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Old 17th April 2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Bad AC recepticle destroyed my stuff!

Basically there was a faulty jack on a "plug in", the top one..... In the "Stud Loung" (study) of my dorm... I had my stuff plugged into the bottom one, my amplifier and laptop. Jesse has his monitor plugged into the top jack on the "plug in" and then the VGA cable went to my laptop. When I tried to plug in my mini 1/8th jackthere was an explosion of electrical flash, it disintigrated the brass plug, and melted some of it.... There was like ten 2-3 inch fires all over for a few seconds.

Jesse's monitor rolled smoke and died. My latop is not fully functional and is going to die. We expect the school to pay for this...

A surge protector would NOT of helped as basically 115v or way to much amprage went through his monitors VGA circuit, jumped some thing probably, through my laptop, grounded out at the 1/8th plug, and went back out through my laptop charger too.... My laptop charger plug has some carbinization on it and smells..... Where you plug in an external monitor to my laptop that was once blue, is now black.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Hence why I use hospital grade AC recepticles where ever I can....

I guess IBM laptops are some what strong for taking that kind of an explosion at that range, that is more intense then the sun. Unfortunately I am sure that the laptop is going to have a rather short life span, things are not getting better with it.... The school needs to buy me a new one, I use it for class.
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Old 17th April 2006, 03:21 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your losses. I hope you are able to recover something from the school.
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Old 17th April 2006, 03:24 PM   #3
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Why is there tape on your laptop power cord?

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Old 17th April 2006, 03:31 PM   #4
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Wanna bet that amplifier has (or had) a hot chassis? I made the same mistake of plugging a cheap guitar amp into a receiver with an earth ground.
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Old 17th April 2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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The cord you are seeing is not a powercord.... It is a 1/8th mini plug for audio. It has electrical tape on it because it is made from Belden 9259. It has been tested several times and there is no issue with it.

The amplifier was NOT turned on so there was no where for any electicity to go through it, the transformer lead to a dead end. The 1/8th mini-jack just grounded out the power coming in from the VGA cable on the other side of the laptop. Basically the 1/8th mini plug, or the recepticle on the laptop for it, has a ground that is some how tied to or jumped to the battery/wall charger.

Also the amplifier has two 25v 6800uf capacitors, it could of never caused this, even if it was on. Also it has no ground in the amplifier, not even to the chassis... I know it is a wack old amplifier but hey at least it still works as far as I know, nothing burned in it .

With out the power switch on in the amplifier nothing in it could ever be hot, every thing goes through the power switch......

The problem is the AC recepticle.... I tested the top one and got 10v no matter what I did.... The bottom I was using got 115v like it should. The LCD monitor had to of been over drawing current like crazy, and it was looking for a ground..... That or it made ground and 115v through that path some how, but I am not entirely sure how because I could only get 10v off of the jack in even when touching the negative or ground on the working jack.

I suppose there is a possibility it is wired wrong..... The AC recepticle, but that would cancle out 10v that I got every where I would think.... Either way that AC recepticle is dangerous and could kill some one... If they got a problem paying for my friends monitor and my laptop they can certainly dig themselves into a hole with some thing so dangerous it is life threatening. They got not arguement because a surge protector, and even a battery surge protector, would of done NOTHING.
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Old 17th April 2006, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Destroyer OS.
I suppose there is a possibility it is wired wrong..... The AC recepticle, but that would cancle out 10v that I got every where I would think.... Either way that AC recepticle is dangerous and could kill some one... If they got a problem paying for my friends monitor and my laptop they can certainly dig themselves into a hole with some thing so dangerous it is life threatening. They got not arguement because a surge protector, and even a battery surge protector, would of done NOTHING.
Have you thought about what could potentially be wrong with the mains socket?, I don't see as anything could be wrong with it that would cause what your pictures show?. It looks more like you've connected a live piece of equipment, presumably unearthed and faulty?, to an earthed piece of equipment.

Be thankful that it went through the laptop, and not through you!.

Quick extra thought! - do you not have PAT testing over there? (Portable Appliance Testing), this would show which items (if any?) were faulty. In the UK anything electrical taken on school, university, council property etc. has to have a current PAT test sticker.
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Old 17th April 2006, 05:19 PM   #7
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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I would agree...

It is nearly impossible to wire an AC receptacle wrong. Even if it had been, your equipment should have the isolation to prevent those currents.

Now neither your laptop or the monitor is likely "fried". There might be some copper smoked off the boards, but this is likely ground connections which you can fix.

Upon doing that... you need to go through all the power supplies involved and determine which one has lost isolation.

Somewhere there's a hot chassis...
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Old 17th April 2006, 05:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by poobah
Somewhere there's a hot chassis...
And another which is grounded!.

I understand in the USA you have grounded and non-grounded sockets?, in the UK all sockets are grounded - although some plugs may be wired with only two core cable, for 'class 2' double insulated appliances.
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Old 17th April 2006, 08:37 PM   #9
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Nah it couldn't be that amp with the duct tape grommet around the power cord That whole picture is a nightmare. RG59 coax crammed into a 1/8" jack, the coax you used as speaker wire looks like its almost touching. God help us if you're studying engineering...
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Old 17th April 2006, 08:40 PM   #10
mzzj is offline mzzj  Finland
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nigel Goodwin


And another which is grounded!.

Most IBM laptop PSU's are grounded also on secondary side, not double-isolated like some others. So there is your ground.

I would suspect that amplifier, its looks old and tired, maybe some "diy-modifications" inside... even duct tape
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