Home, Archive, Stuff, Random thoughts, London, My Rigs, Pictures, Dreams, Links, About, Contact, Search
 

spikegifted - Random thoughts

 

My hands are still shaking...

November 28, 2003

I had an unwanted wake up call at mid-night! Let me start from the beginning...

A couple of days ago, there was a problem with the Trans-Atlantic cable and to add to that my apartment suffered a power outage. When I got home after work, only half of my rigs are running (those with 'Reboot' enabled in BIOS) and all the clocks on our VCRs and hi-fi's were out of sync. When I proceed to restart those rigs that did not have 'Reboot' enabled in BIOS, one of the rigs (my 2nd dual Athlon rig) refuse to even power up. Since I was pressing for time, I didn't investigate further. Luckily I had little time this evening before bedding down, so I decided to take a look and see there's anything I can solve quickly.

Figuring that the first thing to try to do is to see if there's any sign of burnt parts inside the rig, I opened it up and checked. Everything appeared to be fine - no burn marks anywhere in sight. Next I replaced the power cable - the fuse may have gone south. At the same time as I changed the power cable, I decided to make sure that the socket on the surge-protected power strip was ok or not - that's fine also. The cable was changed and one end plugged in to the power strip and the other to the PSU and I was ready to go. I flipped the PSU switch and it followed by a bang and a flash!!

First of all, I didn't suffer an electric shock... Thank god! However, I'm genuinely shocked!! I could be dead by now!! Just in case you're wondering, the PSU in question is an Enermax unit (EG651P-V(E))... and it is less than 1 year old.

It is all thanks to the fuse in the power cable and the surge-protected power strip that my rig and my other hardware weren't fried. I swapped out the burnt PSU and replaced it with an Antec TP380SP that I happen to have lying around... I replaced the power cable again and gingerly plugged the power cable to the PSU and ever so carefully switched on the master switch... The rig came back to life - I did enable the 'Reboot' option in the BIOS after all.

I'm not angry... After all, I'm alive and sitting here counting my blessings and I haven't lost any hardware (except for the failed PSU and a couple of power cables... Big Deal.) However, I'm shocked and am still pretty much lost for words...

---

November 28, 2003

Despite the fact that I've slept over it and have had a chance to think about it, I'm still kinda shaky thinking about the moment I switched on the PSU master switch... So many things could have happened: I could've been electrocuted (that would give the Ruler_of_spike a shock when she wakes up this morning...), the electrics could've been shot and possibly cause a fire in my apartment (my landlord will be really p!ssed!!) and the least threatening of all, some of rigs could've just died...

The point I'm most upset about is that I've PSUs that have been in service for longer and been under more stress. The rig that the Enermax was powering wasn't exactly loaded, the fact demonstrated by it being powered by an Antec 380W unit and the Enermax was rated 550W. I'm one of those who's quick to see merits and strengths in components and slow to criticize their faults (e.g. I love Via's 694X PIII duallie platform, as I've not problems with it and I was happen to have reported in various threads that I've not problems with my Enermax PSUs - prior to last night). What happen last night has really shaken my confidence in some manufacturers and one in particular. I hate being overly judgmental, but the burnt electric smell speaks louder than any advertisements or commercials... May this be the last time I've such unpleasant surprise.

---

November 28, 2003

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Also, I seriously doubt you were in danger of being electrocuted, unless multiple failsafes failed (such as PSU component insulation from the outer case, the case being properly grounded, etc.) Yes, I'm sure it was a startling event, and I'm very glad you and your system survied unscathed, but it sounds like a component blew out on your PSU. A situation like that is not going to electrocute anyone.

So please rest your nerves. It was a startling event, but your personal safety was never seriously threatened. On the other hand, try to avoid opening up the PSU and touching all the wires. :-)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I guess you can call me a 'PSU failure virgin'. I suppose I may be a little naive when it comes to component failures... Since I'm not an IT professional, the rigs I have at home and the one that sits in front of me at work are all that I see. However, I guess I'm lucky, I've been building and upgrading PCs (mine and others) since 1993 and this is the first time I see sparks and hear bang! I guess it's like anything else - the first time is going to hurt that little more, scar just a little deeper...

---

November 30, 2003

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spikegifted, you weenie! Real men don't wear hands.

It has been clearly pointed out here that it is NOT DANGEROUS if your equipment explodes in front of you. At least from an electrical point of view this is.

So what? One could almost think you'd never play around with explosives.

And don't blame Enermax. Everything has been working perfectly fine until YOU switched the power on.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Man! You make me laugh!! At least that's what I hope you were hoping to do...

I'm not really blaming Enermax, per say. And while the unit may cost US$100-150, it gobbled up around GBP120 of my money - that's over US$200!!! I'm not exactly a happy customer. The one thing that really bugged me - it expired one year and 6 days after it was RMA'ed!!

 
   

Link to 2CPU.com Forum