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  1. #1
    arbz101 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Surge Protector or UPS?

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    Hi guys so I have read a couple of posts here but no one really goes in depth about this topic. I will be bringing my laptop down with me to MUA for January 2015 and I recently bought a $20 Belkin surge protector. I read on several posts that surge protectors do not guard against brown-outs (also checked on the manual which confirms this..). However some other posts say that a normal surge protector is fine if you are using a laptop even if it is plugged in during brown-outs. And then there are other people that are saying a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is a must and will protect against everything, including brown-outs. To be honest I don't want to spend another 50+ dollars (especially since amazon.ca SUCKS a lot due to 1. limited choice 2. very few items qualify for prime shipping 3. they charge a LOT more vs amazon.com) on a UPS if it is not a necessity. So does anyone have any experience their electronics becoming damaged during brown-outs? Any suggestions/advice are welcome! Thanks all!
    Last edited by arbz101; 12-06-2014 at 10:17 PM.

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    westom is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by arbz101 View Post
    And then there are other people that are saying a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is a must and will protect against everything, including brown-outs.
    If one makes claims, he also provide perspective (ie numbers). Most who recommend power solutions are only reciting urban myths, what was overheard, wildly speculated using observation (classic junk science), or educated by advertising.

    What needs protection from a brownout? A number they should have cited. Voltage can drop so low that incsndescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. Voltage that low is normal voltage for any electronics. As defined by interntaional design standards that existed long before the IBM PC even existed. How often do your bulbs dim more?

    That standard even includes this description in the entire 'low voltage' region. And in all capital letters: "No Damage Region". Could the design standard be any more blunt?

    So, if low voltage causes damage, then what internal component is at risk; is damaged? Why does he never say that? Junk science is making blanket conclusions without any knowledge of what is inside or why it can fail. Knowledge from observation is a perfect example.

    View what each could have cited before 'knowing' something. Datasheets. View one of the earliest digital semiconductors that existed before PCs. An original 4000 series CMOS acceptable voltage is anywhere from -0.5 to +20 volts:
    Three w dot datasheetcatalog dot org slash datasheets/208/108514_DS.pdf
    or
    http colon double slash pdf dot datasheetcatalog dot com slash datasheets/208/108514_DS.pdf
    Due to board limiations here, you must rebuild these URLs.

    Any voltage from 20 volts down to 0 is just fine And even below a brownout voltage; a negative .5 volts is without damage.

    OK. That is brownouts. What other anomaly causes damage? View the output of a 120 volt UPS when in battery backup mode. This one outputs 200 volts square waves with a psike of up to 270 volts. Due to robust protection already inside all electronics, this is also prefectly good power.

    Did they mention how robust all electronics must be? And that standards for computers should be even more robust? If one makes claims without spec numbers, then assume he is probably lying - often due to complete ignorance or education from advertising.

    Which of another 10 or 20 electrical anomalies would you like to discuss next? Nothing protects from all. Long before anyone can recommend a solution, he should first define the anomaly with numbers. This requirement seperates chaff from others who actually learned this stuff BEFORE making recommendations.

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