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Dirty Power

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No, this is not a political blog.

I'm referring to the power spikes and surges that can ruin equipment that uses microprocessors. Even electrical "noise" will take a toll on sensitive equipment and on software programs and data files.

Whence comes this dirt? Lightning, yes, but also unnatural causes such as utility switching, high-powered electrical motors, radio transmitters, industrial equipment and more can dish up dirty power.

I would not mind having Ceramatec's wonder battery to power my office/home because the last spike that shot through my lines nearly killed one of my PCs that was protected by a dying surge protector. The spike finally killed that protector, so I got a new one.

Do you know how to figure out if a surge protector is adequate for your computer protection?

First, what are the devices that must be protected? Any peripheral that plugs into the computer will need protection, including the cable modem, because lightning can enter a computer network by cable as well as by phone line.

Next, how many watts will the protector need to handle? I did an online search for my computer's wattage.

You also need a surge protector with battery backup that remains on long enough for you or a computer program to safely shut down the pc or network in the event of a power failure. Typically you would want your monitor and computer to be on battery backup.

Many years ago a bright computer repair man who restored a hard disc for me explained that most of the computers he fixed had been damaged by electrical noise over months or years from dirty power supply.

At the time I used surge protectors but not line conditioners. After the repair I got a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) with an AVR (automatic voltage regulator) which ensures consistent power for computer systems.

And speaking of power solutions, don't forget to vote next election!

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