Electrical Genius



  • My latest contract is setting up a PCI compliant network in Madrid.  Now the thing you have to remember about these guys is that money is no object with them They are loaded.  That leaves me wondering how the heck did things like this happen?  Who descided that 5 euro should be saved in these cases?

     

     This is a kitchen fan.  No one bothered to put a plug on there so they just pugged the bare wires into the holes.

     Fan wire stripped and plugged straight into socket

     

    This is the wire going to the laptop owned by one of the managers.  North American plugged VAIO so he just taped the wires from the plug he wanted onto the prongs.

    Taped on wires for socket conversion.



  •  OMG that's hilarious. I've seen stuff like that too; my favourite one was the electric extension lead featuring voltage in the plug - that is, it got the voltage from an other cord, and it had voltage in the plug when it was unplugged too so touching it could easily burn your fingers.



  •  I see two solutions.

    A. Point out the problem and suggest that they be fixed.

    B. Get insulated gloves. Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others. Then spill coffee on the laptop cable.

    Guess which one I prefer :) 



  • Wait a sec.. Americans use 110 V, right? And the Spanish go with 230 V, right? So, his laptop's power supply can work with both 110V and 230V (well, either that or you forgot to upload the photos of the burnt out laptop). The Real WTF is that Sony didn't include a proper set of cables.

    But then again, why would anyone buy a computer in the US and use it in Europe? Oh, wait.



  • @archivator said:

    So, his laptop's power supply can work with both 110V and 230V
     

    most of them do 



  • @DOA said:

    B. Get insulated gloves. Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others. Then spill coffee on the laptop cable.
     

    There is no ground terminal on the laptop side or the wall outlet side.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    There is no ground terminal on the laptop side or the wall outlet side.
    I was referring to the ground wire in the first image. Did you REALLY post a comment just to argue something this trivial?



  •  @archivator said:

    Wait a sec.. Americans use 110 V, right? And the Spanish go with 230 V,
    right? So, his laptop's power supply can work with both 110V and 230V
    (well, either that or you forgot to upload the photos of the burnt out
    laptop)
    Most laptop power supplies will take either European or US voltages. It's assumed that most people who buy laptops want them for travelling.

     It's not true so much these days, but even so...



  • @seamustheseagull said:

    Most laptop power supplies will take either European or US voltages. It's assumed that most people who buy laptops want them for travelling.

     

    I'd guess it's cheaper to have just one type of power supply even if the costs are marginally higher; because it makes the logistical part easier. If companies were really confident that many of their customers travel between US and Europe, they would sure as hell make extra money by selling traveler power supplies.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @seamustheseagull said:

    Most laptop power supplies will take either European or US voltages. It's assumed that most people who buy laptops want them for travelling.

     

    I'd guess it's cheaper to have just one type of power supply even if the costs are marginally higher; because it makes the logistical part easier. If companies were really confident that many of their customers travel between US and Europe, they would sure as hell make extra money by selling traveler power supplies.

    Actually they went one better so you don't notice.

    Power supplies for laptops come in two peices.  The brick plugs into your laptop then a saprate cord plugs into the brick and goes to the wall.

    Cheaper for them to make a universal brick, more expensive for you to buy all the wall plugs you need to fit all the wall sockets you encounter.  They don't have to worry about voltage if the wall plug is separated from the brick.



  • @Gerhard said:

    That leaves me wondering how the heck did things like this happen?  Who descided that 5 euro should be saved in these cases?

     This is a kitchen fan.  No one bothered to put a plug on there so they just pugged the bare wires into the holes


    I've seen this before (in Russia) and I have also seen wires twisted together to make circuits. So that in order to to turn on a particular item you shut off the main breaker, untwist the wires feeding an unused item and twist them onto the item that you want to use - and then turn the mains back on(*).

    I have also seen dead electricians.


    Things are getting a bit more restrictive in the US industry however. A few years ago you only had to base your safety plan on the voltage that you were switching (ie is it low, medium or high). Now days you have to consider the potential energy release worst case scenario (including the radius at which the maximum possible released energy density falls below a minimum) . This results in fun things like having to wear three distinct layers of gloves (cotton, leather, rubber) when switching medium voltage, and going to a full on bomb suit like contraption when switching higher voltages.

    (*)The guy I saw doing the twisting also liked to use his hard hat as a hammer in order to crack walnuts.



  • @DOA said:

    I was referring to the ground wire in the first image.
     

    And I was referring to the complete and total lack of any place to connect it on either side of the cord.

    @DOA said:

    Did you REALLY post a comment just to argue something this trivial?

    Hey, just following your pattern here.



  •  @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    And I was referring to the complete and total lack of any place to connect it on either side of the cord.

    facepalm

    Ok, here's what I said:

    @DOA said:

    Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others.

    Read what I wrote. Now look at the first picture. Now read what I wrote again. Now look at the first picture again. 

    I really can't help you more than that. 



  • @DOA said:

    @DOA said:

    Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others.

    Read what I wrote. Now look at the first picture. Now read what I wrote again. Now look at the first picture again. 

    I really can't help you more than that. 

     

    I will as soon as you read what am saying. 

    Putting the ground wire into either the hot or neutral socket wont do anything because it is connected to nothing.

    Now, I understand this is complicated for you, but you really shouldn't keep talking here. You sound like a fool.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Putting the ground wire into either the hot or neutral socket wont do anything because it is connected to nothing.

    Now, I understand this is complicated for you, but you really shouldn't keep talking here. You sound like a fool.

     

    actually the ground wire is usually connected to the metal casing.

    if the hot wire gets disconnected and touches the casing, the ground wire causes a short circuit and the breaker ... well breaks ...

    if there was no ground wire the casing would then be hot as well as the next person who touched it ...

    consequently if you connect the ground wire to the hot wire, the casing of the electrical fan would be hot and the first person touching it would get an uneasy feeling in their extremities ....

      

     



  • @Nelle said:

    actually the ground wire is usually connected to the metal casing.
     

    The laptop plug he is referring to is a two prong, genius.

     

    Thanks for explaining electricity though.



  • @OzPeter said:

    I've seen this before (in Russia) and I have also seen wires twisted together to make circuits. So that in order to to turn on a particular item you shut off the main breaker, untwist the wires feeding an unused item and twist them onto the item that you want to use - and then turn the mains back on(*).

    I have also seen dead electricians.

    Mexican secondary schools require students to take one "taller" course, which is basically something technical like electricity, electronics, or not so technical like typewriting.

    I remember a particular teacher in the electrical workshop: he had us re-use the wiring on our constructs... which after a lot of cutting would mean that we had to knot them together and use tape to isolate the naked wires. These frankencables would go through a 7cm metal tube and connect what was basically a set of lightbulbs. Of course, thanks to this, shortcircuits were common, so our own fusebox breaker switches no longer used fuses, because it was prohibitively expensive to use them... so what did we use? Three razor-thin wires bridging over what would usually be connected through the fuse. Now, this "fusebox" was placed at something like 3m over the ground, so we had to stand over a 1.5m wobbly stool to reach it. This job was usually given by rotation in our team, because if the circuit were to short, the red-hot wires would explode and whoever was up there would have to jump backwards or get his arm burned by said wires.

    Oh, I wish a safety inspector had seen that. Sadly, it seems they didn't. I'm pretty sure though that even in this country that's pretty much against safety regulations! Good thing I changed school after 3 months...



  • @Nelle said:

    consequently if you connect the ground wire to the hot wire, the casing of the electrical fan would be hot and the first person touching it would get an uneasy feeling in their extremities ....

    Like my coworker, who found out about one such short in a PSU when he got a bit of a shock when he tried to plug in the monitor. Maybe it was the local BOFH's computer...

    Talking 'bout plugs and voltages, I've seen that while most laptop power supplies are universal, you only get the regional plug; so to use it overseas you'd either have to use this "solution", buy an adapter or just buy the entire box-to-mains cable. However, my BlackBerry charger came with basically a detachable "plug", and plug sets to fit almost every single socket type in the world. Better planning, or is it just that BlackBerry users are expected to travel more than laptop users??



  • I think there was a bit of a grammatical/parsing error with the misunderstanding.  Here is how I interpreted DOA's statement:

    @DOA said:

    B. Get insulated gloves. Touch the ground wire that is in the socket for the kitchen fan to the others. Then spill coffee on the laptop cable.

    But then again, wouldn't that cause the circuit breaker to break? 

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    The laptop plug he is referring to is a two prong, genius.
    Nooo, I'm referring to the kitchen fan cable. The one in the first picture. The one I told you to look at. Twice. It's the first picture. Number 1. Numero Uno. The one at the top. The one that comes before the second. The one that's showing a kitchen sink fan, not a laptop. The one with the striped yellow-green wire.



  • @DOA said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    The laptop plug he is referring to is a two prong, genius.
    Nooo, I'm referring to the kitchen fan cable. The one in the first picture. The one I told you to look at. Twice. It's the first picture. Number 1. Numero Uno. The one at the top. The one that comes before the second. The one that's showing a kitchen sink fan, not a laptop. The one with the striped yellow-green wire.

     

    Yes. I know what the first picture is. I read the OP.

    But you said:

    @DOA said:


    B. Get insulated gloves. Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others. Then spill coffee on the laptop cable.

    Therefore obviously you don't understand.

     

    Also, you are inferring that the fan HAS a ground (hint, not all do) and that it has a metal case.

    Also, that cord could be joined to the fan's plug like the laptop's cord has been attached.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Talking 'bout plugs and voltages, I've seen that while most laptop power supplies are universal, you only get the regional plug; so to use it overseas you'd either have to use this "solution", buy an adapter or just buy the entire box-to-mains cable.

    I have had some fun experiences with those cables for my Dell laptops. I find that the Wall-to-Brick cable that comes with new Dells is way too short for my liking (~1m) but I was happily surprised that the non-US replacement I got for one laptop was a more agreeable 2m long. But then when I changed laptops I got really pissed at Dell because they changed the design of the mains side of the Brick - which meant that I couldn't use my old Wall-to-Brick cables with my new laptop.



  • @DOA said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    The laptop plug he is referring to is a two prong, genius.
    Nooo, I'm referring to the kitchen fan cable. The one in the first picture. The one I told you to look at. Twice. It's the first picture. Number 1. Numero Uno. The one at the top. The one that comes before the second. The one that's showing a kitchen sink fan, not a laptop. The one with the striped yellow-green wire.

     

    Ok, I think I get it now... by "the others" you meant the wires for the kitchen fan, not for the laptop?  So, presumedly, the two items would be on the same circuit for your idea, right?



  • Hey, you got a nice opportunity to use an etherkiller in your workplace without raising too much suspicion! Maybe after someone did it they would start doing things the safe way.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    The laptop plug he is referring to is a two prong, genius.
     

    with the grounding wire, he was refering to the kitchen fan on the image #1 ...

    not the laptop thing which is a completely separate WTF on the image #2 ... 

    he said you should spill some evil coffee on the laptop plug for the #2 ...

    at least I understood his post in that way ... i could be wrong ... wouldn't be the first (or the last time) ....

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Thanks for explaining electricity though.

    np 

     



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    you are inferring that the fan HAS a ground (hint, not all do)
     

    the costs for a three wire cable are slightly higher than those for a two wire cable so manufacturers do not tend to put 3 wire cables on the products with no grounding ...

    for such products they tend to use the low cost two wire crap ...

     although the existance of products which have three wire cables, but no grounding is not impossible, IMHO it is highly improbable or at least very uncommon ...

     

     

     



  • @Nelle said:

    so manufacturers do not tend to put 3 wire cables on the products with no grounding ...
     

    Really?

    Seriously, do you think you are explaining this to anyone who doesn't know?

    How do you know the cord in the pic for the fan is the actual cord and it isn't attached to a plug like the laptop plug in picture 2? You dont. And I don't. That is why I wouldn't make such a statement.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @DOA said:
    B. Get insulated gloves. Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others. Then spill coffee on the laptop cable.
    Therefore obviously you don't understand.
     

    Let's see... this sentence: Put the ground wire in the socket along with the others. refers to the kitchen fan in the first image. It cannot be referring to the laptop because there is no ground wire hanging loose there. 

    The next sentence (Then spill coffee on the laptop cable) refers to the laptop in the second image.

    This is why there are two sentences. Not one.

    I find it odd that someone with your specialization in parsing posts into individual sentences can't grasp this. 

     



  • @DOA said:

    I find it odd that someone with your specialization in parsing posts into individual sentences can't grasp this. 
     

    I can. But your original post did not make this clear, as other people have also pointed out. Therefore, you made no sense.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @DOA said:

    I find it odd that someone with your specialization in parsing posts into individual sentences can't grasp this. 
     

    I can. But your original post did not make this clear, as other people have also pointed out. Therefore, you made no sense.

    I had an advisor once who taught the professional writing course for our major (Meteorology).  He also happened to be fairly proficient in programming, and one of his best tips to me was to treat pronouns and other ambiguous nouns like pointers.  They should always be defined before being used.  If you don't define your references properly, you are going to have different bugs with each execution, and it is very hard to figure out what went wrong.

    Don't know if that tip would help anybody here, but I always liked it.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I can. But your original post did not make this clear, as other people have also pointed out. Therefore, you made no sense.
    And yet only you had to turn this into a flamewar. Interesting, isn't it?

    (cue another pointless MPS post because He.Must.Have.The.Last.Word.)



  • @DOA said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    I can. But your original post did not make this clear, as other people have also pointed out. Therefore, you made no sense.
    And yet only you had to turn this into a flamewar. Interesting, isn't it?
    MPS wasn't the only one who didn't understand what you were saying. He summed up my reaction well enough that I didn't need to post. What you originally wrote either made no sense or was just plain wrong, depending on which defense you're going with at the moment. Just man up, admit you didn't make yourself clear, and move on. It's not a big deal.



  • @bstorer said:

    What you originally wrote either made no sense or was just plain wrong, depending on which defense you're going with at the moment.
     

    Made perfect sense to me... 

    @bstorer said:

    MPS wasn't the only one who didn't understand what you were saying.

    I somehow knew you were going to say that. I can read your mind you know.

    @bstorer said:
    ust man up, admit you didn't make yourself clear, and move on. It's not a big deal.
     

    Actually i think mps was wrong, but he will never admit to that. 

    neither will you

    or morb

    even when one of you is so blatantly wrong as now.    


    dont bother replying ... i already know what you want to say ...

     



  •  Am I the only one who believes there is 4 wires in the first picture? The green and yellow are twisted together?



  • @DeLos said:

     Am I the only one who believes there is 4 wires in the first picture? The green and yellow are twisted together?

     

    Shouldnt be. It is a green with yellow stripe, which is the standard ground wire for europe.



  • @DOA said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    I can. But your original post did not make this clear, as other people have also pointed out. Therefore, you made no sense.
    And yet only you had to turn this into a flamewar. Interesting, isn't it?

    (cue another pointless MPS post because He.Must.Have.The.Last.Word.)

     

    I didn't read what you wrote as you intended for it to be read at first either.  I did figure it out eventually, but A) you could have been more clear B) MPS wasn't really 'flaming' very bad, but wasn't especially accommodating C) you could have probably just said "oh, I meant xyz" instead of extending it into a multi post back and forth.  

     

    So if you don't like "flamewars" and aren't encouraging one just for the "Interesting, isn't it?" factor, just clarify the original intent, and move back to the topic.



  • @BeenThere said:

    you could have probably just said "oh, I meant xyz"
    I did.

     



  • @DOA said:

    @BeenThere said:
    you could have probably just said "oh, I meant xyz"
    I did.

    ...your second sentence is inviting it all.  Giving someone shit for misunderstanding a post that you wrote in a confusing manner is not the best way to stay on the original topic.

    If it had been a reply to me it would have been over with the first sentence in your followup post, but with the second sentence I'd tell you not to bitch me out for your own failure to communicate clearly.  Personally it wouldn't bother me that you were unclear in your first post - we all do that now and then.  To bitch at someone who simply read your post in the most sensical way it can be read because you wrote it poorly - less of that would help.



  •  @BeenThere said:

    Giving someone shit for misunderstanding a post that you wrote in a confusing manner is not the best way to stay on the original topic.
    Fair enough.

    The thing is my replies tend to depend on who I'm replying to. People who communicate in a polite manner get polite responses. People who have a history of flaming.. well you get the idea.



  • @ammoQ said:

    I'd guess it's cheaper to have just one type of power supply even if the costs are marginally higher; because it makes the logistical part easier. If companies were really confident that many of their customers travel between US and Europe, they would sure as hell make extra money by selling traveler power supplies.
     

    No, it's not logistics, these type of power supplies are cheaper, smaller and more efficient. You need a transformer to convert high voltage to low voltage, and at the 50/60 Hz that the power grid operates on, these transformers are big, expensive (lots of copper/iron), heavy and most importantly very inefficient. The best approach to increasing efficiency is to increase the frequency, up to 50 kHz - 500kHz, which is referred to as a "switching power supply". This very high frequency AC power then only needs a much much smaller transformer and can then be converted to low voltage DC with much greater efficiency.

    Because of the smaller transformers and higher switching frequency, the input voltage isn't much of a factor anymore. This has the added benefit of switching power supplies being usable with anything between 80-240+ volt AC input. You may remember older PC power supplies that had a switch in the back to change the windings of the transformer so that it'd either have a 120 or 240 winding ratio. Fortunately these have mostly disappeared these days.



  • For what it's worth I see MPS original reply as less seeking clarification and more seeking confrontation.  MPS clearly is bright enough to go from the statement he made to the realization of what was meant. The fact that that bit of mental gymnastics caused a flamewar to errupt is a bit childish, but I have to say I think DOA is in the right here. Of course, my opinion is no more valid than anyone else's.



  • @Nandurius said:

    @ammoQ said:

    I'd guess it's cheaper to have just one type of power supply even if the costs are marginally higher; because it makes the logistical part easier. If companies were really confident that many of their customers travel between US and Europe, they would sure as hell make extra money by selling traveler power supplies.
     

    No, it's not logistics, these type of power supplies are cheaper, smaller and more efficient. You need a transformer to convert high voltage to low voltage, and at the 50/60 Hz that the power grid operates on, these transformers are big, expensive (lots of copper/iron), heavy and most importantly very inefficient. The best approach to increasing efficiency is to increase the frequency, up to 50 kHz - 500kHz, which is referred to as a "switching power supply". This very high frequency AC power then only needs a much much smaller transformer and can then be converted to low voltage DC with much greater efficiency.

    Because of the smaller transformers and higher switching frequency, the input voltage isn't much of a factor anymore. This has the added benefit of switching power supplies being usable with anything between 80-240+ volt AC input. You may remember older PC power supplies that had a switch in the back to change the windings of the transformer so that it'd either have a 120 or 240 winding ratio. Fortunately these have mostly disappeared these days.

     

    That's not how switching power supplies work - [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply]this is[/url]



  • @GettinSadda said:

    That's not how switching power supplies work - this is
     

    Out of curiosity, what particular statements are you disagreeing with? From the Wikipedia page:

    • The inverter stage converts DC, whether directly from the input or from
      the rectifier stage described above, to AC by running it through a
      power oscillator, whose output transformer is very small with few
      windings at a frequency of tens or hundreds of kilohertz (kHz). The frequency is usually chosen to be above 20 kHz, to make it inaudible to humans.
    • Size and weight: Smaller due to higher operating frequency (typically 50 kHz - 1 MHz)
    • Other advantages include smaller size and lighter weight (from the
      elimination of low frequency transformers which have a high weight) and
      lower heat generation from the higher efficiency.
    • SMPS transformers run at high frequency. Most of the cost savings
      (and space savings) in "off-line" power supplies come from the fact
      that a high frequency transformer is a lot smaller than the 50/60 Hz
      transformers used before SMPS.
    Maybe you just missed my point, which was to note the cost/weight/space savings that SMPS offer, not a detailed explanation of the required circuitry :)


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.