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Fun (Techie) Question(s)...(will be continued if there is interest) This is #1: Answered

Engineering problem:

The problem is to take an extension cord (you will have to figure the gauge at some point), and wire in 2 more "sockets" (for plugs) in series or in parallel, plus 3 neon bulbs in such a way that they only light when something is...
#1: plugged into the corresponding socket &
#2: the something (appliance, light, etc) is turned on, in other words, when that portion of the circuit is closed.

The cord will be for very light rated appliances or bulbs. Nothing beyond a kilowatt althogether.
Specify extension cord wire gauge and anything else needed for the project and it's necessary rating / part number.

And most of all, have fun....and don't over think the problem ;-)

OK, I blew it.....I knew I had created a similar cord to the one I described, and finally found it....only it doesn't do what I said it does. I merely had Neons that come on when the cord is plugged in.......this is what happens to your memory as you get older LOL.

24 Replies

user
killerjackalope (author)2008-05-13

Put them in series with the plug on the live, they wont light up until you plug in your light appliance...

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Goodhart (author)killerjackalope2008-05-13

What happens when someone plugs something into the end furthest from the plug first? Will they all light?

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user
killerjackalope (author)Goodhart2008-05-13

No the plugs are separated, Ie the neon is on the positive line of each plug...

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user
Goodhart (author)killerjackalope2008-05-13

In other words, in your setup, you can't use the furthest plug from the source first...?

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user
killerjackalope (author)Goodhart2008-05-13

Now the plugs are in parallel to eachother off a common rail, basically a gang extension circuit.

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user
killerjackalope (author)Goodhart2008-09-14

Well to be fair you got a functional answer to the question...

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Goodhart (author)killerjackalope2008-09-14

Yes, but I wanted to start this off right, with something I had done, and presented as a challenge "to do" for you all. And now I feel ashamed that I asked a question, as if I had the answer, and I didn't have the answer *sigh*.

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joejoerowley (author)2008-05-12

Interesting Question Goodhart. I don' t have time to think about it in depth right now though..

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Goodhart (author)joejoerowley2008-05-12

That's ok, it will probably still be here later on if you would like to take a crack at it. (honestly, the key though is to "not" overthink the problem. Remember Ockham's Razor ;-)

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NachoMahma (author)2008-05-12

. Are you trying to figure something out or just exercising your brain? . Why would you want to wire the sockets in series? . You may be able to put a Ne with shunt in series with each plug, but that's just a WAG. . Not enough info to calc AWG. What you gonna plug into the sockets?

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Goodhart (author)NachoMahma2008-09-14
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Goodhart (author)2008-05-12

Ok, well maybe this isn't viewed by others as I see it. I loved doing these kind of realistic puzzles when I was younger. It was fun for me.

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ll.13 (author)Goodhart2008-05-13

Hehe! it's the kind of thing I'd only seriously think about it if I had to do it. =P

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Goodhart (author)ll.132008-09-14
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Goodhart (author)ll.132008-05-13

Well, like I mentioned to NM, I made one of these when younger, so the principles intrigued me enough to put one together. It helped keep me from forgetting to turn off items that did not have an indicator light on them already. :-)

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tech-king (author)2008-05-13

this is simple; wire the plugs into the cord in parallel, and the bulbs in series their respective plug.

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Goodhart (author)tech-king2008-09-14
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Labot2001 (author)2008-05-13
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Goodhart (author)Labot20012008-09-14
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Goodhart (author)NachoMahma2008-05-12

I already have such a cord. I was looking to see if others would come to the same conclusion I had (I added that only very light appliances or bulbs would be used with the cord). I know why I created this cord in the past, but now it seems like over-kill. Still it helped me exercise my understanding of AC.

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NachoMahma (author)Goodhart2008-05-12

. Assuming you don't exceed the 15A rating of the male plug, 14AWG will work for ~25'. Personally, I'd use 12-10, in case someone decided to load up all three sockets (or lengths > 25'). . I'm curious as to what you came up with for the Ne lights.

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Goodhart (author)Goodhart2008-05-12

PS: I put "in series or in parallel" just to add that option into the equation ;-)

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