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An electrostatic mystery ...

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Frances IoM13/07/2019 09:21:04
618 forum posts
22 photos
there must be many on this forum old enough to remember the Flash Gordon or other 'space' adventures being part of the Sat morning matinees for kids at the local cinema (or as my father called it the local bug + flea exchange) - huge sparks were a common feature of all alien or villains' lairs - mother reckoned the 3d was good bargain to get rid of the kids for a morning as us older children had to take our younger siblings as part of the package.
Philip Rowe13/07/2019 11:35:40
170 forum posts
14 photos

Interestingly I had all but forgotten about the anti static chains and straps hanging from the rear of cars, never see them nowadays. Does this mean that cars no longer produce static or have we all become immune? I'm sure some of the boffins on this forum will be able to provide an answer.

Phil

Alan Vos13/07/2019 14:35:41
134 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Philip Rowe on 13/07/2019 11:35:40:

Does this mean that cars no longer produce static or have we all become immune?

I believe modern car tyres are electrical conductiors.

Alan Vos13/07/2019 14:40:10
134 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 12/07/2019 23:13:20:

I suffered from car sickness as a child and fitting the chain cured it.

I recall anti-static straps being added for that reason. Has anybody ever explained how a static charge could cause car sickness in the first place?

Michael Gilligan13/07/2019 15:09:32
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13544 forum posts
586 photos
Posted by Alan Vos on 13/07/2019 14:40:10:
Posted by Bazyle on 12/07/2019 23:13:20:

I suffered from car sickness as a child and fitting the chain cured it.

I recall anti-static straps being added for that reason. Has anybody ever explained how a static charge could cause car sickness in the first place?

.

Plenty of 'theories' around ... but I supect this is a reasonable dismissal: **LINK**

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/721219/Flying-doctor-Motion-sickness.html

MichaelG.

.

Edit: But see also http://www.mizter.com/testimonials.htm

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 13/07/2019 15:14:15

pgk pgk15/07/2019 11:22:02
1396 forum posts
278 photos

I believe it's reasonable to assume that motion sickness is a result of confusing sensory input that causes the body to react as if it has ingested a toxin that causes nausea. I phrase that carefully because not all noxious substances will cause vomiting. Those that do will primarily be associated with dizzyness and balance disturbance which is based in sensory input conflicts from vision, the semicircular canals and positonal awareness (based deep in the spinal chord). But all those sensory inputs have to travel to brain centres so direct toxic effects on those or damage elewhere that releases active substances can all be responsible.

However one of the aspects of our humanity is memory and belief and past experiences will colour our judgement as well as the simple element of placebo response. Thus if static did cause (for instance) a degree of hair-raising and that happened in conjucntion with a past episode of nausea it may be a signal towards panic and another bout and just as simply believing that a grounding strap works may be effective. Any experimentation to prove or debunk such hypotheses requires proper double blind trials.

One reason for all the internet myths and 'old wives tales' will often be that if some benefit occured through coincidence or in a statistically low percentage the beneficiary is more likely to hail the miracle louder than the many who gained no benefit. At the same time one cannot gainsay the simple expedience of 'if it works for you then use it.'

Samsaranda15/07/2019 17:45:37
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764 forum posts
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Years ago I was the proud owner of a mk 2 Cortina, which I found to be very reliable its only downside whilst I owned it was the inevitable rust problem around the macpherson strut mountings, however I digress it had the ability to generate large amounts of static electricity that would discharge through me when I got out and was standing on the ground and grasped the door handle to close the door. These discharges would produce an audible crack as they contacted my fingers, I became very wary of these shocks as they really stung and devised a method of avoiding them, I would use the ignition key held in my fingers to touch the door handle and discharge the static via the metal of the key. This was spectacular when performed in the dark as there would be a hefty blue spark jump from the door handle to the key accompanied by a loud crack. Since the Cortina I have owned many different cars and have received static shocks on only a handful of occasions with different cars so the Cortina definitely had a serious problem with generating static, on the good side I never felt travel sick in the Cortina, just fearful of getting out.

Dave W

Samsaranda15/07/2019 17:48:06
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764 forum posts
5 photos

Years ago I was the proud owner of a mk 2 Cortina, which I found to be very reliable its only downside whilst I owned it was the inevitable rust problem around the macpherson strut mountings, however I digress it had the ability to generate large amounts of static electricity that would discharge through me when I got out and was standing on the ground and grasped the door handle to close the door. These discharges would produce an audible crack as they contacted my fingers, I became very wary of these shocks as they really stung and devised a method of avoiding them, I would use the ignition key held in my fingers to touch the door handle and discharge the static via the metal of the key. This was spectacular when performed in the dark as there would be a hefty blue spark jump from the door handle to the key accompanied by a loud crack. Since the Cortina I have owned many different cars and have received static shocks on only a handful of occasions with different cars so the Cortina definitely had a serious problem with generating static, on the good side I never felt travel sick in the Cortina, just fearful of getting out.

Dave W

brian curd15/07/2019 17:51:07
100 forum posts

The static charge was probably as a result of friction between the seat material and your clothing.

Brain C

Samsaranda15/07/2019 17:51:11
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764 forum posts
5 photos

Sorry, Double posted again, I need to get to grips with this posting

Dave W

Samsaranda15/07/2019 18:31:56
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764 forum posts
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Good point Brian, but was so marked when travelling in my own car but not others, I suspected that it was possibly non conductive tyres, from my work on aircraft I was aware of bonding to dissipate static and aircraft tyres used conductive rubber which helped dissipate static as soon as the wheels touched down.

Dave W

Mike Poole15/07/2019 19:19:57
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2012 forum posts
46 photos

The girls in the trim shop regularly reported getting a shock from their sewing machine, no fault would be found with the machine or it’s earthing so the problem will be the girls clothes and the material they were sewing. My wife and I get shocks when leaving my Ford which has a man made seat covering but my other car with leather seats is no problem. I have on occasions experienced nausea when my bed spins which is most odd as it is very solid, it’s does seem to happen after over doing it down the pubsmiley, luckily it’s a long time since that has happened, seems that drinking responsibly does have advantages.

Mike

Samsaranda15/07/2019 20:39:22
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764 forum posts
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Man made seat covering appears to be the culprit, this was during the 70’s and the fashion was for a lot of clothes to be made out of man made materials so the combination of both probably made the situation worse. I remember going to the other side of the Atlantic in the 70’s and hotels in America were notorious for nylon carpets in hotel rooms and with the air con helping to generate static you could get numerous shocks throughout the day, I seemed to attract quite a few. It might seem that I was affluent being able to travel to America in the 70’s but that wasn’t the case it was all in the line of duty, I travelled with the Air Force, a tough job but someone had to do it.

Dave W

Nick Clarke 315/07/2019 21:14:03
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326 forum posts
8 photos

In the 80's I taught computing in a room full of BBC Micros. These ran on individual 5 1/4" floppy disks. One pupil kept having problems - The disk would not read. Checking carefully we found out that if his partner handled the disk everything went well, but if this guy touched it or took it out of the envelope - no go.

We never did find out the reason, but he was also the only one to get shocks off the nylon carpet tiles as well, so could it have been a static build up?

We changed to Macs with 3 1/2" disks soon after which solved the problem and the issue has presumably faded away with them.

Sam Stones16/07/2019 00:44:53
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635 forum posts
239 photos

Prompted by the various ideas above, with hardly any correlation to model engineering, I can offer no connection between static charges and travel sickness. Indeed, this 1st part of my contribution mentions nothing of the subject. Escape here smile p

However, crossing the Bay of Biscay in a troopship (The Empire Ken) late February ’57, I was the only one of our group of eleven who had not ‘been to the side’.

Determined to test my endurance at the risk of being ‘clapped in irons’, and in near total darkness I stepped over the barrier marked ‘Out of Bounds’, and eased myself around to the very stern of the ship.

It was pitching to a level where (I suspect from the vibrations) the propeller was emerging from the ocean; perhaps pitching as much as 30 feet (say 10 metres). After five minutes or more, I was satisfied at my endurance, and concluded this rather foolish experiment.

Having thus confirmed my previous experiences (the IoM ferry from Fleetwood a couple of times, and a ‘pleasure’ cruise off the Scarborough Head, complete with a generous encouragement to be seasick), I was convinced that I was immune to travel sickness.

Not so!

A few years later, I was obliged to ‘accept’ a car lift from my boss with the promise of a ‘chicken and chips’ supper, followed by homemade apple pie with cream, if I would navigate us across London.

That was when I discovered that I wasn’t immune to travel sickness. Head down to read the map in relative darkness was apparently the perfect combination. Fortunately, I didn’t disgrace myself, and have learned since from a friend who navigated during car rallies, that it was the heads down thing while being tossed around willy nilly.

So as not to jeopardise their chances of a good result he told me that, under those circumstances, he would hold open the car door and lean out to release his last meal.

Foot note:

We crossed London without incident, and I managed to enjoy the ‘chicken and chips’ supper, with homemade apple pie and cream, thus avoiding embarrassment.

Sam

Anthony Knights16/07/2019 07:22:27
251 forum posts
80 photos

I once got sent to a site where the customer was reported getting electric shocks from the public address amplifier. The equipment checked out OK. The problem was due to the customer building up a static charge, when walking about on a synthetic material carpet and then discharging this via the earthed amplifier.

Michael Gilligan16/07/2019 07:58:27
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13544 forum posts
586 photos
Posted by Anthony Knights on 16/07/2019 07:22:27:

I once got sent to a site where the customer was reported getting electric shocks from the public address amplifier. The equipment checked out OK. The problem was due to the customer building up a static charge, when walking about on a synthetic material carpet and then discharging this via the earthed amplifier.

.

There is a related problem, common in many offices, where the occupants seem quite convinced that there are fleas in the carpet ... an unpleasant tingling around the ankles.

MichaelG.

John Haine16/07/2019 08:46:42
2573 forum posts
133 photos

The problem with the "static charge causes travel sickness" theory is, how do you know you are charged when inside a metallic object? On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence for the placebo effect where an intervention that is thought to be beneficial has an actual positive effect.

When sailing in rough weather, one finds that going below often causes nausea from the combination of seemingly random accelerations sensed by the ear without any corresponding visual input. This explains Sam's experience navigating around London.

I read somewhere that the navy experimented with an "artificial horizon", that projected a band of light on the wardroom walls that was kept truly horizontal with a gyro, so that one had a constant visual reference.

John Harding16/07/2019 12:42:17
25 forum posts

To go back to the original topic, Teyler's museum, Haarlem in Holland contains a collection of all the earliest equipment used. This includes the largest leydens made, as much as 6ft high. The scientific glass ware are often works of art. It was founded in 1784.

I visited the museum in 1970, pushed the door open and found i had the place to myself. If I visited Holland again a visit to to the museum would be at the top the list. Taking a quick look at the web site it appears unchanged (except you now book on line).

Michael Gilligan16/07/2019 14:42:13
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13544 forum posts
586 photos
Posted by John Harding on 16/07/2019 12:42:17:

To go back to the original topic, Teyler's museum, Haarlem in Holland contains a collection of all the earliest equipment used. This includes the largest leydens made, as much as 6ft high. The scientific glass ware are often works of art. It was founded in 1784.

I visited the museum in 1970, pushed the door open and found i had the place to myself. If I visited Holland again a visit to to the museum would be at the top the list. Taking a quick look at the web site ...

.

Thanks for that, John yes

I will search for the Teyler's web site this evening.

We have fond memories of a visit to the the Boerhaave, some years ago: **LINK**

https://rijksmuseumboerhaave.nl/engels/

MichaelG.

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