Monday, May 31, 2010

Ever wondered what 400 Volts looks like...?

Here in South Africa, our wall plugs push out about 220 Volts normally.
If you are really clued up on how to reconfigure a substation though, (let's say by removing a few cables here and there), then you can boost this meagre figure to 400+ Volts...!

....which is exactly what happened to a client of mine last week....
It went something like this I believe:
  • Thief sees substation.
  • Thief enters substation after dark.
  • Thief switches off substation.
  • Thief steals cabling.
  • Thief switches substation back on....
  • = 400 Volts sent through all major appliances, computers, fax machines, alarm systems and pretty much anything plugged into power at the time, for a radius of approx. 400m around the substation. Nicely done, Mr cable thief.
....and the final result?
Lots of this:

The sad, charred insides of a now toasted fax machine

...the moral of this story?
It may not be the worst idea ever, to unplug all of your office / home electronics each evening, unless you have a super foolproof surge protection system in place.
It's just not worth the risk!
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