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How can I convince my dad to let me take apart our broken microwave? Answered

there is beryllium or whatever inside of it and he isn't letting me take it apart. the beryllium is only in the magnetron and I won't touch it but he still isn't letting me.

I was very stressed at the time of the writing of this, so please do not base my character upon this topic.


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11 months ago

Do your research on the capacitor. Don't touch the magnetron.
Show him you know.


11 months ago

Ask him to assist you in this. In the end, as a grown man i know: The more forbidden something is, the more tempting it becomes and will happen anyway.
So he can choose if you do it with him on your side (Cool Father-Sibling-Project!) and making sure you dont mess with the magnetron, or if you will do it with a microwave you find on the trashheap in the woods in a year or so and do it in secret.

Offer him to propose a set of security-measures to do this. Like
- Cut the Powercord as very first action to prevent it being plugged in at all times. Simple but very effective
- A way to discharge the capacitors
- Waring gloves
- Wearing a mask
- Wearing savety goggles

Also, try to explain to him, why you want to do it. I think you want to learn how it works.
May i ask your age? By your profile-picture it looks like you slowly can think of tipping your toes into some fields of expertises to one day choose a job. Why not Electrical engineering? So maybe this is your moment which triggers everything? Heck, for me it was a little Ad in a newspaper for a small electrical set to play with different schematics... From there on i was hooked and now i am a project leader and Electrical Engineer in Connected IoT-Medical devices.

Try to explain him what you already researched (As it sounds like, you have) and that you are aware of the dangers (Honestly, I personally didnt know about the beryllium on a magnetron. So thats something you know better than me an electrical engineer with a PhD. Congrats! :)) and how to avoid and/or deal with them.

Also: Try to document what you are planing to do, what dangers in those setps may occur and how they can be mitigated or avoided. Like discharging the caps (How you are going to do it? What is to be checked? What dangers (Like electrocution while discharging because no isolation) are there in mitigating the danger in the first place (Electrocution by accidentaly touching a charged high-voltage cap).

Basically: Try to reason with him and explain that you dont want to do it "because of it" (Which would be a perfectly valid request on my side to be honest) but because you wonder how it works and how the theory looks like in practice. Explain that you want to learn something.
By your previous actions here on the site (Commenting on electronics questions and -projects, Following engineers) i really think, there is already some affinity towards thechnics and maybe even electronics. Me personally think thats great! :) Keep up the curiosity and never stop wandering thru the world with open eyes. Dont stop to ask "How does it work?" and never stop the urge to learn something new.

I want to close with a quote which is very important to me:
"The flame of curiosity is lit. There is not really a way to douse it apart from feeding it what it longes for..."


Answer 11 months ago

Wow. Thanks for the response! I will do EVERYTHING you have recommended, it sounds like a good idea! I am 13, and have already taken a few khan academy courses on physics. Luckily, a lot of the safety items that we wouldn't have normally, we do have because of COVID (not that that's a good thing). You are amazing, thank you again for the response! P.S. Love the quote. inspirational, and... True... I WILL HAVE THAT TRANSFORMER! HAHAHAH! ;)

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

11 months ago

I don't know, but I am pretty sure you do not want him to see any of these news articles about people who electrocuted themselves with homemade contrivances for making a kind of wood burning art, using transformers salvaged from microwave ovens.

By the way, I did not compile this list myself. I copied it from the description text of one of Big Clive's Youtube videos, (v=3E12nnpWc5c) (title:"Make Lichtenberg wood art safely"), and that video is linked (erm embedded maybe) at the bottom of this post.








"Make Lichtenberg wood art safely"