Our repair shop gets extra busy after stormy weather. Big storms make havoc on the electrical grid that can create ups and downs in the electricity. Almost every computer has a power bar next to it, not so much for protection, that’s just the afterthought, it’s mainly there for turning one power outlet into 6 outlets. O yes and included on most power bars is the little surge button. You know that little button that looks like it cost about 10 cents. Does it work ? Does it protect ??
How Electricity effect electronics..
I will start off by explaining that “I am no electrician“ but here is a basic laydown of how it all works. If you ever saw electricity on an oscilloscope back in school ( it’s a machine that has a screen on it that shows you electricity in wavy pattern ) you will see it travels up in down, its measured in hertz. If the wave gets too high there is too much power, to low, to little power. Think of the FM radio when you are tuning in radio stations, you can go up to 107.9 FM or down below 89.1FM, upper and lower frequency’s on the FM dial gets you more stations. It’s the same idea with electricity, mostly anything that uses electricity to work can use electricity that’s a little high or a little low without problems. But computers are sensitive and need to be in the right frequency, or the same FM radio channel, this means the exact and proper level of power at all times. Power bars are fine for coffee makers and alarm clocks that are just low end electronics, but the computer is the most sophisticated piece of equipment that you have in your home, perhaps the town, it needs a little more help than what a power gives.
How Bad Power Effects Computers..
Computers have many parts in them that move data around, having power problems can damage the data resulting in lost files or damaging Windows preventing it from starting up. Sometimes is kills parts like the power supply. Other times it just wounds a part in the computer. This can be bad because it’s hard to fix. Every have a computer that once in a while freezes or restarts just once in a while, but latter as time goes on it gets worse and happens more often. This could be from a power surge wounding a part, it does not kill it just hurts it, and the more the part works, turns on and off, heats up and cools down it will slowly degrade and cause problems. This is very hard for computer techs to fix and is very expensive to remedy.
Loss the Power bar, Replace it with a Voltage Regulator..
A voltage regulator will decrease power when its high, and boost power when its low. The computer will have the perfect amount of power at all times. This will help protect the parts and the data in it. The one we suggest is from APC, it’s the LE1200. Its small, about half the size of a shoe box. Use it like a power bar, just plug it in the wall then plug your computer and monitor into it. If you hear it clicking, that may be the sound of relays inside upping and lowering the power as it fluctuates. There are three lights in front of it. The top light indicates an over voltage, middle light means good power, and the bottom light means under voltage. The light in the back of the unit lets you know if there is a ground fault with the electrical plug in the wall. We even have voltage regulators that have a battery, so if the power goes out the computer keeps on running.
Some stores try to sell extended warranty on electronics, we would rather prevent the problem in the first place by getting you a voltage regulator, it’s the best warranty you can get.
For more information about the APC LE1200, click on this link here, or drop us an email or phone call.