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TV TUBE SMASHING

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Caution: Smashing TV Tubes is very dangerous and if you are silly enough to smash a tv tube then it is upon your own responsibility to make sure no-one is hurt!


Even as late as the year 2001, television tubes are mainly CATHODE RAY TUBES, which are thermionic valves. They are quite large, and are evacuated. The term "evacuated" in this case refers to the putting of vacuum into the tube / extracting the air from the tube, although the term is also appropriate to situations where a devastating detonation is about to be performed, for example when smashing a tv tube.

The fact that a tv tube is a large glass container which has no air (vacuum) in it makes it very dangerous, as the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere is about 15 pounds per square inch and exerts TONS of pressure pushing in on the glass surface of the tube.

If the tube is smashed, it IMPLODES. This is pretty much similar in effect to what would happen if it EXPLODED, except that the stuff is being forced violently inwards rather than outwards. It can't go further inwards than the middle however, so continues at great speed, and ends up flying about at considerable speed. As it is at that point broken glass, and is flying at great speed, it is not a good idea to be close to it.

The resulting SOUND is very loud, and is the only safe part about the experiment. Also associated is the sweeping-up afterwards and the disposal of a quantity of very nasty sharp pieces of glass covered in the phosphor material inside the tube which is toxic. Also associated is the fallout, consisting of toxic dust. It is essential to avoid breathing in the dust.

The example here is a 26-inch colour tube, from a type G7 television, and was smashed by lobbing a fourteen pound sledgehammer at it from a distance. The deed required paying attention to the distance, and an action involving turning round at the last moment and not looking at the implosion, and then running away while the fallout dust cloud expanded. The sound was recorded on a hi-fi speaker set up as a microphone in the vegetation and linked via a long cable into the computer. It is a 16-bit 22050/second recording. Makes an interesting startup sound effect.


There is a problem with TV tube smashing, which is that TV tubes are becoming rare. It might be a good idea to store some, somewhere safe, because as time goes on there'll be fewer of them and the ones that remain will be valuable!


Other points of note: Zyra is a qualified Scientist, is MAD, and also has at least one permanent injury from a tv tube implosion.


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