Ever had an electronic device go up in smoke?

Discussion in 'Technology Talk' started by GigaBit, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. GigaBit

    GigaBit A hyperactive computer lovin' nerd.

    I'm interested to see if any of you have ever had an electronic device go up in smoke before.

    It's happened to me 5 times:

    - 3 Desktop computers (All PSU failures)

    - 1 Laptop (I still have no idea what happened to it)

    - 1 LCD monitor (Used the wrong power adapter:confused:)
  2. Saiko

    Saiko GTWT Survivor

    I wired up an IC backwards during a lab. It let out a feeble puff of smoke as it gave its last NAND output.
    Q2DM1 and GigaBit like this.
  3. Belatucadros

    Belatucadros Sláinte chugat!

  4. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Well-Known Member

    Nope, but I've been electrocuted enough times to go up in smoke. Good times...
    GigaBit likes this.
  5. Scales42

    Scales42 MLG Snake

    One of those newfangled toasters :eek:

    I ate the bread anyway :D
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  6. Finian Wren

    Finian Wren Starring Dante from Devil May Cry™

    • Back in the last days of Super Socket 7 boards, I had a cap blow silently (though the magic smoke was easily smelled). Used that as an excuse to upgrade to a Socket A and an Athlon.
    • Blew more than a few ICs by being incredibly stupid.
    • An alarm clock once blew back in Univeristy. This was prior to any electrical knowhow, so I didn't bother to see what ACTUALLY tanked inside.
    GigaBit likes this.
  7. darien

    darien Coffee Tiger

    I've seen fried electronics happen to others but never to me until recently. I had ordered a 3 in 2 mobile rack for my main machine, so i could easily plug in and remove backup drives and expand the storage capacity of my Corsair Air 540 (which only has mounting for two 3.5" drives by default) without having to open my case. Installation was nothing i hadn't done a million times(well over a decade in IT), so I thought nothing of it when i plugged in my backup drives before first powering the system back on. Well, long story short the kingwin mobile rack i had ordered was refurbished (one would think this means tested, apparently not) upon first power on there was the telltale putrid stream of smoke and no post. After some inspection and testing the refurb mobile rack had come to me faulty, a short in the mobile rack had sent power along the SATA lines and fried the north bridge on the mobo and every single drive connected to the system, including the SSD, three platter drives, and my backup drive. $2000 system up in smoke because of one faulty mobile rack. Kingwin refused to respond to my attempts to contact, so I'd avoid them like the plauge in the future. Alas because my backup drive was connected, along with main drives, data loss was real, though mostly art and crap. (I don't offsite for home stuff and anything critical is backed up to a TC volume on my HTPC/NAS as well) on the plus side, if i ever get off my butt and do it, i can repair the drives as the damage was to the controller boards and not the physical drives, just have to order replacement pcbs and swap and 8pin eeprom from the fried boards.

    on the plus side i took the opportunity to downgrade the motherboard(from an asrock board using the 990fx chipset to an msi board using the 970 chipset, asrock was contacted and notably would've replaced the board under warranty if i payed shipping, however i had already ordered a board by the time they replied the next day) I also upgraded the CPU(from an fx6300 to an fx8350), and replaced the PSU (an 8 year old corsair 750w that I later tested to find was still in perfect working condition, the new Corsair rx750 however is modular and doesn't spin up the PSU fan until needed- a nice bonus. After I'd tested the old PSU I gave it to a friend in need and it is still functioning flawlessly to this day, gotta love seawell manufacturing.) The video card and ram survived intact. used an old platter drive i had laying around and bought a new one, alongside upgrading the old SP 250gig SSD to a 500 gig samsung 850 evo. I haven't bothered to test the old fx6300

    In my years of IT i have seen some shit.
    DDR2 shoved in backwards leaves two telltale burnt pins- something i've seen twice now. (not by my own hand of course)
    I've seen a poptart shoved in slotload dvd trays (ironically on an old imac, they were not happy about the cost to replace the serialized drive. in case you're curious, it was a smores poptart)
    I've seen dead lizards, spiders, roaches, etc. in power supplies
    I've seen literal rats nest inside towers
    I've seen UTP Cat5 draped over florescent lights (EMI is a thing, don't do this)
    I've seen fiber bent 90 degrees around a corner without a radial bend
    I've seen an ambulance service call center that didn't have their call recorders plugged in(This is required by law)
    I've had to completely rewire a 4u intel server with a scsi u360 backplane to function without the backplane because a customer wanted SAS Raid because the drives were cheaper, but didn't order it.
    I've seen LED's that had clearly been over-volted.
    I've seen half-dollar sized holes in motherboards because of exploded ICs
    I've seen more faulty capacitors than i care to even attempt to count.
    I've had to fix a 24TB raid 5 array for a local tv station because the mac user in charge of the station's servers turned the storage server off at the power supply instead of through the os, corrupting the entire array, being called in to run a TV station off a DVD player while you fix a raid array at 3am on a Saturday after just getting home from the bar isn't glamorous, consider things like this before you decide to pursue a career in IT)

    I could go on and on- the best however- was way back in the early 2000's when i was a wee bench tech for a little mom-and pop shop- an insurance claim. a guy had clearly tilted his tower forward and poured water in through the back then tried to claim it as something that happened at a party to get a new PC paid for by his home owner's insurance, who of course wanted the damages assessed first. The only thing it had damaged was the video card, which fried due to the sudden and rapid heat dissipation the water caused. (Water doesn't conduct electricity, the particulate in dirty water however, does.) When told his system was fixed for the cost of a low end graphics card and the labor, he looked visibly upset and said on the shop's camera "what!? just a video card? I poured a whole bottle of water in it!". A video we kindly provided alongside the invoice to the insurance company, who no doubt charged him with fraud.
    GigaBit likes this.
  8. Kellan Meig'h

    Kellan Meig'h Kilted Coder

    I've roached a number of items over the years, including the power supply for an AN-APQ109A/APA165 Radar for an F-4D Phantom II fighter/interceptor. That was pretty spectacular. The best one was an Econolite Traffic Controller back in the early '80's. I had a Honeywell HMP190 controller go belly up so my boss said to take the Econolite, because it could be quickly programmed. The +24 and ground pins on plug #1 were not NEMA spec. Threw sparks out of the vents and destroyed all of the lamp load switches. Even the back plane became damaged, requiring the entire cab to need repairs.
    GigaBit likes this.
  9. FluffyShutterbug

    FluffyShutterbug A Foxy Femboy Photographer

    I've seen a dusty power outlet spark up before, but that's about it.
  10. KairBear

    KairBear New Member

    My boyfriend's iPhone started melting in his pocket so he brought it to the Apple store and the worker said the battery pack was about to explode.
    Telnac and Simo like this.
  11. jayhusky

    jayhusky Well-Known Member

    3 PSU's for a desktop pc
    Lawnmowers, Chainsaws and Hedge trimmers
    been electrocuted 4 times and carry a permanent scar from scorched tissue.
    GigaBit likes this.
  12. Simo

    Simo Skunk

    A pinball machine we had almost did: a relay got stuck, and whoa, what a lot of smoke. But replaced it, and saved the machine (D. Gottlieb's Aquarius, 1970)

    Had a few other games where solenoids got stuck, and burned, but got to them before the 'smoke' stage.
    GigaBit likes this.
  13. Q2DM1

    Q2DM1 New Member

    The first thing I ever sent up in smoke was a red LED. I was still very new to electronics in general. I connected two 9 volt batteries in series with the LED without knowing that I needed a resistor too. It popped and my involuntary reaction was to throw the LED across the room. When I found it, it had split in half, held together only with a rubbery kind of stuff on it's base.
    Telnac likes this.
  14. Austin Silver

    Austin Silver "A high-functioning sociopath."

    I have blown many electronics on purpose to see them explode. There is one instance, however, that wasn't caused by me. I purchased one of those cheep iPhone charging cables at the grocery store, and a few nights later it caught fire in bed. Luckly I was still awake!
  15. Nimilex

    Nimilex Fluffeh wolfo.

    I wanted a LED strip inside my pc case for some nice light effects so i did following:
    cut about half a meter of led-strip
    soldered an ATX connector to the strip (+5V and GND)
    connected it to my PSU
    pushed the ON button on my pc case
    watched the led-strip burn

    Now i got a new piece of led strip, added a resistor and Boom -problem solved

    This was just one of many destroyed devices (i love soldering circuits)
  16. Reserved_Krolik

    Reserved_Krolik Active Member

    I had a microwave that self destructed into a flaming ball of melting plastic, suddenly.
  17. Telnac

    Telnac Fundamentalist Heretic

    Oh yeah. I’ve had several PCs give off the blue smoke of death. Usually it’s the power supply and on desktop PCs that’s pretty easy to replace.
  18. Telnac

    Telnac Fundamentalist Heretic

    What the heck were you cooking in it?!
  19. Jay98

    Jay98 The violent man-eater

    my dad tried to adjust the oven to save on gas and it exploded. literally. my mom lost her fringe, eyebrows and eyelashes.
  20. ChromaticRabbit

    ChromaticRabbit lagomorphic

    Yeah, I'm still upset about, too. I bought an electric kettle on amazon.com and it started leaking and failed after only nine months of daily use. I went on to amazon, saw lots of people had subsequently experienced similar issues, and those who received warranty replacements had the same issues again with the replacements. How are products like this allowed to market in the first place? I expected that kettle to last a lifetime.
  21. MetroFox2

    MetroFox2 Member

    My mum has had the same hairdryer since I was born. I was using it about a month ago when it just stopped, a held it away from my face to make sure I hadn't accidentally turned it off when there was a loud *Bang!* and a jet of flame shot out the bit where the wire goes into the hairdryer. It's the first time in a long time I've actually screamed.
  22. Crimcyan

    Crimcyan Im fox now, BAMBOOZLED

    2 rc car motors
    3 rc car ecs
    1 6 cell nimh battery
    A cordless drill
    A angle grinder
    A air compressor
    A light switch
    A lamp
    A car battery
    So tons of things :D
    Nimilex likes this.
  23. The first time I put some upgrades hardware in my CPU i burnt out the PSU I put in it. I put my Nvidia GTX550ti card with a 650 watt PSU booted computer up went upstairs eat dinner or shower, I can't remember, and computer was off and refused to turn on. I panicked thinking I killed it totally but removed card, replaced power supply with factory and presto CPU lives. For Christmas that year my, now wife, got me an 1000w PSU and it's still going strong hahaha.

    Another time I was playing GTA, I think San Andreas, the mission was one where I had to burn a pot farmers farm to the ground and while burning the fields I started to smell some funny which was odd timing. I looked up and my ceiling fan was smoking. I was home alone and freaked out thinking there was a fire in the attic or something but thankfully it was just the fan motor crapped out. XP
  24. Butt_Ghost

    Butt_Ghost Caffeine-based lifeform.

    Had a PSU capacitor explosion that somehow managed to just selectively fry a single RAM stick in the process. I was in a Skype group call at the time and apparently the last thing anyone heard before I went offline was *bang* "fuck!" and I got a bunch of worried text messages.

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