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  1. #1
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    Anyone with advice and/or tales of woe on surge protection?

    Is it really worth while investing big bucks or will the minimum investment do?

  2. #2
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    I recommend using more than just surge protection, I use an uninterruptible power supply for my desktop. If there is an interruption in the power supply, even for a fraction of a second, it can lead to data loss.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthebear View Post
    Anyone with advice and/or tales of woe on surge protection?

    Is it really worth while investing big bucks or will the minimum investment do?
    This really does depend on the quality of your local power. I use a very cheap surge protector, but here in the UK even that is not always necessary as it is rare to get a significant surge.

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    bobthebear (2011-05-19)

  6. #4
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    A lot of good power supply units (PSU) from Corsair, OCZ, Antec etc have surge protection built-in. Not neccessary to have additional hardware unless you do not have consistent good power supply in your area.
    Intel CoreI7 P55/ 8Gb 1600 RAM DDR3/ NV GTS 570 1Gb PCIe/ HDD X 3 = 6TB/SSD x 1 128GB/ BDRW X 2/DVDRW x 2/ Corsiar 850W PSU & running on Win10 Pro 64bit

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Lee View Post
    A lot of good power supply units (PSU) from Corsair, OCZ, Antec etc have surge protection built-in. Not neccessary to have additional hardware unless you do not have consistent good power supply in your area.
    One could argue that it is easier to change out a power strip than a power supply in the event that is needed. IT folks who can't afford much downtime probably prefer the extra layer of protection.

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    I have seen lots of damage from surges and the ONLY solution is a good UPS. These will switch to battery mode under adverse line conditions and protect your equipment. If it is really bad and the UPS is destroyed, you will likely still have functioning PCs which you can plug into the mains until you get a new UPS.

    The best surge I saw was after a digger ripped up the supply cable to an estate. This put 415 volts on the 240 volt mains and fried everything that was not protected by a UPS, including several important computers protected by expensive "surge" protectors. The servers were behind a UPS and didn't miss a beat. Even the UPS was fine when we got the power back.

    cheers, Paul

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  12. #7
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    I made my own high capacity UPS using a battery charger, a deep cycle marine battery and an inverter. Not only can I continue to use the computer locally when there's a power interruption but also I have excellent electrical noise and spike filtering by first the battery charger, then second by the big battery, then third by the inverter and finally by the notebook's ac adapter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    I made my own high capacity UPS using a battery charger, a deep cycle marine battery and an inverter.
    If you have posted the instructions for this online, can you provide a link? If you haven't posted them yet, you might consider doing that on one of the DIY community sites. One of our members has used http://www.instructables.com/ for his projects. (In theory you can post it here, but it will be hard to find in the future.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    If you have posted the instructions for this online, can you provide a link? If you haven't posted them yet, you might consider doing that on one of the DIY community sites. One of our members has used http://www.instructables.com/ for his projects. (In theory you can post it here, but it will be hard to find in the future.)
    === Great idea. Considering that UPSs usually fry in my area, and that they cost an arm and a leg,
    being able to assemble one on your own would be a great help.

    === And thanks to everyone who offered input on the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthebear View Post
    === Great idea. Considering that UPSs usually fry in my area, and that they cost an arm and a leg,
    being able to assemble one on your own would be a great help.
    I think a "battery charger, a deep cycle marine battery and an inverter" would also cost a few limbs too. Unless you just happen to have them lying around in your spare parts bin?
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    Use it get good strips and make sure they are working once a month. I have 6 computers on strips and lost power due to a wicked snow storm. when it came back the surge blew everyy light in the living room deposited glass every whevere but the computers were fine.. DO it
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  21. #12
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    Anyone with advice and/or tales of woe on surge protection?

    Get a good UPS with enough watts to handle your set-up. One other thing a UPS will do is provide enough power in a brown out, as well as handle spikes. I just went through 2 days without power and when it came back on I was glad to have a UPS on my computer in case of not enough juice or spikes. It also powered a lamp for several hours, long enough to get my generator going. Some people in my area went without power for 11 days. While running on a generator, I am comfortable running electronic devices as long as they are plugged into a UPS.


    Is it really worth while investing big bucks or will the minimum investment do?

    This you will have to answer yourself. What is your time, data, hardware worth? How much do you have invested in them? Photos, videos, music? Those things can be priceless. Will a good surge protector protect them? Maybe, but it will not provide power for proper shutdown of the computer.

    For me, spending $120 on a 1250 watt UPS is money well spent to protect all that I have put into a computer system.

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  23. #13
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    I think surge protection power strip would be good enough for most.
    Make sure get the best price with the largest 'energy' rating of the surge protection.

    For people value their PC, data, and time, an UPS is required. UPS protects against surge even better. It also protects over and under line voltage. The additional benefit is that the battery keeps you working (or to save files then shut down).

    For build-it-yourself UPS using car battery (lead acid battery), I advise NOT to.

    When a car lead acid battery is being charged, it emits, through relief holes, oxygen and hydrogen, as well as spilling acid or acid fumes. These gases are lased with acid. These gases and fume are hazardous inside a house. The acid fume is sulfuric acid, very corrosive. Not only could it cause house damage, it could damage lungs.

    Compare to UPS. UPS uses totally sealed lead acid battery. And the acid is in gel form. Car battery is watery solution. Knocking a car battery off, spilling acid, is dangerous.

    Surge protection device would die. The life span depends how many times it gets hit by surge energy (pulses). It is accumulative. When the energy total is reached, the surge device dies, and no more surge protection. Power strip usually comes with light indicators to show whether they are working or not. When you are hit by lightning, power outage, make sure check the light indicators on the strip. When the surge device dies, buy a new surge protector power strip.

    I wonder if it makes economic sense to invest more than $100 to $200 for a hefty UPS as protection. Replacing a burned processor or the motherboard, or both, is frequently cheaper. For people wishing no hassle, or having precious data, who value precious time, the hefty UPS investment is actually more worthy.

    Needless to say, I would not sleep in a house with a car battery.

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  25. #14
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    Some years back my house was struck by lightning. Several outlets had burns around them afterward so even though it hit the lightning rod, we knew that it went through the entire electrical system. All of my electronics were then, and still are, on mid quality surge protectors. The type that offer "warranties" but don't cost an arm and a leg. I think my current ones are in the $20 - $25 dollar range. Of course all of my surge protectors were toast after that. But they did their job, nothing electronic was damaged, including computers. My dad, who lives next door (attached side by side) didn't fare so well. He lost several TVs and cordless phones (he didn't have a computer at the time).

    If your data is very critical, and/or you need the machine up at all times, follow the above advice and get a UPS. Otherwise, get reasonable quality surge strips and shut the machines down when not in use. Hibernate in WinXP and Win7 works fine so that you don't have to wait for a boot up.
    Chuck

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  27. #15
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    No one has made a distinction between desktop (or mainframe) and laptop, nor between essential and non-essential. If itís not essential you donít need UPS. Surge protection, yes, but even that requires calculations. For lightning and burglars, off-site backups and insurance might help.

    Stuart was right in picking up on jurisdictions, but there is also a difference between supply and device. I cannot imagine a desktop computer in this part of the world that was still Ďturned oní when power was restored and suffered a failure because of it. Any (desktop) computer I have seen has a fail-safe switch that remains off after a power failure, and the operator is a fool if he turns it on too soon, since it takes time to stabilize the voltage after a failure. The poor guys who are trying to restore power are effectively looking at a short circuit because everyone leaves everything turned on, which is not a recipe for regulation.


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