Author Topic: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.  (Read 4474 times)

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Offline aargee

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Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« on: August 31, 2015, 01:38:46 am »
Currently I have most of my bench and lighting running off one 15A power point.

The bench is wired with multiple outlets, has its own RCD (Residual Current Device) that ends with a 15A plug into said power point. the bench runs most of the auxiliary lighting (flouros, LED task lights and a few CFL lamps) as well as the test gear, power supplies, etc.

I was wondering how others manage their power up/ power down routine? Leave most stuff active and just flip the main switch or do you religiously go around and turn each item on/off? Let it all run 24/7?

I mostly do the master switch flip after powering down things like the laptop, etc that I know won't be happy. I also physically remove the 15A plug if summer storms are around as I've experienced one too many lightning problems over the years!
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Kryten 2X4B

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 03:50:50 am »
My lab has a local circuit breaker panel located next to the door with one breaker for the main bench. The one switch is convenient but more important is the peace of mind knowing that things like soldering irons, solder pots, and other heat generating devices will be switched off while I'm not there. As for general lighting, main PC, and infrequently used equipment these are powered from other circuits. My bench can be unplugged from a wall socket when there are thunder storms, have had fax machines and modems die over the years usually though it was a strike to the phone lines.
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 04:17:32 am »
I have a couple of "essential services" power points that run the UPS units that run computers, switches and routers.
The UPS units are protected by surge arresters, the ones that come with a $50,000 equipment cover.
The remainder of the power points are fed by circuits on contactors.
The contactors are in turn controlled by one switch at the door.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Online rdl

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 04:22:01 am »
Currently I have most of my bench and lighting running off one 15A power point.

I have a similar set up for my closet. A big, heavy duty extension cord runs to a Belkin 10 way outlet box. Then there is an APC power strip plugged into one of the Belkin outlets. There are a couple of soldering irons and a cheap hot air gun plugged into the power strip and I keep that power strip switched off if I'm not actually soldering or blowing hot air. 

The equipment plugged into the Belkin box is 2 scopes, a function gen, 1 Tektronix and 2 HP supplies and a bench multimeter. I keep all those turned off when not in use. There is one PC and it runs 24/7 and usually one bench power supply is always on.
 

Offline tomlut

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 06:05:21 am »
Everything except the PC and network switch is controlled by two stomp switches (one for each bench) on the floor.
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Offline Fred27

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2015, 08:49:45 am »
I run the bench wiring through a wall mounted e-stop switch. It's not primarily an e-stop, but to ensure that if my boys (almost 2 and 4) are playing in there they can't possibly fire up anything too dangerous. It's probably a genuine concern - I've already found sharpie scribbles on the laser cutter.

PC, network and beer fridge are on a separate circuit.

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Offline android

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 09:47:56 am »
I have a 10A GPO going to a 6-outlet power board, daisy chained to another 6-outlet power board, daisy chained to yet another individually switched 4-outlet power board.

Before going on holidays I activate a 5-digit pull switch  ;D
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Offline rickselectricalprojects

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 11:49:57 am »
Because i only have a small lab, the only things i have go plugged into the wall are my soldering iron, fume extractor and PSU so i just turn the off individually.
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 12:04:12 pm »
My workbench has 4 Belkin 6 outlet surge protectors plugged into an APC SmartUPS 1500.  Additionally, I have the test computer and monitor and a small 4 port switch to give me network connections for working on computers.  I don't worry about unplugging during storms, the UPS keeps everything running smooth.  The AVR is especially good to have here in Florida with Faulty Power and Light, it does kick in fairly regularly.
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Offline Melt-O-Tronic

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 01:19:02 pm »
I have 2 circuits feeding four APC 750 VA rack mount UPS's (given to me by my ex-employer).  Each UPS feeds a power distribution unit (glorified power strip) and those are mounted to the bench frame.  It's overkill for the few amps I draw, but most of the hardware was free.

The only thing that runs 24/7 are the computers (which share yet another UPS) and a Racal Dana 1992 counter in standby mode to keep the OCXO warm.

For switching, I just turn on instruments as I need them.  Remote control PDU's are cheap on eBay and I've thought about building something that would switch everything on & off in sequence, but it wouldn't really gain me anything.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2015, 06:03:35 pm »
15 outlet Tripp Lite strip surge suppressor for the main bench, and a CyberPower UPS for my computer equipment (all on the same circuit due to structural wiring). And although there's a main switch on the Tripp Lite, I turn each unit On/Off as needed (don't leave any of the bench equipment on 24/7).
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2015, 08:04:32 pm »
The UPS units are protected by surge arresters, the ones that come with a $50,000 equipment cover.


Have you ever tried to claim on that? A lot of companies make it damn near impossible to get anything. You have to send them the damaged equipment (at your own expense) and then they can decide if it was damaged by a surge or not, and if not good luck arguing it with them.

Yes.

Six years ago, after a particularly nasty electrical storm, I made a claim on NZ$12,500 worth of home audio equipment that was supplied by a Belkin surge suppressor.
They sent an insurance assessor (risk adjuster) around to my house to verify the claim of non operational equipment.
He took the surge suppressor away for inspection.
One week later they paid out.
Two days after that they sent someone round to collect the dead equipment.
I was impressed with their service.

Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline aargee

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 04:29:59 am »
My problem is accessing the main switch, I'd like to have it feed a small switchboard arrangement but this is starting to fall into the 'permanent wiring' category. I have an Restricted Electrical License which is not equivalent to an electricians ticket you need for permanent installations. Sort of leaves me stuck with off-the-shelf power board (non)solutions.

This in itself might sound fine - just build one but if there is a problem and insurance assessment, any 'permanent' work would be scrutinised as an easy out for insurance.
At least, thems the laws here in Queensland Aus (and most states in Australia). Not that I want to open that argument on Electrical work once more!
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline Melt-O-Tronic

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Re: Workshop: Controlling power to your bench.
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 01:19:28 pm »
Just get an addressable PDU from eBay then.  Each outlet can be turned on & off individually and many of them measure current draw as well.  You can make a script on your computer to function as a master switch over ethernet, even turning devices on & off in sequence.  Or you could make a microcontroller-based master switch that does the same thing over RS-232.
 


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