[AMRadio] A little trivia


Bob Peters rwpeters at swbell.net
Fri Nov 16 12:23:38 EST 2007


Rick...Your no fun...Google has all the answers and sometimes we don't.
But anyway..I am a spoiled sport..Here is what google says...HI !!!

cheater cord 
Televisions, and other consumer electronics equipment that run off of
line current, usually have a primitive sort of safety interlock system:
the power cable that is connected to the wall outlet connects on the
other end to a male jack that is part of the equipment case rather than
the equipment innards. On the inside of the case, the jack has a female
connector that mates rigidly with a matching male plug affixed to the
chassis of the equipment. (Electronics is sexy, baby. And shocking,
too!) When the case is opened, the connection is safely broken, without
exposing any live leads, even if the power cord is still plugged into
the wall. This is necessary because idiots are allowed to own
televisions. (Indeed, I think it may be a requirement.) [Consider this
related fact about bears.] 
The interlock poses a slight problem for the repairman or repairperson,
since it's at best inconvenient to diagnose equipment with either the
power off or the case closed. It even poses a slight impediment to that
most ingenious of characters, the enterprising idiot. The solution is a
separate cable that's called a ``cheater cord,'' because it bypasses the
safety interlock. This has an ordinary male plug for the wall socket,
and a female end to attach to the exposed equipment (male). I'm workin'
up a sweat just writin' about it. 

Televisions pose a special danger because the CRT has a DC voltage
between anode and cathode of at least 10 kilovolts. Nowadays, of course,
TV's are in the disposable category of electronic equipment. You save
the power cable, write ``WORKS. NEEDS CORD'' on a post-it note, and sell
it at the flea market to someone who will throw it away after giving you
ten dollars. In the olden times, however, we'd actually ``fix'' it,
which meant replacing the burnt-out parts -- a 12AU6 audio amplifier
tube or something of that sort. In the stories I heard, people who
accidentally brushed the aquadag usually survived. However, they were
usually thrown across the room, had a little burn, and felt sore. It
wasn't the sort of ride you'd stay on for another round. 

Ok Guys have at me!!! I am big enough to take it!!! All 350 lbs...Shut
up Geoff don't say it!!!!

Bob W1PE

-----Original Message-----
From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
[mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Jim Wilhite
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 9:46 AM
To: Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] A little trivia


Early TV days, so the repairman could take the back off and plug in the 
"cheater cord" to make the set work.  The AC cord on the set was 
fastened to the back and came off when the back was removed.  The 
cheater cord was carried with the repairman and used to power the set, 
cheating the AC input.

Jim/W5JO



Subject: [AMRadio] A little trivia


> What is the origin of the name "cheater cord"?
>
> No fair Googling!
>
>
> Rick/K5IAR
>
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