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Serious Electric Utility Problems

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10 replies to this topic

#1
Cousin Ricky

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There's a good reason I haven't been around lately. A couple of weeks ago, we started having serious brownouts, and the source was determined to be the connector to the house. The utility had no replacement connectors (post-hurricane shortage?), so they did some sort of temporary repair.

Temporary was an understatement. A few nights later, we had such wildly fluctuating voltages that half the lights in the house blew out. Oh, and my laptop battery drained in the space of a couple of minutes. About the only thing we could do was shut off the breakers and live like we did last fall.

A friend of the next door neighbors who used to work for the utility noticed our predicament, and after a week of false starts and ignored phone calls, we finally got power back. But we also made a horrifying discovery (Ungodly, I hope you're sitting down): the house, built in the 1960s, uses 6 gauge wire; the utility uses 2 gauge.

A wholesale rewiring is due. In the meantime, if we have any more electrical disturbances, we will have to stay off the grid until the rewiring is done.

In the meantime, my replacement battery has come in. So am I back? Well, the brand new battery won't charge. Diagnostics indicate that the battery is fine, but apparently the AC adapter is fried. I have been getting help on that, but then the computer started freezing up. And acting weird. I have a sinking feeling that my computer is fried.

Damn.


  • JadeBlackOlive likes this
“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#2
JadeBlackOlive

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​Good grief!!!!!......will this never end?


Jade  Meeow!

 

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#3
Ungodly

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This is awful. I think you were losing your ground and two 120v legs ended up in series. I'm glad there were no fires or injuries, but still, that's a lot.

Our house was built in the 1950s,  The wiring inside the house is very outdated, but everything outside the house is up to date.

Our circuit breaker box for the house is a brand known for bad circuit breakers.


  • JadeBlackOlive likes this

You can choose to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors, or you can go to church.

 


#4
Aging Disgracefully

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Jeez Cousin Ricky, "If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all."  I hope you get everything fixed soon.


When my people come to colonize this planet, your names will be on the protected rolls, and you will come to no harm.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


#5
Cousin Ricky

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This is awful. I think you were losing your ground and two 120v legs ended up in series. I'm glad there were no fires or injuries, but still, that's a lot.

I think they said there was a problem with the ground and the neutral.

Meanwhile, I'm taking a look at that Chromebook review you posted in FB.
  • JadeBlackOlive likes this
“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#6
Cousin Ricky

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I can't find any Chromebooks locally. But they will sell me a Windblows based notepad for a higher price. :P
  • JadeBlackOlive likes this
“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#7
Ungodly

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Ground and neutral are connected together at the service entry point/main fuse panel.  US 120V service comes from a center tapped transformer. The center tap goes to neutral ground. From either outside leg it is 120V above neutral, if you go from outside to outside it is 240V. When your neutral opened up one 120V leg was suddenly in series with the other 120V leg. Because of unequal impedance there would be more than 120V on one leg and less on the other. It's about the worst possible failure scenario for home wiring.

 

Got my Chromebook on sale, $250 off.  It likely is the most expensive model line, but I got the base model.


You can choose to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors, or you can go to church.

 


#8
JadeBlackOlive

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I have the 11" Chromebook I take with me on our oh so many medical trips out of town. Its a terrific little laptop, very lightweight, fast, & has lasted me a lot longer than I ever expected. The picture is clear, the fonts are sharp, & I can do everything on it I need to do when away. Its the low end Acer, but its been very good to me & I've had it now for several years.


Jade  Meeow!

 

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#9
Cousin Ricky

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I just placed an order for a Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook, $100 refurbished, plus shipping. I went low because it won’t be my main computer. It’s 1.5GHz with 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, and 11.6" 1366 x 768 panel.

Next step is a new primary computer. I’m still not sure that the old one isn’t salvageable, but it’s more than 5 years old, and the consensus seems to be that 5 years is a good run on today’s PCs.

I’m pretty much settled on a Core i series quad core with hyper-threading and turbo boost, with no overclocking. (Why no overclocking? As I understand it, overclocking gives short bursts of speed at the expense of excessive waste heat—not suitable for overnight CGI renders.) That seems to narrow it down to a Core i7, avoiding anything with a ‘K’ in it. (I see that Intel now has an i9 series, but I don’t feel the need to get into that yet.) The only question now is: should I get a desktop or another laptop?

Since I’m getting a travel computer, it would not appear necessary to pay extra for a laptop. Unfortunately, between the unreliable electrical utility and the non-functional battery backup, desktop processes would be prone to summary shutdowns, and I would rather not tempt that kind of fate. I don’t know why the battery backup doesn’t work, but I have a feeling it may be upset with the house wiring. Given the present circumstance, I’m leaning towards another laptop. Based on my studies of Intel’s arcane mobile processor nomenclature, it would have to be an i7 with an HQ somewhere in the name, and no K, Y, or U.
 


  • JadeBlackOlive likes this
“Facts seem to roll off a Christian like water off a duck.” —Great Ape

“How much can you actually doubt something and still maintain that you believe it?” —Josh K, “Alpha and Omega”

“You don’t understand. My crisis of faith is over.

#10
JadeBlackOlive

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Hope you keep us posted CR.


Jade  Meeow!

 

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#11
Ungodly

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About the Chromebook - I think you'll love Chrome OS. It is built on a Linux kernel.

Desktop vs laptop - it is a lot easier to upgrade a desktop. you might want a super duper graphics card for your rendering.

I like the i7 plan, very good CPUs, like you I do not overclock.  The  manufacturer is motivated to recommend the fastest reliable speed, I see no need to decrease reliability. 


You can choose to live in peace and harmony with your neighbors, or you can go to church.

 



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