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'[OT]: KVM problems'
2002\08\10@132613 by Jai Dhar

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Hi,

I have two computers, and bought a KVM (keyboard/video/monitor switch) to hook
them up to my monitor. Now, I already had one computer/monitor in their fine
with no problems, but when I went to hook up the new computer's (it's not
really a NEW computer per say) monitor cable to the KVM, mad sparks flew
everywhere! I tried it in another port, same thing... I even bought another
KVM, and wasted my money, because same thing happened. Odd thing is, when I
disconnected the power line to the PSU of the new computer, no sparks flew..
so it almost seems like it's trying to deliver current to the KVM or
something. Anyone know?

Jai

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2002\08\10@134526 by John Ferrell

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The first step is to verify that there is no voltage difference between the
two systems chassis. They should share a common ground through the grounding
pin on the power plugs.

I use a Belkin KVM between multiple systems (2-4, depending what is in the
shop) with good results.

{Original Message removed}

2002\08\10@135405 by Jai Dhar

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> The first step is to verify that there is no voltage difference between the
> two systems chassis. They should share a common ground through the grounding
> pin on the power plugs.

How do I check this? ANd power plugs = monitor plugs or power plugs = plugs to
mains line?
>
> I use a Belkin KVM between multiple systems (2-4, depending what is in the
> shop) with good results.
>
> {Original Message removed}

2002\08\10@151054 by Jim

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It sounds like you have a power supply problem
on that one PC, and if you aren't careful, you may
kill yourself or harm your computer(s), KVM or
monitor (if you haven't damaged them already).

I would suggest that, with what you have descibed
already, you find someone much more competant
than yourself to review and diagnose the root
of this problem.

The #1 object of hobbyies involving electronics should
be that you come home to your loved ones in one
piece, undamaged ...

RF Jim



{Original Message removed}

2002\08\10@162115 by Dale Botkin

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Sounds like you have a problem you need to fix immediately.  Let me
rephrase that: a problem you need to have someone fix.

I'd guess a defective PC power supply, especially if you can get sparks
just plugging the monitor into the PC.  If not that, it could be a
defective ground on the outlet you're usign for the PC, a miswired outlet,
a defective power cord or something.  If you don't know *FOR SURE* exacgly
what to do to troubleshoot and fix this problem, please find someone who
does.  You definitely do not want to teach yourself AC electrical theory
on live household circuits.

Dale
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2002\08\10@171423 by Jai Dhar
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Well, the problem is resolved... partially. On the account of getting tired of
near-killing myself by trying different things, I took it in to a store. What
did they do? They swapped the vid. card to another PCI slot, and it worked.
Yay, i just payed $20 for that. So I brought it home, thankful that it was
working. When I tried it.. guess what, pop.. yet another spark. So I was
really mad now. Anyway, I realized something that was key right then and
there. I was plugging it into a powerbar, which was plugged into another
powerbar. That's great, except the powerbar I was plugging it into, the plug
didn't have a ground connection (I ripped it off a while ago).. so I was
connecting the computer to a groundless connection. I unplugged the computer
from the powerbar, and then plugged it in the original bar (with ground)...
and all the lights dimmed with a loud noise. I immediately unplugged it.. and
next thing I know, my PSU that I made is smoking like mad. Not seeing the
connection immediately, I then remembered that the PSU Was plugged into the
2nd powerbar, which had no ground... which meant that for over 3 months, I
have been running a PSU that hasn't been grounded properly. Anyway, I fried my
PSU... but the computer/kvm works now :p Sacrifice one for the gain of another
I guess. Learn from my stupidity... I know I did.


{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2002\08\10@172641 by Jim

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As we say: "Live and learn."

Glad everything worked out.

I know the sound when plugging something in and the
"lights dim" - NOT a pleasant recollection (usually
something pays the price!).

RF Jim


{Original Message removed}

2002\08\11@002728 by M. Adam Davis

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Cutting off the ground is (in your words) "stupidity".  The main problem
being that the plug can now be plugged in /backwards/.  Now, from a
purely intellectual standpoint this is ok, since the 120 volt potential
is still across the wire, and it is AC so there is no 'polarity'.

Unfortunately there IS polarity for an AC line, at least in the US and
many other countries.

One line is neutral, and is grounded at the breaker and/or main AC
access point (meter).

When you plug a computer into an outlet that's not grounded it floats
the case.  Since there is a transformer between the case and components
and the powerline there 'should' exist no potential between real ground
and the computer ground.

However, often there exists a very large potential, especially if the
computer powersupply tries to 'ground' neutral.  IIRC this is not
standard practice...

Now when you hook your computer to another grounded device you energize
the ground line - small currents = sparks, large currents = lights dimming.

The most dangerous instance of this is when someone does this and then
connects the power strip to their audio/visual equipment, which is then
connected to the catv line.  Bingo!  instant 120v conductor on the cable
line.  Annoys the heck out of the cable company, and especially
customers on the same catv line.

Bottom line - there is never a good enough reason to remove the ground
pin from any plug.  If the equipment has a ground pin it /must/ be
grounded.  If you don't have the facilities to ground it properly
through the plug then you shouldn't be operating it.

I've been zapped by too many improperly grounded computers and catv
lines already...  Not as bad a the horse fencer - but it's no fun.

-Adam


Jai Dhar wrote:

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>>{Original Message removed}

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