Industrial & Product Design


costco 3d printer
Image by ttstam
There’s a Chinese saying that basically translates to "Shit doesn’t happen by itself – it comes in droves". Or, as we say in Cantonese, "the poorer you are, the more likely for misfortunes".

My night was going pretty darn decent until I finished organizing my printer / battery charger section of my office. I plugged the UPS back in after rerouting the wires, only to hear a loud buzzing sound and watch the lights flickr on the server rack.

Next thing I knew, smoke started pouring from the bottom of my server rack. I’ve been in engineering long enough to pull the power cable when I smell that smell of burnt electronics.

Of course, this is THE UPS that runs the entire comm. infrastructure in my shop. My cable modem, the gigabit switch that handles all the traffic among all the servers, the VOIP gateway for telephones and fax, the remote automations controller and the 3D Printer driver all runs off this machine (I calculated the load to be about 70% of what this unit can handle, in case anyone wonders). And, poof, just like that, my entire business got knocked offline.

I ripped the thing apart (after ripping my server rack apart to get to this) and found that a 4c capacitor had literally exploded, destroying a roughly 0 UPS that was protecting well over 00 worth of equipment. ARGH!

Time to hit up Costco and see what a replacement cost. Because of the weight of the batteries, shipping this in is out of the question, and Fry’s is typically bloody highway robbery when it comes to these things.

I didn’t care if gas was .00 a gallon – I went out for a nice long drive afterwards tonight.

I’m just glad it didn’t start an electrical fire. And on the plus side, I now have 4 perfectly good SLA batteries for portable power packs for Allen’s ringlight.