Consider a voltage regulator instead of a "line conditioner" or UPS


J

John Doe

(crossposted, please feel free to delete the other group)

Apparently some like to call noise filtering and spike protection
"line conditioning", but APC and Tripp Lite appear to include
voltage regulation in their definition of "line conditioner".

Recently diagnosed someone else's high-tech device failure problem
as being their apartment power wiring and gave them my cheapo APC
line conditioner unit (a real line conditioner, one that includes
a voltage regulator). Problem solved. So mine has been replaced
with a better unit, with more LEDs and the familiar clicking sound
when a relay switches that tells when the wall power fluctuates.

I bet there are a lot of people out there who could benefit more
from a line conditioner than just a noise and spike filter or an
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), but they do not know it. One
good thing about a real line conditioner over a UPS is that (for
computer backup purposes) the conditioner does not require a
battery that typically fails within a year or two.

For computer stuff, those of us who are familiar with the
possibility of instantaneous restarts probably do not need a
battery backup since we take care to save data regularly, even in
the unusual environment where you might suffer regular blackouts.

Good luck and have fun.
 
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V

VanguardLH

NOTE: Following unrelated newsgroup was omitted in my reply:
alt.home-theater.misc

John said:
(crossposted, please feel free to delete the other group)

Apparently some like to call noise filtering and spike protection
"line conditioning", but APC and Tripp Lite appear to include
voltage regulation in their definition of "line conditioner".

Recently diagnosed someone else's high-tech device failure problem
as being their apartment power wiring and gave them my cheapo APC
line conditioner unit (a real line conditioner, one that includes
a voltage regulator). Problem solved. So mine has been replaced
with a better unit, with more LEDs and the familiar clicking sound
when a relay switches that tells when the wall power fluctuates.

I bet there are a lot of people out there who could benefit more
from a line conditioner than just a noise and spike filter or an
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), but they do not know it. One
good thing about a real line conditioner over a UPS is that (for
computer backup purposes) the conditioner does not require a
battery that typically fails within a year or two.

For computer stuff, those of us who are familiar with the
possibility of instantaneous restarts probably do not need a
battery backup since we take care to save data regularly, even in
the unusual environment where you might suffer regular blackouts.

Good luck and have fun.

You don't get a UPS for hardware protection. You get a UPS for data
protection. The idea is to have your host gracefully shutdown to ensure
no data loss or corruption. Surge protection in a UPS is usually
minimal protection but then so is the end-point surge protection
purchased by most consumers. In fact, consumers that have multiple
surge protectors often connect them improperaly (so the result is there
is a voltaic potential across the separate surge protectors which itself
is a surge). Connecting 2 surge protectors to the same wall outlet
results in 10-12 feet of power cord between them over which the spike
can generate a differential between them. Then there are the users that
hook the stereo gear to the audio inputs/outputs of their computer along
with network and phone/modem cables with each source using a different
surge protector or none at all.

Proper surge protection should be performed at the point of entry into
the residence, or otherwise called the service point. Also surge
protection works by shorting out the unwanted transients or
characteristics of the power signal. Rather than hope the surge
protection still works and will quickly short, divert, or shunt the
transient because it can incur damage down the line, it is better to
absorb the transient. Rather than try to avoid the surge, just absorb
it and then dissipate it over time (e.g., http://www.zerosurge.com/).
However, the standard shorting-style surge "power strip" protection is
much cheaper and why it appeals to consumers. An 15A 8-outlet
power-strip style surge protector maybe costs $29 but an 15A 8-outlet
residental-grade surge-absorbing protector is about $200. Getting
end-point surge protectors (the kind you plug into a wall outlet) also
appeals to consumers because they don't have to pay for an electrician
to install a whole-home surge protector at the service point.

Remember that the consumers buying end-point power-strip surge
protectors are looking for something to more calm their fears than to
provide real protection. They have something and that's makes them feel
better. After all, look at the users that are fabbing their own hosts
that then go purchase a $20 power supply to put inside their computer's
case. They're not looking for quality in the product or in the
protection it affords. They're looking for a cheap solution both in
price and quality.
 
J

John Doe

VanguardLH said:
John Doe wrote:
NOTE: Following unrelated newsgroup was omitted in my reply:
alt.home-theater.misc

Maybe not related to whatever you are babbling about, Mouthguard,
but it is related to the subject of my original post.
You don't get a UPS for hardware protection. You get a UPS for
data protection.

Back in the real world... Many people who buy a UPS have no use
for data protection, they buy a UPS because it is known for
solving power problems. And they think being able to run their
computer on battery power for a while is fun. An Uninterruptible
Power Supply does in fact protect hardware because it comes with
surge suppression, and because it corrects for voltage
fluctuations.

Proper surge protection should be performed at the point of
entry into the residence, or otherwise called the service point.

At least over here in the United States, many of us live in
apartments. Even if we wanted to, we would not have the ability to
radically alter the electrical wiring.
Getting end-point surge protectors (the kind you plug into a
wall outlet) also appeals to consumers because they don't have
to pay for an electrician to install a whole-home surge
protector at the service point.

Even if true, Mouthguard, that is irrelevant to the great many
personal computers users who live in an apartment.

<snipped more babbling about "proper" surge suppression>

All you have to do is read reviews for real line conditioners (the
kind that included a voltage regulator). Many users are surprised
(like I was) at what they learn about the inconsistent power that
is supplying their computer or home theater equipment.
--
 
V

VanguardLH

John said:
Maybe not related to whatever you are babbling about, Mouthguard,
but it is related to the subject of my original post.



Back in the real world... Many people who buy a UPS have no use
for data protection, they buy a UPS because it is known for
solving power problems. And they think being able to run their
computer on battery power for a while is fun. An Uninterruptible
Power Supply does in fact protect hardware because it comes with
surge suppression, and because it corrects for voltage
fluctuations.



At least over here in the United States, many of us live in
apartments. Even if we wanted to, we would not have the ability to
radically alter the electrical wiring.


Even if true, Mouthguard, that is irrelevant to the great many
personal computers users who live in an apartment.

<snipped more babbling about "proper" surge suppression>

All you have to do is read reviews for real line conditioners (the
kind that included a voltage regulator). Many users are surprised
(like I was) at what they learn about the inconsistent power that
is supplying their computer or home theater equipment.

You really thought your reply would convince anyone regarding your
viewpoint? Yeah, sure. You just shot yourself in your own foot.
 
W

wilby

Maybe not related to whatever you are babbling about, Mouthguard,
but it is related to the subject of my original post.



Back in the real world... Many people who buy a UPS have no use
for data protection, they buy a UPS because it is known for
solving power problems. And they think being able to run their
computer on battery power for a while is fun. An Uninterruptible
Power Supply does in fact protect hardware because it comes with
surge suppression, and because it corrects for voltage
fluctuations.



At least over here in the United States, many of us live in
apartments. Even if we wanted to, we would not have the ability to
radically alter the electrical wiring.


Even if true, Mouthguard, that is irrelevant to the great many
personal computers users who live in an apartment.

<snipped more babbling about "proper" surge suppression>

All you have to do is read reviews for real line conditioners (the
kind that included a voltage regulator). Many users are surprised
(like I was) at what they learn about the inconsistent power that
is supplying their computer or home theater equipment.

Mr Doe:

I don't know anyone using a computer that doesn't need data protection.
My data is the result of my time and effort. Why do users go to great
lengths to protect their data, such as archives, backups, off-site
storage, and etc?

I pay for UPS, and if line conditioning is included it is only a bonus.

Maybe I'm fortunate to be connected to a major US power utility that
supplies relatively clean power. Whatever, at my computer UPS is first.

Wilby
 
J

John Doe

I don't know anyone using a computer that doesn't need data
protection.

You live in a very small world.
My data is the result of my time and effort. Why do users go to
great lengths to protect their data, such as archives, backups,
off-site storage, and etc?

Some people do not have such important data. Of those who do, in
fact some of them do not backup their data (try hanging around
this group for a while). I know people who have a UPS but do not
backup their data.
I pay for UPS, and if line conditioning is included it is only a
bonus.

Maybe I'm fortunate to be connected to a major US power utility
that supplies relatively clean power.

So are the vast majority of PC users. So... When was the last time
you experienced a blackout? In my world here in the United States,
blackouts almost never happen. Brownouts and overvoltage
conditions happen relatively frequently. I guess it depends on
where you live, but wherever you live on Earth, blackouts should
be rare compared to brownouts and overvoltages. One of the
problems is that you cannot see a mild brownout or overvoltage, so
you imagine that they do not exist.

A real line conditioner (that includes voltage regulation) will
help protect hardware from damage due to unseen voltage
fluctuations.
--
 
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J

John Doe

VanguardLH said:
You really thought your reply would convince anyone regarding
your viewpoint? Yeah, sure. You just shot yourself in your own
foot.

Brownouts and over voltages occur even though sometimes they
cannot be seen. That is why I am here... To help give some people
a clue about stuff they might not normally think about. Power
problems that cause damage to components or spontaneous reboots of
equipment, is probably one of the more difficult problems to
diagnose, but I have seen/perceived that problem more than enough
to know that it is common. Anybody who thinks he or she needs an
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) should consider the possibility
that all they really need is a line conditioner that includes
voltage regulation, and forget about messing with a battery. A
battery is just wasted if it is only used for correcting brownouts
and over voltage conditions.
 
J

John Doe

Timothy Daniels said:
Here in Los Angeles (a major U.S. city), the power goes out long
enough to kick in the UPS about twice a year. The last outage
in my area (the "Westside"), lasted about 90 minutes. Most last
less than a minute, but long enough to set all the digital
clocks to blinking.

And you are likely to have critical or even slightly important
data that is not saved to disk when that happens once per six
months?

Do you know how many times your electrical devices experience low
or overvoltages during that one year period? Probably many more
times than that, maybe frequently, maybe even consistently. I
would think that a UPS relay would click every time an under or
over voltage occurs, unless they do not protect against over
voltages. Does your UPS even have high voltage protection? I do
not mean surge suppression, I mean consistently high voltage or a
short duration of higher than normal voltage.

The main problem is that most people have no idea what is going on
with their house/apartment power. A good power supply will not
help you if your house power is bad.

Sometimes the clocks will lose time, or my speaker system will
pop, and my voltage regulator (line conditioner) will keep my PC,
monitor, and modem from showing any sign of voltage problems. I
have never had a blackout that caused any memorable damage to
data. I have been messing with Windows long enough to know that
saving data should be done frequently. The risk of Windows
freezing or spontaneously rebooting is very high relative to the
risk of a blackout. And when that happens, a UPS does not help.

If you really need a UPS, you should get one that includes voltage
regulation. But I am quite sure that many people who think they
need a UPS could get by very well on just a
regulator/conditioner.
 
J

John Doe

Timothy Daniels said:
:

I use a "belt-and-suspenders" approach. My UPSes are fed
with power that passes through surge protector power strips. The
modem, router, printer, scanner, and power adaptors for the
laptop, answering machine, and speakers are connected directly
to the power strips. There have been no problems with that
setup in 11 years,

No freezing? No spontaneous reboots? Your Uninterruptible Power
Supply (UPS) has saved critical data at least once in 11 years of
regular blackouts?
although I must admit that lightning strikes are a low
probability problem in my area.

Not talking about lightning strikes. Not talking about only one
person's specific circumstance either. I am talking about the
general population of UPS buyers.
My equipment seems not to be bothered by brief voltage sags.

Again, that is something you do not even know because voltage sags
are taken care of by your UPS. I recall reading about cheap UPSs
long ago, that extended voltage sags putting an unnecessary strain
on the battery is not uncommon.

One problem with including voltage regulation on a UPS is that it
would be very heavy with a big transformer and a battery.

All you have to do is look at the reviews for real line
conditioners that include voltage regulation to understand a
hidden problem most people do not know exist or ever even think
about. Here is one that addresses the "topic" issue raised by
MouthGuard.

"This is both an oft-forgotten and a must have item for A/V. I
just don't understand people purchasing multi-thousand-dollar
electronics gizmos to blindly plug them into a wall socket. The
incoming voltage is noisy and does fluctuate from time to time."

And on the PC side... A funny thought IMO is the possibility that
house/apartment voltage instability problems could have been the
cause for a significant percentage of Windows 98 (pre-Windows XP
consumer versions of Windows) instability problems, maybe in
combination with its lousy memory management. I really wish that
possibility had occurred to me at the time.

Here is a review from a clueless UPS purchaser who has no idea
that a voltage regulator can do (better) what he needs done,
without the UPS battery.

"One of the big reasons I got it was to 'clean' the power going to
my electronics. It is supposed to keep the voltage right around
the 120V mark so your stuff stays protected from big swings in
voltage. Thats what a 'surge' protector does I suppose."

Maybe that is how they market a UPS to dummies.

I think most ordinary consumers who buy UPS are just infatuated
with the idea that their computer can run for a short while on
battery power.

This is about a $165 (US) UPS.

"Whenever I have lights flicker in my house the UPS just keeps
everything powered with a constant feed"

A voltage regulator does that too. And with a cheap UPS, the
battery cost as much as the UPS.

Here is another that screams "I am a clueless UPS fanboy!"

"I have had two power supplies, and two video cards fry in the
past year because of power brown-outs at my house. I bought this
to protect my computer from momentary power losses."

There are many similar UPS reviews.
 
W

wilby

No freezing? No spontaneous reboots? Your Uninterruptible Power
Supply (UPS) has saved critical data at least once in 11 years of
regular blackouts?


Not talking about lightning strikes. Not talking about only one
person's specific circumstance either. I am talking about the
general population of UPS buyers.


Again, that is something you do not even know because voltage sags
are taken care of by your UPS. I recall reading about cheap UPSs
long ago, that extended voltage sags putting an unnecessary strain
on the battery is not uncommon.

One problem with including voltage regulation on a UPS is that it
would be very heavy with a big transformer and a battery.

All you have to do is look at the reviews for real line
conditioners that include voltage regulation to understand a
hidden problem most people do not know exist or ever even think
about. Here is one that addresses the "topic" issue raised by
MouthGuard.

"This is both an oft-forgotten and a must have item for A/V. I
just don't understand people purchasing multi-thousand-dollar
electronics gizmos to blindly plug them into a wall socket. The
incoming voltage is noisy and does fluctuate from time to time."

And on the PC side... A funny thought IMO is the possibility that
house/apartment voltage instability problems could have been the
cause for a significant percentage of Windows 98 (pre-Windows XP
consumer versions of Windows) instability problems, maybe in
combination with its lousy memory management. I really wish that
possibility had occurred to me at the time.

Here is a review from a clueless UPS purchaser who has no idea
that a voltage regulator can do (better) what he needs done,
without the UPS battery.

"One of the big reasons I got it was to 'clean' the power going to
my electronics. It is supposed to keep the voltage right around
the 120V mark so your stuff stays protected from big swings in
voltage. Thats what a 'surge' protector does I suppose."

Maybe that is how they market a UPS to dummies.

I think most ordinary consumers who buy UPS are just infatuated
with the idea that their computer can run for a short while on
battery power.

This is about a $165 (US) UPS.

"Whenever I have lights flicker in my house the UPS just keeps
everything powered with a constant feed"

A voltage regulator does that too. And with a cheap UPS, the
battery cost as much as the UPS.

Here is another that screams "I am a clueless UPS fanboy!"

"I have had two power supplies, and two video cards fry in the
past year because of power brown-outs at my house. I bought this
to protect my computer from momentary power losses."

There are many similar UPS reviews.

Mr Doe:

You sound like a voltage regulator salesman. If so, you will sell more
product if you refrain from calling your clients such names as
"clueless" and "dummies".

It is socially acceptable to allow others to have opinions that differ
from your own opinion.

Wilby
 
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J

John Doe

wilby said:
Mr Doe:

You sound like a voltage regulator salesman.

BUY NOW AND SAVE!
If so, you will sell more product if you refrain from calling
your clients such names as "clueless" and "dummies".

I guess that would be nice, if you said "Hey, that is a good idea,
I think I will buy one". But here we are on the unmoderated UseNet
where egos run wild, so I do not expect that. You can and will do
whatever you want to do, with or without telling everybody about
what you really do.

And by the way, people who spew their judgments here are not the
only people who read UseNet. There are lots of lurkers. There are
probably many people who have never and will never actually post,
in addition to those who read this on the open Internet. UseNet is
widely propagated.

On Amazon, I started a review with something like "For those of
you who are not very bright..." and I provided some information
about the product. So far, I have received 5/5 positive
evaluations of that review. Would that (some sort of equivalent)
happen here on UseNet? When pigs fly. There is a humongous
difference in communications on some anonymous forum and
communications here on the naked UseNet.

Each forum has its benefits. But I much prefer UseNet. There is no
need for the one-way media or moderation anywhere really, all you
have to do is provide end-user filtering. However, that does not
happen anywhere else, and I believe someday UseNet will be banned
because society cannot handle it.
--
 
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