After the accident, my colleague and I added a diode to the circuit to make it impossible to repeat that mistake. Nowadays, when I teach elementary electronics courses, I generally mention the diode bridge as a way to make it possible to connect up a battery in either “direction” without endangering the electronics to which the battery is to be connected.
My mistake has served as a cautionary tale for many years now.—Shlomo Engelberg, CC25, 2013
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