User avatar
johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:31 pm

Interesting -- here's a company that builds USB chargers into USA/Canada electrical outlets so you don't need to plug in a wall wart. 2.1A per port. More expensive than wall warts (for now), but so much prettier.

From Geek Times: http://www.eetimes.com/electro.....er-devices

User avatar
piglet
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:06 pm

Hmmm - but do you really want it on all the time? In the UK pretty much all sockets have individual switches.

Looks pretty though



http://currentwerks.com/produc.....t-quattro/
http://currentwerks.com/produc.....utlet-duo/

User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5201
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Once again, I am proud to live in the country with the best wall warts in the world. There's nothing to beat the good old three-pin plug.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4118
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:52 pm

Quote from liz on December 14, 2011, 16:16
Once again, I am proud to live in the country with the best wall warts in the world. There's nothing to beat the good old three-pin plug.

Yeah we're number 1, we're number 1....

Do they still have the "how to wire a plug and change a fuse" classes in primary school?

asb
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:16 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Quote from ukscone on December 14, 2011, 16:52
Do they still have the "how to wire a plug and change a fuse" classes in primary school?

It should be covered in secondary school at least (definitely in at least one syllabus for GCSE Physics).

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4118
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:17 pm

Quote from asb on December 14, 2011, 17:06
Quote from ukscone on December 14, 2011, 16:52
Do they still have the "how to wire a plug and change a fuse" classes in primary school?

It should be covered in secondary school at least (definitely in at least one syllabus for GCSE Physics).

Actually I thought it was a whole GCSE subject on it's own. Gotta get those A* grades for the schools ranking :)

[We did it in primary school. Same way you weren't allowed to write in biro until you had mastered pencil and then fountain pen, you weren't allowed to be lights monitor or projector monitor until you had "passed" the "wire a plug correctly and don't stick things that aren't a plug into an electric socket" exam.]

User avatar
Burngate
Posts: 5967
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Location: Berkshire UK Tralfamadore
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:24 pm

Are we allowed to rewire a plug? (H&S)
Most things come with a molded-on plug - even if they're wrongly wired! (I've found a couple)

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4118
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:31 pm

Quote from Burngate on December 14, 2011, 17:24
Are we allowed to rewire a plug? (H&S)
Most things come with a molded-on plug - even if they're wrongly wired! (I've found a couple)

That's the main thing that irks me about America. The plugs and power cables. Really pisses me off.

Well it's the main thing other than the language (it's not english in any sense of the word :) ), the food, the people, the tv, the weather, the way they price things in the store (incl. the tax in the price on the sticker so i know how much it is really without a maths degree), the beer, er did i mention the tv and the people? :)

The taps stuck.
faucet.
i did i pulled off the bloody wall

User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5201
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:39 pm

I thought "No, how daft" for a moment, then checked. To my horror, I have just discovered that every single plug in my study apart from those bought >5-ish years ago is a sealed unit with only the fuse serviceable.

If we're not careful, we'll breed a nation of electronics imbeciles. (Which is, of course, precisely the problem we're trying to fix here.)
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4118
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:49 pm

Quote from liz on December 14, 2011, 17:39
I thought "No, how daft" for a moment, then checked. To my horror, I have just discovered that every single plug in my study apart from those bought >5-ish years ago is a sealed unit with only the fuse serviceable.

If we're not careful, we'll breed a nation of electronics imbeciles. (Which is, of course, precisely the problem we're trying to fix here.)

I think the change started around the mid-80s when people started buying IBM PC's and Clones. I remember turning the air blue at work when having to deal with a sealed plug on the computer's power cable. First thing i'd do if a fresh install was going to pass through my hands was cut the plug off and put a proper one on.

And what's this with having hardly any grounded sockets (or plugs) in apartments and houses? Who's bright idea was that?

tumblebomb
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:56 pm

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:24 pm

I was taught to change a plug when pretty small, after that to solder (mum worked in a factory once). Two of the most useful things I ever learnt growing up. Apart from how to set things on fire with a magnifying glass!!
Its at least secondary school these days before kids get taught. Its a waste of time for some people except we may be able to regenerate old housing stock quicker if the all ended up burning down from badly wired plugs. ;)

mobeyduck
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:39 pm

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:07 pm

Quote from ukscone on December 14, 2011, 17:49
Quote from liz on December 14, 2011, 17:39
I thought "No, how daft" for a moment, then checked. To my horror, I have just discovered that every single plug in my study apart from those bought >5-ish years ago is a sealed unit with only the fuse serviceable.

If we're not careful, we'll breed a nation of electronics imbeciles. (Which is, of course, precisely the problem we're trying to fix here.)

I think the change started around the mid-80s when people started buying IBM PC's and Clones. I remember turning the air blue at work when having to deal with a sealed plug on the computer's power cable. First thing i'd do if a fresh install was going to pass through my hands was cut the plug off and put a proper one on.

And what's this with having hardly any grounded sockets (or plugs) in apartments and houses? Who's bright idea was that?

I like to blame the people who build the house trying to save a few cents per socket on wires and if you rent its just not worth the struggle to pull more wires...

User avatar
johnbeetem
Posts: 945
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: The Mountains
Contact: Website

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:19 pm

Quote from liz on December 14, 2011, 16:16
Once again, I am proud to live in the country with the best wall warts in the world. There's nothing to beat the good old three-pin plug.
Reminds me of Roy Kinnear as lab assistant Algernon in Help! (1965), who frequently praises "good British plugs" as he re-wires them.

Of course, Brits need those plugs to power their electric tea-kettles and immersion heaters. Those things are scary. Room temperature to boiling in seconds, or so it seems.

User avatar
Jessie
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: C/S CO USA

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:14 pm

Here in the US rather than make all states adhere to licensing for electricians, and make all device makers make their products correctly the electrical code is just making us put expensive Arc Fault breakers on almost every curcuit. You can't tell me that the people making these high margin devices weren't lobying NFPA for this change.

The devices (like receptacles and swithces) with no user serviceable parts is growing here as well. I'm an industrial/commercial electrician and I have even seen them get installed in power plants and datacenters. The contractors think that it saves them man hours because we don't have to twist a screw driver to hook the wires to the receptacle. And they sell the additional cost to the customer by saying "well these pay for themselvs after the fact because they don't require an electrician to service." At the rate it's going sheet rockers and concrete workers will be doing my job in 10 years.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 23352
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:16 am

Arc fault breaker ? RCD in the UK? We are getting more and more of those required under Part P. Right PITA.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

Tomo2k
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:00 pm

Re: CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices

Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:10 am

JamesH said:


Arc fault breaker ? RCD in the UK? We are getting more and more of those required under Part P. Right PITA.



AFCIs try to detect arcing in a circuit – either L>N or L>PE.

These are very different to RCDs (the US normally call those GFI or GFCIs) which work by measuring the difference between the current down L and N and opening if it's greater than a threshold.

- Usually 25mA for an RCD, or 5mA for a GFI. Other values exist for special use like fire protection in TT systems and other places where the L>PE short circuit fault current is very small.

Oddly the part of NEMA insistant on their use doesn't give any information whatsoever about how they work, which to me is the first sign of snake oil.

Off-hand, I would guess that AFCIs work by looking for the RF signature of an arc, but like Jessie I really don't see a good use case for them – RCBOs will trip on notable L>N and L>PE arc faults without the need for anything more expensive.

Perhaps they could be useful in a shared-neutral installation, as those are more likely to overload the neutral (especially with modern energy-saving loads with their, shall we say, 'interesting' supply characteristics), but even in that situation they are unlikely to catch the fault until after it's started the fire – an overloaded neutral will be running very hot for quite some time before it degrades enough to arc.

These installations would be protected much better by a correctly-rated dual-pole sensing MCB – one that trips on overcurrent through L and/or N.

Return to “Off topic discussion”