Kaboom! (botch me a tool, Nixie)

So, this simple circuit (230VAC in / 9.4V out) had to be tested today, and I was given 20 minutes to make something to speed up the process, since we had to test 300.

Bakoom 003
Spot the fail in that photo, win bacon. XD!

Alligator clips are out of the question, not because the 230VAC, wich would be enough, but because they slow you down a lot. Anything you can do with contacts, springs, and sliders, the better.

Meet “plank”:

Bakoom 002

Red and black are obvious outputs, blue and brown AC input. All contacts are covered in tape, and the tool is used with gloves. The only intersting bit, to me at least, are the spring loaded fingers:

Bakoom 004

Made out of AAA battery coil springs (we have tons of those, unused).

So, why the tittle?

You might have notticed that “Plank” does not have any color coded wires. That’s because the last time we produced this, was four or five years ago, and there is not much perspective to do it again soon, so I preferred to use simple red/black wiring, and make it usable for something else.
I also didn’t put any markings because I was the one who was going to test everything, so there was no need. Besides, all whires have different lenghts, and they all match from nearest to furthest contactor, pretty much dumbproof.

Or so I thought.

I had to put some kapton elsewhere, wich took me just two minutes, but my Manager, of whom I have talked before, decided to help, not asking anything about the tooling.

Imagine the scene as follows:

-Put on the gloves, there’s 230VAC in there!- I said.
-Wimp- He said

KABOOM!, said the circuit:

LM317 meet 230VAC:

Bakoom 001

Yup, I saw the explosion firsthand. I’ll just say “EPIC!”

Lessons learned today:

  1. Don’t touch Nixie’s tooling unless it’s bloody obvious how to use.
  2. Never trust red/black if there’s 230VAC in there.
  3. Maybe, put some markings in the tools. XD

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