CQ Amateur Radio


n several previous columns, we indicated the potential dangers of working directly with the AC line. Since one side of the standard AC power line (or “mains” outside the U.S.) is usually connected to a conductor that eventually connects to earth ground, the potential for shock to anyone coming in contact with the other (or “hot”) conductor is dangerous. With this in mind, consider the very common “wall wart” () that powers much of our equipment. In the interest of simplicity in manufacturing, many of these use a switching scheme that, while they often work from 95 be the case, so before you panic unduly, we will indicate how to determine this in a few moments.

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