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

 

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

 

The thecnician checked voltage with a tester. He told me that it should be 12V if grounded, and it was.

My socket looks like the German.

 

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Well, there is no way, with a tester/multimeter to say if a circuit is grounded properly :w00t: (and certainly reading *wherever* 12V has nothing to do with grounding a 200-250V AC circuit).

The phase/live is not (please read should not) be a problem, however, if there is a leak or bridge deliveriing some voltage to the chassis, it is easy enough to invert (re-insert, rotated by 180 degrees) the plug.

 

jaclaz

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:crazy:

 

In the US (see Wiki link) - a non-gounded wall socket CANNOT be gounded with JUST the TWO connections (old style). This is the "you can plug into it either way" type. BUT it's not gounded. To Grounf, a THORD wire (usually copper/aluminum) is run LITERALLY to the Earth Ground (read that as the dirt outside). At that time, you SHOULD (as in the sound tech example given) ensure that the 2-prong plug is inserted the correct direction (HUMMMMMM!!!!!!! or not...). NEWISH wall sockets (and corresponding plugs) allow a single directin and one "flat prong" is larger than the other (old style) width for morons in the US. There are adapters that we use (we call "ground lift") we plug into the NEW style and do NOT connect the "ground" part. That appears to be your "missing component". Be aware I had a Tangent Mixer that was apparently purchased in GB and had 240V set in the PSU and it "blew" half of the supply. Moron tech at the sound shop "replaced" the wole thing with a "box" and yanked the REAL stuff from the mixer. When I got the schematics from him I looked them over and discovered his error (or intentiona to get MY parts). Parts were gone (he said). :realmad:

 

Two wires do not a grounded plug make (AFAIK). I see two prongs. Where's the ground (3d leg)? Polarization (in above Wiki)? You're power suplly - how does it connect to the wall socket - an adapter or direct ("special" German-style)? Sorry, it makes no sense to me (U.S.A. 120v/240v typer person). My "understanding" is than only in USA is 120v used (hence the GB mixer example above).

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Sure :), an AC outlet (grounded) has three contacts (everywhere) live/neutral/ground.

Since the 70's (at least in Italy) grounding is compulsory on ALL sockets.

The plugs may have two (ungrounded) or three (grounded) pins, and the plug is compatible to both.

Of course only Class 2 (double insulation) devices can have a two pin plug, as well as lighting appliances.

But often an issue may be not the grounding (in the sense of a third cable, yellow/green along the standard, connected to the plug and the use of a three contact plug) but the grounding :w00t: in the sense of how well the grounding wires are connected to actual ground, it's not rare the case of a bad ground or of oxidized contacts/loose bolts/etc. making the ground partially or totally ineffective.

 

About AC, not only there is the 120 vs 240 V difference, but in the US electricity is @60 Hz while in EU it is @50Hz, which is a further issue for anything containing an electric motor, i.e. even if you use a transformer to make the voltage correct, an EU motor will run roughly 20%  faster in the US and viceversa a US motor will ruin roughly 20% slower in EU.

 

jaclaz

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touching the cable gives me shocks.

Can you elaborate on this ? Touching an insulated (I guess it is) cable gives you shocks ?

Do you mean "holding the metal case of my PC while pushing the plug gives me shocks"?

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touching the cable gives me shocks.

Can you elaborate on this ? Touching an insulated (I guess it is) cable gives you shocks ?

Do you mean "holding the metal case of my PC while pushing the plug gives me shocks"?

 

 

No, touching only the black rubber part  of the cable gives me shocks, maybe the plastic of the head too to make pressure.

I sometimes also hold the case handles (it's a bitfenix prodigy), which are also rubber so I can keep the case in place.

 

I can test later if you want to assure this, but I'm afraid of another shock.

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Do you get the same with that cord not connected to your PC (only to the wall socket ?)

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