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Got a technical problem? Can't understand a piece of jargon or some technical principle? Drop us a line and we'll answer your question. Write to: Ask Silicon Chip, PO Box 139, Collaroy Beach, NSW 2097 or send an email to silicon@siliconchip.com.au

Questions on
WIB project

I told a computer nut friend of mine about the WIB project and he wanted me to ask if it can support more than one website at a time, as well as whether it can do a shopping cart. I presume it can’t do the shopping cart but that more than one website is possible if one has a URL pointed towards the IP of the unit plus specific pages mentioned. (L. B., via email).

• While multiple domain names may refer to the WIB’s IP address, it will serve the same files on all domains. That does not mean that you cannot have multiple file hierarchies descended from the same root.

In relation to implementing a shopping cart, the WIB cannot support that, as it would require server side scripting, which the WIB does not provide.

Restoring defaults in the DSP Musicolour

I have built the DSP Musicolour (SILICON CHIP, June – September 2008). When the Musicolour is in idle mode, ie, waiting for an input signal, the four lamps are at full brightness. Which setting should I change so that the lamps are off until the music input signal is applied? (G. B., Fassifern, NSW).

• If you restore the default settings, the lights should be off when there is no audio input. The settings can be restored to their default values by using the menu system.

If the lights are not off with no audio input, that indicates a hardware problem. If you need to check inside the case, the unit must be unplugged from the mains as much of the circuitry runs at 230VAC potential.

Dimmers Do Affect Power Consumption

Recently I was drawn into a rather unpleasant argument on whether or not using light dimmers reduces power consumption for that lighting circuit. With my knowledge of how phase-controlled Triac dimmers work, I of course argued that dimmers do reduce power consumption.

Well, things went downhill from there, I was told I didn’t know what I was talking about and was misinformed etc. I was also told he had sought advice from experts in the lighting industry, who informed him that dimmers do not reduce power consumption.

There are different types of dimmers and different types of lamps, which may be adding confusion to the argument. All this led me to wonder if I was missing something, hence the reason for this letter.

I am not looking for confirmation on my point of view, so I can say “I’m right and you’re wrong!”. It is because we are both involved in providing information to electricity consumers, on ways to reduce electricity consumption. There could be nothing worse than being misinformed, and passing that information onto others! (B. C., via email).

• Interesting question, B. C. The answer is that a light dimmer does reduce power consumption for the particular circuit but it does not reduce it by as much as you might expect. For example, if you reduce the light output to half, the power consumption may only be reduced by 30%.

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