Tragedy Tray - David Merry - Description is NOT accurate

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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/18/08 09:22 AM

Just a heads up to those who may be interested in the Tragedy Tray by David Merry offered by Hank Lee.

Both the description of the effect & accompanying demo video are not accurate. Looking at the demo video - you may be inclined to believe that the effect is electro-magnet based i.e. the handle detaches causing the tray to fall.

This is not the case. The unit used in the demo video is not the one supplied. The tray supplied is electric-shock based which delivers an electric current via the handle to the spectator causing him to let go of the tray. The handle does not detach at all.

The demo clearly states that this is "... a tray that falls apart anytime you want ..." which is not so. The tray does not fall apart - it forces the volunteer to drop it via electric shock.

I do believe the fact that you are delivering an electric current to a specator a fairly vital piece of information that needs to be included in the product description.

As much as the unit is powered by only a 9 volt battery - those with electronics background will know that such a power source can still deliver a nasty 'kick'.

Having now tested the unit first hand - the shock delivered to the spectator is ( in my view ) just unacceptable & I can't knowingly inflict an electric shock on a volunteer for the sake of entertainment.

I hope this helps anyone who is considering purchasing the unit.

Hank Lee has gladly offered to credit me for the unit which I am returning - but David Merry should have been more forthcoming in the description of the product especially concerning something as 'sensitive' as shocking a spectator in order to accomplish the effect.
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Postby Rick Ruhl » 11/18/08 10:26 AM

Craig Mitchell wrote:As much as the unit is powered by only a 9 volt battery - those with electronics background will know that such a power source can still deliver a high voltage but low amperage shock.


The resistance of the skin will vary the level of the shock. If someone is sweating, the resistance will be lower than someone is not.

The maximum voltage and current that can cause a shock without damage is 10 volts @ .005 amps. The amps are what cause the shock. So with a skin resistance of 1000 ohms, a 9 volt battery can cause around .01 to .02 amps, which is the muscular contraction level, but it wouldnt go much higher that than.

I = e/r (I=amps, e= voltage, r=resistance)
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/18/08 01:24 PM

Thanks for that Rick - I'm sure it's 'safe' - but it still delivers a nasty kick - on the 'muscular contraction level'

Not pleasant at all. And if I was a volunteer - I would be severely upset at being subjected to 'shock therapy' for the sake of a cheap laugh by a performer.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/18/08 02:24 PM

What happens if you put a lightbulb in their mouth? :confused:
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Reason: uncle fester?
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/18/08 02:43 PM

Kudos to Dave Merry - he has updated the description to now include the electric current aspect.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/18/08 04:13 PM

I'm sure it was just an oversight to begin with.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 11/18/08 05:13 PM

No oversight - Dave did not originally include mention of the electric current as he felt that it 'tips' the method & was not needed.

He's now erred on the side of caution and has updated the description to be more open following my disappointment of not being able to use the effect.
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Postby A1exM » 11/19/08 05:58 AM

No one has answered Jonathan's Question yet, but what a wonderful idea for a Christmas decoration. Perhaps, instead of a tree, simply stand a spectator in the corner of your living room and hang a few fairy lights on him!

Joking aside, why any performer would want to electrocute a volunteer is beyond me.

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Postby P.T.Widdle » 12/06/08 02:27 PM

The first thing that struck me when I read the ad was not that there might be some electrical shock to the volunteer (troubling as that is), but that the whole premise of the item is to make the volunteer look and feel foolish.

I thought the prevailing wisdom nowadays was to avoid that sort of magic.
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