Nov 24, 2011, 12:54 PM
Post #10 of 15
How has your computer been working? Dirty power can be a bigger issue than out-of-spec high voltage, where dirty power can be a combination of noisy voltage and odd harmonics.
Re: [HarryinNM] Need a voltage regulator ?
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Most cheaper modern UPS's do not regulate voltage well, (some not at all), and others just use fast switches to try to clip out noise, which is not the best way to protect electronics. Older and larger UPS's tended to use transformer-based protection and some expensive UPSs offer some filtering: using medium to large sized transformers damp out much of both dirty power issues. e.g. If you live in a neighborhood with lots of air conditioners being used, every time one of the neighbors' compressors kick on or off, they dump noise onto the circuit. They can also drag the circuit's base voltage down as they start, and they thn cause voltage to shift up as they shut off.
One factor you can look at in considering regulators or UPS's for line conditioning (voltage clean-up) capacity is their noise suppression rating (40 dB for a good entry level supply). If you rely only on a UPS, you might want to check out their noise suppression ratings. (Hint: most UPS manufacturers, except Tripp, do not list their actual noise suppression ratings. because UPS's are poor at noise suppression.) Typical UPS's are designed for BATTERY BACKUP, and as such UPSs are not designed for cleaning up noise, nor for absorbing voltage surges.
Voltage stabilizers/Line conditioners are also characterized by their joule ratings (1000 W-sec is typical for a very good conditioner) that describe how much damaging electrical energy they absorb before failure. To emphasize that UPS's are designed for battery back-up, and not for line conditioning: APC's 650VA UPS have a joule rating of just 365 joules and APC's bigger 1400VA units are rated for only 420 joules. Tripplite has a reasonable discussion of these issues at: http://www.tripplite.com/...sor-how-it-works.cfm 200 joules = minimal protection, 400 joules = some protection, 600 joules = ok protection, over 1000 joules = good protection.
This means that the APC 1200VA UPC offers good battery back-up time for controlled shutdowns during power outages, but it offers only very modest surge suppression and noise suppression protections - and is not overkill - but offers a little bit more than bare-minimum protection from common damaging electrical problems.
These are some of the reasons that there is no one-size-fits-all single solution that is a cure-all for all the problems that can occur here, which is why it takes 4 -5 different types of devices to get good entry-level protection for the devices in our homes.
Fortunately, when considering how to protect your computer and its peripherals, power quality problems in most neighborhoods are usually adequately handled by a good UPS (costing more than $100-$125). If your computer equipment is experiencing hardware/electrical problems, and you or your neighbors have big pool pump motors or big A/C compressors turning on and off, then you might also need a line conditioner/voltage stabilizer.
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