I understand that open-ended design review questions are generally discouraged.

However, I'm designing my first mains powered device and was wondering if constrained design review questions such as "Are there any glaring safety issues with this circuit" on topic?

Assuming the circuit in question is fairly simple.


2 Answers 2


I don't think I'd have a problem with it. The caveat being that its well documented with a schematic and a well written description. Another thing that could be done is to make the question as specific as possible as to what pertains to being safe. In addition to that:

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

-inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
-tend to have long, not short, answers
-have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
-invite sharing experiences over opinions
-insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
-are more than just mindless social fun

Reference: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

So keep the question specific and make it easier for people to read with documentation and being specific.


I guess a question formulated like this can still a bit too open-ended, unless the circuit is very simple (like no more than 4-5 components, and a single, very simple task).

As soon as the circuits is a bit more complex than this, it would certainly make it easier to guide the readers and formulate the question such as "Are there any safety issues with having the R1 resistor here, and are there particular precautions to take regarding the C2 capacitor ratings". You can still end the question with an invitation to check the rest ("Any advice on the safety of this ciruit is welcome"), but providing a list of specific things you're not sure about will certainly make the experience better for both you and the answerer.

If you don't do that, the job is actually more difficult for the answerers, so you might get less answers, and the answers may be less interesting: you risk having answers basically just saying "Everything looks good to me.". Then, you did not learn much, and what confidence can you have in such an answer, even if the person saying this is right?


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