Working on DIY solar charger from modified garden power lamps. Of course the panels look different than the ones in the pictures! [more inside]
What should a homeowner know about electricity in the home? [more inside]
Why do some electrical appliances lack an on-off switch? [more inside]
Why won't CFLs work in my fixture? [more inside]
How much money am I costing, say, Starbucks if I charge my laptop there every day? [more inside]
My touch lamp has the same vibrating static electricity feeling that my massage clients used to have. Why?
My touch lamp has the same vibrating static electricity feeling that my massage clients used to have. Why? [more inside]
I need help sorting out an issue involving my electric company, my electric bill, and the other apartments in our building. [more inside]
You are an electrician. But you are not my electrician. Question about low-voltage track lighting system inside. [more inside]
Looking for a smart surge protector that shuts down peripherals when a computer is turned off or asleep. [more inside]
I have a light switch on the wall that controls both an overhead light and an outleft. I'd like it to only control the overhead light, while still sending power on to the outlet. [more inside]
Residential Electricity: Is it possible to measure current flow through romex in a non-invasive manner? [more inside]
British appliance, US power: can they find happiness together? [more inside]
Anyone know a simple and cheap solar panel setup to run a small boombox about 9-12V DC? [more inside]
Amateur neurologists, please read! What is going on in my head?? [more inside]
Can I use a lightbox purchased online from the US, which includes an international voltage adaptor for 220v, in the UK? I think the UK mains voltage is 240v and have no idea whether I have to be bang on 240v or if 220v is good enough. [more inside]
When it rains / storms our power inevitably blinks out (usually comes right back online in a few seconds) and we have lost 1 TV and another one is now behaving erratically. Need help coming up with a plan of action. [more inside]
So the electrician said nothing was wrong. But something WAS wrong, only it fixed itself by the time he got there. Help me diagnose this maddening problem our tenant had. [more inside]
Why did my casserole just shock me? [more inside]
2 outlets & a ceiling light stopped working at the same time. None of the circuit breakers were flipped. What would cause this, and how can I troubleshoot it? [more inside]
We received a menacing letter today from our electric provider. They stated that since our last few bills have been late (which I don't dispute) we will now be required to pay a $200 "security deposit"... BUT... We have a 13-year payment history with them, at the same address, so where is the logic in suddenly requiring a "security deposit" that we obviously can't afford? Is there any way I can convince them to not do this to us? Please read the background info inside before responding. [more inside]
Which (American-style) electrical surge protector will most reliably and economically protect my precious computer equipment from unforeseeable disaster? [more inside]
Can I use a plug adapter and an American power strip to power multiple electronics in Japan? [more inside]
I want an exercise bike which can charge my phone. Does such a thing exist? If not, could I make one?
Is it possible to buy an exercise/stationary bike which generates electricity? If not, how hard would it be to build one or modify an existing exercise bike?
Lightning. Why does it always go to ground? [more inside]
Bad wiring or defective PC power supply: Why am I getting shocked? [more inside]
Will the 65 watt apple adapter work if I plug it directly into a 220v (UK) current? Or will I fry it if I don't use a converter? [more inside]
Is voltage/frequency all I need to know to use my brazilian appliances in the US? [more inside]
Should I switch to green power, wind power, or whatever is cheapest? [more inside]
I have a table lamp that takes a three-way bulb. The lamp does not have a standard switch; rather, you adjust the intensity of the light and turn the lamp on or off by tapping the metal base one, two, or three times. Recently the lamp's bulb burned out and I replaced it with the same kind of three-way bulb that was in there before. But now tapping the base produces no effect - the lamp stays on its brightest setting and can only be turned on and off by plugging it in or unplugging it. What happened, and can it be fixed? I've only had this lamp for about six months, and it wasn't cheap. I've tried various different bulbs, but nothing seems to work.
Solar photovoltaic fabric. I'm trying to find or recall about a particular type of technology that I half-remember, as well as find out more about the current state of the art for flexible and/or fabric and/or imprinted solar panels. [more inside]
In the rain at my outdoor subway station in Brooklyn this morning, I observed once again a bizarre phenomenon: water drops appear to drip upwards from the third rail to the wooden cover above it. My wife saw this too. What's going on?
Craftiwork Filter: Help me turn an antique bottle into a light bulb/fixture. The incandescent sort. [more inside]
What could cause electricity to go out sporadically? [more inside]
I have a friend visiting me from the UK that is looking to buy a Nintendo DS while he is here to bring back home. Does he need to buy a converter to use with the included power adaptor, or does he need to buy a 240 charger back home? Will the US adaptor work with UK outlets? [more inside]
Since December 2006, my electricity bill has shown at least a 1,000 KWH increase over the same period a year ago. We haven't purchased any new appliances, or done anything appreciably different. This month, we didn't use our air conditioning/heating unit at all, and our bill still came in 25% higher (500 KWH) than a year ago. We're at a loss. What could be the reason? We ordered a Kill-a-watt, but till it arrives, we are trying to figure it out. Any thoughts? [more inside]
This product claims to save electricity through some sort of voltage and current regulation. This raises my suspicions, but there might be some explanation for it I've missed, probably down to some peculiarity of mains electricity?
Static electricity fried my PC. How do I prevent it from happening again? [more inside]
I'm going to London + Paris and don't want to blow up my electric/electronic gadgets. [more inside]
I have a ten-year-old Sony TV that's on the fritz. It's a good enough second set that I'd like to save it if possible, but it's also big enough that it's going to be a pain to haul in to the shop for an estimate. If I decide to pop the case and dive inside for a quick sanity check, what do I need to do to avoid electrocuting myself in the process? [more inside]
Why do my light bulbs keep burning out? [more inside]
Why does my electricity go the wrong way? [more inside]
New York City residents: Have you switched from Con Edison to another electricity and/or gas supplier under deregulation? If so, have you seen a significant difference in your bill, and how is the new provider's customer service? I'm trying to decide whether to switch to another provider (Econnergy, Energetix, etc.) for electricity, gas, or both.
I just picked up a 1000W step-down converter (220V-110V) to power a receiver after a 750W exploded in a blaze of glory when I turned it on one morning. I'd very much like to avoid this kind of thing again. So my question is, is it relatively safe to keep step-down converters turned on at all times? If so, will it constantly be using 1000W of power even when the receiver is turned off? I've heard differing opinions but found no definitive answer on the interwebs. Related, is it true that you should always have something plugged into the converter when it is turned on?
I have two Nokia mobile phones - one purchased in the US and one that I've purchased here in Indonesia, both with their own similar-looking chargers (though with obvious differences on the plugs). Can I charge the Indonesian phone in the US on the US charger? [more inside]
Does an incandescent lightbulb continue to use electricity after it's burnt out? [more inside]
static electricity problem: Comfy new office chair (on carpet) gives me strong static charge. My metal computer desk does not like this. Help me stop getting shocked.
I need a new electric company. But there seems to be only one really sheisty one here in Daytona, FL. Am I doomed to pay their extortion? [more inside]
Do power tools need more than just a voltage converter to work in Eastern Europe (Belgrade, Serbia)? My father wants to purchase a power tool for my father in law (think a drill...). (more inside) [more inside]
How to make a simple railgun to demonstrate the principle to children? [more inside]