Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by hvrty, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. hvrty

    hvrty Guest

    I know very little (nothing) about electricity. What I do know is
    probably wrong.

    I've been dealing with a vendor who likes to blame electrical issues
    for system malfunctions, like freezing, crashing, and loss of network
    connectivity. I've been fairly convinced that they're full of crap,
    using this same excuse to explain why they can't fix problems occuring
    in four locations spread across two states.

    However, I find myself wanting to adopt this reasoning! A touchscreen
    at one of my locations has stopped responding to touch. I've swapped
    out the monitor/cables and reinstalled the drivers with no effect.
    However, when I brought the PC to another location and plugged it in,
    everything worked just fine.

    This location is made up of two workstations, each consisting of a
    computer, monitor, receipt printer, barcode scanner, pole display, and
    credit card swiper. Today I had an employee power down one
    workstation-- but the touchscreen on the other station still didn't
    work. This set up had been working for a few months before dying.

    Does it make any sense that the touchscreen (and sometimes the pole
    display), would stop working because they aren't getting enough juice?
     
    hvrty, Jul 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. hvrty

    Mike Meyers Guest

    Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

    Whoa there, Tom!

    A you saying that these PCs, being electronic appliances, should run fine
    even if their voltage drops to as much as 40% of their rated voltage? For
    how long would they run like this? I gotta disagree with you on this one but
    let's make sure I got the facts straight before I do.

    Mike

    While I'm here lemme give my two bits towards hvrty's problem:

    Electrical problems are the number one cause of failure of properly
    installed PC components. I continually suspect electricity as a culprit in
    many ways here. It might be these touch screens - are they all the same? Can
    you test these systems without touchscreens for a while and sse if it goes
    away?

    Do you have UPSes installed on these systems? HAve you verified that the
    power is good at these locations by getting down on your knees and checking
    the outlets with a VOM yourself?

    Ignoring electrical power for moment, is there you do not have these screens
    installed properly? HAve you talked to the manufacturer? Is a chance that
    these touchscreens are junk and lots of folks are having problems? Have you
    checked?

    Just some areas to consider...

    Mike


    "w_tom" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Electronic appliances must work just fine even when AC
    > voltage drops so low that incandescent bulbs are at less than
    > 40% intensity. If bulbs are not dimming that low, then a
    > 'juice' shortage is not reason for problem. Anyone doing
    > computer work should know how low line voltage can be without
    > problems AND can cite the voltage number. If they can't
    > recite numbers, then suspect junk scientists.
    >
    > hvrty wrote:
    > > I know very little (nothing) about electricity. What I do know is
    > > probably wrong.
    > >
    > > I've been dealing with a vendor who likes to blame electrical issues
    > > for system malfunctions, like freezing, crashing, and loss of network
    > > connectivity. I've been fairly convinced that they're full of crap,
    > > using this same excuse to explain why they can't fix problems occuring
    > > in four locations spread across two states.
    > >
    > > However, I find myself wanting to adopt this reasoning! A touchscreen
    > > at one of my locations has stopped responding to touch. I've swapped
    > > out the monitor/cables and reinstalled the drivers with no effect.
    > > However, when I brought the PC to another location and plugged it in,
    > > everything worked just fine.
    > >
    > > This location is made up of two workstations, each consisting of a
    > > computer, monitor, receipt printer, barcode scanner, pole display, and
    > > credit card swiper. Today I had an employee power down one
    > > workstation-- but the touchscreen on the other station still didn't
    > > work. This set up had been working for a few months before dying.
    > >
    > > Does it make any sense that the touchscreen (and sometimes the pole
    > > display), would stop working because they aren't getting enough juice?
     
    Mike Meyers, Jul 8, 2003
    #2
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  3. Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

    On Tue, 08 Jul 2003 15:07:22 GMT, "Mike Meyers" <>
    wrote:

    >Whoa there, Tom!
    >
    >A you saying that these PCs, being electronic appliances, should run fine
    >even if their voltage drops to as much as 40% of their rated voltage? For
    >how long would they run like this? I gotta disagree with you on this one but
    >let's make sure I got the facts straight before I do.
    >
    >Mike


    I can't remember the exact physics, but I think the light intensity
    falls to 40% at considerably higher than 40% of the voltage; I may be
    wrong. I think it's related to wattage, in which case it'd be about
    65% of the voltage.

    I don't like to see things worked at lower voltages, whether they be
    linear or switching supplies, other than to verify regulation for a
    very short period, but...I have seen at least one 27" Philips TV that
    was stable (its B+ and other supply voltages stayed up enough that
    there was no visibly or audible effect) below 40 VAC (a switching
    supply, of course). Generally they'll get cranky at about 50% of
    normal line voltage, and it isn't healthy for them to run that way for
    any length of time anyway. As Mike mentions, computer stuff can be a
    lot crankier anyway.

    Tom

    >
    >While I'm here lemme give my two bits towards hvrty's problem:
    >
    >Electrical problems are the number one cause of failure of properly
    >installed PC components. I continually suspect electricity as a culprit in
    >many ways here. It might be these touch screens - are they all the same? Can
    >you test these systems without touchscreens for a while and sse if it goes
    >away?
    >
    >Do you have UPSes installed on these systems? HAve you verified that the
    >power is good at these locations by getting down on your knees and checking
    >the outlets with a VOM yourself?
    >
    >Ignoring electrical power for moment, is there you do not have these screens
    >installed properly? HAve you talked to the manufacturer? Is a chance that
    >these touchscreens are junk and lots of folks are having problems? Have you
    >checked?
    >
    >Just some areas to consider...
    >
    >Mike
    >
    >
    >"w_tom" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> Electronic appliances must work just fine even when AC
    >> voltage drops so low that incandescent bulbs are at less than
    >> 40% intensity. If bulbs are not dimming that low, then a
    >> 'juice' shortage is not reason for problem. Anyone doing
    >> computer work should know how low line voltage can be without
    >> problems AND can cite the voltage number. If they can't
    >> recite numbers, then suspect junk scientists.
    >>
    >> hvrty wrote:
    >> > I know very little (nothing) about electricity. What I do know is
    >> > probably wrong.
    >> >
    >> > I've been dealing with a vendor who likes to blame electrical issues
    >> > for system malfunctions, like freezing, crashing, and loss of network
    >> > connectivity. I've been fairly convinced that they're full of crap,
    >> > using this same excuse to explain why they can't fix problems occuring
    >> > in four locations spread across two states.
    >> >
    >> > However, I find myself wanting to adopt this reasoning! A touchscreen
    >> > at one of my locations has stopped responding to touch. I've swapped
    >> > out the monitor/cables and reinstalled the drivers with no effect.
    >> > However, when I brought the PC to another location and plugged it in,
    >> > everything worked just fine.
    >> >
    >> > This location is made up of two workstations, each consisting of a
    >> > computer, monitor, receipt printer, barcode scanner, pole display, and
    >> > credit card swiper. Today I had an employee power down one
    >> > workstation-- but the touchscreen on the other station still didn't
    >> > work. This set up had been working for a few months before dying.
    >> >
    >> > Does it make any sense that the touchscreen (and sometimes the pole
    >> > display), would stop working because they aren't getting enough juice?

    >
     
    Tom MacIntyre, Jul 8, 2003
    #3
  4. hvrty

    RussS Guest

    Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

    Unfortunately some electronic components are not like lights and their need
    for voltage is a lot more specific. Of course something even more pertinent
    is the amperage. I can't remember the equation as it was about 25/30 years
    ago I learned it and I haven't kept up, but there is a definite formula
    used.
     
    RussS, Jul 8, 2003
    #4
  5. hvrty

    hvrty Guest

    Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

    The systems are currently running without the touchscreen (and have
    been for about three weeks). The employees are using the mouse. This
    has happened once before, too. Two months ago the touchscreen failed
    for a day and then suddenly came back. This time it hasn't.

    I don't think the (ELO) touchscreens are crap. We're using the same
    model in twenty three locations, about fifty workstations. I'd even
    say that the touchscreens have been the most reliable component! In a
    year, I've only had to replace one monitor.

    Everything is on UPSes. I haven't checked the outlet with a VOM, but
    that will be my next step. Thank you for your advice. I didn't know
    that electricity could cause this kind of problem- definitely
    something to look into!
     
    hvrty, Jul 9, 2003
    #5
  6. hvrty

    hvrty Guest

    Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts of problems?)

    Thank you all for the information about electricity! I hope my other
    post went through; I can't see it on google.

    This problem has driven me nuts for too long. I'm heading onsite
    Monday, armed with a vom and a replacement for every single piece of
    this workstation.

    I'm ashamed to say that I'm not sure how this touchscreen actually
    works. Looking through the manual, I see things like 'surface wave
    technology,' and 'touch on tube.' These have little meaning to me
    (though I'll be looking them up this weekend!). There is no
    overlay...
     
    hvrty, Jul 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Re: Electricity Questions (does it really cause these sorts ofproblems?)

    From your description, this touchscreen uses "Surface Acoustic Wave"
    (SAW) technology -- one of about 5 totally different technologies used
    in touch screens. This technology uses ultrasonic transducers bonded to
    the touchscreen, and sets up a pattern of ultrasonic vibrations in the
    touchscreen surface. Touching the screen "distrubs" the standing wave
    pattern on the surface of the screen, and these disturbances can be
    detected and analyzed by the transducers to determine where the screen
    was touched. Again, only some touchscreeens work this way, others use
    various other technologies.


    hvrty wrote:

    > Thank you all for the information about electricity! I hope my other
    > post went through; I can't see it on google.
    >
    > This problem has driven me nuts for too long. I'm heading onsite
    > Monday, armed with a vom and a replacement for every single piece of
    > this workstation.
    >
    > I'm ashamed to say that I'm not sure how this touchscreen actually
    > works. Looking through the manual, I see things like 'surface wave
    > technology,' and 'touch on tube.' These have little meaning to me
    > (though I'll be looking them up this weekend!). There is no
    > overlay...
     
    Barry Watzman, Jul 12, 2003
    #7
  8. hvrty

    David Hough Guest

    I'm coming in on this a little late, but here goes. I've worked on POS
    systems like this and the pole display thing sounds more like a
    connecter issue.
    As for as the touch screen goes, I've had the monitor screen image move
    on me as much as a half inch, sometimes caused by someone hitting a
    knob on the underside of the monitor. The touch screen usually has a
    calibration proceedure to sync the screen image with the touch screen.
    Every time you move these things you have to recalibrate, or else, you
    touch the lighted spot on the screen, but the touchscreen is looking for
    a touch in another spot, and doesn't respond.
     
    David Hough, Jul 16, 2003
    #8
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