold of the end, pulled it tight, and knelt down to push the end 
back in the ground. As soon as my knees touched the wet ground, it had 
me. I violently curled into the fetal position with the thought "How can 
this be, it's hooked to a round rod".  Al luck would have it (lots of 
luck!) I fell backwards. How I did that from a kneeling position, I 
don't know! The instant my knees broke contact I threw that wire.

I later took my Simpson 250, stuck one probe on the ground rod and the 
other in the ground as far out as I could teach which was somewhat less 
than the total lead length. I measured 90 VAC!  Lethal?  Don't know, but 
it sure did hurt. For several days my arms felt like they do when you 
first start weight training.

Turns out that the non polarized plug on my Yaesu FT101B fed two wires 
into a socket on the back of the chassis.  An overly generous solder 
joint (from the factory) caused the one side to contact the chassis. The 
chassis was grounded to a rod the other side of the wall, but that rod 
was not in really wet soil.  BTW that solder joint was a beautiful shiny 
ball that was several times the size it needed to be.


Roger (K8RI)

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