Power Saving Gizmo
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Power Saving Gizmo

Posts: 315
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Here is a website I just noticed in Kiplinger Mag. The gizmo is suppose to pay for itself in 6 weeks.

Posted : October 8, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 13
Active Member


It's interesting to read the claims made for this unit that sells for about 3 to 4 times what other power strips cost.

Like many marketing schemes, it has enough truth to make it seem like the best thing since sliced bread.

Here are the facts:

1) In the bygone days of vacuum tubes in electronics, manufacturers kept hearing from customers that it took too long for the "TV" set to warm up. Manufacturers came up with "instant on" approaches that basically kept the tube filaments "hot" so when the customer turned the "TV" on they didn't wait very long at all for a picture.

This created an expectation in the minds of customers where all electronics are concerned that everything should turn on instantly because we want it to. Why should we wait for a machine? In the time frame this was occurring, electric power prices were dropping, cheap power was plentiful, and no one on this planet had yet conceived of global warming due to mans production of greenhouse gases.

Fast forward to now where tubes are no longer used (except for a very few things) and everything is pretty much solid state electronics that draws much less current than a similar device would if it used tubes. Until the mid to late 80's (30 years after the transistor had been invented) electric power was still quite cheap and plentiful.

During that time as manufacturers had switch over to solid state devices, they kept the "instant on" concept particularly where TV picture tubes were concerned 'cause many are still a tube today. The current draw to keep a tube warm just didn't make it on the radar screens of people when power was so cheap and that current draw was so little.

While you don't need to keep solid state electronics "warm" for nearly instant on response, it was just more convenient to keep all the peripherals in "hot standby" (especially the computer monitor which still can be a tube) and other things like printers that go through a "self-check" process when they are turned on. The net result is that the USER of the equipment never has to wait for a lowly machine to startup before they can start using it.

The fact is that there is what the add refers to as "leakage current" going to peripherals to keep them in "hot standby" but they don't tell you that there are 2 parts to it. As usual, someone in the marketing department made the decision to "simplify" the situation.

On a normal home style computer system, the power draw is generally between 300 & 400 watts when everything is turned on and being used. That means that current will be approximately between 3 and 4 amps. The ad says that "leakage current" can vary between 40 ma and 400 ma. A milliamp (ma) is one thousandth of an amp. The lower number of 40ma would be typical if your monitor (a tube type CRT) and printer were turned off and not in standby.

Let's do the math. Electricity is usually billed by the kilowatt hour (KWH) (one kilowatt used in one hour). Lets say your electric rate is 30 cents per KWH. If you keep your monitor and printer turned off (or disconnected) and your "leakage current" is 40 ma (that's 40 thousandths of an amp) your hourly power draw will approximate 0.04 KWH and will cost you a little over a penny an hour. That's about 29 cents a day or $2 /week. At that rate, it would take almost 18 weeks to save the cost of the device.

You can achieve the same savings by reaching over and either pulling the plug or turning the power strip off, AND you don't have to spend the $35 + s/h for the device. What you loose is the "instant on" when you power everything back up. I don't know about your computer, but if you are running almost any Microsoft operating system (like windows or XP) it take the computer awhile to load the operating system anyhow, so the reality of "instant on" isn't there anyhow, unless you leave your computer running all the time (a bad thing to do).

It's your money and you can spend it any way you like. I need the exercise so I'll keep turning mine off manually!


Posted : October 8, 2006 4:31 pm
Posts: 859
Prominent Member

Thank you, Ken! Your expertise hits home majorly where I'm concerned. If it sounds too good to be true then it generally isn't.

Iris - may I be so bold as to make a suggestion here?

When you reach here and live, you learn to understand or don't - and understanding often takes a long time. I would welcome you as a neighbour-to-be on whichever Virgin Island you choose to relocate but it seems from your many posts that you're trying to transfer your stateside life to island life. Which won'r happen!

All your many questions have been answered with all honesty from so many posters here but one has to wonder (sorry?) why and how you would really fit into island living when you post about internet "income from home opportunities" and then other internet "gizmos" on this forum.

You roughed up a spot on me. Cheers!

Posted : October 9, 2006 4:26 am
Posts: 315
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Stt resident

I might never fit in. Heck due to my accent I am sure to stand out lol. I am a problem solver by profession. If there might be a solution I try to find it. It really does not matter where I live. Actually I think most people call them self lucky to have us as neighbors. We are considered and do help out if the need comes up. In an emergency we are the once who get their hands dirty. More than I can say for many people. I think my questions are valid. Yes I do want to bring some of my interest to the island. I am asking all the questions to see if it is possible. Most of all when we do make the move I want to be able to live comfortable in my new home. I want to arrive with my eyes open. It does not matter if I move to STX or any other location I do my research.

Is the internet not a large part of island living? Would it not help people to create an income? Could some people perhaps still benefit from a gizmo? Relax I am sure nobody got harmed by my post.

But for you I will put down my pink colored glasses lol


Posted : October 9, 2006 11:52 am
Posts: 0
New Member

Dont sweat it. You just received the all too typical Island logic lecture. Some here think they are the burning bush of Island living. I have lived here almost 3yrs and did transfer my stateside life here for the most part. I deal with a little more mediocrity and a little less convenience but overall my standard of living did not take a big hit and the fringe benefits of living here are obvious.
Some folks who regularly post here make the mistake of thinking that there is a one size fits all advice to those moving here. Everyone is in a different situation. For some moving here is tough for others it is just as easy as moving down the street.

Posted : October 9, 2006 12:41 pm
Posts: 315
Reputable Member
Topic starter

Thanks David. I am a can do person. I have moved more times than I dare to remember. I know what it means to leave things and people I know behind. I agree what is great for one person might not work for another. I know the town I am living in now is not for me. Yet my neighbors who moved from Philadelphia to here as well are quite happy. Much of what people miss I would not. I am not one to shop at malls, chain restaurants are a major turn off, and Starbucks well I won't miss it. I do like certain foods and will still cook them on island. However, I really want to explore the local cuisine and finally get a taste of bread fruit. There are thinks I will be able to do on island I dare not attend here. One of them is orchid growing. I just have no luck with them here in Jersey lol. My own challenge will be growing vanilla orchids. From what I understand it is real difficult and should keep me busy for a wile.

I am sure there will be things I will miss at first. The slow pace will go on my nerve at first. I just will have to have a few pina coladas to slow me down lol. When I first came to the US I could not find a good cup of coffee. Coffee was almost as clear as tea in some places. I don't want to mention bread lol. I survived long enough till good coffee and good bread had finally arrived.

Now I just have to make sure my hubby does not get cold feet lol.


Posted : October 9, 2006 1:03 pm
Posts: 436
Reputable Member

A bit harsh aren't you?

Posted : October 9, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 83
Trusted Member

Really want to save juice? Change from incandescant to compact flourescent bulb. They last longer-- up to three years and usae 75% less electricity.

Posted : October 10, 2006 6:43 pm
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