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Quack-Zack t1_j506cxs wrote

An automated function without an manual override function is a bad automatic function.

People always take the ease & convenience of automation for granted -- until they need control of the situation and can't take things manually.


Daikataro t1_j521zzo wrote

Automation engineer here. If it doesn't have a physical emergency stop button, that actually cuts power in a way that can't be overridden except by physical wiring, I refuse to work on it.

No one who actually knows automation would implement it without a manual override indeed.


blacknyourma t1_j52kq0j wrote

Machinist here this guy is right.. it's literally a textbook failure of design.


omgFWTbear t1_j53c1fd wrote

I mean you say that, but what if the manual override malfunctions and accidentally stops my murderous killbots? I would be so embarrassed.


Gewdaist t1_j54mbg3 wrote

Some doomsday device, it barely killed anyone!


ghloperr t1_j52t992 wrote

All electrical circuits have "manual overrides" - it's called a circuit breaker. LOTO. Amazing to me that they don't have their lights on a dedicated circuit though.


Dopey-NipNips t1_j52vsm2 wrote

What do you think every light gets its own circuit, or all lights go on one circuit


ghloperr t1_j52wl8k wrote

How many lighting circuits do you think an average sized building needs? Obviously not just one, but if they are using LED and HE fluorescent it shouldn't be more than a few especially if they are 277V. And they should all be at the same panel anyway.

If the lighting designer was a complete idiot and put 10 different circuits in 10 different panels that might be an issue, but most designers aren't that dumb.


Dopey-NipNips t1_j52xki2 wrote

Average size building 😂

You've never wired anything


ghloperr t1_j52yjtg wrote

Yeah see there are small sized schools, medium sized schools, and large schools. An AVERAGE means a typical building size. This school has 1000 students which is not big or small, it's an AVERAGE sized school.

I have done full electrical and low voltage design for schools, hospitals, businesses, apartments, etc. You don't know shit lol


nataphoto t1_j537v6j wrote

Minnechaug is a large-ish school in terms of campus size. Definitely not the biggest around here, but larger than average. Sidenote: It's a beautiful school. Hope they fix their lights.


ghloperr t1_j53co08 wrote

My definition of a large school is 2000+ which is common for high schools in my area. Elementary schools usually have ~500 and middle schools have 1000+.

A school of approx 1000 students, whatever you want to call it (big or average), is what I was basing my estimates off of.


Educational_Breath98 t1_j5322w2 wrote

Yeah if it’s 277v LEDS this building could probably be on 2 - 3 circuit breakers for lights easily


SaltyBarDog t1_j54xgo3 wrote

Ima blame a MechE because it's always fun to blame them.


SaltyBarDog t1_j54xd6i wrote

Rule of engineering: Make something idiot proof and the world will give you a bigger idiot.


ellie288 t1_j505kjb wrote

This is the problem with putting everything under software control. Not everything needs to be 'smart' and connected. Sometimes low-tech solutions are the best.


[deleted] t1_j5081zr wrote



Juan-More-Taco t1_j50iemy wrote

>My car has no backup camera or any fancy detection shit. It turns on with a metal key.

Weird flex but okay


OcculusSniffed t1_j50od1r wrote

Yeah, I'm not a fan of IoT stuff but my minivan's backup cam is a blessing.


Orangeb0lt t1_j512abx wrote

A backup cam on a car is not IoT


Juan-More-Taco t1_j51crbr wrote

Most of the things they listed aren't IoT either. Washer/dryer could be I guess - but their comment was on the appearance of theirs vs others lmao.

Light bulbs are basically the only halfway common IoT device they specified.

But they're not tech phobic like their boomer parents guys, don't worry. /s


SaltyBarDog t1_j54xr3b wrote

I like turning on my lights with my phone. I can make them different colors, which is cool.


Rickshmitt t1_j51kl2d wrote

Agreed. I resisted the backup cam, got rid of my 01 ranger in 2018 for a 2017 taco. Backup cam is amaaaziglng.

House shit, nope. Ive talked to a lot of electricians and they say the same thing, shit is crazy expensive and lasts a year. Do not smarten your house unless youre rich.


ffxivthrowaway03 t1_j5206uh wrote

To be fair, a lot of electricians (and end users) dont know what the fuck they're doing with "smart" lightbulbs and the like.

If you put a smart bulb on a switch not made for a smart bulb, yeah, you're gonna fry it because you're constantly turning it off/on when it needs to always be "on" and is turned "off" via software.

When used properly, the reputable brands work pretty well.


Shvingy t1_j53xtqs wrote

Why would you want a smart lightbulb? Just make the lightswitch the "Smart" part.


ffxivthrowaway03 t1_j559yso wrote

If all you want is a lightbulb that turns on/off, sure, it's totally an option to do at the switch!

Most people getting into smart lighting want more than that though, and are using products like Phillips Hue to do different colors/temperatures, save lighting profiles for different activities: watching movies, playing video games, just hanging out, cool christmas party lights, synchronizing lighting throughout multiple rooms, making it match your music, all sorts of stuff. At that point it becomes more of a decorative hobby than just "lighting your house" as a goal.


jabberwockgee t1_j52rxn2 wrote

I had a rental car that had a backup cam and it was just unnecessary and gave me an extra thing I needed to check.

I just back up slowly, even if I hit something I won't damage it.

If you back up like a maniac off to the races or can't turn your body slightly for some reason they could be useful but I just had even more anxiety trying to check to the side/back and also the front now.


SaltyBarDog t1_j54xxuu wrote

Ever had a kid dart behind your car? They damage pretty quickly.


jabberwockgee t1_j5533nz wrote

Nope, I always check behind my car before I back up, and go so slowly that as long as it's not a baby crawling unattended they would be able to move at a slow ass pace to get away from my car.


SaltyBarDog t1_j557w5p wrote

I have seen plenty of dumbass parents who don't hold their child's hand and kids are unpredictable AF in a parking lot regardless of you checking and going slowly.


Wil_Mah t1_j524muy wrote

Right, like in Canada it’s law all cars made after May of 2018 must have a backup camera. They’re literally so helpful that Canada made a law for them


Juan-More-Taco t1_j524uxj wrote

Yeah... Imagine bragging about not having safety features?


Problem_Western t1_j52e9yz wrote

I can tell you that they are nice when they work but sometimes lane keep assist jerks the wheel at a really inopportune time. Also these things break and are very expensive and also need to be recalibrated at times. They are nice. What's nicer is being completely aware and in control at the wheel. You get used to technology and start to rely on it and then become a worse driver. Just my opinion.


bothunter t1_j52tro2 wrote

As someone who lives in a super rainy area that doesn't believe in making lane markers visible in the rain -- lane assist is dangerous at best. That thing will pick up on anything in the road that happens to be more visible than the paint and try and steer the car accordingly.


2twenty2twenty2 t1_j50pcox wrote

A backup camera doesn’t have anything to do with IoT or really anything you wrote at all.


neotericnewt t1_j51udxj wrote

They're also really fuckin sweet. It makes backing up so much easier and generally just safer, allowing you to see way more than just turning your body.


SeiCalros t1_j51gsyl wrote

im not reading 'tech literate' from this comment - backup cameras and fancy detection shit are not IoT tech and washers being globlar plastic blobs is a design thing and has nothing to do with technological advance or change

tech phobic and averse to change in general i would say


ghloperr t1_j52tpbt wrote

Backup cameras are required in new cars because people kept running over children. Not having one doesn't make you cool lol. Car safety features save lives. Do you complain about airbags and seatbelts too?


SafetyMan35 t1_j529jyh wrote

The next vehicle you buy will likely have a backup camera at a minimum. Any vehicle made in 2018 or later is required to have a backup camera.


greenmachine11235 t1_j54352k wrote

First IoT is internet of things, cars and related tech don't count and while I agree having networked devices in the home usually is unneeded, smart offline devices are far better, they run more efficiently and often preform they're function better. As for the backup cam, you're an idiot to think that's a good thing. It's like saying that a car is better because it has no mirrors, a backup cam adds vision and removes blind spots, you literally lose zero function by adding it.


1ndomitablespirit t1_j52ipn7 wrote

Jeez, people just latch onto the backup camera thing like lemmings, eh? I agree with you, but I had to buy a car last year when there weren't a lot of options. So I had to get one with a backup cam and all the bells and whistles. My car has remote start, but it only works with the app. People who are saying modern cars aren't IoT aren't paying attention.


ghloperr t1_j52tkrc wrote

It's weird because the purpose of backup cameras is to avoid running over children... It comes off as really psycho when people get mad about it or refuse to use it.


1ndomitablespirit t1_j52wo0i wrote

I guess that makes weird sense if you don't want to be observant, but it isn't like there was an epidemic of child squishing before backup cameras. Before I had a car with one, I would see around me if there were someone nearby that could possibly be near my car when I backed out. If there were, I'd tell them to stay back, and then I'd watch them in my mirrors. Somehow, I managed to not run over any kids or bikes or anything.

The unintended consequence with tech like this is that it will only lead to people paying even less attention to their surroundings while operating a 2 ton machine that can go 100 mph.

People and things are still getting backed into even with cars with backup cameras because people are allowing themselves to be too distracted. There is no fix for willful obliviousness.


ghloperr t1_j52x4ph wrote

17,000 injuries and 200 deaths a year, and half of those are children. You literally cannot see a child in the review of a large truck, SUV, or crossover. It doesn't matter how observant you are. Really disheartening to see people so callously dismiss the deaths of over 100 children a year.


1ndomitablespirit t1_j52xrui wrote

Oh Christ, you sound like an Evangelical


ghloperr t1_j52xxzy wrote

Good argument. I guess "I don't care about kids dying" isn't very convincing so you might as well turn to personal insults.


1ndomitablespirit t1_j52yb1v wrote

That's literally what pro-lifers say. It is a dishonest response from them, and is from you too. Not thinking backup cameras are the bees knees does not make someone pro-child death. Crappy emotional logic to deflect the point is exactly what Evangelicals do.


ghloperr t1_j52ys2y wrote

Did you just equate a woman getting an abortion with someone running a kid over lol


1ndomitablespirit t1_j531260 wrote

If that's what you take from it, sure. Again, another thing Evangelicals do is make a statement that is only possible by willfully ignoring the content of the entire argument. Maybe you're a troll, and that's cool, but if you are being honest with your responses, then yes, you argue in a dishonest way that is very similar to that of pro-lifers. I am not trying to insult you. I am just saying that you may share a certain "logic" that is not open-minded nor fully rational. If you want to help the world, being dogmatic and obtuse isn't helpful.


ghloperr t1_j53236w wrote

You're hating on child safety features in cars for no logical reason other than "technology and internet bad" and somehow I'm the dogmatic one.

You have no argument and, again, are using personal attacks and calling me a christian evangelical (???) instead of actually defending your position. Your argument being that evangelicals also base their arguments around child safety so I'm like them? Hitler didn't like smoking, does that mean that people who are anti smoking are nazis?

I'm not a troll, I was trying to see if you had any empathy for dead toddlers but I guess not.


SaltyBarDog t1_j54y7ss wrote

If a fetus was behind my car that would be a salient argument. Just take the "L" and move on.


MuForceShoelace t1_j511vrw wrote

However, often things people THINK are low tech are actually super complicated .


eighty2angelfan t1_j50859q wrote

I am an electrician that does lighting controls. This is a non-story. These lights can be turned off, no one wants to. There are circuit breakers, lighting control panels, override switches, and photocells. The school or town leaves them on for security reasons. Light is always your first defense.


ebbiibbe t1_j50amo9 wrote

In the article they are turning the outside lights off at the breakers.

The issue is the teachers can't even control the lights in a class room so students can watch videos.

It was a bad system installed by a bad company.


Solo_is_dead t1_j50b058 wrote

Especially since it's changed hands multiple times in only 2 years


TooHardToChoosePG t1_j50lurs wrote

Changed hands multiple times between 2012 (install) and 2021 (now Reflex). That’s 9 years (or ~10 depending on specific months).

The two years is 2021 until now while they’ve identified solution and then been waiting for parts.


Solo_is_dead t1_j50mlpi wrote

Oh ok. Although that still seems like a lot of hand changing to me.


ffxivthrowaway03 t1_j5256sp wrote

A government contract changing hands once in 10 years is pretty standard. Vendors get re-bid almost every time a contract comes up for renewal in these situations, there's a regulatory obligation given that it's being paid for with tax dollars.

It's also why most of these contracts get signed for such long terms. A lot changes in 10 years.


Solo_is_dead t1_j527lbk wrote

I think the company itself changed hands multiple times. That's not standard


eighty2angelfan t1_j50dy0k wrote

The installer is not to blame. Designer. Contractors install to specs on drawings and blue prints. Designs are made by engineers, usually inexperienced college interns fighting for a position, and ok'd by city and state plan check. For some strange reason the engineers opted for teachers to not have control of lighting in rooms. Probably so they can't override controls and leave them on all night. Lighting controls are usually a "last event check" so that whatever is the last event, override switch or timer, is what tells the lights to do. The better systems do periodic checks to compare override to timer program. Clearly it backfired.


ghloperr t1_j52u43p wrote

Ok I have to stand up for the designers and engineers of the world. Schools are public jobs and therefore go to the low bidder in most cases. Low bid contractors can sometimes be nice, but many of them are the scummiest, most untrustworthy, cheapest people on the planet. I have been screwed on school projects plenty of times because a contractor did work that wasn't on the drawings without permission or talked the client into changing my design because it would "save money". We had to have twice as many notes and details on school jobs than other facilities because the contractors were such weasels and would use any excuse in the book to dream up change orders.

And this isn't even getting into contractors not bringing up design issues during pre-bid RFIs, purposefully screwing over the entire construction team because they know they can get a fat change order. Yes, sometimes engineers make mistakes. But when the contractor doesn't act like a team player and screws over everyone else to make some extra cash it's a sign of a lack of ethics and professionalism. We are all just trying to get the job done and do the best we can for the client.

edit: And if this truly is a fully automated system, this is a simple programming issue. Which is done by the contractor, not the engineer. I guarantee the engineer did not write in the specs or their lighting sequence of operations that the lights have to stay on all night.


eighty2angelfan t1_j53idwb wrote

I build schools and hospitals. Many engineers are hard headed idiots. I'll give two examples. 1/2 " × 6" hilti concrete anchors for #12 slack wires and 2 hole stainless steel industrial rigid conduit straps rated at 1000s of pounds for emt which doesn't fit in the strap, on roof blocks. We can't convince engineers to change straps. Engineers commonly can't understand that you can't fit 10 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. And Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing engineers never talk to each other. You guys should serve internships in you chosen fields.


pallentx t1_j557wlk wrote

Yep, who knows what the original design was before it went to finance and they were told this is too much, you need to cut the cost 40%.


9405t4r t1_j50io3y wrote

We had a home invasion. Since then I installed lights in the ally that pretty much turns the night into day. Smart switches all around down stairs that will keep the light on until 10pm and when we are out of the house I have all the rooms lights trim on and off at random times to make you think we are home. It’s great.


Kaiju_Cat t1_j503811 wrote

Just turn off the goddamn panel. It's not that hard.

Put in a few time clocks beside the lighting panel. Hell just buy a cheap lighting contactor panel. Holy shit how is this a problem. You could hire an electrician and have this fixed in a day. With cheap parts. This is not an issue. What in the hell.

Unless the entire building installed some kind of lighting fixture that takes a data cable to turn them on and the fixtures themselves won't work without it - and I have never even heard of such an abomination - I don't see why you can't just tear out the automated control cabinet and put in something that's not stupid.

Even if you don't want to fix it you can still at least just turn the stupid thing off. What is it like hardwired right off a locked dedicated transformer off the utility with no disconnecting means?

Jesus I want to drive out there and just take a look at it to see what kind of cluster mess they have.

Reading the article it feels like this school district is getting scammed and skinned from here to Sunday by everyone they contacted.


fgbfjb t1_j511ngr wrote

Shoot out the lights!


kevinds t1_j50jkxw wrote

>because no one can turn them off

This is a problem that can be fixed in a day or two.

The answer is that they want them to be on.


cbk101 t1_j5379fx wrote

So there aren't breakers?


Killawife t1_j50qwtl wrote

I bet you a million buckarinos that I could turn them off.


DennisHakkie t1_j517hcn wrote

Wait, isn’t there ALWAYS a remote kill switch called a fuse box/circuit breakers?

This seems extremely dumb, if all of my switches in my house fail I can go to my fusebox, kill the main and EVERYTHING dies, no question about it


bothunter t1_j52u0ml wrote

Fusebox? How old is your house?


FriendoftheDork t1_j53li3t wrote

Circuit breakers are often called fuse boxes. Even if they don't contain actual fuses anymore.


Heatriu t1_j52kx61 wrote

If the software company were stuck with the utility bills due to their failure, I bet they'd solve it ASAP.


BiggieJohnATX t1_j52p1go wrote

they couldnt get the installer back in a year to fix the clearly broken programming ?


mountaineer7 t1_j53peeh wrote

Doesn't there have to be a main and breakers? Certainly, the power company would cut service for failure to pay the bill.


mmmmyeahhlumberg t1_j50fjb7 wrote

Is this a joke? Go to the basement and turn off the main breaker each night. So stupid.


Raistlarn t1_j51526g wrote

Maybe the locks are on the breaker too. My college had automated locks, and lights. Luckily there were manual overrides except in the case of the locks...for some reason they thought using an electronic chip lock was a good idea.


ffxivthrowaway03 t1_j525djr wrote

A locked breaker box is not anything a couple minutes with a crowbar isn't going to solve. It's made of shit quality sheet metal.


Raistlarn t1_j52xxvc wrote

My comment has nothing to do with the breaker box being locked. It's about the door locks might be automated and on the breaker as well. If true then turning off the circuit breaker would probably default every single one of them to locked. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't even a way to unlock them either judging by the idiocy of this school to neglect putting in a manual override for their lights.


ffxivthrowaway03 t1_j5324ho wrote

> If true then turning off the circuit breaker would probably default every single one of them to locked.

Maybe, but that's super against fire code. Locks on doors in environments like these need to fail safe, not fail secure. Otherwise the building catches fire and loses power, and all the doors lock everyone inside to burn to death.

And also a super easy thing to fix for any locksmith that isn't totally useless. You can just rewire the door's circuit so there's no power to the strike. No power = no magnetism = unlocked door.


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Coogcheese t1_j50oenm wrote

Have they tried restarting it?


Heldeli t1_j52l8sd wrote

What was wrong with the light switches to begin with???


LarYungmann t1_j532yvu wrote

So.. Zero way to Lock Out and Tag a switch? Smart, real smart!


ugmold t1_j5363di wrote

Unplug the computer.


WilliamMorris420 t1_j53mvrd wrote

Why not just get the janitor to turn off all if the power at night and then to turn it back on in the morning? You just need to unsure that allnof the comoutersnare turned off at the end of the day and power the fire and burglar alarms with a UPS. The only other issue would be fridge/freezersbut you could run a second line tonthe kitchens/school nurse.


Grizzwold37 t1_j53n04v wrote

Guess in which country the system components are manufactured…


overlord7517 t1_j53pkz8 wrote

Did they try unplugging it, waiting 30 seconds, then plugging it back in?


Dynasuarez-Wrecks t1_j53z2q7 wrote

It's called a service disconnect, people: move it to the off position.


JohnOfA t1_j512e30 wrote

>we were provided a rough estimate in excess of $1.2 Million to comparably replace the entire system

1.2 Million dollars for what might be a failed 2 cent capacitor.

I realize this is the cost for a complete tear out and replace. Just wondering why nobody was able to diagnose the electronics.

TVs and computers get tossed for having a failed 2 cent part all the time.


Jeraimee t1_j50o2ox wrote

ROFLMAO, maybe some teachers get paid MORE than they are worth?