How to make USB ports more zap resistant?

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

Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a section
of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection chip blew), and
just recently the same happened to an ALI-based USB card. I'm pretty
sure I didn't zap either card with high voltage because I always touch
the outer metal shell of the USB connector to bare metal on the
computer case before plugging it in.

Each USB port has a 100-220 uF aluminum capacitor across its +5V and
ground lines, and the NEC-based card also had a ceramic chip capacitor
in parallel. Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR aluminum
capacitors? I installed tantalums on my other USB cards just after the
NEC card blew.
32 answers Last reply
More about make ports resistant
  1. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    NSM wrote:

    > "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    > news:1105769966.026982.67090@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    > > Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    > > ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR
    > > aluminum capacitors in parallel?

    > Use a powered hub.

    How does that help when a powered hub costs as much as a PCI USB card
    and has ports that are just as vulnerable to zapping as the card's?
  2. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:1105769966.026982.67090@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a
    section
    > of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection chip blew),
    and
    > just recently the same happened to an ALI-based USB card. I'm
    pretty
    > sure I didn't zap either card with high voltage because I always
    touch
    > the outer metal shell of the USB connector to bare metal on the
    > computer case before plugging it in.
    >
    > Each USB port has a 100-220 uF aluminum capacitor across its +5V and
    > ground lines, and the NEC-based card also had a ceramic chip
    capacitor
    > in parallel. Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    > ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR aluminum
    > capacitors? I installed tantalums on my other USB cards just after
    the
    > NEC card blew.
    >
    is this with various USB devices or one in particular? I have yet to
    do harm to any USB port, on even my oldest machine. All kinds of
    different devices- DC's, printers, keyboard/mice, speakers, sound
    devices, USB LAN converters etc.
  3. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:1105769966.026982.67090@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    ....
    | in parallel. Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    | ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR aluminum
    ....

    Use a powered hub.

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

    On 14 Jan 2005 22:19:26 -0800, "larry moe 'n curly"
    <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote:

    >Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a section
    >of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection chip blew), and
    >just recently the same happened to an ALI-based USB card. I'm pretty
    >sure I didn't zap either card with high voltage because I always touch
    >the outer metal shell of the USB connector to bare metal on the
    >computer case before plugging it in.
    >
    >Each USB port has a 100-220 uF aluminum capacitor across its +5V and
    >ground lines, and the NEC-based card also had a ceramic chip capacitor
    >in parallel. Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    >ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR aluminum
    >capacitors? I installed tantalums on my other USB cards just after the
    >NEC card blew.


    Tantalum caps are inclined to explode.

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

    In article <1105779390.860653.83840@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
    larry moe 'n curly says...

    > > Use a powered hub.
    >
    > How does that help when a powered hub costs as much as a PCI USB card
    > and has ports that are just as vulnerable to zapping as the card's?
    >
    Because a powered hub can support a higher load per port than a
    PCI/Onboard USB card.

    --
    Conor

    An imperfect plan executed violently is far superior to a perfect plan.
    -- George Patton
  6. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 08:42:09 -0800, John Larkin
    <jjSNIPlarkin@highTHISlandPLEASEtechnology.XXX> wrote:

    >On 14 Jan 2005 22:19:26 -0800, "larry moe 'n curly"
    ><larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a section
    >>of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection chip blew), and
    >>just recently the same happened to an ALI-based USB card. I'm pretty
    >>sure I didn't zap either card with high voltage because I always touch
    >>the outer metal shell of the USB connector to bare metal on the
    >>computer case before plugging it in.
    >>
    >>Each USB port has a 100-220 uF aluminum capacitor across its +5V and
    >>ground lines, and the NEC-based card also had a ceramic chip capacitor
    >>in parallel. Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    >>ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR aluminum
    >>capacitors? I installed tantalums on my other USB cards just after the
    >>NEC card blew.
    >
    >
    >Tantalum caps are inclined to explode.

    That's a mischaracterization.

    When they *fail*, they tend to 'splode.
    But they don't tend to fail if the application is appropriate...

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

    "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:1105779390.860653.83840@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    | How does that help when a powered hub costs as much as a PCI USB card
    | and has ports that are just as vulnerable to zapping as the card's?

    What is zapping these? This seems to be unusual? Is the grounding OK on your
    systems?

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

    JAD wrote:

    > "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    > news:1105769966.026982.67090@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

    > > a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a section of
    > > its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection
    > > chip blew), and just recently the same happened to an
    > > ALI-based USB card.
    > > I always touch the outer metal shell of the USB connector
    > > to bare metal on the computer case before plugging it in.

    > > Is there anything I can change or add to protect USB
    > > ports better? Does it help to use tantalum or low ESR
    > > aluminum capacitors?

    > is this with various USB devices or one in particular?

    The NEC card's port blew when I tried a thumb drive, the ALi card with
    a Netgear wireless LAN adapter. Neither of those devices was damaged.
  9. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    NSM wrote:

    > What is zapping these? This seems to be unusual?
    > Is the grounding OK on your systems?

    Everything is grounded to earth, and I ground the USB connector to the
    computer case just before plugging it into the port.
  10. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Rob Stow wrote:

    > It's winter time in the Great White North. -35'C overnight but
    > it has warmed up all the way to -22'C so far this afternoon.

    > Doesn't matter how often you warn them to use a humidifier. The
    > knowledge /you/ have acquired over the years means nothing to
    > them until /after/ they fry something. At which point they
    > wonder why you never warned them about it before.

    I'm in Arizona and haven't used any heat yet, and the indoor humidity
    was 20% even when it was 4% outdoors (measured with wet and dry bulb
    thermometers). I'm sure that the zaps weren't from high voltage (I
    touch metal to metal before plugging anything in) but from high
    current.
  11. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    NSM wrote:
    > "larry moe 'n curly" <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    > news:1105779390.860653.83840@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > | How does that help when a powered hub costs as much as a PCI USB card
    > | and has ports that are just as vulnerable to zapping as the card's?
    >
    > What is zapping these? This seems to be unusual? Is the grounding OK on your
    > systems?
    >

    It's winter time in the Great White North. -35'C overnight but
    it has warmed up all the way to -22'C so far this afternoon.

    I hate this time of the year because I have to deal with all the
    friends, friends-of-friends, etc., who fry keyboards, mice, PS/2
    ports, and USB ports simply by sitting down to use their computer
    in a room with 15% relative humidity.

    Doesn't matter how often you warn them to use a humidifier. The
    knowledge /you/ have acquired over the years means nothing to
    them until /after/ they fry something. At which point they
    wonder why you never warned them about it before.
  12. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Rob Stow" <rob.stow.nospam@shaw.ca> wrote in message
    news:1cfGd.86385$8l.61931@pd7tw1no...

    | It's winter time in the Great White North. -35'C overnight but
    | it has warmed up all the way to -22'C so far this afternoon.
    |
    | I hate this time of the year because I have to deal with all the
    | friends, friends-of-friends, etc., who fry keyboards, mice, PS/2
    | ports, and USB ports simply by sitting down to use their computer
    | in a room with 15% relative humidity.
    |
    | Doesn't matter how often you warn them to use a humidifier. The
    | knowledge /you/ have acquired over the years means nothing to
    | them until /after/ they fry something. At which point they
    | wonder why you never warned them about it before.

    Radio Shack used to sell 'Anti Static Spray' which, AFAIK, was a detergent
    solution you sprayed on the carpet. Also, ISTR some sort of grounding pad
    you could get which you touched before touching the computer. I suppose some
    sort of USB spike suppressor is possible but I haven't seen one so far.

    Even in the Lower Mainland, BC, it's -6 C. We don't care for that sort of
    thing in Lotus Land. Even the freaks are staying indoors.

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

    NSM wrote:
    > Radio Shack used to sell 'Anti Static Spray' which, AFAIK, was a detergent
    > solution you sprayed on the carpet.

    Get the same effect with liquid fabric softener one part to four parts
    water in a spray bottle.

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

    On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:19:44 -0500, ToolPackinMama
    <laura@lauragoodwin.org> wrote:

    >NSM wrote:
    >> Radio Shack used to sell 'Anti Static Spray' which, AFAIK, was a detergent
    >> solution you sprayed on the carpet.
    >
    >Get the same effect with liquid fabric softener one part to four parts
    >water in a spray bottle.
    >
    >Works great, smells great. :)

    similar to this one,
    http://www.theworkshop.net/radiotips/inexpensiveantistaticspray.htm

    1/4 cup liquid fabric softener
    1/4 cup ammonia
    2 cups water


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

    NSM wrote:

    > "Rob Stow" <rob.stow.nospam@shaw.ca> wrote in message
    > news:1cfGd.86385$8l.61931@pd7tw1no...
    >
    > | It's winter time in the Great White North. -35'C overnight but
    > | it has warmed up all the way to -22'C so far this afternoon.
    > |
    > | I hate this time of the year because I have to deal with all the
    > | friends, friends-of-friends, etc., who fry keyboards, mice, PS/2
    > | ports, and USB ports simply by sitting down to use their computer
    > | in a room with 15% relative humidity.
    > |
    > | Doesn't matter how often you warn them to use a humidifier. The
    > | knowledge /you/ have acquired over the years means nothing to
    > | them until /after/ they fry something. At which point they
    > | wonder why you never warned them about it before.
    >
    > Radio Shack used to sell 'Anti Static Spray' which, AFAIK, was a detergent
    > solution you sprayed on the carpet. Also, ISTR some sort of grounding pad
    > you could get which you touched before touching the computer. I suppose some
    > sort of USB spike suppressor is possible but I haven't seen one so far.
    >
    > Even in the Lower Mainland, BC, it's -6 C. We don't care for that sort of
    > thing in Lotus Land. Even the freaks are staying indoors.
    >
    > N

    Wow, -6 degrees. I feel sorry for you folks; must be
    terrible! Shall we send emergency aid? :)

    Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    it it will drop to the mid -40's :

    Seriously though, if the OP lost two usb ports in as many
    weeks, I'd be guessing that he's either extremely unlucky,
    or more likely should be looking at what he's plugging into them.

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

    larry moe 'n curly wrote:
    > Rob Stow wrote:
    >
    >
    >>It's winter time in the Great White North. -35'C overnight but
    >>it has warmed up all the way to -22'C so far this afternoon.
    >
    >
    >>Doesn't matter how often you warn them to use a humidifier. The
    >>knowledge /you/ have acquired over the years means nothing to
    >>them until /after/ they fry something. At which point they
    >>wonder why you never warned them about it before.
    >
    >
    > I'm in Arizona and haven't used any heat yet, and the indoor humidity
    > was 20% even when it was 4% outdoors (measured with wet and dry bulb
    > thermometers). I'm sure that the zaps weren't from high voltage (I
    > touch metal to metal before plugging anything in) but from high
    > current.
    >

    When it gets as cold as it has been today, it is not unusual to
    have 80% r.h. outdoors, but 10% to 15% indoors if a humidifier is
    not used. You drink a *lot* of water when you visit someone who
    doesn't use a humidifier.

    At such places, it is not unusual to see huge freaking blue-white
    sparks fly if you walk across a carpet and then reach out towards
    something grounded.

    Dogs learn quickly to stay away from children. ;-)
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Jumping in: Why not take a leaf out of the MIDI spec book, and specify
    opto-isolation as a requirement?

    The only reason I can think of is if that system can't slew fast
    enough for USB, which is a lot faster than MIDI.


    >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
    Cats have 9 lives, which makes them
    ideal for experimentation!
    >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 20:11:03 +0200, cquirke (MVP Win9x) wrote:

    > Jumping in: Why not take a leaf out of the MIDI spec book, and specify
    > opto-isolation as a requirement?
    >
    > The only reason I can think of is if that system can't slew fast
    > enough for USB, which is a lot faster than MIDI.

    How do you propose to supply power to the USB device via an optical
    interconnect?

    USB is rather more robust than most other PC interconnects.

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

    N
    >
    > Wow, -6 degrees. I feel sorry for you folks; must be
    > terrible! Shall we send emergency aid? :)
    >
    No no need to panic. The cold spell has ended and it is raining and 6
    degrees out. Luckily the rain is now melting that snow we had. We have
    bylaws outlawing snow here. Snow is for the rest of the country. We don't
    allow it here.

    > Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    > for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    > it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >
    Only fools and my brother and sister live in Winterpeg. There is a reason it
    is called winterpeg.
  20. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    >> Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >> for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >> it it will drop to the mid -40's :

    Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
  21. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Dave VanHorn wrote:
    >>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >
    >
    > Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    >
    >
    >

    When you have a half-hour walk home from the pub on a night like
    that, it doesn't matter that you remembered to take a leak before
    you left the pub. You *will* need to urgently take a leak while
    walking through a residential neighbourhood three blocks from the
    nearest bathroom in a cafe/restaurant/pub.

    So you detour into a back alley, unzip, pull it out, and you
    handle your plumbing *to* keep it from freezing. :-)

    Actually, it's not so bad - emptying your bladder involves
    pumping large volumes of hot liquid through the "plumbing". It
    is the hands that suffer - if you weren't holding onto the ...
    ummm ... hot water pipe your hand would freeze.

    --
    Every cloud has a silver lining, even if you sometimes
    have to drop a little acid before you can see it.
  22. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Dave VanHorn wrote:
    >>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >
    >
    > Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    >

    Hi...

    A few of the luckier of us have indoor plumbing nowdays...
    Whatever will they think of next? :) :)

    Seriously, it's no problem... I froze my water line
    where it enters the house once many many years ago;
    but 'twas my own fault, and easily cured. Finished
    the basement, put R40 insulation on the outer walls.
    Left the water line (where it exits the meter) tight
    against the concrete wall so it was insulated from any
    house heat.

    One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.

    Come on up and visit :)

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

    In article <EsTGd.103275$8l.99904@pd7tw1no>, kweitzel@shaw.ca says...
    >
    >
    > Dave VanHorn wrote:
    > >>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    > >>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    > >>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    > >
    > >
    > > Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    > >
    >
    > Hi...
    >
    > A few of the luckier of us have indoor plumbing nowdays...
    > Whatever will they think of next? :) :)
    >
    > Seriously, it's no problem... I froze my water line
    > where it enters the house once many many years ago;
    > but 'twas my own fault, and easily cured. Finished
    > the basement, put R40 insulation on the outer walls.
    > Left the water line (where it exits the meter) tight
    > against the concrete wall so it was insulated from any
    > house heat.

    Our water and sewer lines go through the basement floor about 2' from
    the exterior wall. They're going to be tough to freeze. Though we do
    get a ton of frost. It's not unusual for the frost line to go down
    seven feet and break older water mains. Last year we had a bumper crop
    of 'em. So far we haven't gotten much below 0F (-7C), though tonight
    may get down below -20F (-30C).

    My deck pitches up 6-12" every spring. I should be just about getting
    to the other end of the 4' sonotubes soon. :-(

    > One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    > I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    > turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    > a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    > holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.
    >
    > Come on up and visit :)

    Wrong direction for me, anyway! Winter is too long here. I'm looking
    to move the other way!

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

    "Lee Waun" <leewaun@telus.net> wrote in message
    news:f%IGd.106158$dv1.18162@edtnps89...
    | N
    | >
    | > Wow, -6 degrees. I feel sorry for you folks; must be
    | > terrible! Shall we send emergency aid? :)
    | >
    | No no need to panic. The cold spell has ended and it is raining and 6
    | degrees out. Luckily the rain is now melting that snow we had. We have
    | bylaws outlawing snow here. Snow is for the rest of the country. We don't
    | allow it here.
    |
    | > Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    | > for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    | > it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    | >
    | Only fools and my brother and sister live in Winterpeg. There is a reason
    it
    | is called winterpeg.

    My Grandparents emigrated from Scotland to Brandon, MB, around 1900. It was
    so cold there that after a few years they re-emigrated to New Zealand.

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

    "NSM" <nowrite@to.me> wrote in message
    news:aAUGd.115649$KO5.61871@clgrps13...
    >
    > "Lee Waun" <leewaun@telus.net> wrote in message
    > news:f%IGd.106158$dv1.18162@edtnps89...
    > | N
    > | >
    > | > Wow, -6 degrees. I feel sorry for you folks; must be
    > | > terrible! Shall we send emergency aid? :)
    > | >
    > | No no need to panic. The cold spell has ended and it is raining and 6
    > | degrees out. Luckily the rain is now melting that snow we had. We have
    > | bylaws outlawing snow here. Snow is for the rest of the country. We
    > don't
    > | allow it here.
    > |
    > | > Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    > | > for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    > | > it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    > | >
    > | Only fools and my brother and sister live in Winterpeg. There is a
    > reason
    > it
    > | is called winterpeg.
    >
    > My Grandparents emigrated from Scotland to Brandon, MB, around 1900. It
    > was
    > so cold there that after a few years they re-emigrated to New Zealand.
    >
    > N

    They made the right choice.
    >
  26. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 18:27:48 GMT, Ken Weitzel <kweitzel@shaw.ca>
    wrote:

    >
    >
    >Dave VanHorn wrote:
    >>>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >>
    >>
    >> Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    >>
    >
    >Hi...
    >
    >A few of the luckier of us have indoor plumbing nowdays...
    >Whatever will they think of next? :) :)
    >
    >Seriously, it's no problem... I froze my water line
    >where it enters the house once many many years ago;
    >but 'twas my own fault, and easily cured. Finished
    >the basement, put R40 insulation on the outer walls.
    >Left the water line (where it exits the meter) tight
    >against the concrete wall so it was insulated from any
    >house heat.
    >
    >One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    >I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    >turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    >a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    >holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.
    >
    >Come on up and visit :)

    I lived in a mini-home for awhile, and we needed both heat tape and
    thick insulation for the water pipe behind the skirting where it left
    the ground and entered the house. It froze several times on us, and
    once frozen, was quite troublesome to thaw. Had it been a metal pipe
    it would've been easier, I suppose.

    Tom

    Tom

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

    On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 21:13:53 +0000, Tom MacIntyre wrote:

    > On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 18:27:48 GMT, Ken Weitzel <kweitzel@shaw.ca>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >>Dave VanHorn wrote:
    >>>>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>>>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>>>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    >>>
    >>
    >>Hi...
    >>
    >>A few of the luckier of us have indoor plumbing nowdays...
    >>Whatever will they think of next? :) :)
    >>
    >>Seriously, it's no problem... I froze my water line
    >>where it enters the house once many many years ago;
    >>but 'twas my own fault, and easily cured. Finished
    >>the basement, put R40 insulation on the outer walls.
    >>Left the water line (where it exits the meter) tight
    >>against the concrete wall so it was insulated from any
    >>house heat.
    >>
    >>One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    >>I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    >>turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    >>a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    >>holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.
    >>
    >>Come on up and visit :)
    >
    > I lived in a mini-home for awhile, and we needed both heat tape and
    > thick insulation for the water pipe behind the skirting where it left
    > the ground and entered the house. It froze several times on us, and
    > once frozen, was quite troublesome to thaw. Had it been a metal pipe
    > it would've been easier, I suppose.

    When I was in college *moons* ago (yes, they had colleges back then) we
    owned a "mobile home" (a.k.a. tornado target) in cold country. Pretty
    much every year we had the heat-tape burn out underneath the trailer and
    had to have someone come out and fix it. It generally took an hour or so
    for the tech to get it all back together (and a pot of money no college
    student has). The tech carried a spot-welder in the truck and hooked it
    to each end of the pipe. Instant thaw! Yeah, metal was easier. ;-)

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

    On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 21:13:53 GMT, Tom MacIntyre
    <tom__macintyre@hotmail.com> wrote:


    >>
    >>One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    >>I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    >>turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    >>a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    >>holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.
    >>
    >>Come on up and visit :)
    >
    >I lived in a mini-home for awhile, and we needed both heat tape and
    >thick insulation for the water pipe behind the skirting where it left
    >the ground and entered the house. It froze several times on us, and
    >once frozen, was quite troublesome to thaw. Had it been a metal pipe
    >it would've been easier, I suppose.

    Forgot...I live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada), and it
    isn't nearly as cold here as it is in Winnipeg.

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

    Franc Zabkar wrote:

    > On 14 Jan 2005 22:19:26 -0800, "larry moe 'n curly"
    > <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> put finger to keyboard and composed:
    >
    > > Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed
    > > (a section of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent
    > > protection chip blew), and just recently the same happened
    > > to an ALI-based USB card.
    >
    > Do both cards use the same NS chip?
    >
    > Is it possible that you have an open ground at your mains
    > outlet? This would result in a case potential of half the
    > mains voltage.

    The ground seems to be OK (120VAC from ground to hot, 0VAC from ground
    to neutral), and the ALi card doesn't use a separate
    controller/protector chip but has the USB chip tied directly to the
    ports.
  30. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Tom MacIntyre wrote:

    > On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 18:27:48 GMT, Ken Weitzel <kweitzel@shaw.ca>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>Dave VanHorn wrote:
    >>
    >>>>>Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>>>>for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>>>>it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?
    >>>
    >>
    >>Hi...
    >>
    >>A few of the luckier of us have indoor plumbing nowdays...
    >>Whatever will they think of next? :) :)
    >>
    >>Seriously, it's no problem... I froze my water line
    >>where it enters the house once many many years ago;
    >>but 'twas my own fault, and easily cured. Finished
    >>the basement, put R40 insulation on the outer walls.
    >>Left the water line (where it exits the meter) tight
    >>against the concrete wall so it was insulated from any
    >>house heat.
    >>
    >>One of my neighbors is in the Caribbean as we speak;
    >>I go over daily and empty his mail box; go inside and
    >>turn on one of the cold water taps, flush the toilet
    >>a couple of times, make sure the furnace is still
    >>holding the temperature up, and done. No problem.
    >>
    >>Come on up and visit :)
    >
    >
    > I lived in a mini-home for awhile, and we needed both heat tape and
    > thick insulation for the water pipe behind the skirting where it left
    > the ground and entered the house. It froze several times on us, and
    > once frozen, was quite troublesome to thaw. Had it been a metal pipe
    > it would've been easier, I suppose.


    Hi Tom...

    Metal may well have been easier to thaw; just wave a
    torch back and forth on it for a while. BIG downside
    to metal, though. If it ever freezes solid, it's
    going to burst the pipe, and then you have huge
    problems to deal with.

    Plastic on the other hand has enough give to it that it
    doesn't burst.

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

    On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 12:15:51 -0500, "Dave VanHorn"
    <dvanhorn@dvanhorn.org> wrote:

    >
    >>> Come and visit Winnipeg. -29 now (mid afternoon; with -34 forecast
    >>> for tonight. And that doesn't include the windchill... with
    >>> it it will drop to the mid -40's :
    >
    >Just for grins, how do you handle your plumbing to keep it from freezing?

    That's what long underwear is for! :>

    Ohh.. did you mean your house plumbing?

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  32. Archived from groups: sci.electronics.repair,sci.electronics.basics,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 14 Jan 2005 22:19:26 -0800, "larry moe 'n curly"
    <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >Several months ago, a port on an NEC-based USB card failed (a section
    >of its LM3526 power controller & overcurrent protection chip blew), and
    >just recently the same happened to an ALI-based USB card.

    Do both cards use the same NS chip?

    Is it possible that you have an open ground at your mains outlet? This
    would result in a case potential of half the mains voltage.


    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 's' from my address when replying by email.
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