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Albert

Explosion Takes Out AtariAge [Updated]

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I agree with you here. I think some (esp. IT professionals) are being sympathetic, but it sounds like they were not prepared for this, and they have never said what caused the short that resulted in an explosion. Lots of questions are unanswered, such as why there wasn't a circuit breaker to prevent the explosion from a short, and if human error caused the short. If human error caused this, they should own up to that.

Yeah, I'm not sure we'll ever know exactly why this transpired, unless they get sued for this extended downtime (which is possible). I assume a thorough investigation will be done and that The Planet will know damn well what happened. But if it puts the blame on their shoulders, they'll never share that information willingly. Hell, their front page has had NO mention of this situation at all, which is very telling in my opinion.

 

..Al

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Hell, their front page has had NO mention of this situation at all, which is very telling in my opinion.

Yes, that has been very noticeable, and does say a great deal for their priorities. The offsite forums tell some interesting tales, too.

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Lots of questions are unanswered, such as why there wasn't a circuit breaker to prevent the explosion from a short, and if human error caused the short. If human error caused this, they should own up to that.

 

The function of a fuse or circuit breaker is to prevent wires from overheating due to sustained overloads. In low-current applications, they may also prevent damage from short circuits, but in some higher-current applications the best one can hope for is to avoid cascading faults.

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Lots of questions are unanswered, such as why there wasn't a circuit breaker to prevent the explosion from a short, and if human error caused the short. If human error caused this, they should own up to that.

 

The function of a fuse or circuit breaker is to prevent wires from overheating due to sustained overloads. In low-current applications, they may also prevent damage from short circuits, but in some higher-current applications the best one can hope for is to avoid cascading faults.

Point taken, but there should be some sort of failsafe to prevent explosions, especailly in indoor electrical rooms.

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I just think its funny a bunch of people thought they were banned. lol Feeling guilty for arguing over gas prices. ;)

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Too bad AtariAge can't be hosted in a couple of locations, so if one server is unavailable for any reason, the backup (exact copy) in another state can kick in. Is that even possible?

Sure, it's possible, but it would at least double the current expenses of hosting AtariAge so it's not really feasible. Unless you want to donate $400 a month to the cause. :)

I would if I could, but I bet good old uncle AdSense might be able to do it. :D

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I would if I could, but I bet good old uncle AdSense might be able to do it. :D

Are you crazy? :o

 

I don't want to reconfigure my advertizing blocker for AtariAge. :)

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What does The Planet website mean with "N+1 redundancy". Does that mean they have N+1 backup devices. Or we have just 1 backup device?

 

If it is N+1, why didn't they have a 2nd generator for the 1st floor?

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Joe decides he'll bring his board back up by closing a bus tie out of phase. That tripped the main breakers on 5 and 7 instantly, transferring the load from 5, 7, and 8 to 1 and 4. The noises I heard were breakers tripping throughout the plant, and the AC behind me as it single phased.

 

How do big generators work? I would expect that they use coils on both the rotor and the stator (like a car's alternator). I'm curious, though: how many of what sort of windings does a typical generator have? And do they not have some sort of electronic controls to ensure that things are within 30 degrees of phase when they switch in?

 

These units had wye connected windings on the stator, and I believe the field windings were single phase of 120VAC, but it was one leg of 120VAC phase to phase, not phase to ground. The emergency generators were a little different.

The plant had some crude electronic controls. This isn't surprising, especially given the fact the plant was built in the early sixties by the lowest bidder. They've got protection for reverse power, over speed, over current, over voltage, low oil pressure in the generator, and that's all I know of. Everything else was reacted to by the operators.

 

To my knowledge, three phase wye connections are pretty common. In that case, you have three primary coils, each with many poles around the stator. In addition to that, you'll have either a three phase delta in the field, or you'll step down a single phase of the output and send that to a single field winding.

Even at 30 degrees out of phase, though, it's still going to put a strain on the generators and most likely it will trip at least one of them. We were taught to parallel 5 degrees ahead of the bus with the synchroscope spinning "slowly in the fast direction". It takes a second for the breakers to close, and during that time, the phasing would actually get closer than 5 degrees--in fact, it was usually dead accurate by the time the breakers closed.

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Glad that AA is back on-line. Hopefully this site backed-up somewhere else, in case the hosting servers and their back-ups go down for whatever reason (I'm probably just showing my ignorance on the subject). I heard about the explosion, but I didn't connect the event to the fact that I couldn't connect to the AtariAge site; I thought it was a bad connection on my side.

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Glad to see everything is okay. Welcome back!

 

When I worked at Radio Shack we had a server "explode" once. I am not sure exactly what happened, but the CPU "popped". It blew up and our system went down. Maybe it overheated.

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Perhaps that explains why my email to albert came or bounced back as and error (sent on sunday)

That would certainly explain it. :)

 

..Al

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N+1 means that there is one more module active than is required to maintain the system. Sun servers, for example, may need two power supplies to function so there are three supplies built into the system. If one fails, the other two hold up power and you stay up. You replace them hot.

 

Most server class machines have at least two power feeds, normally fed by independent sources all the way back to the utility companies primaries. This allows some dummy to clip off the power pole in front of your building without you going down - you're held up on the power feed at the rear of your facility. (same goes for Internet connectivity) In a High Availability configuration, this includes a battery UPS and a generator in each leg. The generator only takes about 15 seconds to come online so your batteries usually have plenty of reserve. The UPS checks its batteries periodically and the generator usually runs a 30 minute test every week.

 

It's not rocket science - we've been doing this for a long time.

 

Bob

 

 

 

What does The Planet website mean with "N+1 redundancy". Does that mean they have N+1 backup devices. Or we have just 1 backup device?

 

If it is N+1, why didn't they have a 2nd generator for the 1st floor?

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Albert...what about buying or putting together your own server (for AA) that way if this incident happens again, you've got a back up

 

doesn't need to be a 'super duper' server...just something that fits the purpose (and it will solve your 'alternative hosting' options)

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bummer about the down time, I registered in-between blackouts & got validated by a mod v quickly anyhow, so thanks & fingers crossed

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:cool: Very bummed while you were down. Second logon today just checking, and noticed this thread.. :thumbsup: :party: Time here at home..

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Nice to see the site back online.

On another note, the store is "down for maintenance". Is it related to this issue or not ?

Does anyone know when it will be back again ?

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I sense that someone is planning an "AA server exposion" 2600 hack. What game would be the ideal candidate?

I'd pick Yar's Revenge. :D

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