Ravioli and More Electrical Disasters

This afternoon, I went to my parents' house to make Pasta for the Christmas Eve dinner. It's one of the few family traditions we have; almost every year we dust the dining room table down with flour, get out the pasta rolling machines, and make a few hundred ravioli. It takes the best part of an afternoon, you have to work quite fast, and the final product doesn't keep very well. They need to be stored separated on floured trays, and turned twice every day to avoid sticking to each other or the trays. However, they should taste delicious tomorrow night. Some past photos.

In-between making ravioli (and fixing computers), I was dispatched to fix the broken light above our work table. As suspected, it was the dimmer fuse that had blown (in fact, decimated). So, in with a new one, and I had to re-mount the dimmer. I could see that the dimmer was terribly designed — the top mounting screw comes really close to the circuit board, and right at the edge of the board is the un-insulated fuse holder. This got me mumbling something about bad design, and very gingerly using insulated tools on the screw. Here's a diagram:

Dimmer Diagram

Obviously, during the mounting, the mounting tab will come really close to the board and fuse holder. Naturally, that happened, and there was a very loud bang. The circuit board trace next to the holder had burned through. Hmph. How one earth did they get this certified as safe for home use?

I suppose it's also another reminder not to work on live circuits. I've had enough of those reminders in my life...

Dimmer Back Dimmer Top

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