All Things Electronic

## When The Voltage Drops

Voltage drop explains how the energy of a voltage source is decreased as electrical current flows through the passive elements (elements that do not supply voltage) of an electrical circuit. The issue becomes important when the length of wire becomes elongated. A common analogy used to explain voltage, current, and voltage drop is a garden hose. Voltage would be the water pressure supplied to the hose. Current would be the water flowing through the hose. And the inherent resistance of the hose is determined by the type and size of the hose, just like how type and size of an electrical wire determine its resistance.

Excessive voltage drop can cause loss of efficiency of light, motors, and appliances. This could result in lights that are dim with a decreased life expectancy for motors or appliances. To avoid excessive voltage drop, select a wire size that will minimize voltage drop. You need to know the length of the wire run and the amp load or current that will be on the circuit. To determine amps, add up the wattage of all electrical devices that will be on the circuit and divide that total by the voltage of the circuit, 110 or 220. Continue reading When The Voltage Drops

## Termination: Wire and Cable

Termination – for all of you getting flashbacks to old Arnold Schwarzenegger films, take a deep breath, I’ll be back.

In this blog, we’ll be talking about the different ways to terminate (or end), a cord. People have different reasons for choosing certain ends to cords.

Cords can end in three different ways: First, we have the typical plug and connector. Then, there’s a stripped wire, and following is custom termination. Standard power cords feature a plug and a connector. These types of cords can be used to power computers, appliances, electronics, etc. Both ends can be plugged in or unplugged.

## Snap-On and Screw-On Inlets

For today’s “how-to” topic, we will be discussing how to mount a power inlet/outlet onto a device.

There are two different types of ways to mount a power connector. One way is referred to as a Snap-On inlet (as the IEC-C20 inlet shown below). For example, in the data center located in your office building, the Snap-On inlet would be mounted on by inserting into the server rack. Soldered ends or quick disconnect terminals connect to your equipment’s live wires to the metal tabs at the back of the inlet. The “lips,” (highlighted below) which are small pieces of plastic on the sides, holds the inlet in place once connected to the server.

The second type is called a Screw-On inlet. Continue reading Snap-On and Screw-On Inlets

## Power Strip vs. Surge Protector

The common misunderstanding of them being the same thing has led most people confused when learning the differences between power strips and surge protectors. Both come hand in hand more often than people think, however not ALL power strips are surge protected. Allow me to clear up the misunderstanding.

First of all, a power strip (such as Image 1 shown below) is an electrical unit, providing multiple electrical sockets (contained in an electrically shielded case) to be shared while being plugged into one wall outlet. While a surge protector, on the other hand, (see Image 2) is an electrical component, added to the power strip that is designed to protect the devices plugged into the power strip from an electrical surge. A way to tell the difference is that a surge protector will show a light indicator on the unit, indicating that is it protected. An electrical surge occurs when there is a spike, or increase in voltage in an electrical line. Voltage spikes can be caused by lightning strikes, power outages, tripped circuit breakers, short circuits and more. A surge protector will detect when voltage is about to spike, and divert the extra voltage to the grounding wire. Thus, none of your electronic devices will be harmed.

Image 1

## Don’t Be Shocked What The Holidays Bring!

It is crucial to practice electrical safety. Especially during the holidays! Here is an easy way to remember to be extra cautious this year, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” style!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “Check for bare wires… before you wrap the tree!”

On the second day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “Avoid overloading outlets… only plug one device… into each!” Continue reading Don’t Be Shocked What The Holidays Bring!

## What is a Strain Relief?

We all know that an electrical power cord is made up of two or more wires running side by side to form an assembly, in which the ends can connect to two devices, allowing electrical signals to flow from one device to another. However, most of us wonder what that big molded thing at the end of a connector is. That big “thing” is called a strain relief. Sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? Just like its name, a strain relief relieves a cable of stresses and tensions that could break the conductor inside or even the connection between the plug and the cable.

There are different types of strain relief too. The first one always comes molded to the jacket and part of the plug. This type of strain relief is mainly designed to avoid any damage to the conductors and separation of the plug from the cord itself.

Second, we have a type of strain relief called Cable Glands. Continue reading What is a Strain Relief?

## Why Use Short Cords

Have you ever stepped into the server room at your business? I’m sure it looks a little something like spaghetti – which can actually be a lot messier than dinner. If you’re wondering how to prevent this mess, I’m here to help!

## Electric Vehicle Part 1

Electric vehicles have become a way of life. To prove that is true is the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard put into place by the Obama Administration. By 2025, every new vehicle sold in the United States will need to reach at least 54.5 mpg. In order to operate, the plug-in hybrid EVs that function on batteries need to be charged occasionally. No more trips to the over-populated, busy gas stations. You can fill up right at home overnight or at work during the day. The car simply plugs in while it is immobile for a given period of time. It can also charge while being driven – once the car is coming to a stop and the brakes are applied, kinetic energy is transformed into chemical energy in the battery.

In order to operate, the plug-in hybrid EVs that function on batteries need to be charged occasionally. No more trips to the over-populated, busy gas stations. You can fill up right at home overnight or at work during the day. The car simply plugs in while it is immobile for a given period of time. It can also charge while being driven – once the car is coming to a stop and the brakes are applied, kinetic energy is transformed into chemical energy in the battery.

## CES 2015 Roundup

As the new year begins, it’s also time to roll out the fancy new gadgets. The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) roared through Las Vegas last week.  The weeklong showcases over 3,600 exhibitors and attracts over 160,000 attendees. Previous CES events have included high-profile introductions such as the world’s first VCR, camcorder, DVD player, household robots, and most recently, 3D printers and 4k televisions.

## Save Money On Electricity During The Winter

In the midst of the cool and wet winter, we’re struggling to find ways to keep warm.  Thankfully, there are options and we don’t have to break the bank to keep our toes warm.  Follow these simple tips to save money on heat and electricity these first few months of 2015, and keep warm with us.