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Electronic Disruptor Answered

OK, so a few years ago my brother got an r/c something or another for his birthday, one day i was screwin' around with it and to my suprise, when i pressed a certain button on the romote, all the lights in the room went out. when i released the button they came back on. I tried it in a few rooms, and it usually had the same effect. i'm guessing there is some sort of combination of capcitors/risistors or something that did this. The r/c toy has long since been lost and i can't recall what it was, and i'm more in to mechanical stuff then electrical stuff, so if some one with some knowledge could help me out, i want to build another one for messing with people at a halloween party.


This could occur if your lights were "radio controlled" otherwise, I don't see a way for this to work. If it were that powerful to be that "disruptive" to normal electricity, your heart would have likely stopped too.

. hmmmmm If there was a dimmer involved it might do that. But I'd guess the power required would be more than an r/c controller has. Just thinking out loud.

Would a triac circuit react to R/C ? Or are you thinking regular rheostat?

. All the dimmers I've seen were electronic. Don't know if they use triacs or not, but definitely not rheostats.
. My guess is that the control circuitry may be affected by the hi-freq noise. Like I said, just thinking out loud.
. I have no idea how sensitive a triac would be. I would be slightly surprised to find out an R/C controller has enough power to have an effect.
. If nobody comes up with an answer, I might do some research. Maybe.

The apt. I live in has an OLD style dimmer, and the lights they "dim", at certain levels, will "ring"....quite loudly for my ears actually, although my wife can hear it.

Wait, there are voices coming from the electrical sockets now....

. Mine do that, too. Not sure why, but I've always assumed it was the filament vibrating at its' resonant freq. . I try to avoid it. Not only is it (very) annoying, but, if my theory is right, it will shorten bulb life.

Yes, that is the reason and yes it will shorten bulb life....and definately don't use CFL's with them. I had a circuit (for a dimmer) that used a triac and it was supposed to eliminate the ring, but it must have gotten discarded a few years ago....I can't find it anymore.

yes, our dimmer kind of buzzes when it's really low.

The dimmer buzzing doesn't sound good. But I am not familiar with the newer ones, so I don't know for sure.

With my setup, the bulbs themselves actually ring.

nope it's the dimmer with ours not the light bulbs and it deffinately buzzes. our dimmer is a knob like a cricle that you turn, not the type that slides up and down if that helps at all..

He's talking about the kind of light switches that operate on a remote.

Ok, that confirmed my first guess ;-) Thanks...

. Actually, that didn't occur to me. Doh! It would make more sense, wouldn't it?

yes, most of our rooms have two switches, one of which has a dimmer! i know the guy who wired our house was kinda messed-up, like switches to rooms are connected weird, i only know this 'cus my dad complaind about it.

Now, if a brother, sister, friend, or fiendish parent followed you about and switched the lights off and on at appropriate times, well ..... :-)