Uncle Lao’s Surprise

by kacang bawang

I have a ATX power supply that I use to power my electronics creations, and I noticed that I’ve been getting shocked with electricity 😯 whenever I touched it! How could it be!? I used a grounded plug, a grounded wall socket, and still… I went on like this for a while, not wanting to shut down my device zoo, until one day there was a power outage and that left me no choice but to finally get around to diagnosing the issue.

I got out my trusty multimeter and started checking from the wall. Wall plug was ok, extension cord was ok. Hmm, what else could it be? Could it be the new ATX power cord that I recently purchased? Nah.. I mean how could a nice looking cord like this be faulty:


Indeed it was… The grounds on both ends of the cable were connected. I sliced apart the traitorous cable, and saw this:


In a cost-cutting measure, Uncle Lao at his cord factory decided to leave out the ground wire! Ouch.. a low blow.

So – if any of you are shopping for ATX power cables, check that ground wire before you pay 😉