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(Topic ID: 217190)

US power grid change 60 hertz immediate correction eliminated


By alimerick

2 years ago



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  • 14 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by YeOldPinPlayer
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    Frequency Snapshot.jpg

    #1 2 years ago

    Wandering if this will affect pinball with resets or?
    May not make much difference but figured someone smart about this would know?
    From the local news:

    Electric clocks keep time based on the usually stable and precise pulses of the electric current that powers them. In the U.S., that's 60 hertz (cycles per second). In the past, regulators required power companies to immediately correct the rate if it slipped off the mark. But that precision is expensive to maintain, so last year, the correction part was quietly eliminated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
    Energy officials insist other standards will keep the time in check, and so far the problem has not amounted to more than a few seconds here and there. But some scientists looked at what could happen without the time correction rule and concluded clocks could gradually go off-kilter if the grid's power was delivered consistently at higher or lower rates than 60 hertz. That can happen when power demand surges or slows because of weather and the grid can't adjust right away.
    This would affect clocks that get their power from a wall socket, such as alarm clocks and those on microwaves and coffeemakers. Cellphones, newer clocks with GPS, those connected to cable TV and modern ones that don't rely on the grid to keep time aren't affected, experts said.

    The changes could be just matters of seconds and all but unnoticeable, but the time could drift by as much as seven and a half minutes between time changes in March and November, when people reset their clocks, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory.
    In some extreme cases, Americans might miss their bus, parts of television shows and even be slightly late or, shudder, early for work, said Demetrios Matsakis, co-author of the study and chief time scientist at the Naval Observatory.

    "They'll think something is wrong with their clock but they won't know what," said Matsakis, co-author of the study.

    The request to retire the long-standing time correction rule came from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which coordinates the grid. NERC standards director Howard Gugel says newer standards prevent veering from 60 hertz so the rule isn't needed. NERC has guidelines for what to do if time corrections are necessary, he said in an email.

    Without the rule, the fixes will still be made but maybe not right away, said Terry Bilke, who works on time coordination for the Indiana-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which provides power to 15 states and Manitoba.

    Earlier this year, in the eastern half of the country, a time error of 10 seconds too fast went uncorrected for a week or more. It was during a bitter cold snap and utilities didn't think it was wise to tinker with power levels, said Bill Leonard of the system operator for New England. Generally, time errors are fixed every three to five days in the eastern U.S., he said.

    An advocate for the rule change said worries about time slips are unwarranted. Don Badley, a recently retired systems operations manager for the Northwest Power Pool Corporation, said any lingering errors will be corrected when people reset their clocks twice a year.

    #2 2 years ago

    It will have zero impact. Pinballs reset due to low voltage not frequency. Games can run on the 50HZ from overseas if you want. Score motors in EMs will run at a different speed but modern pinball machines using DC motors do not care about frequency.

    #3 2 years ago

    As a utility engineer, I have a bit of experience in this area. Early in my career, I had a project to study how the 60 Hz waveform can affect clocks. Here are my takes:

    1. This will have zero impact on pinball machines as all voltages for circuit boards are rectified into DC voltage.

    2. Almost all clocks use a crystal quartz circuit that oscillates at a high, stable frequency to keep track of time. Only the cheapest clocks used 60 Hz frequency counters to keep track of time. The power system frequency was never intended to be a standard to measure time.

    3. I wouldn't expect much frequency drift. 60 Hz was selected as a standard frequency so that generating stations could proper sync up to the transmission grid. With the installation of synchrophasors on the electrical grid, I wouldn't expect much change that how things have operated for decades. With the addition of more renewable (IE less stable power sources and predictable), grid stability is at the forefront of utilities priorities.

    #4 2 years ago

    I’m a Power Systems Engineer who has been in the industry 30 years, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that this will have ZERO impact on pinball machines and will not affect anyone's life in today’s society. It’s actually refreshing for me and my colleagues that after decades of regulations being handed down left and right from the Federal government that one archaic regulation finally goes away.....

    #5 2 years ago

    Is this why my clock radio always runs 2 minutes faster? I keep resetting the time, and gradually it always returns to 2 minutes ahead of the time on my cable box.

    #6 2 years ago

    I'm wondering how tight Stern's firmware is for exporting games. Ref their Service Bulletin 170. If the frequency of the zero-cross does not equal 60 on domestic games, it will display an error stating that the game can't be used 'in this country'.
    I doubt the frequency will be off enough to throw the error, but I would be curious if this ever happened.

    #8 2 years ago

    An error of 7.5 minutes from March to November is about 0.002%.

    #9 2 years ago

    What about devices which use sync motors? Film-to-video telecine transfer machines do. Without an exact 60 Hz frequency you'd get "roll bars" or flicker in the picture.

    45 rpm vinyl jukeboxes rely on 60 Hz frequency other the record would suddenly play slower or faster. How about people with collections of vinyl records? Their turntables could be affected during playback. Same with tape recorders which operate on ac power.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    What about devices which use sync motors? Film-to-video telecine transfer machines do. Without an exact 60 Hz frequency you'd get "roll bars" or flicker in the picture.

    Not only that, but digital cameras. There's a reason some of the upper-rage ones let you specify if your 50Hz or 60Hz.

    ...However, with such a slight deviation possible, I don't think it would be that noticeable.

    It depends on whether this deviation hits all at once (10 consecutive seconds) over a year, or spread out (1000 10ms blips) over the course of the year?

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from KenLayton:

    45 rpm vinyl jukeboxes rely on 60 Hz frequency other the record would suddenly play slower or faster.

    What is the tolerance specification for turntable RPM? I doubt the frequency would be outside of that tolerance or be noticeable to the ear but it would be interesting to find out.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    What is the tolerance specification for turntable RPM? I doubt the frequency would be outside of that tolerance or be noticeable to the ear but it would be interesting to find out.

    Quoted from dr_nybble:

    An error of 7.5 minutes from March to November is about 0.002%.

    Yea, not sure I could detect that kind of difference, and you can calibrate any good turntable anyway.

    Hell, I could never afford new batteries in my Walkman, so I grew up with 'slow' music.

    #13 2 years ago

    Here is a pic of one of our Frequency Sources we are monitoring in our data historian earlier today. As you can see, it dips and rises all day every day, usually anywhere from 59.95 to 60.05 about 98% of the time. If it ever drops below 59.9 or above 60.1 a serious system event has occurred, such as a major loss of generation or load somewhere in the US. This is the stuff everyone's electrical devices is subjected to all day every day, and it causes no ill effects.

    Frequency Snapshot.jpg

    The regulation they are rescinding is to make sure that the accumulated error of the frequency over time does not exceed 10 seconds in either direction. This accumulation can take hours/days/weeks to occur, and when it does all generators across the interconnect are set to run at either 59.98 or 60.02, depending upon the error being positive or negative.

    The devices that were affected by the accumulated time error are old cheap clocks that used wall power as their power source to drive a pure AC motor without using any kid of quartz crystal as a time tuning mechanism. Most of these haven't been made in decades.....

    1 year later
    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from Coyote:

    I'm wondering how tight Stern's firmware is for exporting games. Ref their Service Bulletin 170. If the frequency of the zero-cross does not equal 60 on domestic games, it will display an error stating that the game can't be used 'in this country'.
    I doubt the frequency will be off enough to throw the error, but I would be curious if this ever happened.

    Noticed this error on an Iron Maiden pro today. Reboot seemed to fix it. Operator says it's not the first time that error has come up. Other Spike2 games (on different circuits) not throwing the error.
    buffaloatx is the operator.

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