2 Questions:why did the reciprocating framis falter on the bumcycle?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bellgamin, Sep 27, 2007.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Background for Q1- My desktop surge protector has a master switch. When I have Windows shut down my computer each day, the computer automatically turns itself off. That is, all the lights on the computer tower go dark -- so I assume that it is *truly off.* Even so, I have always turned off the surge protector's master switch before leaving the computer room.

    My son-in-law says that I shouldn't turn off the master switch. He says that he read somewhere that a computer "does better" if it remains plugged into a source of power even when the computer is turned off.

    QUESTION 1- Is there any truth to what my son-in-law thinks he read? That is, does a computer "do better" if it remains plugged into a source of power even when the computer is turned off? If so, can anyone tell me why this is so?

    Background for Q2- My 3-year-old computer is plugged into a surge protector, together with several peripherals. That protector sits on my desk -- it is designed as a stand for my computer monitor to sit on. It has only 4 outlets. Since I have more than 4 peripherals, I have a second surge protector which sits on the floor behind my desk. My computer's surge protector is plugged into the surge protector on the floor.

    Several days ago, as I was shutting down the computer, there was a very brief power outage -- the house lights went off then immediately came back on. Right at that very moment, my computer died. The repair shop replaced my motherboard. They said the motherboard wasn't fried but just "got broken."

    QUESTION 2- I am interested in opinions as to why my surge protectors didn't prevent this. Does plugging one surge protector into another surge protector defeat their purpose, I wonder?

    Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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    I am no electrician, but to answer your questions (or attempt to)
    1) I turn off the surge protector when I power off the PC and peripherals. I haven't heard anything that leaving it on is better. According to the surge box information, the surge protection is present even if the unit is powered off. So it makes no difference from where I see it.
    2) As to why your MOBO was "broken" and not fried, I haven't experienced that yet on a PC (having never replaced a MOBO or power supply). But I can relate to you that I had to replace a circuit board on a garage door opener unit because it started to malfunction. I looked at the old board very closely and found no shorts or meltdowns anywhere. After replacing a new board, it works fine and I also added a surge suppressor to it so that it will reduce the chance of having to replace it again (I nearly got a serious injury what I removed the unit from the ceiling and it knocked me off the ladder because it came off the roof fasteners too fast) :eek: Circuits can be damaged by any voltage spike. Surge suppressors vary in the amount of voltage that they can absorb. I would suggest that you can have the parts checked by an electrician on those surge suppressors (varistors, etc.) and see if any of them were "damaged" by the voltage spike.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Bellgamin

    As to the first question. I turn off my Power units, so the computers are dead. I see no harm at all from this.

    As to the 2nd, if the voltage dropped to zero for long enough you saw it, than a surge protector won't do much good. I would use two battery backups off of two different circuits. You can unplug them from the wall, and the computer will never see it.

    Pete
     
  4. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Surge protectors can take only so many hits before it dies. As Peter so astutely mentioned a 'battery backup' is the way to go. When choosing opt for one with user replaceable batteries.

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  5. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I've heard that surge protectors are only expensive extension cords. The only reason I bought one is for the warranty. If I remember correctly, it would void my warranty if the surge protector was not connected directly to a properly grounded outlet. It also states that plugging one into another would void the warranty. I have no idea if that makes a difference or was cause of your problem though.

    A UPS is the way to go, but they cost more. A decent APC model that I have been eyeing is around $115. It's a model with automatic voltage regulation which accounts for highs and lows in voltage. It provides a steady stream of current when slight drops happen when you use your microwave, air conditioning etc. Voltage drops can be as harmful as spikes to electronics.
     
  6. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guys,

    With a UPS your computer, monitor run off the UPS's battery for clean unwavering power. The cord you plug in is used to keep the battery charged.

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Q1: He's correct, to the best of my knowledge. Every time you plug, unplug the computer completely, you charge / dischage capacitors (mainly on mobo). These moments are critical in that there might be spikes of evercharging, which could damage the components.

    Q2: I guess your surge protector was not powerful enough to prevent the damage. I'd say, go with a dedicated UPS.

    Mrk
     
  8. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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  9. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    @all - Thanks to everyone for LOTS of useful advice.

    @lucas1985 - a special thanks to lucas for SUPERB links. I did a cut&paste on the article linked by the first one. That article is a great learning tool for neophytes such as me.
     
  10. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    I'm glad that those link were helpful :)
     
  11. WilliamP

    WilliamP Registered Member

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    After I lost a DSL modem several years ago I did a lot of research on surges. I installed a whole house surge protector. It goes in the circuit breaker panel. It catches the surge before it gets to anything and takes it to ground in the circuit panel. I also have a UPS on both computers. Of course a lightening strike would get everything.
     
  12. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    No, it does not do better.
    But keeping it plugged in enables features like 'wake up on keystroke' or 'wake up on network activity', and more of the same nature.
    That is when you have enabled these features in your system.
    Otherwise, unplugging your computer does not do more harm than unplugging your electric shaver.
    I would think that this depends on the quality of the power supply in the computer.

    Anyway, when you turn off the computer and leave it plugged in (like most of us do, I guess), some parts of the computer, for example the pci bus, continue to stay powered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  13. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Bellgamin would you mind to tell me, please, what is the manufacturer of your PSU and your sourge protection?
     
  14. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    UPS are so cheap now (£30+). I have a ups/surge protector combo bought for around £100, but a cheap one is adequate for giving you the time you need - I feel it is worth getting one.
     
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    I bought a pair of Advice 650W UPSs, cost me round USD100 each.
    Doing a great job. Lots of tiny spikes, lots of 1-2 sec outages...
    Mrk
     
  16. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    My 11+ years-old desktop surge protector was made by NewPoint. I have a somewhat newer one under the desk but I don't want to crawl under there to check it. (Groan)

    As for PSU -- whazzat?

    Any way, I have a new surge protector due in from Amazon in a day or 2, & I plan to order an Uninterrupted Power Supply as soon as I get a round tuit.
     
  17. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Power Supply Unit.
    The transformer in the computer.
     
  18. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks Wilbert.

    I jusr ran "What's in My PC." It told me all kinds of stuff, but no information as to my computer's PSU. Nor do I have any idea of how to find out what the make/model of the PSU is, short of (shudder) opening up my computer. I lack the courage to do that, because I am mechanically challenged. To illustrate- I replaced a burnt-out light bulb in the refrigerator. Now every time someone opens the refrigerator, the toilet flushes. o_O
     
  19. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Based on further study of comments in this thread, I decided to cancel my order for a new/better surge protector, & order an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) instead.


    THIS
    is the one I am thinking of buying. Is it an adequate choice for low-priced but adequate UPS?
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Go to the APC site. They have a usage guide which will help you determine yor needs.

    Pete
     
  21. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks Pete. Per your suggestion, I found very helpful information HERE. According to that site, the 685VA offered by the Cyberpower unit (linked above) should be spot on for my set-up.

    At Amazon, the Cyberpower UPS I'm interested in received consistently higher customer reviews than did comparable APC models. I do hope it lives up to its reputation.
     
  22. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Bellgamin,

    Keep in mind it would be very desirable, to have 'user' replaceable batteries, for your UPS. Should your UPS have replaceable batteries, a couple years from now you can, when the batteries die you will be able to replace them for 1/3 the cost of a new UPS. My $100+ Belkin's batteries died & I could have replaced them for approx $40 but I would have needed to be an electrician. My new APC has batteries I can replace, as easy as a flash light.

    Dead batteries are just about the only thing that goes wrong with UPS's

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  23. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I agree. I have two APC units that I got either from Newegg or Zipzoomfly at a reasonable price. The Are 1500 watt units, and batteries are user replacable. They work just fine.

    Pete
     
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