Suggestion: Circuit breaker

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user42
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Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby user42 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:18 pm

Hello all, back with another suggestion, one we urgently need: circuit breakers.

Motivation: Workmen currently die regularly trying to fix laundry machines, apparently because they "contain" both water and electricity.

Question: Why can't a damaged electrical appliance cause the main circuit breaker to trip, just as if you had connected two generators?

Idea: Additional to making damaged appliances trip the main breaker, introduce single, one-cell circuit breakers, similar to switches that limit the blackout to the area behind them.

What this would do for us:
  • We could get more "electrical damage" simulation
  • Prisoners with the trait "clever" can manipulate electrical appliances deliberately to cause a blackout in order to commit mischief
Last edited by user42 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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111none
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby 111none » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:23 pm

we do, its a manual power switch.Correct me if I am wrong,wouldnt the person die if the curcut breaker just tripped?
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby Gondlar » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:41 pm

First of all, you probably mean a residual-current device, not a circuit breaker.

Anyway there is that manual switch which I'd love to be used or triggered automatically in such occasions and by escaping prisoners if they have access to it.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby xander » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:59 pm

Gondlar wrote:First of all, you probably mean a residual-current device, not a circuit breaker.

According to Wikipedia, a "residual-current device" is often referred to as a "residual-current circuit breaker", hence calling it a "circuit breaker" seems entirely reasonable. From my own experience, there is a "circuit breaker box" on the side of my house, which is full of "circuit breakers" which trip when too much current is drawn or there is a surge or something. I am not an EE, so I couldn't possibly describe what is going on in any technical detail, but that is kind of my point: we should be able to use colloquial language rather than technical language, since not all of us know the technical language.

Gondlar wrote:Anyway there is that manual switch which I'd love to be used or triggered automatically in such occasions and by escaping prisoners if they have access to it.

Indeed. I've suggested in the past that the power switch ought to automatically move to the off position whenever a major electronic device (i.e. one that must be connected directly to the grid) breaks down. It has also been suggested that prisoners ought to be able to break / destroy them during riots, and that manually turning them off or on should require that a worker do the job.

xander
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby paktsardines » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:47 pm

Goddamn! I was just about to post this exact same suggestion myself, only I was going to draw up a nice diagram to explain.

I think the OP is suggesting:

1. Electrocutions/short-circuits (caused by water) should cause the entire prison's power to fail (as per this post)
2. Power is lost to the entire prison unless a circuit breaker exists between the short and the power station, in which case only those areas connected to the shorted segment lose power.

That said, I see no reason why switches can't double as circuit breakers (or, conceptually, have built-in circuit breakers).
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby Gondlar » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:40 pm

xander wrote:we should be able to use colloquial language rather than technical language, since not all of us know the technical language.

I'm not an EE either and I wouln't mind the difference if the case the op described wasn't the exact case where it matters.

xander wrote:From my own experience, there is a "circuit breaker box" on the side of my house, which is full of "circuit breakers" which trip when too much current is drawn

Exactly. When there is too much power drawn (e.g. because some idiot directly connected the poles with a wire) the circuit breaker trips. But in the case with the laundry machine and the worker a part of the electrical current travels a different way (through the workers body into the earth) and a ordinary circuit breaker wouldn't trip. An RCD however does (that's the one thing inside your box which looks different).

Back to topic: In think the entire field of accidents with water and electricity could be expanded. The power switch and the valve are of little use (and little danger) right now. Prisoners being able to flood your prison by opening a valve too far would be an interesting addition to the game.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby lugaru » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:53 pm

+1 for gameplay reasons.

It makes life a little safer for workmen and a little more dangerous for guards (enabling breakouts).

I also love the idea of having to put the breaker behind a bit of security because if a prisoner damages it, it is lights out for the whole prison for a while.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby xander » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:57 pm

Gondlar wrote:Exactly. When there is too much power drawn (e.g. because some idiot directly connected the poles with a wire) the circuit breaker trips. But in the case with the laundry machine and the worker a part of the electrical current travels a different way (through the workers body into the earth) and a ordinary circuit breaker wouldn't trip. An RCD however does (that's the one thing inside your box which looks different).

Ah, I see. However, because I am an ignorant hick, I am going to keep calling them all circuit breakers. :P

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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby Chewbacado » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:49 pm

Don't we already have switch boxes? Do you really need something that automatically goes off every time a tv breaks?
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby xander » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:00 am

Chewbacado wrote:Don't we already have switch boxes? Do you really need something that automatically goes off every time a tv breaks?

Nonono! It automatically goes off when a lightbulb goes out. Then four workmen have to be tasked with turning it back on again. It is a very heavy switch.

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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby paktsardines » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:08 am

Ah yes, the old 'how many workmen does it take to change a light bulb?' question.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby AlexMBrennan » Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:24 am

No offence, but I am pretty sure that it is not standard practise to work on live circuits relying circuit breakers (or whatever) to keep the electricians alive, and that is essentially what you are suggesting.
Realistically, you would have to switch off power to the building in question before doing any maintenance which sounds exactly like the situation in-game you just described.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby Dichotomy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:25 pm

xander wrote:
Gondlar wrote:First of all, you probably mean a residual-current device, not a circuit breaker.

According to Wikipedia, a "residual-current device" is often referred to as a "residual-current circuit breaker", hence calling it a "circuit breaker" seems entirely reasonable. From my own experience, there is a "circuit breaker box" on the side of my house, which is full of "circuit breakers" which trip when too much current is drawn or there is a surge or something. I am not an EE, so I couldn't possibly describe what is going on in any technical detail, but that is kind of my point: we should be able to use colloquial language rather than technical language, since not all of us know the technical language.

Gondlar wrote:Anyway there is that manual switch which I'd love to be used or triggered automatically in such occasions and by escaping prisoners if they have access to it.

Indeed. I've suggested in the past that the power switch ought to automatically move to the off position whenever a major electronic device (i.e. one that must be connected directly to the grid) breaks down. It has also been suggested that prisoners ought to be able to break / destroy them during riots, and that manually turning them off or on should require that a worker do the job.

xander


Don't think I have ever disagreed with you Xander, but I do on this.

I do not believe we should ever limit ourselves to colloquial language when the technical term is readily available. A good portion of the time colloquialisms (in terms of the technical) are just plain wrong or greatly oversimplified. In this case its more of a generalisation then anything, but in terms of principle I cannot agree.

FTR the RCD post IMO was merely correcting the OP to avoid confusion, as the game already has a manual circuit-breaker, whereas an RCD is automatic, hence the correction I assume.

Just my opinion of course.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby henke37 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:56 am

You mean a simple earth fault breaker when you say RCD?

For those that don't know how they work: they simply sum up the current on the supply wires. Since all power that goes in must also come back the sum should be zero. The current finding an unauthorized route (usually into the ground) and bypassing the breaker on one wire would cause the sum to drastically diverge (a typical home level threshold is 30 mA). And thus the breaker would trip.

It complements normal fuses, since it can't detect overloads on its own.
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Re: Suggestion: Circuit breaker

Postby xander » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:50 pm

Dichotomy wrote:I do not believe we should ever limit ourselves to colloquial language when the technical term is readily available.

Under many circumstances, I would agree, however I think that the fact that a bunch of people who seem to know the technical jargon cannot agree on what we should call the thing. From a lay perspective, when a circuit gets "overloaded" (i.e. too many devices are plugged into one outlet, it is short circuited by a puddle of water, or whatever) a "circuit breaker" in the "breaker box" cuts the power. As a gameplay feature, I (and I think others) want the switch to automatically turn off in such circumstances---that is, we want the circuit to be automatically broken. Personally, I would be happy if the functionality were added to the switch that currently exists, without changing the name at all. Then the switch can act as a circuit breaker, or residual-current device, or residual-current circuit breaker, or simple earth fault breaker, or whatever. The technical term doesn't matter, because the gameplay functionality is what is important.

xander

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