Check connetions and dust first

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I finally learned to check these first before jumping into the software or running to the computer store. A good lesson for anyone else interested...
I have a board in the PC -- don't remember what it's called -- that plugs into mother board and give me 6 more USB ports. I have all of them being used. Yesterday, all the USB devices connected to that board stopped working. Figured it was the board or bad connections. Shut it down and tried pulling it out and back in a few times -- didn't help. So I pulled out the bard and saw the top had a good 1/16 inch of dust. Brushed it off good with a dry toothbrush, put it back in and working again.
Note to self -- try the simple first, dummy.
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On 4/28/2015 1:42 AM, Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:

Tried a blast of dielectric grease, figure it works for spark plugs. Not sure it helped, but at least I did "some thing".
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 6:05:53 AM UTC-5, Stormin Mormon wrote:

The grease collects dust and a "dielectric" makes it non-conductive! Nice!
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On 4/28/2015 7:19 AM, bob_villa wrote:

lube the connectors. This was done mainly for gold to gold contacts as they can essentially cold weld after many years making it impossible to remove the board. In the early days it was a very thin wiping of bee's wax. But, some people in the field took this to mean dunking it in the solvent dissolved wax. Today they use a very expensive lubricant from Monsanto which is mixed with contact cleaner for field use. Also, a disposable pad it used to clean both the board connector and the backplane connector to which it is plugged into. It leaves a very thin but effective layer of lubricant. BTW, these are not greasy and don't collect dirt.
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On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 8:29:42 AM UTC-5, Art Todesco wrote:

...also used as an anti-oxidant (gold won't oxidize but other metals will). Thanks Art!
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On 04/28/2015 12:42 AM, Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:

Dust should always be cleaned off as it will retain heat...however unless you are in a machine shop where there would be metallic dust,, the dust in your home is non-conductive.
The problem more than likely was a poor connection due to tarnish.
When something like that happens on a machine I'm working on...typically the video card or RAM
I remove the component and clean the contacts with a strip of white paper. Once I see no more residue on the paper, I reinsert the component and it usually works fine. I also make sure there is no dust in the slot, by giving it a short blast of compressed air.
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On 4/28/2015 7:52 AM, philo wrote:

Do you give it a bit of dieelectric grease, like a good Republican, to help keep the contacts clean?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:

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On 4/28/15 10:13 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

board out a few times?
I wonder if it was capacitive coupling between two legs of an IC, through the dielectric constant of the dust.
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J Burns wrote:

Excess heat makes things expand. No. 1 enemy for electronics comp[onet is too much heat.
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On 4/28/15 12:37 PM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I don't suppose there's much mass on a USB board. I figured if it was heat, it would have resumed working when he shut the power off long enough to unplug and replace the board a few times.
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J Burns wrote:

Most of chips work on standard basic 5V DC. Between pins dust won't have much effect electrically. If it were HV then maybe, arcing or what you mentioned. PCI slots on PC motherboard can tilt when hold down screw is tightened causing poor socket contacts. Some times have to reshape guide plate on the board for better seating. Spent almost half a century in the field. Repaired/modified tons of various logic board on test jig. Now being retired, my pastime is fixing friend's neighbor's sick any thing electronics. Only charging for parts I don't have when needed. Also son's and his buddy's guitar amps. When I went to work after school there were still many vacuum tubes in use. I am class of '60 EE. Lived thru electronics evolution(vacuum tubes to nano tech), LOL!
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USB chips don't dissipate significant heat, even under load. Not like a CPU, which can dissipate upwards of 160 watts or more depending on the clockspeed and SKU.

Where have you been for the last decade? Think 0.8-1.5 volts for most modern chips (particularly CPUs). Takes less energy to switch .8 v than 5.0vdc and you can do it faster.

Ah, that's where.
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snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

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Tony Hwang wrote:

Reduction in voltage comes from mainly much higher density circuit. Every thing is SMALL and CLOSE each other.(Nano tech.) How many x-sistors in a Quad core i7 latest gen. CPU?

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On 4/28/15 4:14 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Stray capacitance wasn't evident with a VOM. It was with a VTVM, an oscilloscope, or a DMM. The lead of a DMM may be nowhere near a conductor with 60Hz, but it can pick up several volts. The unshielded part of a scope lead is much shorter, but it, too, will pick up 60Hz from stray capacitance.
Impedances in modern circuits can be much higher than the input of a DMM or a scope. Distances can be very close and frequencies a lot higher than 60Hz. In putting together my own circuits, I've had to add capacitors because of the unforeseen effects of stray capacitance.
If I got moisture in a digital watch, I wouldn't expect it to work. The conductivity of distilled water is 5 microsiemens/meter. Seawater is a million times higher. If distilled water stopped a watch, I'd suspect capacitive coupling. The dielectric constant of water is 80 times higher than air.
I don't know the dielectric constant of household dust, but I imagine it could be a lot higher than air if it absorbed humidity. Maybe he OP had trouble on that day because the humidity in the room was a bit higher than it had been.
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To all you nitpicking wimps, computers ain't that delicate. Just take them outdoors and blow them out with an air compressor. NEVER had a problem. Sheeeeeeesh!
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On 4/29/2015 4:22 AM, bubba wrote:

Did you use anti static air?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 4/29/2015 7:43 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

You need to use Monster Products Magnetic Flux Tube® that enhances internal magnetic fields and Linear Polyethelyne (LPE) dielectric insulation for reduced static linearization of the laminar air flow resonator.
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On 4/29/2015 4:22 AM, bubba wrote:

That's true. In this I checked the connections first. All were snug and clean. I pulled them out and gave them the eraser treatment. Board still didn't work until I cleaned off the dust from the back side.
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