# A little help, plz

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Roxas_XIII
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09 Dec 2008, 7:08 pm

Since WP seems to be a repository of random information no one (no NT's anyway) really cares about until they find themselves in a life-or-death crisis and the only way out is that random information they neglected to learn (d'oh!) I'd thought I'd ask this.

My Physics teacher has us working on group projects in which we must construct a complex machine to do a simple task, such as flick a lightswitch. (I'f you've ever played the boardgame Mousetrap, it's kind of like that.) Anyways, I've already planned a huge machine to flick a lightswitch on and off again. The only thing is that it's too large to mount on a wall switch. This is why I decided to get some electrical stuff and make a basic AC circuit for a lightbulb, switch, and wall plug that I can mount directly onto the machine. My question is: how many watts do you get from a standard 120V AC wall socket? I don't want my contraption to blow a fuse every time I use it, so I want to make sure i've got the correct energy ratings and such before I build it.

Thanks guys!

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Fnord
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09 Dec 2008, 7:20 pm

Roxas_XIII wrote:
how many watts do you get from a standard 120V AC wall socket? Thanks guys!

Watts = Volts x Amps x COSΦ

For most applications, you can ignore the COSΦ term, so simply multiply 120V by the current rating of the fuse or circuit breaker, and divide by two. This will give you a working, or steady-state, value.

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Roxas_XIII
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09 Dec 2008, 7:24 pm

Ok, so I just take the amp rating of the circuit breaker or fusebox in the building containing the socket, and average that with the 120V? Sounds easy enough. I'll have to ask the plant manager for the amp rating, though. He and I get along quite well, I don't think he would keep that information for an honest project.

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pakled
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09 Dec 2008, 10:26 pm

that's good; all I remenber is I=E/R...

I think what you're describing is a Rube Goldberg device....

MizLiz
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09 Dec 2008, 11:51 pm

Ah, I love Rube Goldberg devices. Unfortunately, I've always been crap at physics so I can't help.

BUT!... I can cheer you on.

Go team ASD *waves flag*

Roxas_XIII
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10 Dec 2008, 8:04 pm

Lol, thanks. I'm working on it with a partner, and I could swear he's AS as well, although I haven't confronted him about it. Might be why we work so well together...

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Dee_
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22 Dec 2008, 12:14 am

usually, standard 30 amp line, 1200 - 1500 watts before you blowa fuse.