Reusing computer A/C cords?

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On 9/3/2015 11:12 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I use about 1/4" high text. I think it's the second from the largest size available (the larger didn't seem to be *much* larger)

Exactly. I don't want to have to have two different approaches to the problem. Easier to just treat everything the same. I'd still need to "cover" the heat-shrinkable with a layer of cello tape. So, the shrinkability doesn't really buy me anything.

Ah, *fancy*! ;-) I just settle for plain old BLACK! (doesn't work well on the black patch cords or power cords; but, those have "known" lengths so I don't need to mark them)

Hard to decide what left and bottom mean :-/
The way a standard duplex receptacle (in a US home) is constructed is the *wrong* way. Rotate each *outlet* 90 degrees -- without rotating the receptacle itself. So, wall warts end up side-by-side instead of one atop the other.

Exactly. I have some very nice 6 outlet strips that have individual outlets "snap fitted" into a heavy aluminum frame. But, they are arranged like the duplex receptacles I mentioned, above. And, they are too close together.
I have some singleton outlets that can be mounted onto a frame (they have two "ears" with screw holes instead of "press fitted"). I just need to find a piece of heavy gauge aluminum U-channel (so I can press on the outlets with cords that are stubborn to insert without fear of deforming the case!) *and* some sort of BACKING for that piece of channel so the wires aren't exposed, etc.
The advantage of modifying something COTS is not having to do any fabrication work!

It is also a surefire way to ruin the "assembly" as the cord will have dubious strain relief, at best. When it fails, you're stuck without a way of replacing it (esp as most bricks are solvent welded assemblies; "no user serviceable parts inside" -- and no way to GET inside!)
Dell makes a line of laptop bricks that are like this. *And*, the design intentionally encourages you to wrap the CAPTIVE cord around the brick for storage. Doing so trashes the cord (the AC inlet is a special modular cord but the DC outlet is captive).

No. Mickey as in "Mickey Mouse" -- three circles (his head and two ears).
Note that the figure-of-eight cords can also be found with one end of the '8' flattened. So, instead of OO, it's more like DO.
I keep boxes of cords, sorted by style. So, when I need a new one, I can save myself the $1 and just pull one out of the box.
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<stuff snipped here and inline>

That's the reason everything around here is R6QS - just one kind of cable end, stripper and compression tool required. I never did get the hang of putting BNC's on thinnish RG59 coax for CCTV. So I use adapters which my EE friend frets over because of the loss that adapters involve but a bad crimp REALLY causes problems.

Another reason I use R6QS - even the colored stuff has footage marks. I find it really helps to use different colored cables for different purposes. I have spools of black and white indoor R6, one outdoor spool, three spools of CAT6 (which gets used for everything so theres Network 1 (blue) Network 2 (red) and everything else (white because it's easiest to write on).

You've got it. I can't recall if the HF strips have the ground hole going left or right or even up or down. I'll look.

Definitely.

I figured out, quite accidentally, how to open up solvent welded cases in one feld swoop. While trying to blow water out of one that had gotten wet I drilled a tiny hole in the case and pressed the conical rubber nozzle of my air compressor against it, expecting water to blow out of openings around the plug blades and power cord. BANG!!!! Split right in half. (-:

Very dumb but I see more and more engineering "What were they thinking?" moments all the time.

Read again! That's what I said. The added ground wire (which I assume is the center) gives Mickey his head. (Sounds obscene)

Polarized v. unpolarized. I said that too!

It's clear that tech weenies all behave the same way. I even segregate the D cords by color since I have so damn many of them.
--
Bobby G.




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On 9/4/2015 2:50 AM, Robert Green wrote:

I ran RG6, CAT3 and CAT5 to each of ~25 "drops" around the house. In hindsight, should have run two lengths of CAT5 as the CAT3 is effectively useless -- just for *wired* phones -- but, then again, where it terminates wouldn't be of any use for networking kit! OTOH, even 100BaseTX is fast enough for anything distributed in the house (you can push *video* down it)
[outlet strips]

OTOH, if you can't *buy* what you want/need, then the make/buy decision is easy!

That may work for some; it may do nothing for others; and may turn some into balls of shrapnel! :>
If I need to cut a brick/wall wart apart, I use a heated Xacto knife and a bit of patience. But, usually, I can find a replacement device with the same output ratings and just replace the defective unit.

IBM used to have bricks with wrap-around cords. But, they designed the strain reliefs to support this, not hinder it.

Argh! Yes, sorry. I was distracted by your figure 8 reference as those cords are mechanically different sizes/shapes. So, couldn't make sense of your later comment.

I have 10.5x5x18" boxes labeled: - cord (modular power cords) - extend (male modular to female modular; sometimes called HP cords) - odd (right angle modulars, 220V, mickeys, 8's, etc.) - extension (traditional, short, extension cords) - medusa (think: octopus) - reel (small retractable cord reels) - RJ45 short (i.e., patch cords) - RJ45 long (like 30 - 100 ft) - coax (RG58) - coax long - Printer - DB9 - DB25 - DB25 long (typ. 25' extensions) - KVM (2 x PS2 w/ HD15 "VGA") - KVM long - KVM extension - Video (VGA, DVI, 3/4/5BNC, etc.) - HDMI - SCSI-1 - SCSI-2 - SCSI-3 - SCSI-V - Morph-1 (SCSI-1 to some other form of SCSI) - Morph-2 (SCSI-2 to some other form of SCSI) - Morph-3 (SCSI-3 to some other form of SCSI) - Morph-V (SCSI-V to some other form of SCSI) - SUN (misc SUN cables) - SUN-O (Old style Sun SCSI) - SUN-N (New style Sun SCSI) - SUN-W (Wide Sun SCSI) - USB (A-B cables) - USB Odd (e.g., not A-B cables) etc.
I learned a long time ago to horde cables as you *always* need one for SOMETHING! And, they're expensive! Cheaper and more convenient to just find a place to store them (they don't get upset with the high temperatures in the garage!) than to have to run out and *buy* one (or borrow one from some other piece of equipment!)
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Yes, I've run a lot of relay control wires and sensor wires using CAT5 and 6. So easy because they all use the same connectors, boots, tools, etc.

I've found if you can't find what you need, you haven't looked hard enough. Look at how many NEMA/IEC connectors people discovered. You can essentially pay a little over a buck each or six dollars each if you don't look hard enough.

Hence the smiley face. I don't recommend it without a protective casing of some kind. I also agree that it could come apart in a number of different ways of increasing risk. But it did surprise me to see it split quite nicely at the weld line. The big bang suprised me, too. (-:

I still have wall-warts from the sale the Lafayette Electronics when closing out their stores. All wall-warts were 50 cents each. The molded connectors on them were worth more.

Yep. Got boxes for all those except for SUN stuff but make up for it with a plethora of DiskPacks and other forms of removable hard drives.

Yes, long ago I realized my time was too valuable to be jack-assing over a six dollar cable. I may have overdone it because I used to buy from Computergate whose volume pricing made buying lots of extras relatively cheap.
When I retired the desktops I realized how deep in spares I was. But in the days before same day shipping at Amazon, you could lose some serious time on a project waiting for a cable to shift.
Tonight I have to order a bunch of new 15' USB cables. They seem to fail prematurely and worse, this last run had an outer casing that was too long and prevented complete insertion. Devices would power up but complain they were not connected because the power "fingers" reached but the data conductors did not. I chased that bad cable for a while because the thumb drive LED lit up, but Windoze would not see the drive. I rebooted, re-everything'ed and finally moved the cable elsewhere and discovered the issue.
I am going to introduce the bad cable to a sheet of sandpaper to see if I can't make it connect more firmly. USB connectors tend to fall out from vibration - I don't find them a particularly good design. But I was impressed how they could retrofit more lines in a compatible 4 wire connector for USB3.
--
Bobby G.



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On 9/4/2015 8:30 PM, Robert Green wrote:

That's not been the case with the switched outlet strip! The link I posted up-thread was the *best* I could find -- and it was way too short, too few outlets and too expensive.

Lafayette. Ha, blast from the past.
Nowadays, most of the wall warts/bricks I use are pretty big. E.g., 50 - 200W.

Friends, neighbors, colleagues usually bring me bits of kit to see if they are repairable. Often, they use me as an "excuse" to dump something so they can buy something newer. Hence the many laptops that I have, etc.
We have a few places here that have weekly or monthly auctions. You can usually find offbeat items for a song. E.g., a cubic yard (!!) of power cords for $7. I have floor-to-ceiling industrial metal shelving on both sides of the garage. The *lot* cost me $37.50 -- and three trips with the car to get it all home!

I only use a single "long" USB cable -- to connect one of the scanners to one of my workstations (there's not enough space on the desktop to move the scanner closer to the workstation).

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On Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 8:42:29 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

re: "(like my charging station that now has a record 37 chargers of different types. Really, chargers for cell phones, garden equipment, tools , batteries, shavers, kitchen gear, laptops, PDAs, MP3 players, portable vacs, cameras, etc.)"
I am trying to get a visual handle on this. You have a single charging stat ion for all of your chargeable devices? Are you charging your weed wacker i n the bathroom with the shaver or charging the shaver in the garage with th e weed wacker? I jest (somewhat) but only because I'm confused.
I charge my cell phone on the nightstand, I charge my cordless tools in the garage or shop, I charge my garden tools in the shed, etc. Are you really charging all of your devices in one location? Just curious.
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On Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 8:42:29 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
<stuff snipped>
re: "(like my charging station that now has a record 37 chargers of different types. Really, chargers for cell phones, garden equipment, tools, batteries, shavers, kitchen gear, laptops, PDAs, MP3 players, portable vacs, cameras, etc.)"

It would be more correct to say that *many* or even *most* of my charging is done in one area. That's true for the most part because the charging area has meters, testers, fire extinguishers, three different types of detectors (smoke, CO and rate-of-rise) and a fairly fireproof surface. The power strips are on timed outlets just to prevent accidental overcharging and they all have little pigtail cords to accommodate the wall warts.
The reasons is that my wife had a very serious overcharging issue with her PDA that caught fire while charging. It didn't burn anything up other than itself (and to say it burned is not accurate - it melted while emitting horrible-smelling fumes).
Anyway, after that I decided charging should be done in an area dedicated to it. A friend's kid had his laptop melt after leaving it on the bed and managing to cover it with a pillow. In a dedicated area for charging, those things are less likely to occur.

Neither. It's a spare bedroom. Items like a shaver can hold a charge for weeks so those items only need occasional charging are in the bedroom. There are shelves above the desk that contain chargers based on category.
There's also never much doubt where to find a charger. Before adapting this I had lost a number of chargers (one made it into the box with the retired-for-the-year Christmas lights) around the house. Now it's the default location for charging stuff. Fewer wall warts hanging around all over the house, too, which has a high SAF.

It makes sense and if one of your charged devices ever melts down, you'll probably say "Ah ha! NOW I see why he put them in a single location."

Most of them except for the cell phones and the laptops I use now as desktop replacements. It's a few more steps but I think it's much safer. Speaking of labels, each charging plug has one that specifies what it connects to. You can guess why. )-: Fortunately nowadays they seem to be standarizing plug sizes. The 12VDC plugs are usually much larger than the 5V units, but it's not a hard and fast rule, hence the labels.
I think this technique reduces overall power consumption because the wall warts aren't plugged in when they're not in use. It tends to prevent premature battery death from overcharging, too.
Also, since it's in a room rarely occupied, there's less chance of an exploding cell injuring someone. A high-cap NiMH AA cell can make a pretty impressive pop when it blows. DAMHIKT but I have a picture of that shredded cell somewhere. It was just another "trigger" event that made me want to consolidate charging to one area.
I suppose I should take a charger inventory noting all the voltage/amperage/polarity/size information. When the stun cane charger went AWOL, I didn't have (nor could I find) any information about what I needed to charge the unit. I rarely see a device that's marked with that information, either.
--
Bobby G.





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The big problem with these cords is the wire size. Most are 18ga and 16ga at best. BTW blue is the neutral and brown is the hot on European cord sets.
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On 09/02/2015 01:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Correct. The cord cannot handle the current of an A/C
Just go to the H/W store and purchase a new one meant to handle the current.
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On 9/2/2015 6:44 PM, philo wrote:

When I read the post, he wanted Alternating/ Current cords. If someone wants to make Air/ Conditioner extensions (700 watts or more) out of a computer cord (probably 100 watts), that is not advisable.
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wrote:

Did the OP mean A/C for air conditioner or alternating current? Now I am not sure. If the former, no computer cable I've seen should be used. Just not even current capacity (along with another friction fit point to cause arcing).
--
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On 9/2/2015 5:47 PM, Robert Green wrote:

"A/C" and "A.C" were used in the original post. Given the context of the comment, it seemed obvious that A/C and A.C were both intended to be "A.C." or "AC"

The modular power cord to one of my machines handles its 2200W load...
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On Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 8:28:38 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

You're claiming you can power 2 toasters with that cord? It sounds like he just wants to modify it for an ordinary common use extension. "...and put on a standard three-wire A.C female plug."
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On 9/2/2015 6:44 PM, bob_villa wrote:

Yes. Or, two hair dryers, etc. (the computer draws 2200W)

Agreed.
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It's also not using AWG18 cordsets.
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On 9/3/2015 10:19 AM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Not all modular cordsets are 18AWG. *Or*, 110VAC! :>
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As I just pointed out.
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Obvious to you! (-: Not me.

I hope you're not talking a PC that draws 2200W. That's a lot of juice.
--
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On 9/3/2015 5:55 AM, Robert Green wrote:

It's a computer. PC has a very specific connotation.
<http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/Redbooks.nsf/RedbookAbstracts/tips0995.html A wee bit bigger, heavier, NOISIER and more capable than most "PC's" :>
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Looks like that unit is designed for 240 volt operation so it only needs about 10 amps. That makes the wiring size less than it would for 120 volt operation.
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