shocking experience!
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: shocking experience!

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,324

    shocking experience!

    I have a dell inspiron 5150 laptop.

    I was listening to music the other day through sony earbuds (headphones) while doing some homework.
    I started out at the kitchen table without the latop plugged in.

    I later moved into the living room and plugged the power plug into the back of the laptop.

    I set the laptop on the couch which is a microsuede fabric which often has a lot of static on it.
    (example: When you pickup a blanket or pillow off the couch, you can hear it crackle. Or if you touch someone that is not on the couch, it will shock them. It can be fun sometimes, like when shocking the dog's or cat's nose... but other times, its annoying.)

    Anyway, I slightly moved the laptop and all of a sudden, I felt a shock in my left ear, then my right ear, then both at the same time. It felt more powerful than putting a 9v battery on your tongue. I quickly yanked the ear buds out of my ears and unplugged the headphones from the laptop.

    Then the sound would not work on the laptop either through the internal speakers, or through the headphones. All you could hear was a loud buzzing. I rebooted, and I got the same thing. I powered off completely, got the same thing.

    I powered it off for the evening and then picked it back up the next afternoon.

    The sound worked again in both earphones and internal speakers.

    What the hell happened? Did I get shocked by the laptop? Shocked by the couch? Shocked by both?

    Freaking weird....
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,190
    That sounds very much like static to me. I don't think that you would get high enough volts/amps to feel anything from the computer itself.

    I have heard of static building up in TV sets that kids have attached games consoles to. After several hours the reception starts to return to normal. You can speed the process up by grounding the screen
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
    Senior Member MadBeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bath, Maine
    Posts
    252
    Sound like static to me. A charge will go away after time, that is probaly why your sound worked after it sat off for awhile. I have had some weird hardware issues resolved just by leaving a system off and unpluged for a period of time.
    Mad Beaver

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,324
    Thats what I was thinking too. I've used that laptop on the couch a lot and that was the first time it had happened. Can any damage happen to the laptop because of the static? It screwed up the sound for a bit... but can it screw up anything else? It kind of bugged me out.

    I've also had some issues where leaving the power (or unplugging it) for a time fixed the problem. Like one time, I pulled a video card when the system was still on. I forgot to turn it off. I turned it off, changed out the video card and it wouldn't boot. I thought I killed it.

    I left it off for a couple of hrs (unplugged) and plugged it in again just to see... sure enough, came right back to life...
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,190
    Hi Phish~

    They are usually quite well insulated, but it is possibly as well to take care. Particularly stay away from that sofa, and ground yourself if you are going to handle computers/components.

    You might try putting it on an antistatic/rubber mat?, or getting a cover for the sofa.

    Cheers

    EDIT............hey you have my sympathy mate!, I suffer from static quite a lot............I once worked in an office with these synthetic carpet tiles............I had to take a key out of my pocket and hold it up to the aluminium door handles to avoid a shock.........I used to get a spark a half-inch long!

    They sprayed the carpet with some stuff and it sorted it out.

    You might like to check out anti static furnishing spays?

    Just a thought?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,255
    Keep in mind that any improperly grounded length of wire will act as an antenna, and encourage the collection of ambient electricity. If you had enough of a shock that you felt it in your ears, I'm quite surprised the sound on your laptop started to work, as normally any ESD you can feel is a few thousand volts beyond what you need to fry your average chip.

    Here's an article about ESD you might find interesting:
    From: http://www.pcworld.com/howto/article/0,aid,82184,00.asp
    A little background: Static electricity is much more common than you might think, and most of it is created by a process called triboelectrification, when two materials touch (your fingers and your PC keyboard, for example) and then move apart or rub. Electrons are exchanged, and one object becomes electrically positive; the other electrically negative. When you touch another object with an opposite charge, or a ground (neutral charge), electrons flow.

    The amount of voltage involved in static electricity sounds impressive. Walk across that rug and touch a grounded metal object, and the voltage can be in the 10,000-to-12,000-volt range. (If you think back to your high school physics class, you'll remember why static voltage isn't life threatening. Its amperage is miniscule. And it's amps, not volts, which are dangerous.)

    There are many variables involved in how much static voltage triboelectrification creates, including the materials involved and the humidity. Low humidity causes static shocks with more kick. But for PC upgrades, the important thing to remember is that while a static shock must be 3500 to 4000 volts before you can feel it, it's the voltage below that level that is common, and insidious. It's entirely possible that you'll open up your PC, plug in an add-in card or some RAM, never have any sensation of static, and still have zapped the electronics. That's because the integrated circuits can be damaged or destroyed by static voltages as low as 400 volts.
    Chris Shepherd
    The Nelson-Shepherd cutoff: The point at which you realise someone is an idiot while trying to help them.
    \"Well as far as the spelling, I speak fluently both your native languages. Do you even can try spell mine ?\" -- Failed Insult
    Is your whole family retarded, or did they just catch it from you?

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    17
    Does the laptops power supply have a 2 or 3 pronged plug?

  8. #8
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,324
    It was a 3 pronged plug, with one of those surge protectors on it.
    However, the part that plugs into the back of the latop is only the circle adapter.

    It had to be the couch. We've had problems with static on it. I'm gonna get some static guard for it tomorrow.

    Thanks for everyones insight!
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    17
    fabric softener will also work.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,834
    I've toasted 2 seperate xbox controllers from zapping them while setting down on a microfiber couch. I have a humidfier in there now. You got lucky and so did I, since MS must have done a good job isolating any external electromagnetics on the controllers. Static electricity, actually it's no longer static when it strikes, fries the P N junctions of the microsopic transistors within chips.
    West of House
    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
    There is a small mailbox here.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •