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PSU paper clip trick concern...

By LambofGod
Aug 30, 2012
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  1. I every one got my stuff in from Newegg and went to test the power supply wich is a Corsair 650w...any how I plugged the paperclip into the green wire and one of the black wires beside it...what happens is a quick power up followed by shut down...

    Again it powers up,shuts it's self off...

    From what I understand without some device asking for some power it will not stay on...maybe this is the issue ?...or what do you think.
     
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Are you sure you are shorting the correct pins? Have you referenced the appropriate PSU pinout properly?
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,243   +1,549

    I know the paper clip trick is done all the time but personally I don't recommend it. Even if you get the PSU to turn on and stay on, you still don't know for sure if there is adequate power on all available rails.

    If you don't have a system to put the power supply in, you should get yourself a PSU Tester. If you plan on servicing your own computer as well as possibly others, getting a PSU tester could pay for itself in time.
     
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    The paperclip trick is fine- and a must in some instances (I.e. using a secondary PSU to fill and bleed a watercooling loop where you have to keep switching the PSU on/off every few seconds to refill a reservoir). You will need to place a dummy load on the circuit for the PSU to stay powered on (unless the PSU has a zero load capability- yours does not). Connecting a couple of fans to the PSU should suffice.
     
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Interesting. Thanks for the information, dbz.
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,243   +1,549

    Since its such a must at times then perhaps they sell these dummy blocks. I don't mind doing the paper-clip trick myself but would prefer knowing who I am talking too, if I am ever to recommend such a procedure. Not every PSU has protection against shorting out pins.
     
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    Most people don't just spin up a PSU unloaded. Normally, bridging the power on (green) to a ground is performed to check components and not have to involve cycling-up a motherboard, harddrives etc. As for buying a "dummy block", they are commonly called any electrical circuit that offers resistance (I.e. a rheostat, voltmeter, any 12VDC electrical device, even a lightbulb)
    I'd assume that anyone who has looked into jumping a PSU is at least moderately aware of the pitfalls of electrical safety procedure.
     
  8. LambofGod

    LambofGod TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Yes I tried a few different insertions of the pins with the paperclip all consisting of the one green wire and various black wires. All resulting in the same outcome (Power,shut down) If you check youtubthere is a video demonstrating this being done by a official Corsair representative. Only difference is the PSU's wattage and connecting a case fan wich I did not due to lack of a fan at the moment. I still have a few things to purchase to complete my rig and was trying to test what I could now. I still need a CPU/Cooler, GPU,and O.S. before im done - being the most expensive components I got some time before I can get them.
     
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,243   +1,549

    A dummy block for use instead of the paper clip is what I was referring to. As you stated above, any PC device could be used as a load for the PSU, a dummy block wouldn't really be needed for PSU power loading.

    You answered the OP by stating the need for a load but the load is not my hickup, the use of the paper clip is. They advise never to wear jewelry around electricity/electronics, a paper clip would be just as bad. Thats all I'm doing is advising not to use a paper clip but instead use something that was designed to be safer and a much more permanent solution.
    or possibly
     
  10. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    Not sure if that isn't a supremely unwieldy configuration. You'd need to have a closed circuit for power-on/ground, and another closed circuit for 12VDC/resistor/ground.
    If you can't observe basic electrical safety then maybe the person shouldn't be DIY'ing full stop. It should be pro forma that any bare metal in an electrical circuit means don't touch... if there was a danger of shorting the circuit ( confined space, clumsy, nearby metal surfaces) I'd think that lateral thinking might come to the fore ( wrap the paperclip with tape or use a short length of insulated wire instead of a paperclip)
    I guess thats why they sell 2-inch lengths of wire with a male pin at each end and a 10 cent ATX plug for $16.95. Like any aspect of computer DIY, it comes down to comfort and competancy level. I gather that PSU modding must have you breaking out in a cold sweat, considering a PSU holds charge even when powered off.
     
  11. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Plug in a hard drive or a fan and see if the PSU still turns off, I'd bet you got a bum PSU.
     
     
  12. LambofGod

    LambofGod TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Lol...guys I'm alive and well. I'm no electrician,however have dealt with small vehicle wiring,house hold maintenance. I'm not going to juice my self with 650w. Will check again tomorrow with a fan connected...will be very disapointed to hit road blocks on my first build. Been wanting a good PC (Get rid of PS3) since '07
     
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,243   +1,549

    No but recommending it to someone else I don't know does have me worried. Welding is not my profession but I do know how to weld and you don't learn how to weld by being afraid of electricity. Please don't confuse my abilities with my reluctance to tell others about my abilities. Now that I have turned my comments into defensive comments I'm leaving the thread before it gets worse. Ohh and thanks for completely disregarding my call for safety on the topic.
     
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    Close.Stable.Door.After.Horse.Bolted.
    From the first line of the first post...
    "any how I plugged the paperclip into the green wire and one of the black wires beside it"
    I'm going to assume that anyone conversant with putting the mod into practice more than likely followed the full guide, and I don't know of any mod guides that don't include guidelines. I'm assuming that the Corsair YouTube vid the OP referenced is this one- seems self explanatory- and no paramedics close by. If the OP had said, "hey, I want to try the paperclip PSU mod", it would imply a nil knowledge base and I would add a few pertinent safety details and/or a link to doing the mod....in much the same way as I did when I included the info in the watercooling guide I wrote (omfg high amperage current running under flowing water :eek: )...and co-incidentally you posted on (sans PSU jumping safety comment I might add) and subsequently "liked"...subject to revision of course.
    From section 5.0:
    Using your line of reasoning and your example, you've just explained how you can weld. Should I now go into the safety precautions you should follow when welding? If someone demonstrates knowlege of a subject I find it rather pointless to advise them at a level lower than the competence they have already demonstrated.
     
  15. LambofGod

    LambofGod TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Wtf ?...nevermind. from any of you still concerned about safety and or compentance. How ignorant can you get ?. While running power through the paperclip I should hold the 24 pin Motherboard plug and paperclip in my mouth to increase conductivity right ?. I mean what ? it's only 650w ? that's not anything more than a 9v correct ?. Oh...and could I do this in the bath tub ? I can't find a outlet that isn't aleady in use.
     
    dividebyzero likes this.
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    You might need to wrap your post in html sarcasm tags, lest you get besieged by a SWAT team from the office of occupational health and safety.
    Ideally, you should have NO contact with the electrical components whatsoever. I'd suggest a trip to the local hardware and computer stores. You should be able to construct a telefactor for a lot less than you imagine. It will keep you non-electrocuted and provide hours of fun for you and your family.
    [​IMG]
    Certainly, although I would advise that you observe proper safety precautions by using a non-slip bath mat
     
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,243   +1,549

    Wiring a car stereo with the key on, is not a good idea either but I do it every time I wire one. I do leave the key off during wiring but often check for functionality before completely taping the wires. Has a tendency to blow allot of fusses this way. If you want to talk about electronics, let me break out my breadboard, I think I would enjoy burning a few more resistors, transistors, diodes, zener diodes, or maybe even an IC(specifically a 555 timer). Remind me of the fun lab experiments I had during electronics classes. With electronics as a hobby for 10 years as a teen, those classes where somewhat boring, especially the first quarter.

    Take my advice or don't, now that I have spoken my peace, I can't say that I care one way or he other. It's your PSU, money, and time which will not effect me at all.

    Have a good day, I'm wishing you the best always.
     
  18. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 737

    While somewhat true, that is overemphasized and not nearly the danger many people think it is. Modern PSUs have bleed resistors that will drain the primary cap(s) generally in a few minutes or less. Chances are by the time it would take you remove the screws and get the cover off there would be little or no charge left in the primary caps, Although I generally recommend hitting the power button or using a paper clip with the unit unplugged and waiting 5 minutes before opening a PSU just to be safe.
     
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,652   +323

    I've done this 'paper clip' thing many times, although usually with a piece of wire or any conductive metal within arms reach at the time I need and that I can bend enough to make the connection. But all you guys are talking about needing some sort of load on the PSU, and suggesting a fan or something... Most PSUs have at least 1 fan, is the 1 or 2 fans contained in the PSU not sufficient? Or am I missing the point?
     
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,943   +728

    The load needs to be attached to the peripheral or SATA cable(s) as far as I am aware, PSU fans don't represent a viable load to the PSU*, and a PSU will shut itself down in a no-load situation (design safety protection). You could I presume use a Berg connector or PCI-E to the same effect, but I doubt anyone would be willing to sacrifice a graphics card in the name of PSU testing.

    As for the dangers of electocution, the issue does seem to have been blown(!) out of proportion. Power_OK to ground is only going to support a signalling voltage- as the OP noted, it probably doesn't amount for anything over a 9v battery in charge.

    * I'm specifically talking about the OP's PSU. Some higher powered/ better specced units have inbuilt load resistors incorporated into the design, so no external resistance is required for running. In the OP's case he has a 650w Corsair, which means TX650, HX650, or AX650 -none of these fall into that category, all require a small external 12VDC load and its resistance so as to not trigger the under voltage protection -and subsequent shutdown that happens 1-2 sec after power on
     
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,652   +323

    Yeah, its cool dbz, thats why I asked if I was missing the point. It crossed my mind that the PSU fans might be 'out of the loop' for counting.
     


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