free barcode reader c# Lab Exercise 801: Working with Electricity in Software

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Lab Exercise 801: Working with Electricity
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The CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-601) exam really shows its American roots in the area of electrical power Watch for questions that discuss American power standards especially ones related to household voltage and outlet plug design
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Lab Exercise 801: Working with Electricity
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Troubleshooting power-related problems is one of the trickier tasks you ll undertake as a PC tech Your rst step is to go right to the source, so to speak, and make certain that the power being supplied to the PC from the electrical outlet is good
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For details on AC power from the power company, refer to the Supplying AC section in 8 of Mike Meyers A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs, Vol 1: Essentials
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In a classroom, you have the benefit of an instructor to show you how to do these exercises the first time If you re doing these on your own with no experience, seek the advice of a trained technician or instructor
Learning Objectives
At the end of this lab, you ll be able to Determine if the AC wiring is correct at a wall outlet Determine if the AC voltages are correct at a wall outlet
Lab Materials and Setup
The materials you need for this lab are An AC electrical outlet tester A multimeter
8: Understanding Powering PCs
Getting Down to Business
Measuring the voltage coming from an AC outlet is a nerve-wracking task even for experienced techs! Sticking objects into a live power outlet goes against everything you ve been taught since infancy, but when done properly, it really is completely safe Be sure to use common sense and appropriate safety procedures If you re not familiar with using a multimeter, please review the Supplying AC section in 8 of Mike Meyers A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs, Vol 1: Essentials, or ask your instructor for a demonstration
Hint
If a PC is having unexplained errors and you suspect the power supply, don t be too hasty in replacing it First check the wall outlet In some buildings, especially older ones, the wiring can be improperly connected or otherwise provide poor power
Step 1
Look at Figure 8-1, and compare it to your electrical outlet
A typical electrical socket has three openings: hot, neutral, and ground The hot wire delivers the juice The neutral wire acts as a drain and returns electricity to the local source (the breaker panel) The semi-rounded ground socket returns excess electricity to the ground If your outlet doesn t have a ground socket and many older buildings don t then don t use it! Ungrounded outlets aren t appropriate for PCs
Warning
Take all appropriate safety precautions before measuring live electrical outlets
FIGURE 8-1 A typical AC electrical outlet
Lab Exercise 801: Working with Electricity
FIGURE 8-2 A circuit tester for AC electrical outlets
Step 2 Determine whether your electrical socket is live Do this with your electrical outlet tester Plug your outlet tester (see Figure 8-2) into the electrical outlet or power strip where you plug in the PC Look at the light-emitting diode (LED) indicators Are they showing good power Step 3 Now measure the voltage between the hot and neutral openings of the outlet Start by setting your multimeter to AC voltage; do not proceed until you re sure you have done this correctly! If you aren t sure, ask your instructor for guidance Referring to Figure 8-3, take the black probe and place it in the neutral opening of the wall socket Make sure you have good contact inside the outlet The metal probe tip must contact the metal connector inside the outlet Next, place the red probe inside the hot opening Again, you must make good metal-to-metal contact You may have to reposition the probes to get a good connection and proper reading for the AC circuit Your reading should be somewhere between 110 and 120 V What is your reading ____________________
100 8: Understanding Powering PCs
FIGURE 8-3 Multimeter probe locations when testing an AC outlet s hot-to-neutral circuit
Step 4 Measure the voltage in the hot-to-ground circuit Place the black probe into the ground opening of the outlet, as shown in Figure 8-4 Make sure you have good contact Then place the red probe into the hot opening Move the probes around until you get a good reading for the AC voltage Again, your reading should be in the 110- to 120-V range What is your reading ____________________ Step 5 The last measurement you need to take is the voltage in the neutral-to-ground safety circuit When the neutral wire is broken or missing, the ground wire is the only way for wayward electrons to depart safely Any electricity on both the neutral and ground wires should have a direct path back to earth, so there should be no voltage between these wires Place the black probe into the ground opening of the outlet Make sure you have good contact Place the red probe into the neutral opening (see Figure 8-5) Move the probes around until you get a good reading for the AC voltage You should get a reading of 0 V What is your reading ____________________ Step 6 Measure another outlet in the same building, and repeat the previous steps Are the readings similar If the readings from your electrical outlets are outside of the ranges described, it s time to call an electrician Assuming your reading is showing good power, go to the next exercise
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