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bk T
27-06-2011, 08:42 PM
Is this an essential item? If so, what make and model would you recommend?

Speedy Gonzales
27-06-2011, 08:53 PM
Get one of the surge protectors from DSE

Lawrence
27-06-2011, 08:57 PM
If you live in a area where either you have brownouts or regular power outages a UPS would be better

have had one for years and would not go without one

Iantech
27-06-2011, 09:31 PM
I've seen power surges fry every component in systems, Mboards, ram, hard drives, power supplies, cpu and graphics cards etc. I wouldnt have a pc without a spike guard or some sort of protection. An UPS is good, but they are expensive $500 - $700 for one with enough grunt to supply enough power to allow you to power down a machine with a 650W or higher PSU. I recently put in a Liebert UPS PowerSure III 1500 VA Inline
at home in case of power outages from the quakes, not sure what the impact will be on the power bill yet.

bk T
27-06-2011, 09:36 PM
Something like this does the job? HERE (http://dicksmith.co.nz/product/M7806/dse-surge-catcher-6-way-board-with-av-protection)

tweak'e
27-06-2011, 09:48 PM
just be aware that a lot of surge protectors are junk. some are very $$$ for the minor amount of components they have in them. also they often get taken out by a minor hit then have no protection at all. better ones will stop cut the power when they get hit.

also further upstream you fit a protector the better. ie fit one at mains entry into house.

Speedy Gonzales
27-06-2011, 09:49 PM
Should do the trick. At least its got this

$75,000 Connected Equipment*, Lifetime Guarantee*

tweak'e
27-06-2011, 10:52 PM
you may find the warranty is not worth the paper its printed on or the electrons in use ;)

1101
28-06-2011, 09:43 AM
Unless you spend around $200, you are wasting your money.

Most descent PC's have the same basic surge protection built into the power supply as the cheap surge protectors.
I remember a test done by either consumer mag or that program on TV3, all were completely worthless except 2 rather expensive $150-$200 surge protectors.
NONE will protect from a big zap or decent lightning strike.

Oh & read the fine print in those $75000 warranties. (I have ). Dont kid yourself.

One other thing. They ALL need to be repaired after a surge as some of the components are good for one hit only... so even the ones that do work may be in a state of needing repair & will no longer do the job. You just wont know.

bk T
28-06-2011, 10:20 AM
Looks like there isn't any cheap way around to protect our 'inexpensive' equipment. Getting an 'EXPENSIVE' protector to protect some 'NOT-SO-EXPENSIVE' equipment is more or less not a wise move?

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 10:38 AM
Not true, you dont have to spend many hundreds of $$ to get reasonable protection. Its more to the point if the manufacture will honor their product.

I use UPS's that cost around $200-$300 and they work fine.

They are a basic UPS that provide surge protection, as well as battery backup in the event of a power problem, they are not designed to keep the PC's going for hours, but give you enough time to shut them down correctly,(5-15 minutes) or if the power goes out while not at home, the software will shut down the PC for you.

Theres been more than once over the years we had a power problem and I have been installing a OS in a customers PC, the UPS snaps in, and I have managed to carry on installing the OS then shut the PC down only running from the battery.

As for what's used -- A customer of mine had one similar to This at Ascent (http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=372525) - Liebert honored the product.

The same customer had a massive power surge, which while it tripped the unit as well as every other circuit in the house apart from one -- (guess which one :rolleyes: and theres a reason for that ) , it was so powerful it actually fused the internals, blowing the whole computer - Liebert paid to have me rebuild the whole computer as well as replace his rather expensive LCD. The UPS was in month 18 of its 24 month warranty. The computer was put in the same time as the UPS.

Liebert took one look at the unit, said - OK It failed to do what it was meant to -- How much to replace the goods, a week later the payment was made.

John H
28-06-2011, 10:40 AM
(snip) Getting an 'EXPENSIVE' protector to protect some 'NOT-SO-EXPENSIVE' equipment is more or less not a wise move?

Factor in the worth of your data on the not so expensive equipment. If you don't care about your software, music, photos, videos, documents, emails etc, then your logic is OK.

Personally I have an UPS and have done for years, both to protect the PCs and the data thereon, but also to give me time to save open work, and shut down safely before whatever I am working on (only partially saved) goes down the gurgler.

Snorkbox
28-06-2011, 10:43 AM
Why factor in the cost of data? You DO have backups off site do you not?

Empathy.
28-06-2011, 12:16 PM
Is this an essential item? If so, what make and model would you recommend?

Yes.

Lifetime gauranteed, AFAIK insures what you connected to it, so if a surge does fry it, simple talk with the company, and they should replace what was lost (with proof of course)

I have one of the ones mentioned above from DSE :cool: Quite possibly the only thing i've ever bought from DSE mind you..

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 12:24 PM
keep in mind a surge protector ONLY protects you against a surge, it DOES NOT protect you against brown outs, power fluctuations or a power cut.

Pull the power from a surge protector/multibox, and the PC will crash - this can and does cause data / OS corruption - the warranty in that case is useless and means nothing.

Empathy.
28-06-2011, 12:37 PM
keep in mind a surge protector ONLY protects you against a surge, it DOES NOT protect you against brown outs, power fluctuations or a power cut.

Pull the power from a surge protector/multibox, and the PC will crash - this can and does cause data / OS corruption - the warranty in that case is useless and means nothing.

Ehh.. Touche Touche.. Never ran into anything other than a Surge though.. So, so far, so good. :)

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Not touche at all, just giving all the facts. Having a surge protector is fine for surges, but its only part of the protection.

Many people think problems only arise from power surges, which is completely incorrect.

Pull out the power from the mains Eg: simulate a power Cut (if running a desktop PC) and see if it keeps going with only a surge protector -- It wont, It will crash - now lets say it was installing some critical system software and that happened - high chance of corruption occuring.

Empathy.
28-06-2011, 01:18 PM
Ehh.. Good point lol..

So I purchase a generator to stop surges from ever happening? :D

Thanks for the insight :p

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 01:28 PM
Not quite :D

Around here when ever theres a power problem all the UPS's alarms go off at once - all nine of them --- What a racket :waughh: Sure lets you know theres a power Problem :)

Empathy.
28-06-2011, 01:33 PM
UPS Radar's? :o

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 02:01 PM
Almost :)

Quick Demo -- one of my workshop UPS's Simulated power Cut (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpSlszbQpPI) - now times that by nine, usually all out of sync :waughh: :lol: PC's are fine and can keep running even with no main power on average 10 -15 minutes.

Three of the plugs are Battery/Surge, the other three are surge alone. Normally I only have the PC and monitor on Battery/Surge - lasts longer on battery that way.

1101
28-06-2011, 03:00 PM
Not true, you dont have to spend many hundreds of $$ to get reasonable protection. Its more to the point if the manufacture will honor their product.

I use UPS's that cost around $200-$300 and they work fine.



isnt $200-$300 actually "hundreds " :p
Agreed, you would be better off buying a UPS

The report I saw: Power surge devices were sent to Test Labs for evaluation & the cheap ones failed miserably . The ONLY 2 worth buying were
approx $150 & $200.
The cheap ones where proven to be near worthless against power surge
Read the fine print on these $75,000 warranties & what is required for a claim. Good luck actually making a successfull claim against a US (or Asian) based companies. Going to sent you blown PC overseas so they can evaluate it then ?? ha
DSE certainly wont pay you out.
Name Brand devices like APC may be better in this regard as they do have local authorised service agents, who may be able to access claims localy(??)

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 04:27 PM
isnt $200-$300 actually "hundreds " :p
Agreed, you would be better off buying a UPS

Yes it is a couple of hundreds, thats why I said "many Hundreds", But I as referring to the comment by Iantech

"An UPS is good, but they are expensive $500 - $700 for one with enough grunt to supply enough power to allow you to power down a machine with a 650W or higher PSU"

While more expensive UPS's are good for business and high drain devices, for a home user the $200 -$300 ones work fine.

In a power cut even a high drain device running a 650W would take a few minutes to drain the Battery. Depends on what you are doing really, even a top end gaming machine, would be fine, its simply to supply enough power to safely shut down NOW , not wait 15 - 20 minutes and then think about it.

One of my servers runs a 650W - we had a 10 - 15 minute power outage a few years back, it never shut down due to lack of battery power.

There are many different types of UPS & pricing - you select the one for your needs.

dugimodo
28-06-2011, 05:33 PM
In hamilton the power supply seems pretty stable, in the 12 years I've been in my house I can only remember about 3 power cuts and no surges, although I'm not sure I'd actually notice.

The only power damage I've ever experienced in all that time was caused by.... my UPS ! It failed and took the 5 port GigE switch with it.

Currently I'm considering myself wether to invest in a new one or not, mainly because I occasionally leave a pc running an unattended for a couple of days. My old one only had a timer that could be set to shut down the PC when the power went off, I'd rather it triggered from a battery low condition. Do they do this?

I think surge protection is probably not needed in most urban areas, especially given the comments above, but if you live where power cuts are likely then a UPS could save you some grief. I've also used the one I had to power a lamp during a power outage, 8W halogen bulb runs forever off any old UPS :)

Iantech
28-06-2011, 07:27 PM
I agree pretty much for what you are saying WT, but there are to many varibles.

A "home user" cannot be put in one group as there are so many uses for the home user. A home user who browses the internet and does emails, sure a little UPS for a few hundred bucks is fine. But a home user with a gaming machine, graphics or video editing machine for example who has high usage, a UPS for a few hundred will not be sufficient.

A "business user" is what? Most of my business users do internet, emails, work, excel, finance packages, payroll etc, none of which are high usage and could get away with a 650VA UPS, but I also have newspaper editors and graphic designers, their machines wouldnt last 10 seconds on 650VA.

Here is my logic for what I stated...

A 650VA is rated at 390W which is stated will last 5 minutes under full load. Ok if you have an older machine with a 350-400W PSU or has a low loading point.
A 1000VA is rated at 600W
A 1500VA is rated 900W - this gives me the reserve I need for my system with a 650W PSU under full load to save any open files and shut down.

I initially put a 1KVA on my system, each time I put it under full loading it drew to much power out of the UPS and it tried to shut my system down.

A network server spends most of its time idling serving files, they have a small loading, so yep, it would and they do keep powered for some time. I use 1KVA UPS on the network/domain servers I maintain. Gives at least 20 minutes reserve.

So just to quote WT

There are many different types of UPS & pricing - you select the one for your needs.
Spot On, not a truer word said. :thumbs:

wainuitech
28-06-2011, 08:31 PM
The formula provided is perfectly fine, and accurate and will work.

But I work on a lot simpler one :)

"If" theres a power cut or sustained power problems, and a person has no UPS backup the PC will more than likely simply crash - stopping what ever they were doing and possibly corrupting data - So if gaming its lost anyway where they were at.

With the UPS as I mentioned previously

"safely shut down NOW , not wait 15 - 20 minutes and then think about it." OR finish the stage in the game :D

I actually had a customers PC do that last week, they had some sort of power problem, a BAD brownout - most of the lights went right down very low so she said, only just going and no more, very faint glow - the TV , DVD stereo all shut down, she said the LEDS on them were flickering like they were trying to go.

She told me it went on like that for approx 20 minutes - they ended up getting he candles out.

The daughters Laptop was fine, as that switched over to its own battery, but the PC crashed and thats why I was there - fixing the damage the brownout had caused.

End of the day, a basic UPS is better than a straight surge protection - so both on the right track / Thinking :thumbs:

Neil McC
29-06-2011, 09:10 AM
I consider it a necessity.Just run the pc,screen and modem through it.

In the past year,in the mornings especially, it has been clicking/beeping on and off.

Looks like they've fixed the power problem now,but it would have been very annoying to have the pc going down.

Billy T
29-06-2011, 04:31 PM
I think there is a need to clarify the terminology here, a surge is a voltage increase that lasts for several cycles (or more) and to protect against that you need to have a device that can either absorb a lot of energy or one that is able to disconnect your equipment from the supply until the excess voltage condition passes.

I would say that all cheap-ish "surge protectors" are in fact little more than spike protectors, if that. They contain MOVs (metal oxide varistors) that conduct heavily once their voltage threshold is exceeded, but MOVs have a defined life in terms of how many spikes thay can absorb and once that is used up all protection is gone, but you won't know when that has happened!

The professional filter I install for my industrial clients has 13 heavy duty MOVs and a surge rating of 20kA for up to 20 microseconds. It contains a massive choke (preceded by six MOVs, shared between line and neutral, and neutral and ground) to slow the rise of voltage, then two large HV caps of about 5 microfarads each shared P-N and N-E to resonate at 50Hz and keep the mains waveform honest, along with another six MOVs on the output of the choke, and one more MOV that lights up an LED when the last element of protection has died to let you know it is time to buy a new filter. That is not the ultimate protection either, it is simply better than average

To truly protect against voltage surges amd mini outages, you need a UPS that can detect the over-voltage as it starts to rise (meaning millisecond response times) and switch over the power before any damage can occur. Ideally that means a full time on-line type that fully isolates the computer from the mains. On very rare occasions I hear mine click in and out as an event goes past, and if the lights flicker, it was a mini-outage, if they don't it was a spike.

One cycle of the mains lasts 20mS and a multi-cycle surge is going to throw a lot of energy at your computer, and as for lightning protection? Forget it.

So, those cheap "surge protectors" offer little more than comfort and conscience protection, and you can't tell when they have stopped protecting either. A real incident (like car VS powerpole and some broken lines) will still kill your computer and personally I'd invest in a decent quality UPS and stick your "surge" filter on the input, it won't do any harm there and it might even help.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

John H
29-06-2011, 04:44 PM
Thanks Billy - that makes really good sense (I think!).

I have two APC UPS units protecting the two desktop PCs here - I just take a risk with my laptop.

When I bought my plasma TV, I got sucked in by the shop and bought a rather expensive surge protector junction box.

What do you think we should do with expensive stereo gear and TVs? Is there any point in having a surge protector for them?

In a number of our earthquakes, we have had the power go out completely and stay out for some time; on other occasions the lights have dimmed quite significantly and then come back to full brightness. Is it important to be protected against those events? Do you have any idea about what is likely to have happened to the surge protector junction box - it still works, but can it stand more hits do you think?

wainuitech
29-06-2011, 05:08 PM
Billy nailed it with the following sentence:


To truly protect against voltage surges amd mini outages, you need a UPS that can detect the over-voltage as it starts to rise (meaning millisecond response times) and switch over the power before any damage can occur. Ideally that means a full time on-line type that fully isolates the computer from the mains. On very rare occasions I hear mine click in and out as an event goes past, and if the lights flicker, it was a mini-outage, if they don't it was a spike.
Our UPS's here, do exactly that.

When the power drops and the lights dim, thats known as a brownout - different to a power cut because while the power is still there is not at its normal supply.

A good UPS will detect any power fluctuations, up or down, spikes, surges, brownouts and the battery kicks in till the power is stable again. In the event of a power outage its not generally the power cut that causes the damage (blowing components etc), its when it comes back on, it can come back with more than normal, thus causing as john n stated "then come back to full brightness".

Billy T
01-07-2011, 12:42 AM
What do you think we should do with expensive stereo gear and TVs? Is there any point in having a surge protector for them?

Personally I have never bothered for stereo gear. It is nowhere near as sensitive to power issues because it does not use switchmode power supplies (too noisy).

TVs are a little more delicate though, and I'd have a protector on that, but it won't do anything for your brownouts. Under those conditions the TV power supply tries to maintain the normal voltage and current out, but if its overcurrent protection isn't too flash it can die on you. Quality brands should be OK, cheapies rather less so.


In a number of our earthquakes, we have had the power go out completely and stay out for some time; on other occasions the lights have dimmed quite significantly and then come back to full brightness. Is it important to be protected against those events?

All you can do for those outages is switch off the appliance and wait till the power is back to normal, short of running a UPS on them there is nothing you can do to protect against brown-outs like that. A 'surge' protector might be helpful if there were switching spikes, but if a failed power line goes down and arcs before the system shuts it off, it is likely to create a fairly powerful burst of noise that could do harm, and in that instance a surge protector of any desciption is better than nothing.


Do you have any idea about what is likely to have happened to the surge protector junction box - it still works, but can it stand more hits do you think?

At a guess I'd say it is probably OK, Christchurch has had major shuts not transient events, but if you have seen flickering or over-bright lights it could be suspect, they don't have a lot of capacity to absorb damage.

It is crystal ball stuff really, and I wish I had one so that I could advise you better.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

linw
01-07-2011, 12:40 PM
Good info Billy/WT. Billy, your description of the surge protector you use sure puts the cheapies into perspective!

I use an APC 1000 on my main PC. I was lucky as I was asked to see if I wanted anything being chucked out by a company. There wasn't much of use EXCEPT for the UPS. It was probably being turfed as the batteries were knackered! I put in two $10 gel cells bought from a fire alarm co. and it is going great. I don't have it connected for auto shutdown. Guess I could get the serial link going but have no idea about Win 7 compatible software - that might be the killer.

As for covering everything in the house, it might be better to look at insurance for that? Maybe covered already??

John H
01-07-2011, 12:49 PM
Thank you for your helpful reply Billy.