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DimensionDude
June 27th, 2006, 07:32 PM
Mounted on the wall above the headboard of my bed is a touch lamp. Just touch it anywhere on the metal frame to cycle it through low, medium, high and off.

Came home from work one day and found the lamp on. I was sure that I had turned it off when I left, but I could have been mistaken. The next day, same thing, lamp was on when I got home. Hmm...the next day I made sure that it was off when I left (easy to do since I leave the house before daybreak). Sure enough, it was on when I got home.

This happened every day for a week. Made sure that the lamp was off when I left, it's on (always on low) when I get home. On my day off, I stayed home until about 3pm, then left to run an errand. The lamp was on when I returned.

There was a period of a few days where the lamp was off when I got home, but then it started happening again.

It hasn't happened in over a year now, but I'm still in the dark (so to speak) about what exactly was going on.

I live alone and no one else has a key to my house. It's a house, not an apartment. It wasn't power failures as the default power up condition is for the lamp to be off. I don't think it was surges or glitches as I've been home during thunderstorms and the lamp hasn't come on then. I have never awakened in the morning to find the lamp on. I don't have any pets. There are no mice in the house. It doesn't appear to be related to air temperature, nor does the sun shine directly on the lamp.

There are no gypsies living under the bed (nor any reds). :)

Weird!

Kent

carlsson
June 27th, 2006, 07:38 PM
Maybe even the tiniest bug or spider is able to turn on the lamp by touching it? Maybe the lamp feels lonely when you're not at home, and powers on by itself to signal that it missed you.

alexkerhead
June 27th, 2006, 09:35 PM
Do you smoke? If so, tar can cause the capactively coupled field effect transistor to think there is a residual static charge in contact with the lamp. Called potential differencing.
If not, the capactively coupled field effect transistor can be activated by a mear static charge in the air or table/wall/floor. Excessive static discharge can cause the lamp to turn on. This is most likely to happen when there is nothing that absorbs static charge around, that is why it did it when you were gone probably.
But like Carlsson said, bugs are the most likely cause, might want to check the inside for spiders.

Atari
July 15th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Don't worry about it. I have one that always did the same thing. I would wake up at night and find it on. I didn't need it, so just unplugged it. It is nothing to worry with.

atari2600a
July 15th, 2006, 05:43 AM
They sell replacement touch-switch-thingies (I forget what their called) at hardware stores for around $5...

USSEnterprise
July 15th, 2006, 07:24 AM
Do you have an air vent blowing on the thing? Sometimes heat and moving air is enough

atari2600a
July 15th, 2006, 07:35 AM
USSEnterprise has a good point! An AC's air is alot more saturated in the Summer (when it blows cold air; more saturated) than in the winter (hot air; less saturated), & could therefore conduct enough static energy to trip your lamp! This would explain the seasonal malfunctions!

DimensionDude
July 15th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Well, the touch lamp still works fine and hasn't had a phantom switch-on in quite a long time. I'm leaning towards the theory that a small bug got in the circuitry but is now dead. Perhaps one of these days I'll disassemble it and see for sure.

Kent

CP/M User
July 15th, 2006, 03:52 PM
Nothing beats the Switch. Touch lamps can be dangerously
unpredictable - I've had a couple all to which have become
unusable due to Power surges - surprised I haven't been zapped
by one, though I think it has happened - perhaps when they
haven't been Grounded properly.

Throw them out.

CP/M User.

atari2600a
July 15th, 2006, 04:11 PM
Semi-off topic, I once tried to put a touch-switch-thingie in place of a Wall Switch. (I was planning to get an alluminum plate, to have a sort of SciFi touch-panel-light-switch-thing)

Bad mistake; When off, The light would dimmly flash. Anyone know why? (my knowledge of basic circuitry is a little rusty)

CP/M User
July 15th, 2006, 04:17 PM
atari2600a wrote:

> Bad mistake; When off, The light would dimmly flash.
> Anyone know why? (my knowledge of basic circuitry is
> a little rusty)

You were having a party? :-D

No, sorry I'm not sure. I'm thinking though it might have
something to do with it being exposed - perhaps it was
collecting energy from another light source?

CP/M User.

atari2600a
July 15th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Hm, could a CRT around 20"-30" in size (I haven't really measured it) -4 feet away do the trick?

CP/M User
July 15th, 2006, 04:53 PM
atari2600a wrote:

> Hm, could a CRT around 20"-30" in size (I haven't
> really measured it) -4 feet away do the trick?

Your guess is as good as mine unfortunately, however if it's
one of those older monitors (usually they only go upto 21" I
believe) the emit a flicker which obviously people can't see -
though they capture on the camera (when the Hz of the Camera &
CRT aren't in Sync). Perhaps it might of been this - though
there maybe other light sources around - moon, street lights,
fireflies, or just about anything which has a light source.
But as I said, your guess is as good as mine.

CP/M User.

atari2600a
July 15th, 2006, 05:03 PM
The monitor is probobly from the late '80's (it has 3 Composite inputs & a composite output)

I don't know if it's any constillation, but I've noticed that the Screen will extremely dimmly glow when I turn on my (flourecant) light. (the dimm glow from the screen would only be noticable once the light turned off) Could be something common for CRT's, could be my eyes playing tricks on me, I don't know, it's not my category of intellegence...

There is a street light not far from my window (on the other side of the pool yard), but I have a curtain that blocks most of the light...

tgunner
July 15th, 2006, 09:47 PM
Semi-off topic, I once tried to put a touch-switch-thingie in place of a Wall Switch. (I was planning to get an alluminum plate, to have a sort of SciFi touch-panel-light-switch-thing)

Bad mistake; When off, The light would dimmly flash. Anyone know why? (my knowledge of basic circuitry is a little rusty)

You weren't trying to dim a flourescent light were you?? Was the wall switch, and light properly grounded? Get the two wires for the touch switch reversed?

atari2600a
July 16th, 2006, 09:15 AM
I don't remember, this was 2 years ago, & I have since re-replaced the switch w/ a normal wall switch.