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Old 11-12-2009, 01:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
NiHaoMike
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
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Another use for the Kill-a-Watt...

Yesterday, my best friend Allie Moore asked me if I could fix her computer. Of course, I accepted the offer. The computer would not run on AC power, but it will charge (slowly) if it is turned off.

The tools I brought are a Kill-a-Watt, a multimeter, a pair of "swiss army pliers", a set of screwdrivers, some soldering equipment, some electrical tape, and a 25w, 8.2 ohm resistor.

The problem was a bad connection in the plug. How I noticed it was that the Kill-a-Watt was always showing very low power draw at all times. Oddly enough, the multimeter showed full voltage at the plug. Out of curiosity, I decided to try load testing with the resistor. The voltage dropped by about half and the plug immediately got hot. I used the pliers to cut back the plug, exposing the connections. I resoldered them and it worked perfectly, after which I insulated the connections with electrical tape. I used the Kill-a-Watt to confirm that the power supply was indeed working.

I bet many students were wondering what was going on when I was sitting with a pretty girl, in the middle of the study lounge taking apart a laptop, using some unusual tools, and saying a lot of technical terms. Knowing how I am well known for my engineering, many probably thought I was training her to be a computer technician or something.

She also had another power supply that was broken for a long time. I currently have it on my desk. It appears completely dead as far as the output goes, but an AM radio shows that something is still working inside and the Kill-a-Watt indicates an unsteady current draw. I have just opened it and noticed some bad capacitors. Sometime later, I will replace those capacitors and test to see if it works.

__________________
If America manages to eliminate obesity, we would save as much fuel as if every American were to stop driving for three days every year. To be slender like Tiffany Yep is to be a real hypermiler...

Allie Moore and I have a combined carbon footprint much smaller than that of one average American...

Last edited by NiHaoMike; 11-12-2009 at 01:29 AM..
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