How to keep your inventions from blowing up

Technology
How to keep your inventions from blowing up
hobley_invention_protector.jpg

Prolific maker Stephen Hobley has an interesting idea for protecting your wall-powered projects from self-destructing: add a lightbulb in series with them. The lightbulb acts like a current-limiting resistor, preventing your device from drawing more power than it can handle.

Note that this is not the same thing as using a fuse (which you should also do). The lightbulb hack works by restricting the maximum amount of current a device can draw, while a fuse cuts off the flow of power if it becomes too great.

4 thoughts on “How to keep your inventions from blowing up

  1. Jennifer Elaan says:

    This is an old, but great, trick that goes at least as far back as the days when people still repaired TVs. It’s also common to use in combination with a variac, which lets you bring up a device slowly.

    This is one of the many things I’ve used this for since building it: http://www.instructables.com/id/Old-World-Light-Bulb-Load/

    I usually use it together with this: http://caladan.nanosoft.ca/c4/hardware/powerbox.php

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Ooh, those are cool! Thanks for sharing!

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