A tale of woe, including carelessness, stupidity and laziness....

Jon Elson elson at pico-systems.com
Wed Aug 26 11:40:15 CDT 2015

On 08/26/2015 08:19 AM, Paul Koning wrote:
>>    Turned out there was a 120v potential between the "dedicated" power for the computer and the printer which was plugged into the normal building power.
>> There was probably as much as an amp going thru the grounds from the terminals in the building and the ground of the system.  Miracle that he was not severely injured, and also that the system was working at all.
Yup, in the first house I owned, i had a "computer room".  
The previous owner had done some retrofits and installed an 
outlet in a closet.  I plugged a printer into that outlet, 
and my computer (S-100, CP/M) into another on the opposite 
wall.  Some strange things happened, some chips got blown, I 
didn't know why.  Then, finally, I put my hand on the 
printer and something connected to the computer and got a 
big shock.  Quickly investigating, I found a Romex staple 
had been driven through the Romex, severing the safety 
ground and tying it to the hot!  This was back before outlet 
testers were common items.  Well, that explained some blown 
chips, etc.


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