Dogway

PC connections lifecycle

22 posts in this topic

Hello, I use my deskrop mini PC as an HTPC too. What that means is that almost every other day I connect and disconnect all my I/O plugs. I once read regarding esata that it had a limited lifecycle of less than 50 connections... so I'm very worried if something similar applies to USB, DVI, or the power plug for example.

 

edit: Found the link on the esata wiki.

 

"The eSATA connector has a design-life of 5,000 matings; the ordinary SATA connector is only specified for 50."

Edited by Dogway
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Well that link wasn't cited, as Tow users should have marked. I don't think I've used eSATA before, except for accidently plugging a USB mouse into it.... And I'm skeptic of that 50 connections thing with a standard SATA port. I've surpassed that on many boards, cables and hard disks. The only casualties have been some HDDs where the plastic around the connector breaks, meaning the locking clamp has nothing to grab on to.

 

When hardware designers do these tests, they probably aren't using people. So I'd guess that it was on average 50 connections before the robot tester would break the connectors. :)

 

Anyways, I think these values relate to physical tolerances of the plastic or metal.

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I see, I guess it's the same for the power plug too. No risk on plug/unplug 1 or 2 thousand times...?

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There is the potential of electrical damage with any of these plugs, primarily the power. It DOES happen but is usually a rare occurence.

 

The only real problem you'd likely run into is those one or some times of not inserting or removing a plug at the proper angle.

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The power plug specially makes sounds when I try to insert it correctly, and touching the cable gives me shocks.

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No, there is some confusion in this.

The specifications for SATA connectors did mandate a minimum of 50 insertions/extractions, this does not in any way mean that they are designed in such a way that they will break on average on the 51st connection.

 

It only means that the SATA committee had a brain fart when approving that ridiculous provision.

 

As an example, some Molex are rated for 500 connection cycles:

http://www.molex.com/webdocs/datasheets/pdf/en-us/0877030001_PCB_HEADERS.pdf

but these are rated for only 50 :w00t::ph34r:

http://www.molex.com/webdocs/datasheets/pdf/en-us/0678005005_PCB_HEADERS.pdf

 

jaclaz

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The power plug specially makes sounds when I try to insert it correctly, and touching the cable gives me shocks.

 

Well that certainly isn't good. Does it do this connected to any outlet? Do other power cords connected to those outlets do the same thing?

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It does a typical spark sound, I use a towel whenever I want to plug or unplug, maybe the case is not grounded?

It happens when I plug the power cord to the PC from 2 different outlets and power cords, even 2 different houses (one side of my apartment is from one building and the other from another)

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It is possible that something is incorrect within the construction of the system, or that the power supply isn't 100% ok. I don't want to use a power-outlet comment as I don't know what country you are in. But in the US, just because we have outlets with a ground plug doesn't necessarily mean that the plug is grounded. But I don't think that is a problem.

 

I did a fair amount of unplugging and replugging things in yesterday (relocated equipment to another room) and I also can often see a little spark or hear a sound when plugging things in. This is because the outlet is active and it is a natural phenomena that the electricity will jump that gap on insertion. HOWEVER, I do not get zapped. That is the real concern, not that you can see a little spark or hear a sound.

 

I wouldn't recommend a towel, cloth or paper. You would want to use anything rubber, even one of those rubber things you use to help you open jars. :w00t:

 

But that is just a work-around. What is the environment like where your systems are? Do they sit on carpet?

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I'm on Spain. A technician checked my outlet and they are grounded. The power supply is new, it's a good one, BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 10.
Since I started using a towel I don't get zapped anymore. I would think the rubber of the cord wouldn't make this happen but you see.
My PC sits on a glass desk mainly.

Anyway, this PSU is a tad too big and heavy, and I bought another one with fanless mode, so at that time I could probably know if it's a PSU thing, but I have my doubts.

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almost every other day I connect and disconnect all my I/O plugs.

"The eSATA connector has a design-life of 5,000 matings"

That's 27 years, ...sounds OK to me. :thumbup

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Yes, CD's were supposed to last 1 thousand years, that sounded OK to me  lol.

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FYI, just because a technician said the outlets are grounded doesn't mean they are connected correctly. For example, in the U.S. this is the correct wiring. Note that as a sound engineer we've run into the non-ground wires (white/green) are sometimes inadvertantly reversed and we have to use ground lifts (un-gound, not good but works) and hopefully find a separate line fuse/breaker line that -is- correct for the power supplies at FOH.

http://inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_Outlet_Wire_Connections.php

I'm betting that even in Europe the same rules apply.

This is a "tool" we use to check them before we even hook up. I carry mine to every gig.

http://www.leadmask.com/klein-elec-test-rt200.html?gclid=CLf1ou-_qb8CFQeHaQod55QAvg

Note that the outlets -do- work, just bass-ackwards (phase-reversal) and you can't have (e.g.) FOH Power on a "reversed" outlet, connect the wiring to the mixer/rack and have the mixer/rack connected to the "correctly wired" outlet because of the all-heck-breaks-loose, including ZAP-touch at the microphones.

 

You might want to have those outlets checked again for -proper- EU wiring.

 

HTH

Edited by submix8c
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I'm betting that even in Europe the same rules apply.

You lose. :w00t::ph34r:

A similar approach ("named" pins for "live" and "neutral" or "polarized" plug/socket) only apply in the UK and in Denmark, in the rest of Europe it is indifferent (as the plug can be inserted both ways in the socket), i.e. plugs are not polarized, with the exception of the French standard (which however has not a standard for polarization in France), but that is observed In Czech Republic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets

Spain uses the German Schuko plugs/sockets.

Still, a socket may be grounded fine, but there could be parasite currents on both the live and neutral cables, and Dogway's PC, new as it might be it's power supply, may have a leak nonetheless.

jaclaz

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YOWCH! Nonetheless, phase matters, no? That was the point...

 

So... what IS the "socket" there, Dogway? (see jaclaz' link or whatever...)

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