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Topic # 88511 17-Aug-2011 12:13
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Hi All,

With the recent powercuts & surges in Wellington I want to protect some of my technology. Just the basics I believe are needed, don't want any high end setup.

So what I am looking to protect is:

Home Network:
- switch
- Nas (WD Sharespace)
- adsl modem

Home Theatre:
- reciever
- sky
- xbox / ps3
- tv

Surge Protection - My google research on surge protection suggests that I should be looking for surge protection that indicates when it needs to be replaced via light, caters for 600 joules or more & has a 1 - 200 microsecond response.

UPS - Just looking for a simple home solution on this one that will give me time to turn things off nicely. Nothing fancy.

So with that in mind, what do people recommend ? Anything to avoid ? Are all things equal ?




 

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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 507837 17-Aug-2011 12:15
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Got two Eaton UPS here and they work fine: www.geekzone.co.nz/freitasm/7749

Reveiced those a few weeks ago from www.upspower.co.nz when my two old Belkin died just a couple of weeks apart.





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  Reply # 507876 17-Aug-2011 13:02
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In additional to Eaton, anything made by APC will also serve you well.

Avoid any Kebo UPS product. These are also rebranded as Thor, Dynamix and Digitus.

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  Reply # 507882 17-Aug-2011 13:08
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 507910 17-Aug-2011 13:44
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Awesome thanks for the response guys.

So I am thinking Eaton 3S UPS for all my networking needs, then a stand alone surge protector for the home theatre setup. Something like http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=170953 ? Or are we talking a different Belkin Mr Feitasm ?




 

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  Reply # 507950 17-Aug-2011 14:28
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Shock: Awesome thanks for the response guys.

So I am thinking Eaton 3S UPS for all my networking needs, then a stand alone surge protector for the home theatre setup. Something like http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=170953 ? Or are we talking a different Belkin Mr Feitasm ?


One thing to keep in mind is these (most) surge protectors don't safe guard against  brown outs or drops in power. These can be equally as damaging to your electronics, especially your cheaply made ones.

I was called to a customers premises a few weeks ago in Tawa, and the client only had 96 volts AC. Transpower said this was due to a broken 11Kv? phase supplying the suburb.
As theory explains, the lower the voltage, the more strain, heat and power the appliance and its circuit boards use.

Also remember MOST insurance policies don't cover equipment damaged from spikes, surges, or brown outs. 

 

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  Reply # 508188 17-Aug-2011 19:28
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I'm an electronic engineer with (too many) years experience. Please excuse this "soap box", but it is time for myth busting.

External "surge" protectors are a total waste of money, only made popular by companies that will ensure a product only if you also buy a "surge protector". All electrical products are already tested for surges and already includes a few surge arrestors (not only suppressors, and not only 1). The only real protection it provides is against spikes when inductive loads switch off, e.g. old aircon compressors etc., but more about this later.

It does not protect against lightning. Nothing does. Spikes induced by lightning on the other hand is already managed. The switch clearances in your light switches and the spark gaps designed into your power points arc over to dissipate voltage spikes over about 1500V, but lightning induced pulses are so fast that a MOV (which is in the "surge" protector) is not fast enough. Inductive load spikes on the other hand is much slower and are absorbed by a MOV, mainly because you get ringing rather than a spike.

You can protect against some lightning with a protector rated around 1000J and 50000A. But it is a fire risk because it still has to dissipate the energy so only gets installed in distribution boxes.

The inductance in the 240V mains wiring is so high that most of lighting energy is diverted to the spark gap in the high voltage transformers of the power lines company. That is why their transformers blow up, usually not your house.

Data communication lines intended for outdoor applications over 3m get severe testing and is typically where products fail during surge testing. There is already a lot of protection built into your modem.

All you need is a UPS. The off-line models are cheap. They switch over to battery power within 20ms of out-of-spec voltage. I've got a couple that I've set with tight limits so they kick in every time my old aircon switches on/off. A better UPS if you are willing to spend money is an on-line model which runs all the time delivering power to your PC. They are more expensive requiring long life parts, so lower sales volumes, so typically also only higher power rating models.

The phone lines company is more worried about their equipment than you are about yours, so there is already lots of protection on the phone lines.

There are basically 2 immunity tests considered to simulate typical conditions. One is a 100kHz ringing test and the other is an impulse of 1.2us rise time and 50us fall time to 50% of peak. With an MOV reacting in 1us - 200us there is no protection against typical spikes. The ring test caters for inductive surges, the spike test caters for induced pulses due to lightning.

Absolutely no need for a "surge" protector. Your power supply capacitors are more likely to fail due to drying out, not due to surges.




You can never have enough Volvos!


gzt

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  Reply # 508273 17-Aug-2011 22:15
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Had a modem/router fail recently in a house known to have had the phone line struck in the past. It failed after a night of lightning in the area, a phone line strike is just a guess. Cheap modem/router, it is just an inconvenience.

It did start me thinking about this subject. RS Components (search "lightning") have some interesting products in this area. Many of them cost more than a cheap modem/router ;  ).

I would not disagree with Niels points about direct lightning strike.

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  Reply # 508275 17-Aug-2011 22:26
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UPS definately a good bet over surge protectors - the brown outs in wgtn earlier this week caused a modem power supply in my dad's office in the CBD to die. It was surge protected, but not plugged into a UPS

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  Reply # 508413 18-Aug-2011 10:57
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The power supply on my ADSL modem died yesterday. I assume it's related to the power problems we had a few days ago with lightning strikes on the power network.

A replacement PSU is about $10 on ebay so cheaper than a lot of those over priced plug in surge protectors.

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  Reply # 508414 18-Aug-2011 10:59
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Yes, but how long it will be to win the auction on eBay, have it shipped here and arrive? Also it will probably not be NZ certified, I assume?




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  Reply # 508419 18-Aug-2011 11:09
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freitasm: Yes, but how long it will be to win the auction on eBay, have it shipped here and arrive? Also it will probably not be NZ certified, I assume?


It's already here, I use it for powering my arduino boards.  If I had to order it then it would take 3 weeks.  I could try to get a genuine linksys power supply but I suspect it would take ages and cost a silly amount of money.

Even the ebay plug pack claimed to be NZ certified I wouldn't believe it.  Unlike most of the cheap nasty ones it does have the "bimbo proof plugs" and seems to be reasonable quality.

I'll check tonight to see if it has any certification claims on it.

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  Reply # 508666 18-Aug-2011 17:05
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graemeh: The power supply on my ADSL modem died yesterday. I assume it's related to the power problems we had a few days ago with lightning strikes on the power network.


The power adapter was a few years old, capacitors dried up and output diode stressed, surge added the final straw.

If you purchase a power adapter locally you can insist on seeing the approvals certificates, not just a label.  It is a legal requirement for local distributors/reseller (and adds to the cost...).  I might be able to do a good quality power adapter for $10 to $15, just waiting to see how things pan out.




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  Reply # 508900 19-Aug-2011 11:10
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Niel:
graemeh: The power supply on my ADSL modem died yesterday. I assume it's related to the power problems we had a few days ago with lightning strikes on the power network.


The power adapter was a few years old, capacitors dried up and output diode stressed, surge added the final straw.

If you purchase a power adapter locally you can insist on seeing the approvals certificates, not just a label.  It is a legal requirement for local distributors/reseller (and adds to the cost...).  I might be able to do a good quality power adapter for $10 to $15, just waiting to see how things pan out.


Now that could lead to more than a few blank stares in Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming etc.

"Please show me the approval certificate for this" Cool

$10-$15 is a pretty sharp price. 

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