USB port blew -- why?

Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because the
National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed. I'm
pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static (I always touch the
outher metal shell to the computer case before plugging it in) or try
to plug it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that it's
protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
happened?

National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
larger tantalum capacitor between +5V and ground for protection
against transients that occur during hot-plugging, and NEC's example
schematic for their uPD720100A USB 2.0 chip shows the LM3526 using
150uF aluminum in parallel with 0.1uF ceramic. But my USB card has
only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
parallel for this. Could this be why the USB port got zapped? Would
it help to solder a tantalum in parallel as well? Will it hurt to add
it?
55 answers Last reply
More about port blew
  1. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    ....
    | National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    | larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    | only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    | parallel for this....

    Close enough!

    N
  2. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:

    >
    >"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >...
    >| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >| parallel for this....
    >
    >Close enough!

    Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    aluminum cap, making it more effective.

    otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
  3. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    > One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because the
    > National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed. I'm
    > pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static (I always touch the
    > outher metal shell to the computer case before plugging it in) or try
    > to plug it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that it's
    > protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
    > happened?


    Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be it was
    just a defective part that eventually quit.
  4. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05...
    |
    | "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    | news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    | > One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because the
    | > National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed. I'm
    | > pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static (I always touch the
    | > outher metal shell to the computer case before plugging it in) or try
    | > to plug it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that it's
    | > protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
    | > happened?
    |
    |
    | Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be it was
    | just a defective part that eventually quit.

    Or as I say, "Everything works until it breaks". Then there are the three
    brand new tubes I took off the shelf one at a time, each of which was bad.
    Still can't get over that one.

    N
  5. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    NSM wrote:

    > "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05...
    > |
    > | "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    > | news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    > | > One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because the
    > | > National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed. I'm
    > | > pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static (I always touch the
    > | > outher metal shell to the computer case before plugging it in) or try
    > | > to plug it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that it's
    > | > protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
    > | > happened?
    > |
    > |
    > | Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be it was
    > | just a defective part that eventually quit.
    >
    > Or as I say, "Everything works until it breaks".

    HEY!! That's MY line.

    > Then there are the three
    > brand new tubes I took off the shelf one at a time, each of which was bad.
    > Still can't get over that one.

    Find the guy who put the defective ones back on the shelf <g>.

    >
    > N
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05>...

    > Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be
    > it was just a defective part that eventually quit.

    I am eternally grateful for your answer, which not only completely
    solved my problem with the USB port but will also magically turn the
    rest of my life into bliss. So please give me your address so that I
    can send you a $500 check, no, make that a blank check -- your advice
    was that good. ;)
  7. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 4 Oct 2004 13:57:43 -0700, larrymoencurly@my-deja.com
    (larrymoencurly) wrote:

    >"James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05>...
    >
    >> Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be
    >> it was just a defective part that eventually quit.
    >
    >I am eternally grateful for your answer, which not only completely
    >solved my problem with the USB port but will also magically turn the
    >rest of my life into bliss. So please give me your address so that I
    >can send you a $500 check, no, make that a blank check -- your advice
    >was that good. ;)

    Believe it or not, it was a good and reasonable response, given the
    information he had to work with.

    Tom
  8. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:

    > On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>...
    >>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>| parallel for this....
    >>
    >>Close enough!
    >
    > Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    > aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >
    > otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)

    So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    isn't so bad. <twitch>)

    --
    Keith
  9. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith wrote:

    > On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>>...
    >>>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>>| parallel for this....
    >>>
    >>>Close enough!
    >>
    >>Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    >>aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >>
    >>otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
    >
    >
    > So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    > of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    > (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    > isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >

    LOL. Yeah, I'll bet.

    You get a similar result plugging non keyed circuit boards into a vertical
    card rack 180 degrees reversed.
  10. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...

    | So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    | of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    | (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    | isn't so bad. <twitch>)

    I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    being given off.

    Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.

    N
  11. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    forgive me for not immediately recommending you open the controller chip and
    place it under your scanning electron microscope to search for signs of
    electromigration...


    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410041257.1581ba4c@posting.google.com...
    > "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:<lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05>...
    >
    > > Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be
    > > it was just a defective part that eventually quit.
    >
    > I am eternally grateful for your answer, which not only completely
    > solved my problem with the USB port but will also magically turn the
    > rest of my life into bliss. So please give me your address so that I
    > can send you a $500 check, no, make that a blank check -- your advice
    > was that good. ;)
  12. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:33:31 -0500, David Maynard wrote:

    > keith wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>>>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>>>...
    >>>>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>>>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>>>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>>>| parallel for this....
    >>>>
    >>>>Close enough!
    >>>
    >>>Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    >>>aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >>>
    >>>otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
    >>
    >>
    >> So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >> of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >> (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >> isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>
    >
    > LOL. Yeah, I'll bet.
    >
    > You get a similar result plugging non keyed circuit boards into a vertical
    > card rack 180 degrees reversed.

    A good reason to hang the mechanical designers by the short things. One
    *should* have to go to great lengths to pluch dangerous things in
    backwards. In this case they did just that. ...and even complained about
    how hard it was!

    --
    Keith
  13. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith wrote:

    > On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:33:31 -0500, David Maynard wrote:
    >
    >
    >>keith wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>>>>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>>>>...
    >>>>>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>>>>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>>>>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>>>>| parallel for this....
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Close enough!
    >>>>
    >>>>Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    >>>>aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >>>>
    >>>>otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>>of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>>(well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>>isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>>
    >>
    >>LOL. Yeah, I'll bet.
    >>
    >>You get a similar result plugging non keyed circuit boards into a vertical
    >>card rack 180 degrees reversed.
    >
    >
    > A good reason to hang the mechanical designers by the short things. One
    > *should* have to go to great lengths to pluch dangerous things in
    > backwards. In this case they did just that. ...and even complained about
    > how hard it was!
    >

    Hehe. Well, with the one I mentioned it was an experimental prototype built
    by the design engineer.
  14. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 03:47:13 +0000, NSM wrote:

    >
    > "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...
    >
    > | So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    > | of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    > | (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    > | isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >
    > I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    > reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    > being given off.
    >
    > Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    > TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.

    TTL protection diodes are as strong as moose! Unless the chips got hot
    enough to let the magic smoke out, they'll likely survive, though perhaps
    somewhat injured.

    --
    Keith
  15. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410041257.1581ba4c@posting.google.com...
    > "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:<lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05>...
    >
    > > Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be
    > > it was just a defective part that eventually quit.
    >
    > I am eternally grateful for your answer, which not only completely
    > solved my problem with the USB port but will also magically turn the
    > rest of my life into bliss. So please give me your address so that I
    > can send you a $500 check, no, make that a blank check -- your advice
    > was that good. ;)


    Just what sort of answer did you expect? I seem to have misplaced my crystal
    ball and I can't find my spell book either. How is anyone supposed to tell
    you why a chip failed? It just happens.
  16. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410041257.1581ba4c@posting.google.com...
    | "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:<lu58d.2427$r3.597@trnddc05>...
    |
    | > Stuff just fails occasionally with no good explaination, could be
    | > it was just a defective part that eventually quit.
    |
    | I am eternally grateful for your answer, which not only completely
    | solved my problem with the USB port but will also magically turn the
    | rest of my life into bliss. So please give me your address so that I
    | can send you a $500 check, no, make that a blank check -- your advice
    | was that good. ;)

    Assuming you are being sarcastic (it's not clear), I refer to this as a
    CatRan question, i.e., "I was typing away on my computer and I was holding
    the keyboard above my head and I was watching the screen through my toes
    when all of a sudden the cat ran over my stomach and I noticed the screen
    blinked twice. What causes that"?

    N
  17. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Rich.Andrews" <spmaway@ylhoo.com> wrote in message news:<Xns9579EF8A8F300mc2500183316chgoill@10.232.1.1>...

    >Assuming you are being sarcastic (it's not clear),

    The ";)" always means non-hostile sarcasm.

    > I refer to this as a CatRan question, i.e., "I was typing away
    > on my computer and I was holding the keyboard above my head and
    > I was watching the screen through my toes when all of a sudden
    > the cat ran over my stomach and I noticed the screen blinked
    > twice. What causes that"?

    I think that it's more like, why did the waterproof flashlight
    suddenly stop working when it started to rain?
  18. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Kibo informs me that keith <krw@att.bizzzz> stated that:

    >On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 03:47:13 +0000, NSM wrote:
    >> "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    >> news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...
    >>
    >> | So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >> | of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >> | (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >> | isn't so bad. <twitch>)

    <grin> They don't smell too good either.

    >> I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    >> reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    >> being given off.
    >>
    >> Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    >> TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.
    >
    >TTL protection diodes are as strong as moose!

    Well, the individual diodes aren't all that strong, but there's one on
    every single I/O pin on every chip, so on a big PCB, the load will be
    spread over a *lot* of diodes.

    > Unless the chips got hot
    >enough to let the magic smoke out, they'll likely survive, though perhaps
    >somewhat injured.

    Yup. The best I've personally seen was the time I accidentally plugged a
    2716 EPROM backwards into a programmer. It lit up like a xmas tree
    through the UV window, but worked fine when I turned it around the right
    way.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
  19. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 23:09:32 -0500, David Maynard wrote:

    > keith wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:33:31 -0500, David Maynard wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>keith wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>>>>>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>>>>>...
    >>>>>>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>>>>>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>>>>>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>>>>>| parallel for this....
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>Close enough!
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    >>>>>aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>>>of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>>>(well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>>>isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>LOL. Yeah, I'll bet.
    >>>
    >>>You get a similar result plugging non keyed circuit boards into a vertical
    >>>card rack 180 degrees reversed.
    >>
    >>
    >> A good reason to hang the mechanical designers by the short things. One
    >> *should* have to go to great lengths to pluch dangerous things in
    >> backwards. In this case they did just that. ...and even complained about
    >> how hard it was!
    >>
    >
    > Hehe. Well, with the one I mentioned it was an experimental prototype built
    > by the design engineer.

    ....even this design engineer knows how to key a connector. ;-)

    --
    Keith
  20. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:56:56 +1000, Lionel wrote:

    > Kibo informs me that keith <krw@att.bizzzz> stated that:
    >
    >>On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 03:47:13 +0000, NSM wrote:
    >>> "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    >>> news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...
    >>>
    >>> | So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>> | of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>> | (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>> | isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >
    > <grin> They don't smell too good either.

    Hot electricity never smells good. ...ever notice that? ;-)

    >>> I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    >>> reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    >>> being given off.
    >>>
    >>> Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    >>> TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.
    >>
    >>TTL protection diodes are as strong as moose!
    >
    > Well, the individual diodes aren't all that strong, but there's one on
    > every single I/O pin on every chip, so on a big PCB, the load will be
    > spread over a *lot* of diodes.

    I've pumped several amps though individual ones, but you're right with
    thousands in parallel it's tough to smoke 'em. It *can* be done, but...
    >
    >> Unless the chips got hot
    >>enough to let the magic smoke out, they'll likely survive, though
    >>perhaps somewhat injured.
    >
    > Yup. The best I've personally seen was the time I accidentally plugged a
    > 2716 EPROM backwards into a programmer. It lit up like a xmas tree
    > through the UV window, but worked fine when I turned it around the right
    > way.

    Oh, my! I've never done that. However...

    One time back in the '60s (when I was a mere lad playing with electronics)
    a friend and I were talking about these new-fangled LED thingys. He said
    they were no big deal and had them for some time. He then took a
    small-signal glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers. He then
    shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit up, and quite
    brightly too! He did make some comment about his reliability problems, or
    some such. I just about PMP. ;-)

    --
    Keith
  21. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    what main board? FIC ECS MSI?...usb blew cause the board blows.

    "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    > One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because
    the
    > National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed. I'm
    > pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static (I always touch the
    > outher metal shell to the computer case before plugging it in) or
    try
    > to plug it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that
    it's
    > protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
    > happened?
    >
    > National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    > larger tantalum capacitor between +5V and ground for protection
    > against transients that occur during hot-plugging, and NEC's example
    > schematic for their uPD720100A USB 2.0 chip shows the LM3526 using
    > 150uF aluminum in parallel with 0.1uF ceramic. But my USB card has
    > only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    > parallel for this. Could this be why the USB port got zapped?
    Would
    > it help to solder a tantalum in parallel as well? Will it hurt to
    add
    > it?
  22. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith wrote:

    > On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 23:09:32 -0500, David Maynard wrote:
    >
    >
    >>keith wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 22:33:31 -0500, David Maynard wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>keith wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 03:21:58 +0000, daytripper wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 01:50:54 GMT, "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote:
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>>"larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    >>>>>>>news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...
    >>>>>>>...
    >>>>>>>| National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >>>>>>>| larger ....................................... But my USB card has
    >>>>>>>| only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >>>>>>>| parallel for this....
    >>>>>>>
    >>>>>>>Close enough!
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>Except the tantalum cap would have much lower esl & esr figures than an
    >>>>>>aluminum cap, making it more effective.
    >>>>>>
    >>>>>>otoh, tantalums can have a brilliant failure mode ;-)
    >>>>>
    >>>>>
    >>>>>So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>>>>of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>>>>(well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>>>>isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>LOL. Yeah, I'll bet.
    >>>>
    >>>>You get a similar result plugging non keyed circuit boards into a vertical
    >>>>card rack 180 degrees reversed.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>A good reason to hang the mechanical designers by the short things. One
    >>>*should* have to go to great lengths to pluch dangerous things in
    >>>backwards. In this case they did just that. ...and even complained about
    >>>how hard it was!
    >>>
    >>
    >>Hehe. Well, with the one I mentioned it was an experimental prototype built
    >>by the design engineer.
    >
    >
    > ...even this design engineer knows how to key a connector. ;-)
    >

    Hehe. I bet that one does too... NOW ;)
  23. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith wrote:

    > On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:56:56 +1000, Lionel wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Kibo informs me that keith <krw@att.bizzzz> stated that:
    >>
    >>
    >>>On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 03:47:13 +0000, NSM wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>"keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    >>>>news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...
    >>>>
    >>>>| So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>>>| of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>>>| (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>>>| isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>
    >><grin> They don't smell too good either.
    >
    >
    > Hot electricity never smells good. ...ever notice that? ;-)
    >
    >
    >>>>I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    >>>>reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    >>>>being given off.
    >>>>
    >>>>Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    >>>>TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.
    >>>
    >>>TTL protection diodes are as strong as moose!
    >>
    >>Well, the individual diodes aren't all that strong, but there's one on
    >>every single I/O pin on every chip, so on a big PCB, the load will be
    >>spread over a *lot* of diodes.
    >
    >
    > I've pumped several amps though individual ones, but you're right with
    > thousands in parallel it's tough to smoke 'em. It *can* be done, but...
    >
    >>> Unless the chips got hot
    >>>enough to let the magic smoke out, they'll likely survive, though
    >>>perhaps somewhat injured.
    >>
    >>Yup. The best I've personally seen was the time I accidentally plugged a
    >>2716 EPROM backwards into a programmer. It lit up like a xmas tree
    >>through the UV window, but worked fine when I turned it around the right
    >>way.
    >
    >
    > Oh, my! I've never done that. However...
    >
    > One time back in the '60s (when I was a mere lad playing with electronics)
    > a friend and I were talking about these new-fangled LED thingys. He said
    > they were no big deal and had them for some time. He then took a
    > small-signal glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    > leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers. He then
    > shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit up, and quite
    > brightly too! He did make some comment about his reliability problems, or
    > some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >

    A bit on the high side with power consumption too, I'll wager. hehe
  24. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "JAD" <Kapasitor@coldmail.com> wrote in message news:<10m9p9p6k9k4sdf@corp.supernews.com>...

    > "larrymoencurly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    > news:755e968a.0410031718.36d14f87@posting.google.com...

    >> One of the ports of my NEC-based USB 2.0 card quit working because
    >> the National Semiconductor LM3526 power controller chip failed.
    >> I'm pretty sure that I didn't zap it with static or try to plug
    >> it in backwards. The data sheet for the LM3526 says that it's
    >> protected against voltage, current, and even temperature, so what
    >> happened?
    >>
    >> National Semiconductor says that each USB port must have a 120uF or
    >> larger tantalum capacitor between +5V and ground for protection
    >> against transients that occur during hot-plugging, and NEC's
    example
    >> schematic for their uPD720100A USB 2.0 chip shows the LM3526 using
    >> 150uF aluminum in parallel with 0.1uF ceramic. But my USB card has
    >> only a 100uF aluminum capacitor and maybe a ceramic capacitor in
    >> parallel for this. Could this be why the USB port got zapped?
    >> Would it help to solder a tantalum in parallel as well? Will it
    hurt?

    > what main board? FIC ECS MSI?...usb blew cause the board blows.

    My main boards are cheap, FIC and ECS, so any built-in USB for them
    uses an SiS or VIA chip. My NEC USB is a PCI card. But why couldn't
    any built-in USB blow out because of something off the main board? I
    had a built-in RS-232 serial port blow because someone tried to hot
    plug a parallel printer port (vaporized a couple of tiny capacitors
    used by the RS-232-TTL converter chip), no other damage.
  25. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    > leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers.
    > He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit
    > up, and quite brightly too! He did make some comment about
    > his reliability problems, or some such. I just about PMP. ;-)

    Well, OK. But now traffic engineers are installing LED traffic
    light replacement bulbs specifically _for_ reliability? :)

    Daisy chain a dozen or so LEDs all facing one way, and plug it in.
    Face another set the other way. Parallel as many as you need for
    brightness. Nicely vibration resistant.

    -- Robert
  26. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    reliability and power consumption,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    speaking of street lights I was reading yesterday that a number a US
    cities are being investigated about their manipulation of the traffic
    signals to burn more gas, thus creating revenue for the city, (gas
    city level taxes)


    "Robert Redelmeier" <redelm@ev1.net.invalid> wrote in message
    news:wCa9d.1670$Lk3.801@newssvr12.news.prodigy.com...
    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > > glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    > > leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers.
    > > He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit
    > > up, and quite brightly too! He did make some comment about
    > > his reliability problems, or some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >
    > Well, OK. But now traffic engineers are installing LED traffic
    > light replacement bulbs specifically _for_ reliability? :)
    >
    > Daisy chain a dozen or so LEDs all facing one way, and plug it in.
    > Face another set the other way. Parallel as many as you need for
    > brightness. Nicely vibration resistant.
    >
    > -- Robert
    >
    >
  27. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "JAD" <Kapasitor@coldmail.com> top posted:

    >reliability and power consumption,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    >speaking of street lights I was reading yesterday that a number a US
    >cities are being investigated about their manipulation of the traffic
    >signals to burn more gas, thus creating revenue for the city, (gas
    >city level taxes)

    Right. And OJ isn't guilty.
  28. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    huh?


    he is guilty (whatever connection there is to that) and so are the
    cities involved in the lighting scam......\ or are you saying that its
    impossible? very naive...but it was a side note and not meant for
    debate.


    "chrisv" <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
    news:2b9bm0l9b1f3sr4qs72t135rgvngcpjo1l@4ax.com...
    > "JAD" <Kapasitor@coldmail.com> top posted:
    >
    > >reliability and power consumption,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    > >speaking of street lights I was reading yesterday that a number a
    US
    > >cities are being investigated about their manipulation of the
    traffic
    > >signals to burn more gas, thus creating revenue for the city, (gas
    > >city level taxes)
    >
    > Right. And OJ isn't guilty.
    >
  29. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Redelmeier wrote:

    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    >
    >>glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    >>leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers.
    >>He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit
    >>up, and quite brightly too! He did make some comment about
    >>his reliability problems, or some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >
    >
    > Well, OK. But now traffic engineers are installing LED traffic
    > light replacement bulbs specifically _for_ reliability? :)

    You missed the 'joke'. It wasn't an 'LED', it was a 'diode' raised to
    catastrophic incandescence from being fried to hell and back. Of course,
    one *could* call it a 'light emitting diode', for a few milliseconds, but
    it hardly works on the same principle.

    >
    > Daisy chain a dozen or so LEDs all facing one way, and plug it in.
    > Face another set the other way. Parallel as many as you need for
    > brightness. Nicely vibration resistant.
    >
    > -- Robert
    >
    >
  30. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 23:50:49 -0500, David Maynard wrote:

    > keith wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:56:56 +1000, Lionel wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Kibo informs me that keith <krw@att.bizzzz> stated that:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 03:47:13 +0000, NSM wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>"keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    >>>>>news:pan.2004.10.05.01.56.40.575135@att.bizzzz...
    >>>>>
    >>>>>| So do engineers when they're bringing up a system where all
    >>>>>| of the tantallums were inserted backwards. You want to see fireworks!
    >>>>>| (well,it was 25 years ago - I've mostly recovered and the tinninus
    >>>>>| isn't so bad. <twitch>)
    >>>
    >>><grin> They don't smell too good either.
    >>
    >>
    >> Hot electricity never smells good. ...ever notice that? ;-)
    >>
    >>
    >>>>>I recall being told of a large TTL circuit board which was powered up with
    >>>>>reverse polarity. This was noticed due to the considerable amount of heat
    >>>>>being given off.
    >>>>>
    >>>>>Everyone was mystified when the correctly rewired board worked OK. I guess
    >>>>>TTL is a little more tolerant than is generally believed.
    >>>>
    >>>>TTL protection diodes are as strong as moose!
    >>>
    >>>Well, the individual diodes aren't all that strong, but there's one on
    >>>every single I/O pin on every chip, so on a big PCB, the load will be
    >>>spread over a *lot* of diodes.
    >>
    >>
    >> I've pumped several amps though individual ones, but you're right with
    >> thousands in parallel it's tough to smoke 'em. It *can* be done, but...
    >>
    >>>> Unless the chips got hot
    >>>>enough to let the magic smoke out, they'll likely survive, though
    >>>>perhaps somewhat injured.
    >>>
    >>>Yup. The best I've personally seen was the time I accidentally plugged a
    >>>2716 EPROM backwards into a programmer. It lit up like a xmas tree
    >>>through the UV window, but worked fine when I turned it around the right
    >>>way.
    >>
    >>
    >> Oh, my! I've never done that. However...
    >>
    >> One time back in the '60s (when I was a mere lad playing with electronics)
    >> a friend and I were talking about these new-fangled LED thingys. He said
    >> they were no big deal and had them for some time. He then took a
    >> small-signal glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    >> leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers. He then
    >> shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit up, and quite
    >> brightly too! He did make some comment about his reliability problems, or
    >> some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >>
    >
    > A bit on the high side with power consumption too, I'll wager. hehe

    Given the temperature, it was likely more efficient than the average
    incandescent bulb. ;-)

    --
    Keith
  31. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 12:27:08 +0000, Robert Redelmeier wrote:

    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    >> glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    >> leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers.
    >> He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit
    >> up, and quite brightly too! He did make some comment about
    >> his reliability problems, or some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >
    > Well, OK. But now traffic engineers are installing LED traffic
    > light replacement bulbs specifically _for_ reliability? :)

    They're more efficient too. LEDs are a few times more efficeint and the
    monochromatic light is particularly suited for traffic lights. OTOH, in
    the '60s...

    Also note that some cars are using LEDs for tail lights. Headlights
    are still a bit of a problem.

    > Daisy chain a dozen or so LEDs all facing one way, and plug it in. Face
    > another set the other way. Parallel as many as you need for brightness.
    > Nicely vibration resistant.

    Hmm, face another set the other way and you can plug 'em into AC. I
    thought these things were a tad more specialized than that though.

    --
    Keith
  32. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 08:19:53 -0700, JAD wrote:

    > reliability and power consumption,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    > speaking of street lights I was reading yesterday that a number a US
    > cities are being investigated about their manipulation of the traffic
    > signals to burn more gas, thus creating revenue for the city, (gas
    > city level taxes)

    I thought that was all about red-light cameras (a real scam!).

    --
    Keith
  33. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Thu, 07 Oct 2004 19:39:18 -0500, David Maynard wrote:

    > Robert Redelmeier wrote:
    >
    >> In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    >>
    >>>glass-encapsulated diode from his pile-o-parts, bent the
    >>>leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with long-nosed pliers.
    >>>He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure enough it lit
    >>>up, and quite brightly too! He did make some comment about
    >>>his reliability problems, or some such. I just about PMP. ;-)
    >>
    >>
    >> Well, OK. But now traffic engineers are installing LED traffic
    >> light replacement bulbs specifically _for_ reliability? :)
    >
    > You missed the 'joke'. It wasn't an 'LED', it was a 'diode' raised to
    > catastrophic incandescence from being fried to hell and back. Of course,
    > one *could* call it a 'light emitting diode', for a few milliseconds, but
    > it hardly works on the same principle.

    I'm quite sure Robert got it. He knows my silliness well (though may not
    admit it ;)

    <snip>

    --
    Keith
  34. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in
    news:pan.2004.10.07.02.30.33.895207@att.bizzzz:

    > One time back in the '60s (when I was a mere lad playing with
    > electronics) a friend and I were talking about these new-fangled LED
    > thingys. He said they were no big deal and had them for some time. He
    > then took a small-signal glass-encapsulated diode from his
    > pile-o-parts, bent the leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with
    > long-nosed pliers. He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure
    > enough it lit up, and quite brightly too!

    I once had a bizarre failure of a USR modem immediately after a
    thunderstorm. You would think it would be a typical frying of the phone
    circuits etc. When I checked it out, the relay coil was open circuit. This
    of course is on the control cctry and not the telecom side. I replaced the
    relay and it worked perfectly. Can only assume it was a coincidence since
    if it was a voltage surge it should have taken out the semis on the relay
    drive.
  35. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Geoff C" <notinterestedin@spa.comm> wrote in message
    news:yMj9d.4630$pl.67354@nasal.pacific.net.au...
    > keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in
    > news:pan.2004.10.07.02.30.33.895207@att.bizzzz:
    >
    > > One time back in the '60s (when I was a mere lad playing with
    > > electronics) a friend and I were talking about these new-fangled LED
    > > thingys. He said they were no big deal and had them for some time. He
    > > then took a small-signal glass-encapsulated diode from his
    > > pile-o-parts, bent the leads about 3/4" apart and grabbed it with
    > > long-nosed pliers. He then shoved it into the mains outlet and sure
    > > enough it lit up, and quite brightly too!
    >
    > I once had a bizarre failure of a USR modem immediately after a
    > thunderstorm. You would think it would be a typical frying of the phone
    > circuits etc. When I checked it out, the relay coil was open circuit. This
    > of course is on the control cctry and not the telecom side. I replaced the
    > relay and it worked perfectly. Can only assume it was a coincidence since
    > if it was a voltage surge it should have taken out the semis on the relay
    > drive.
    >

    Lightning can cause some very bizarre failures indeed. I had a USR modem
    years ago that failed after a nearby lightning strike (rare here) and the
    problem turned out to be a 10 ohm surface mount resistor with a crater in
    it. Replaced it with a normal resistor and it worked fine until it was
    retired years later.
  36. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:jcp9d.5644$eq1.2343@trnddc08...

    | Lightning can cause some very bizarre failures indeed. I had a USR modem
    | years ago that failed after a nearby lightning strike (rare here) and the
    | problem turned out to be a 10 ohm surface mount resistor with a crater in
    | it. Replaced it with a normal resistor and it worked fine until it was
    | retired years later.

    What most people think is caused by lightning is really caused by induction.
    A direct lightning strike will turn your computer etc. into a pile of
    bubbling slag. A strike near the phone line causing induction elsewhere will
    zap things in very odd ways.

    N
  37. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > I'm quite sure Robert got it. He knows my silliness well

    Entirely too well! I'm convinced you were either trying
    to demonstrate prior art or "obvious to a skilled practioner
    in the art" to invalidate the LED patent, and show the
    general silliness of most patents.

    > (though may not admit it ;)

    Why not play the straight man?

    -- Robert
  38. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 17:13:19 +0000, Robert Redelmeier wrote:

    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    >> I'm quite sure Robert got it. He knows my silliness well
    >
    > Entirely too well! I'm convinced you were either trying
    > to demonstrate prior art or "obvious to a skilled practioner
    > in the art" to invalidate the LED patent, and show the
    > general silliness of most patents.

    Naw, just busting chops. I would *never* demonstrate such! I have such
    "silliness" and a few more in the pipe. It's a profitable endeavor. ;-)

    >> (though may not admit it ;)
    >
    > Why not play the straight man?

    Ok, perhaps I will some day! ;-)

    --
    Keith
  39. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 05:35:32 +0000, NSM wrote:

    >
    > "James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:jcp9d.5644$eq1.2343@trnddc08...
    >
    > | Lightning can cause some very bizarre failures indeed. I had a USR modem
    > | years ago that failed after a nearby lightning strike (rare here) and the
    > | problem turned out to be a 10 ohm surface mount resistor with a crater in
    > | it. Replaced it with a normal resistor and it worked fine until it was
    > | retired years later.
    >
    > What most people think is caused by lightning is really caused by induction.
    > A direct lightning strike will turn your computer etc. into a pile of
    > bubbling slag. A strike near the phone line causing induction elsewhere will
    > zap things in very odd ways.

    Not really. Most of the lightning damage is caused by ground currents
    going where you don't want them to go. A strike on a tree in the back
    yard can fry all electronics in the house ifthe grounds aren't done
    right. There should only be *one* ground (floating boats theory) and if
    there must be more they must all be bonded together with some serious
    conductors (see: floating boats).

    --
    Keith
  40. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.10.09.02.13.52.928793@att.bizzzz...
    | On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 05:35:32 +0000, NSM wrote:
    ....
    | > What most people think is caused by lightning is really caused by
    induction.
    | > A direct lightning strike will turn your computer etc. into a pile of
    | > bubbling slag. A strike near the phone line causing induction elsewhere
    will
    | > zap things in very odd ways.
    |
    | Not really. Most of the lightning damage is caused by ground currents
    | going where you don't want them to go. A strike on a tree in the back
    | yard can fry all electronics in the house ifthe grounds aren't done
    | right. There should only be *one* ground (floating boats theory) and if
    | there must be more they must all be bonded together with some serious
    | conductors (see: floating boats).

    Yes. Induction.

    N
  41. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sat, 09 Oct 2004 02:34:47 +0000, NSM wrote:

    >
    > "keith" <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2004.10.09.02.13.52.928793@att.bizzzz...
    > | On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 05:35:32 +0000, NSM wrote:
    > ...
    > | > What most people think is caused by lightning is really caused by
    > induction.
    > | > A direct lightning strike will turn your computer etc. into a pile of
    > | > bubbling slag. A strike near the phone line causing induction elsewhere
    > will
    > | > zap things in very odd ways.
    > |
    > | Not really. Most of the lightning damage is caused by ground currents
    > | going where you don't want them to go. A strike on a tree in the back
    > | yard can fry all electronics in the house ifthe grounds aren't done
    > | right. There should only be *one* ground (floating boats theory) and if
    > | there must be more they must all be bonded together with some serious
    > | conductors (see: floating boats).
    >
    > Yes. Induction.

    No, *NOT* induction! It's simple resistance. You simply don't want to
    be in the middle. The idea is to float, like a boat.

    --
    Keith
  42. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    keith wrote:

    >
    > No, *NOT* induction! It's simple resistance. You simply don't want to
    > be in the middle. The idea is to float, like a boat.
    >


    Brings to mind an interesting question. Out here in well and septic
    country, the code authorities make us ground the electrical system with
    a UFER ground (copper wire buried in concrete, buried in the ground).
    But they also make us ground our well pumps to the steel well casing.

    Which gives us.... competing grounds with different ground potentials.

    I wonder how much trouble that causes with lightning?

    -Chuck
  43. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Chuck Harris" <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote in message
    news:r4-dnUqY07Sz_vrcRVn-gg@rcn.net...

    | Brings to mind an interesting question. Out here in well and septic
    | country, the code authorities make us ground the electrical system with
    | a UFER ground (copper wire buried in concrete, buried in the ground).
    | But they also make us ground our well pumps to the steel well casing.
    |
    | Which gives us.... competing grounds with different ground potentials.
    |
    | I wonder how much trouble that causes with lightning?

    I'd certainly want to bond the well to the UFER ground system. IME any
    system with different grounds allowing potential differences is dangerous.

    N
  44. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    NSM wrote:
    > "Chuck Harris" <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote in message
    > news:r4-dnUqY07Sz_vrcRVn-gg@rcn.net...
    >
    > | Brings to mind an interesting question. Out here in well and septic
    > | country, the code authorities make us ground the electrical system with
    > | a UFER ground (copper wire buried in concrete, buried in the ground).
    > | But they also make us ground our well pumps to the steel well casing.
    > |
    > | Which gives us.... competing grounds with different ground potentials.
    > |
    > | I wonder how much trouble that causes with lightning?
    >
    > I'd certainly want to bond the well to the UFER ground system. IME any
    > system with different grounds allowing potential differences is dangerous.

    It is bonded back at the service panel with a #10ga copper wire. The pipe
    to the well is plastic.

    The last time we got a direct hit by lightning, the water changed its tint
    for several days. It went from grey, to yellow/orange. We lost a chunk of
    terracotta flue liner on that one, and several appliances.

    -Chuck
  45. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Chuck Harris <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote:
    > It is bonded back at the service panel with a #10ga copper
    > wire. The pipe to the well is plastic.

    #10 is good, #00 is better~!

    > The last time we got a direct hit by lightning, the water
    > changed its tint for several days. It went from grey,
    > to yellow/orange. We lost a chunk of terracotta flue liner
    > on that one, and several appliances.

    Perhaps you should install a whole-house surge protector on
    the panel (~$50). You lose two-wire appiances through ground
    vs power surges. Your pole transformer and it's ground is
    probably a ways away.

    -- Robert
  46. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Redelmeier wrote:
    > In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Chuck Harris <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote:
    >
    >>It is bonded back at the service panel with a #10ga copper
    >>wire. The pipe to the well is plastic.
    >
    >
    > #10 is good, #00 is better~!
    >
    >
    >>The last time we got a direct hit by lightning, the water
    >>changed its tint for several days. It went from grey,
    >>to yellow/orange. We lost a chunk of terracotta flue liner
    >>on that one, and several appliances.
    >
    >
    > Perhaps you should install a whole-house surge protector on
    > the panel (~$50). You lose two-wire appiances through ground
    > vs power surges. Your pole transformer and it's ground is
    > probably a ways away.
    >
    > -- Robert

    The lightning hit the chimney cap, went down the brickwork of the
    chimney, and entered the bond system by way of an outdoor flood
    light that is mounted next to the chimney. The current zapped
    a 3 wire treadmill (7 ft from floodlight), and flipped the breaker
    on the circuit that had the flood light. No damage through the power
    to any other devices. However, the induced surge in the security
    wire/telephone wires that pass through the house blew two modems and
    a phone answering machine. But not a cordless phone, or any other
    telephones. One modem carried its surge into the RS232 line, and
    toasted the drivers and uart on a Dell motherboard. I lost a
    HPJetDirect card too... a failure in the 10baseT driver circuits.

    Our power is buried, and the transformer is one of those steel
    enclosed boxes about 70 feet from the house.

    Fun!

    One thing I have never been able to determine is whether we would
    be safer with a lightning rod system, or without. My insurance
    company is silent on this issue... you pay the same rates either
    way. In our area, there have been several houses and barns that
    have burned down,due to lightning strikes, and they had lightning
    rod systems. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure.

    -Chuck Harris
  47. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips Chuck Harris <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote:
    > The lightning hit the chimney cap, went down the brickwork of the

    All bets are off in a direct strike. Common grounding only
    reduces the damage from a nearby strike.

    > to any other devices. However, the induced surge in the
    > security wire/telephone wires that pass through the house
    > blew two modems and a phone answering machine. But not a
    > cordless phone, or any other telephones. One modem carried

    I still doubt this was induced _unless_ 1) Phone was
    run parallel to the floodlight circuit for some distance
    and 2) Phone and power were on the same groundstake.

    Most likely, phone was on it's own groundstake, so anything
    bonded to power ground would get fried by the ground
    differential between power and ground.

    > Our power is buried, and the transformer is one of those
    > steel enclosed boxes about 70 feet from the house.

    Good!

    > One thing I have never been able to determine is whether
    > we would be safer with a lightning rod system, or without.

    Hard to say. A lightening rod system could be dangerous
    if the insulation was insufficiently heat-resistant.

    -- Robert
  48. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Chuck Harris" <cf-NO-SPAM-harris@erols.com> wrote in message
    news:MLKdneY2I7yE_vXcRVn-rQ@rcn.net...
    .....
    | One thing I have never been able to determine is whether we would
    | be safer with a lightning rod system, or without. My insurance
    | company is silent on this issue... you pay the same rates either
    | way. In our area, there have been several houses and barns that
    | have burned down,due to lightning strikes, and they had lightning
    | rod systems. Anecdotal evidence, to be sure.

    Lightning strikes up from the best point on the ground. IMO, the safest way
    is to install a lightning rod away from the house (separately guyed) but
    close enough to protect your property. Just don't stick your tongue on it
    when it's stormy out!

    N
  49. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Redelmeier wrote:

    > All bets are off in a direct strike. Common grounding only
    > reduces the damage from a nearby strike.
    >
    ....
    > I still doubt this was induced _unless_ 1) Phone was
    > run parallel to the floodlight circuit for some distance
    > and 2) Phone and power were on the same groundstake.

    When I built my house, I wanted some wiring to be available
    in all rooms, so I ran loops of 25 pair CAT3 telephone cable
    around the outside perimeter of each floor in the house. The
    loops end at punch down (66) blocks in the basement. There
    are no sections of the loops that run parallel to the power wiring
    separated closer than 1 foot. There is only one area where the
    loops run perpendicular to the power wiring, and that is where the
    power cables drop to the service panel. At these points, the loops
    are a couple of inches away from the power cables.

    One of the damaged modems was connected to the loop that ran
    nearest to the lightning strike. It was a zoom modem ISA bus
    modem, and its protection circuitry shorted out. No damage
    was done to the computer.

    The other damaged modem was a $15 Centdyne. It had a chip inductor
    in series with one side of the line that was completely blown away.
    The MOV that was across the line was still OK. The current that entered
    this modem would have had to pass through about 100 feet of
    #24 gauge wire, yet it still had enough zap to burn that inductor
    off of the board (and destroy the modem's chip set, and the computer's
    RS232 drivers and uart)
    >
    > Most likely, phone was on it's own groundstake, so anything
    > bonded to power ground would get fried by the ground
    > differential between power and ground.

    Since I did the power and telephone work, they are both grounded
    to the UFER ground at the service panel, which is where they enter
    the house. The nearest power pole is 600 feet away. So there is
    no point in the power grid within 600 feet where lightning could
    enter the system... other than my house.

    >>One thing I have never been able to determine is whether
    >>we would be safer with a lightning rod system, or without.
    >
    >
    > Hard to say. A lightening rod system could be dangerous
    > if the insulation was insufficiently heat-resistant.

    What seems to happen, anecdotally, is the rods conduct the
    bolt, and burn the roof where the ground wires run along
    the ridge... even though the ground wires for the rods typically
    are held 1 foot above the roof.

    What I am thinking of doing is adding a lightning rod to the
    masonry chimney structure. It is the highest point on the house,
    and in the vicinity. I will give it a decent UFER ground
    of its own, a few dozen feet from the house. My hope is this
    will protect the chimney, but will not endanger the rest of
    the house.

    -Chuck Harris
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