All 3 entries tagged Power

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April 21, 2007

You know you're still bored when…

A friend of mine recently acquired the funds and the stock availability to get himself a Wii. He doesn’t have a wireless router, so we were discussing the practicalities of the wired option.

Anyway, that’s not what this is about; during the conversation he mentioned that, since you can’t turn it off-off, he unplugs it at night to save electricity. This is fair enough at the moment since he can’t get it online, so isn’t losing anything, but it got me thinking about how much power a Wii actually uses. I knew it has the smallest power requirement of the current generation, but how much is not a lot?

I couldn’t find any clues on the power supply or the box (it’s a nice box, so I kept it, ok?) but even if it said, it probably wouldn’t give me standby power.

So, a quick trip to eBay, and about £10 total, got me an electricity meter (similar in appearance and use to the timers that switch appliances on and off to let burglars know you’re on holiday); as I said in the title, I was bored…

So, I now know the power consumption for most of the mains-powered appliances in the house. So here’s a summary:

  • Wii (on) 18W
  • Wii (orange standby) 10W
  • Wii (red standby) 1-2W
  • TV (on) 60W (it was either 50, 60, or 70; I can’t remember which; I was expecting 100s, though…)
  • TV (standby) 1W
  • Kettle 2kW ish
  • Henry 300W ish
  • Sky+ (on) 25W
  • Sky+ (standby) 20W then drops to about 15W after a minute or so of not recording
  • Fridge-Freezer 0W most of the time, but I can’t remember if the compressor was 10s or 100s

So, there we are; it costs roughly 1p to boil the kettle, about £1 to leave the telly on standby for a year, and approximately 5p to play on the Wii for a whole day… asuming my maths is right; either way the Wii doesn’t use much power…

July 12, 2006

You know you're bored when…

Follow-up to Uninterruptible Power Supply from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

If my maths is right, my UPS' density is a little less than that of graphite…

Uninterruptible Power Supply

I've just got my second UPS (that's an uninterruptible power supply and is not to be confused with the United Parcel Service, which bears the same acronym…). This one is working much better than my first.

That's not to say the old one did't work – it did – it's just it didn't work with my PC; my PC is to powerful. I believe it was 650VA, which works out at a little under 400W; it didn't occur to me until after the UPS failed to work properly that my PC's power supply alone is 425W…

So, then, it's not suprising that when I connected everything to the old UPS and flipped the switch at the mains, my computer died instantly…
On the second attempt I decided to instal the monitoring software on my laptop rather than the PC. When I flipped the mains this time I could quite clearly see the Load meter shoot up to 100%; something I wouldn't have been able to see without the laptop as the PC keeps dieing when I turn the mains off… (that's just at the wall, obviously; I'm not stupid enough to kill the power to the whole house just to see if my UPS works… they're on two different floors of the house for one thing…)

It was obvious at that point that the old UPS was too small; it was also around about now that I found the "390W" written on the box and thought, "Ah, that's about 35W less than my power supply, never mind the monitor and a large amount of 'wiggle room'."

That was some time ago now – I think it was Christmas just gone, after all the power trips we had in the off campus house from dodgy wiring and fan heaters – and I've only just found one that's big enough (It weighs about twelve bloody kilos! I was knackered after carrying it up the stairs…). It's great; I switch the power off and the only difference it that the thing starts beeping at me to let me know I've just turned the power off, and I get a 2 minute timer on screen labelled "hibernate".

Speaking of the timer: I timed how long it takes my computer to hibernate, and it was only about 20 seconds. Then I timed how long it takes my computer to drain the UPS, and the monitor ticked down quite quickly ("Damn," I thought. "It's not going to last very long…") until it reached 50%, where it stopped. I got bored of waiting after 2 minutes, so I just set that for the delay for hibernating. 2 minutes ought to be enough for a short power cut, plus it's Hibernating not Shutting Down, so it doesn't really matter what I'm doing at the time…

So, now I can have hours of endless fun and entertainment turning the mains off and having my computer stay on.

It's the simple things in life you treasure…

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