Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finding the ghost in the machine

Gremlins can enter your vision system in the most unexpected ways, but my experience is that most are electrical in nature. I’ve had lights that turn on and off at random, connectors dropping off the backs of cameras, and others too numerous to list. Almost all have simple or obvious causes but can take hours to track down.

In the interest of saving you time then, here’s a link to a useful troubleshooting guide. “Five Common Problems With Wiring and Connections” (re)published by Control Design October 31st 2012 (an appropriate date for investigating the apparently supernatural,) discusses exactly what the title discloses – five common electrical problems.

Yes I know they’re things you already know about, but a reminder can’t hurt can it? I’m pretty sure this little refresher would have saved me time in debugging my mysteriously illuminating lights. That came down to point number 2: electrical interference. They might be designed to switch at 5V, but in reality the field generated by a motor controller was enough to turn them on at almost random moments.

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