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'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Stoneshop Silver badge
Mushroom

There was the student on the lab bench opposite mine, who wasn't aware of what the ridge and the '+' markings on an electrolytic cap were meant to convey. With the working voltage for the circuit being 150VDC, for reasons I can't remember any more (no, it didn't involve vacuum tubes). So, a couple of seconds after powering on, there was an almighty bang, a rather pungent, acrid smell and a very pale student.

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