Monitor Hack: High voltage security system


Don’t and I mean *really don’t* do this, it’s a mod to a monitor using it’s power to make an electrified fence. The video is really funny and interesting enough to discuss, but really don’t do this, hope that’s clear enough – do enjoy the video though. We had an earlier discussion about high voltage DC you might want to check outLink (video @ info).

24 thoughts on “Monitor Hack: High voltage security system

  1. wackyvorlon says:

    This project is capable of killing you. Proper fence chargers have built-in current limiting that circuit will lack. Given the price of a low-end commercially produced device, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    1. cobalt_catalyst says:

      If you touch the HV output you won’t even feel it. This is high frequency DC it passes superficially through the skin, not through the body. And in most cases, as current goes up, voltage goes down; respectively. There is not enough current to kill you. You need lots of volts and lots of current at the same time.

  2. m1nuteman says:

    Don’t do this. It can KILL you. High Voltage has a nasty habit of jumping out at you if too close, you don’t need to touch it.

  3. gear_head says:

    Lame and dangerous, in my opinion this has no place on the Make blog. It’s not “funny” or “interesting enough to discuss” it’s a real, life endangering gag, and I think you should pull the article.

  4. philliptorrone says:

    gear_head – the “article” is a link to another site, instructables. i thought the video was funny, it’s pretty much a parody, most people aren’t going to make an electrified beer protector. at least a few other people thought the same (it was sent in by a few makers).

    just because it’s around doesn’t mean people will need to actually do this project, makers are smart. most of the post says “don’t do it” – that seems pretty reasonable.

    i would rather show people this and tell them not to do it, along with the commenter heres (and read our “lifter” piece) than not.

  5. keyma5ter says:

    I agree, show this to people – and discuss the danger! It certainly demonstrates it. Imagine the poor guy who goes tearing into a monitor for a hack without know about the dangers. Same goes for TVs and their ability to store high charges in capacitors for a long period of time. Now we know, and knowing is half the battle – go Joe!

  6. nehumanuscrede says:

    Plenty of things can easily kill you. This is no different than any of them.

    Better to see it up front and know what you’re dealing
    with than to find out the hard way on your own. :)

    Besides, if I’m ever in a Swat standoff I know know
    how to keep them outside :) bzzzzzzt !

  7. blubrick says:

    As insanely dangerous as this project is, I did get something very useful out of the post. It may well be a commonly known technique when dealing with high-voltage circuitry, but it never occurred to me to earth my screwdriver with an alligator clip the way this guy did.

    Although, when dealing with lethally high-voltage gear, I think I’d be tempted to use something a little heavier duty than an alligator clip on some lightweight hookup wire. Perhaps something like an automotive jumper lead?

  8. gear_head says:

    @Phillip, the only reason this article makes me so nervous is that there are no inherent or default safety mechanisms in the circuit… no GFI’s, no breakers, no fuses. We’re talking 30-90kV+ discharges at potentially high frequencies (albeit relatively low currents). I really enjoy what Make represents, I really do, but if someone cites your website or magazine as the source of the information that harmed or (heaven forbid) killed someone (regardless or the originating source) you guys are done, and that would be a real shame. This is a genuinely dangerous gag, and as a prior product designer of HV test and measurement equipment (20-40kV Cat IV) I feel qualified to comment this strongly.

  9. philliptorrone says:

    @gear_head – for the most part people reading make usually read instructables, i’d rather get all the information including my post that says “don’t do this” than not write about it at all.

    tesla coils, restored cars, homemade airplanes – we have it here, folks are smart. a project listed or written about doesn’t mean people will do it or should.

    as of 8/30 the project is now on engadget, so it’ll make all the blog-rounds soon. unlike the make site, i don’t think there will be such a technical discussion or one that’s as concerned with why this is a dangerous project – so thanks everyone here for helping getting good information out, hopefully folks will read it.

  10. master of stupid comments. says:

    I tried this a few days ago and it killed me. I am now quite dead and my family plans to sue the writers of this article for the cost of the urn I will have to be buried in. (They choose a Dr. Pepper motif as this was my favorite beverage.) However it was not necessary to cremate me as the Monitor did a very adequate job on it’s own.

  11. anon says:

    If someone really goes to all the work to make a mini electric fence and put beer or a cat inside, they deserve to get the piss shocked out of them. Quit worrying about everything and laugh, funny video!

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