Here, I was working to demonstrate my new revision #4 Thermocycler to Dr. Sridhar Sivasubbu and other researchers at IGIB and Dr. Pierret.
We had a few problems, all caused by voltage conversion issues. The United States supplies 120V AC to most wall outlets. In India, the standard outlet supplies 230V AC. I expected this and the PC power supply that runs my thermocycler has a switch to on it to allow it to run on 230V. However, we didn't have an adapter to allow my cord to plug in.
To make it work, I simply plugged my power supply into a large voltage converter, so it would have the normal 120V to run on. As soon as I did that, I heard a loud "POP"!! I took my power supply apart and confirmed that a capacitor was destroyed.
The graduate students and Dr. Sivasubbu were a big help and we didn't give up. We were able to get a new power supply and I re-wired it to make it work for my thermocycler. PC power supplies don't simply turn on when you plug them in. You have to short the green wire to ground to turn them on. However, we still had problems with that and couldn't find a 12V output for some reason.
Eventually, Dr. Sivasubbu brought a large 12V battery from their backup power supply and I was able to demonstrate my thermocycler running on 12V!! I was very glad that it was designed to run on 12V DC and that I brought my battery cables for powering it!
It was a great team effort by everyone to help get it going! However, I learned a very valuable lesson on powering devices in different countries!
This is a picture of my revision 4 thermocycler. All the power and control electronics are mounted in the small box on the lid. A power supply from a desktop-PC (salvaged e-Waste to reduce cost) is used to power it. It also runs on 12V batteries. The thermocycler can operate in the box. The hot oil baths will be redesigned next. The rectangles at the bottom of the baths are the power resistors that heat them.