See various questions about CRT replacement, where the original poster shows neither awareness or unawareness of the hazards involved.

Should it be assumed everyone will be safe by virtue of their own diligence, so one should be friendly and not warn sternly - or should the assumption always be that whoever doesn't reasonably prove they know how to be safe does not?

  • What is a PSMPS? Search engines and dictionaries are failing me. Oct 26, 2021 at 14:59
  • 1
    Primary switch mode power supply. Basically, any switch mode converter that has active electronics at mains potential. Most remotely modern power supplies are. Oct 26, 2021 at 15:41
  • PSMPS, given mains potential and energy storage, potentially can have more potential for killing you dead with deathly death than CRT equipment which - unless it is a live chassis design TV!!! - appears to be generally considered to be better at damnable megahurts of ouch time and sending you and glass flying with wall-assisted braking, than deathly death. Oct 26, 2021 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Don't assume: the original poster is not the only one reading the answer

I would not want to assume that a stranger is aware of how to handle high-voltage circuits.

A key feature of Stack Exchange is that the Q-and-A's are intended to be kept available for the benefit of future readers. Even if the original poster shows awareness of the hazards, one cannot know whether others who search for the same question will know what precautions to take. As they're not writing the question, they have no opportunity to show us if they're unaware of the dangers involved.

My preference would be to put a brief disclaimer prior to any answer that I write about repairing such items, noting that care is needed when dealing with high voltage equipment. This can be done in a friendly manner, but there should be a warning. (I don't feel there's a need to list all the precautions every time, just inform or remind readers that there are added dangers involved.)

If the original poster has acknowledged the hazards involved in the question, or the question is of such an intricate nature that it goes far beyond opening the box and looking inside, then that may be sufficient warning for future readers.

(This reflects the common practice on a number of retrocomputing-oriented web forums that I frequent.)

  • Yes!!! I had a similar post on space.meta.SE. Even if the original asker is a qualified and responsible person, the posts are public. There's likely to be some irresponsible person out there who may be encouraged to do something dangerous.
    – DrSheldon
    Oct 24, 2020 at 3:29

I think we should try to minimise our site's casualty rate. Scary bold warnings at the top of answers, and just before dangerous parts of how-tos is within our ability, so I think we'd be stupid not to use them.

Modern people probably aren't used to televisions and monitors being deadly weapons of deathly death.

  • I know moderators can stick a notice box at the top of the question in certain situations. Is it possible to place such a notice box with arbitrary text? Perhaps a standard safety warning can be put in such a box on CRT repair questions. Oct 26, 2021 at 14:47
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    @user3840170 That's not in the toolbox, but I'll see about getting us one. (Most sites use blockquotes at the beginning; in fact, that's how Stack Overflow used to handle duplicates.)
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Oct 26, 2021 at 22:20

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