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AndyPolley
08-19-2002, 10:26 AM
I have been playing music in rock band for a few years now. I'm not the kid I once was (who is?) and over the years my music has grown from being a crazy heavy metal experience to a more mature, contemporary exploration of sight & sound.

At an upcoming show, I plan to smash a working television set with a baseball bat.

I've used this television in past shows. It's something of a
sculpture which contains a working television. It's rigged to play
video clips that I make up the day before the show generally showing current events and cartoons or anything else that strikes my whim. My current whim is to end the era of the TV sculpture. With violent expression.

As previously stated, I'm no longer a child. That being said, I have no wish to risk injury to the patrons of the club...or to myself. I want to smash a television set on stage at a rock club, but in a responsible manner. I know this sounds a little contradictory, but what the heck. I'm sure bands like U2 have people who look into these things for them, but I lack
such resources.

Any advice? Unforeseen dangers? Safety measures I should take?

These are the details I think may pertain to the act: It's a 24" set. It's rather old (you'd see this kind of TV at a thrift store--no remote, UHF dail) I intend on smashing it while it's on, therefore plugged in. I plan on using a wooden bat. There is little separation between where people can stand and the stage itself--maybe a few feet. The song we'll be playing is in D-flat minor.

I have been a frequent SDMB lurker, but this is my first post. I hope to gain the wisdom to do this safely, or to decide against even trying it. Either way, I thank you for you suggestions.


AndyPolley

David Simmons
08-19-2002, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by AndyPolley


At an upcoming show, I plan to smash a working television set with a baseball bat.

AndyPolley

Don't even think about it! The cathode ray tupe (CRT) is a cubic foot or so of high vacuum. When the glass housing of the CRT is breached glass splinters and other debris fly in all directions with great force. It is not possible to distinguish this implosion from a large explosion.

More on CRT safety here. (http://beals.org/~bandy/730t/servicepac.de.ibm.com/eprmhtml/eprm5/h10952.htm)

satanslawyer
08-19-2002, 10:55 AM
It's rather old (you'd see this kind of TV at a thrift store--no remote, UHF dail)

As long as it's not TOO old you should be safe from glass. The CRT has a vacuum on it so when you hit it, it should implode.

However, I can't predict what will happen electronically. You need to realize that the voltage inside that tube is roughly 3000 volts per diagonal inch. So if your TV is 24" that's approx. 72,000 volts:eek:

I don't know, I'd suggest against it. But that's just me.

jb_farley
08-19-2002, 10:59 AM
errm... i am a big fan of all forms of smashery, but i'm gonna have to give this one a thumbs down. glass slivers will fly all over the place, especially away from the front of the tube (and right into the audience, who will probably be right at face-level with the TV).

that, and lead. there's anywhere between four and eight pounds of lead in the average CRT, for radiation shielding. it's cool when it's in the tv assembly; not so cool in someone's eyes and mouth.

lastly, CRTs have a preeeety high-voltage capacitor inside. i may be wrong, but even after a good smashing, the capacitor may hold a charge, which could then kill you when you clean up.

why not smash another tv tube in a safe location, and videotape it? then play that tape on your tv. that's still pretty badass.

jb

Horseflesh
08-19-2002, 11:37 AM
Well, I was going to suggest drilling a hole in the tube to equalize the pressure, put some sticky laminate or something over it to hold the pieces more or less in place, and then smash it. But since you want it on while smashing....

I like jb's suggestion. Videotape the tv playing your current events and cartoons, then smash it up and play that for your gig. You should be able to zoom a camera in on the soon-to-be ex-tv's screen so it fills the camera lens. Play the video back on a replica of your tv sculpture. When the smashing part is about to play, swing a real bat at the tv but just tap the screen. Should be a neat effect. You might have problems with the horizontal "waves" that occur when videotaping a television. You'll have to try to get the camera and tv in synch.

astro
08-19-2002, 12:08 PM
I want to see you smash in the face of a 24 inch CRT with a wooden baseball bat. It's not like in the movies. A CRT tube is a lot tougher than you think. Unless you're Hercules I'd give you odds that it will bounce off the first few times. You're going to need a sledge or something hard and pointy to do the job reliably. Having said this the EE safety mavens are right, it's a pretty high risk (and thus incredibly stupid) stunt to attempt in a live environment with a tube that size. Beyond the implosion, the flying glass slivers and the electrical risk, the stuff that coats the inside of the tube is not picnic to inhale either.

Why don't you simply do the "gator".

partly_warmer
08-19-2002, 12:09 PM
Let me just say, in my youth I phoned the hospital about just such a question, after I broke into a CRT, and suddenly remembered there was something VERY bad about it.

The nurse said "Can you hang on for 30 seconds?"
"Sure", I say.
(30 seconds pass.)
"Are you still there?"
"Yes", I say.
"Then you're safe", said the nurse. "If a shard of glass with residue from the inside of the picture tube had entered your blood, you would now be dead."

kanicbird
08-19-2002, 12:27 PM
If you are willing to do it I would recomend the following precautions:

Plexiglass shield between the audiance and the tv

Someone to power down the TV the instant right before you strike it (Practice on somethign else 1st to get the timing right)

use a clear tape or other clear plastic material stuck the the screen to prevent fragnmants

wear as much clothes as you can

wear safty googles

That all said I think you should think this one over a little. Maybe throw that TV into a fish tank (while plugged into a GFIC outlet) or dropping it some distance would have a simular effect

sailor
08-19-2002, 12:30 PM
>> "Then you're safe", said the nurse. "If a shard of glass with residue from the inside of the picture tube had entered your blood, you would now be dead."

I am sure that is standard procedure in such cases.

DougC
08-19-2002, 12:35 PM
- - - As I remember the front of a television tube is pretty tough: I have childhood memories of me and friends throwing bricks at ones that people had putnout by their trash, trying to break them, fruitlessly. At the time we would have been 12? 14? -We could have taken those same bricks and put them through automotive glass fairly easily-- in fact we did, on wrecked cars. - DougC

casdave
08-19-2002, 12:37 PM
There is a way to safely reduce the vacuum in a CRT but I'm not going to tell you what it is since it needs a skilled person to do it, and you are most unlikely to have the safety equipment available.

The safety aspect is very basic but if you have to ask then you are not competant enough to carry this out without proper supervision.

There might well be a tv repair shop nearby from which you could obtain a made-safe tube, you would than need to break away most of the rear portion of the crt, of course you would need to wear protective clothing and eyewear and a dust mask.

Having disposed of all the glass behind the screen you can then clean it out, use a vacuum cleaner and do not breathe in the dust.

Lastly, if you want to smash the tube then you have to start it off first, you get some gaffa tape and stick it across the screen glass, it will need several layers.

Next you use a very sharp and very small drill bit, and make a number of tiny holes, the gaffa tape will stop the drill bit sliding around.Clean off the gaffa tape.

These holes will cause cracks to propagate around them when you strike the screen fairly hard.

You must also think of the safety of your audience, stick clear plastic adhesive film across the screen and this will contain the shards, or better still, put up a clear plastic screen between you and your audience.

Unfortunately trying to project an image on the screen as you are smashing it up is not at all easy.

To be honest you'd best leave the idea completely alone using a real crt.

What real effects folk do is to use a piece of barleysugar glass, and use a flash device or very small flash maroon which can be triggered go off just when the time is right.You would of course not use a full weight smashing device just something to look the part, the image onscreen could easily be projected using one of those computor screen projectors directed on a piece of greaseproof paper stuck on the inside of the fake screen.

Moe
08-19-2002, 02:48 PM
Perhaps if you could just make sure that the Anna Nicole Smith show was playing on the TV at the time, the audience would welcome deadly shards of glass.

(although 30 seconds may be a bit long).

TJdude825
08-19-2002, 04:21 PM
I can't offer any advice, but you may be mildly entertained by this: What if...I shot my TV? (http://www.howstuffworks.com/what-if-shoot-tv.htm) ... I know I was...

stockton
08-19-2002, 06:25 PM
Wendy O. used to use a SHOTGUN and put the damn TV in the middle of the stage.

Look where it got her: http://www.modernatomic.com/plasmatics/errata.html

IF YOU'RE AT WORK disclaimer: Some mildly risque (mostly almost nearly topless) images on that page, but nothing terribly scandalous or pornoriffic.

The TV idea sounds very dangerous and it's been done to death.
Could you smash up that AFLAC goose instead?

Cartooniverse
08-19-2002, 10:23 PM
It will implode, then throw the shards outwards with considerable force. I would beg you not to try this. For those naysayers who say that it takes more force than you "think" to crack the face of a modern-day CRT, I say, bushwah.

That was true 30 years ago. Newer CRT's are thinner all around, and are thinner along the face. Please, don't try this without some serious prep work.

If you are determined to stage this effect, contact a special EFX technician who can determine a safe way to "fake" it.

Crack the neck off, in the back of the t.v. tube. That releases the vacuum. Prep some small white smoke puffy bangs, and your EFX person will make it seem as though the t.v. blew when you hit it. As for wanting an image on....don't.

Please.

Cartooniverse

David Simmons
08-19-2002, 10:33 PM
After reading the suggestions as to how AndyPolley might possibly pull this off I'm almost sorry I attached my name to this thread. If the stunt is actually attempted I want to go on record again as saying it is one of the stupidest ideas I've heard in a long time. I strongly recommend that no such thing be tried

D. J. Simmons
19 August 2002

satanslawyer
08-20-2002, 09:31 AM
After reading the suggestions as to how AndyPolley might possibly pull this off I'm almost sorry I attached my name to this thread. If the stunt is actually attempted I want to go on record again as saying it is one of the stupidest ideas I've heard in a long time. I strongly recommend that no such thing be tried

I second that!

DougC
08-20-2002, 03:14 PM
- - - You could maybe score up the face of the tube with a diamond scribe first. Maybe a couple "X"'s, centered on the screen.....
~

DougC
08-20-2002, 03:24 PM
- - - Still I think you'd have a problem with glass getting tossed around, and the stuff inside is rather not-healthy-for-the-lungs. I don't think it would go, really. Not with everybody so close by, at least.
...
- To break the vacuum safely: inside the television set, you remove the socket attached to the very rear of the picture tube. Sticking out the back will be a circle-arrangement of wires; in the center of these wires is the seal run, a little glass tube/nipple with the end melted and squeezed shut. You grab it with some small pliers and gently bend/snap it off.
~

partly_warmer
08-20-2002, 03:41 PM
Yah, I'm with the folks who don't want any part of recommending this.

As I recall--some authority once set me straight on this--older TV sets used phosphor of sufficient quantity/quality/whatever, that was lethal if injected even in the small quantites that would be introduced by flying glass. (That's why the advice nurse responded the way she did.)

Newer ones don't have the problem, said the authority. Finally, the average Joe doesn't have any way to tell between the safe and unsafe sets.

Seems like a great way to fake this would be to remove the CRT, any glass in front of it, and replace it with plexiglass. Nice smashing effect, little or no danger.

Threadkiller
08-20-2002, 03:45 PM
I busted about a dozen TVs at once. I was at a dump with my brother and my brother-in-law. When a TV repair van pulls up next to us and off loads a whole pile of TVs.

We waited until they left and started the destruction. Small rocks thrown directly at the screen didn't do much (from 20 feet or so). We finally settled on facing the TV upward, throwing a large rock up and running away. About half the time a Rock impacted the screen it would implode. There was nothing really spectacular (as a reference point think low wattage bulb--typically under 40 Watt--is also under vacuum and doesn't do anything too spectacular when ruptured) and no glass etc. spread (that we noticed--it was a dump) farther than five feet or so.

Having said all the above I would never do this:a) Indoors.
b) In front of a bunch of people who would be in a position to sue.Because:a) It's really not that spectacular.
b) You never know what might happen.

Rockford
08-20-2002, 04:50 PM
AndyPolley--
I intend on smashing it while it's on, therefore plugged in. I plan on using a wooden bat. There is little separation between where people can stand and the stage itself--maybe a few feet.

Then I hope you don't mind spending the rest of your life (if you don't go to jail, that is) paying off lawsuits from the people you've permanantly blinded and disfigured. I can't believe you would even consider the possibility of doing this. :rolleyes:

Danalan
08-20-2002, 05:59 PM
The song we'll be playing is in D-flat minor.


Spoilsports! He goes to all the trouble of including every possible specification -- including the key he'll be playing in, and all you can do is shriek in horror...


That said --
I think, AndyPolley, that cartooniverse is correct. The effect you are thinking of producing is not the 'natural' result of smashing a TV. It is the illusion of what we wish would happen when a TV was smashed. Great gouts of shooting sparks! Smoke and flame! Sizzling popping sounds! etc., etc.

Get a professional to rig it up right, if you want to entertain your fans. Otherwise, it could be at best boring, at worst dangerous.

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