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Surge-protector Powerboard / UPS

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by 3five1, May 25, 2020.

  1. 3five1

    3five1 Member

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    HI

    I'm looking to get the above, not sure if I need UPS but I am renting and the power isn't always that great. I'm looking for a Surge protector to help against blackouts and surges, I don't need phone line/fax support but do use the (fttp) NBN ...would ~$250 get me anything good, any recommendations welcome!

    thanks
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  2. power

    power Member

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    Thor or Belkin.

    Look for something with a good replacement warranty.
     
  3. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Surge protector won't do much for you with blackouts, you want a UPS for that. $250 won't get you much in that space unfortunately.

    Look around online for second hand UPS units, you can usually score one around the 1kVA mark for under $200 but you are likely up for new batteries.
     
  4. power

    power Member

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    further to this never assume a UPS is also a surge protector. A lot of people do that and it ends in tears.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    3five1

    3five1 Member

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    Can you get them in a combo (together) set?
     
  6. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Yes.

    The safest option is a double conversion UPS, but that would be way above your budget.
     
  7. westom

    westom Member

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    Anything that the UPS might do (ie double conversion) is already inside a computer. Any answer without perspective (ie numbers) is wasted time and bandwidth. Any answer that does not also say why is how scams get promoted.

    For example, what does a protector do? Absolutely nothing until 120 VAC well exceeds its let-through voltage. How often is your AC approaching or exceeding 1000 volts? How often is your 120 VAC well above 330 volts? How many other less robust appliances have been damaged? Dishwasher, clock radios, central air, GFCIs, refrigerator, smoke detectors? How often have those and all others been replaced - weekly - annually?

    Blackouts do not harm any appliance. A blackout is a threat only to unsaved data. Blackout does not harm hardware or saved data. First define a problem. How often is unsaved data destroyed? Even Word typically saves a backup copy of your unsaved document about every five minutes.

    If a destructive transient exists, then other less robust appliances must be protected. How often are they replaced? Never? Because all appliances already contain robust protection. A computer is a most robust appliance. If a computer must be protected, then everything else must be protected. What is protecting recharging appliances? What is protecting evey LED and CFL bulb? How often are those damaged?

    Destructive transients are quite rare. Maybe one every seven years. Many never suffer one in 20 years. Are you addressing a problem? Or simply entertaining fears invented by advertising, wild speculation, urban myths, and hearsay?

    Concern is for a rare transient that can overwhelm protection inside all appliances. Nothing that plugs in claims such protection. Nothing. Informed consumers spend tens or even 100 times less money for an item that protects everything even from direct lightning strikes. With specification numbers that say so. It comes from other companies so well known for integrity.

    Any question or reply not based in numbers is best considered a scam. Lightning is typically 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Since protectors must not fail for many decades after many direct lightning strikes. It costs about $1 per protected appliance. Why would anyone even consider near zero joule protection from a magic box that costs $25, $80, or $200?

    Numbers define protector life expectancy over many decades. Protection during each transient is defined by another item that harmlessly absorbs 'hundreds of thousands of joules'. That does protection during each transient. That is earth ground electrodes. No protector does protection. (And UPS protection is tens of times smaller). A protector is only a connecting device to what does all protection - single point earth ground. What requires your attention? Earthing electrodes that you must provide, inspect, and maintain. Hundreds of thousands of joules do no damage when harmlessly absorbed outside - in earth. When connected there by one 'whole house' protector.

    Effective protection of everything only exists when that transient is not anywhere inside. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Wall receptacle safety ground clearly is not earth ground. Neither that UPS nor plug-in protector even claims such protection. Simply read specification sheets. Then learn why so many others are so easily scammed. They ignore numbers.
     
  8. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Hey look, Karen from Facebook is on OCAU!
     
    mjunek, HSV_Enigma and power like this.
  9. ArmoureD

    ArmoureD Member

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    Fucken hell my eyes hurt from reading that.
     
  10. HSV_Enigma

    HSV_Enigma Member

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    His entire post history is rants about surge protectors, must be a troll, or hurt by Belkin
     
  11. westom

    westom Member

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    It was written for adults who are also sober.
     
  12. HSV_Enigma

    HSV_Enigma Member

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    Was it written by someone sober too?
     
  13. westom

    westom Member

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    OP is strongly encouraged to learn facts (ie define an anomaly) long before jumping to conclusions based in that hearsay and wild speculation. UPS and protector address completely different and unrelated anomalies. For example, a blackout does not harm any appliance - especially not a computer.

    If any hardware must be protected, then everything (ie dishwasher, clock radios, central air, GFCIs, refrigerator, smoke detectors, LED & CFL bulbs, recharging electronics, door bell, stove, TV, clocks) also must be protected. An informed consumer learns from that previous post. Defines the anomaly. And only then is ready to obtain or request a solution.
     
  14. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Ah, what the hell, it's a beautiful sunny Saturday morning.

    First of all, are you aware that you are on an Australian forum? We use 230V AC here, so your references to 120V AC demonstrate you are somewhat unaware of this fact.

    Secondly, the OP is discussing issues of power supply quality that we often see at the consumer level, which is predominantly brownouts (sags) and surges. When I say surges I am talking about switching transients from transformer tap changes that occur throughout the day as the utility regulates their network, as well as the normal voltage variations that we experience from the rather high contribution from grid connected solar, especially in northern states. Some of these transients can exceed 500V for a couple of cycles. Yes a MOV surge diverter and filter in the switchboard provides some protection for the entire house, but here in Australia making modifications in a switchboard must be performed by an electrician, so MOV surge diverters that are integrated into a plug in device such as a powerboard is the most cost effective solution for most people. And yes, the safety earth in our domestic settings are solidly bonded to the general mass of earth. It is true that the vast majority of appliances can tolerate such transients for some years without damage, and this includes computer power supplies. But the MOV protection in a power supply has a finite life, and it is much easier to replace a powerboard or switchboard MOV than the ones in a power supply.

    I am also well aware that such devices (even the ones in switchboards) offer little real protection from lightining transients. To offer such protection involves air terminators, down conductors and rather substantial filtering on the incoming mains. None of which you will see in a domestic setting, if you have a lightning surge on a consumers mains there is little that will save whatever is connected to it.

    This brings us to the humble UPS, of which there are several different varieties but the most common we see in the consumer space are line interactive units, which I am sure you are aware do not offer continuous isolation between the input and output, so a surge on the input will be seen on the output for the period of time it takes for the protection to see the surge and disconnect the input. This is where dual conversion UPS's offer better protection as the output is isolated (to a point) by the AC-DC-AC conversion, however these units are expensive and generally not within reach of Joe Average. But the key role of a UPS in a domestic setting is not for surge protection, it is for brownouts and blackouts. For the former the UPS will provide some ride through tolerance so things are not turning off all the time and with the blackout scenario it allows for equipment to be safely shut down should such an event occur. In some parts of this country the network is so weak that brownouts occur a few times a week, sometimes more.

    So in summary, the use cases that I'm describing here do lend themselves to the solutions that have already been laid out. Whilst I agree that much of the marketing around surge protection is overblown, I would not be using the word scam. For Joe Average reasonable quality MOV protection with a UPS should be all that they need for 99% of the time.
     
  15. HSV_Enigma

    HSV_Enigma Member

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    I wrote out a reply to his original post but couldnt decide if it was a troll or not, might as well post it.

    Is this a copy pasta? I'm not really a fan of the plug in surge protection especially when they claim to 'filter the waveform' and rubbish like that but if you are going to post nothing but surge protector rants you could at least get your facts straight.

    Not sure if troll but we use 230v not 120v here, so the voltage is always above 330v.
    A power supply would be a single conversion, not sure of the point here.
    A direct lightning strike on the house would destroy everything with or without protection, but that's rare.
    Protection doesn't absorb each surge, they are sacrificial which is why the whole house ones have replaceable cartridges.
    'Safety ground' is certainly earth ground, its the basis of the MEN system.
    GFCI makes me think this is an American cut and paste.
     
  16. westom

    westom Member

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    Facts still apply. A 230 volt protector has a let-through voltage of maybe 600 volts. How often is a voltage, approaching or exceeding 1000 volts, incoming to every household appliance? How often is something larger creating so many destroyed appliances? Relevant facts remain unchallenged. Where is a long list of destroyed appliances? Transients that do damage are significantly higher. So we spend tens or 100 times less money to even protection from 1000 volt transients. And that makes all other less (utility generated) transients also irrelevant.

    Sags do not harm any electronics. Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50%. Even a voltage that low is perfectly good voltages for all electronics. So again, where is this threat? Only to motorized appliances.

    MOVs that are too far from earth ground only divert surges destructively through adjacent appliances. An IEEE brochure demonstrated this long ago. Protection only exists when a surge is diverted to earth ground. It does nothing is connected to safety ground. So a protector in one room (too far from earth ground) diverts that surge destructively through a TV in the adjacent room. How destructively? IEEE even put a number to it. 8000 volts destructively.

    Plug-in protector may even make surge damage easier.

    MOVs only do something effective when connected low impedance (ie less than 3 meters) to earth ground electrodes. The word impedance is critical. Even sharp bends or splices means increased (excessive) impedance.

    MOV protectors have a finite life. An effective solution (that costs tens or 100 times money) comes with numbers that defines functional protect even decades later after many direct lightning strikes. Yes, protectors have a life expectancy. That $3 power strip with five cent protector parts can fail on a first surges that is not even a lightning strike: https://i.redd.it/e34962ah06q11.jpg
    It is a profit center - not effective protection.

    Being one of the least robust devices, that plug-in protector must be protected by a 'whole house' protector. IEEE even puts numbers to it. 99.5% to 99.9% of the protection is performed by an earthed 'whole house' protector. One that makes a low impedance (ie less than 3 meter) connection to electrodes.

    Irrelevant that a wall receptacles eventually connect to earthing electrodes. Again, learn some basic electrical concepts (taught to first semester students) long before making conclusion. For example, assume that bedroom protector must earth a tiny 100 amp surge. That 15 meter wire back to a switchboard would be less than 0.2 ohms resistance. And may be 120 ohms impedance. Notice again the relevant word - impedance. 100 amps times 120 volts is something less than 12,000 volts. Why is that protection? Only when one fails to learn some basic electrical concepts.

    Why less than 12,000 volts? Because that protector must earth that current destructively through other nearby appliances. Such as 8,000 volts destructively through that TV in an adjacent room. Wall receptacle safety ground clearly is not earth ground. Wall receptacle is only an earth ground when subjective reasoning (no numbers) makes a junk science conclusion. Plug-in protectors have a long history of earthing destructively through other nearby appliances. Even compromising (bypassing) what is better protection already inside electronics.

    Protectors in switchboards are effective protection (when one reads specification numbers to properly size it). Did I mention that dishonest claims are subjective. Honesty only exists when specification numbers are included.

    Effective protector is routinely found anywhere that direct lightning strikes cannot cause damage. But again, impedance. Because no protector does protection. Naive consumers (taught subjectively) don't get it. That electrode does all protection. And only does so when a protector connects every incoming wire low impedance (ie hardwire not inside metallic conduit) to those electrodes. If any one wire enters without making that low impedance connnection, then all protection is compromised. Then plug-in protectors can create house fires.

    Air terminal protects a structure because it connects to what does all protection. Earth ground. 'Whole house' protector routinely protects all appliances because it connects to what does all protection. Earth ground. In both cases, the connecting device (lightning rod or protector) remain functional after every direct lightning strike. Only ineffective (scam) devices fail catastrophically when or due to a surge. MOV manufacturers are quite blunt about this. No MOV must ever fail catastrophically. But then, why so many fires?

    APC eventually admitted some 15 million protectors must be removed due to at least 700 house fires. A cruise ship may confiscate that protector if found in your luggage. They take those tiny joule fire threats far more seriously.

    Protector or lightning rod that does not protect from lightning or is damaged is wasted money.

    Why does Telstra suffer about 100 surges with each storm? And still provides uninterrupted service from the most sensitive electronics for four days. They use 'whole house' protectors. You might suffer one surge in seven years. So an informed consumer properly earths one 'whole house' protector. Especially to protect least robust devices in a house - plug-in protectors.

    Why are mobile phone stations directly struck without damage. Even more sensitive electronics undamaged by direct strikes. Because each also has an effective solution that any homeowner can also implement.

    If any UPS provides protection, well, same galvanic isolation (often with superior spec numbers) is already inside every computer. If a UPS did as claimed, then better protection already exists inside every computer. You can rationalize protection that somehow blocks a surge. But that can never exist. How does millimeter (galvanic) isolation in a UPS 'block' what three kilometers of sky cannot? It clearly does not. Nothing 'blocks' a surge - except a scam.

    So again, only place that honesty must exist: specification numbers. What is the only spec number listed for UPS protection? Joules. Why is that hundreds number so minuscule. UPS does not do what others, using wild speculation, have told you ... subjectively. (Subjective is the first indication of lies.) Once we include numbers, what a UPS does is already inside electronics. Especially computers that are required (by ATX Standards) to have some of the most robust power supplies. As robust or more robust than anything in a UPS.

    Yes, a UPS is for blackouts - to only protect unsaved data. Blackouts do not harm any appliance. Brownouts are only potentially destructive to less robust appliances - motorized appliances. A device that is threatened by a brownout must have a UPS? So a UPS must be on each refrigerator, dishwasher, central air, and vacuum cleaner. Why not? Because if voltages dim that much to harm motorized appliances, then all electricity is cut off. Why? To protect those less robust appliances.

    So what is that UPS doing. Since it is not on a refrigerator, central air, or dishwasher, then it only protects unsaved files. UPS does nothing to protect hardware - once specification numbers are included. What a UPS might do is already inside electronics.

    Concern is for transients that can overwhelm what is already best protection inside appliances - motorized and electronics. Only a 'whole house' protector claims to and does that protection. No plug-in device claims such protection. As demonstrated again by not one specification number that says otherwise.

    How to be scammed? Believe a plug-in protector or UPS does effective protection. Even manufacturer's specification numbers do not make that claim.

    Best protection is already inside appliances. Concern is only for rare anomalies (maybe one every seven years) that can overwhelm what is best protection inside all appliances.

    A protector is only as effective as its low impedance connection to and quality of those single point earth ground electrodes. Well understood by science and experience even over 100 years ago. And unknown to many only educated by advertising myths and other deceptive (and subjective) propaganda. The informed always demand the only solution for this question. Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? Plug-in solutions will not discuss it due to this often observed event: https://i.redd.it/e34962ah06q11.jpg

    Only a properly earthed (ie less than 3 meter connection) 'whole house' protector answers the relevant question. Numbers that apply for any AC voltage anywhere in the world.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  17. Symon

    Symon Castigat ridendo mores

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    Yes they do, so lets stick to them shall we?

    Insurance companies generally do not disclose the number of claims made against fusion insurance. If they did it would be easy to prove or disprove your claims.

    Nowhere did I suggest that sags result in damaged equipment. Even modern motorised appliances utilse inverter drives so damage from low voltage is even more unlikely.

    What's the IEEE brochure number? Would be good to have a read. Are you also aware of the MEN earthing system that we use in Australia? You are aware that the 'earth ground' you constantly reference is the same as our 'safety ground'?

    That implies that the surge is a high frequency, so what are the frequencies that you are referring to? Got a reference that backs up that assumption?

    Again, I have never said that MOV's offer effective protection from lighting strikes.

    And the IEEE document number you are referencing is.....?

    120 ohms impedance would be pretty unlikely unless it was a rather high frequency. More recent standards require the fault loop to be tested, it is unlikely to get anywhere near 120 ohms at supply frequency.

    Yeah, I'm going to call bullshit on that claim. Provide evidence.

    In Australia we generally do not use metallic conduit (or EMT as you call it) in domestic installations. Every circuit has an earth wire back to the earth bar, which is directly connected to the earth stake.

    Poor design, that's why. Massive influx of crap from China.

    They have lighting protection systems designed to AS1768, that's why. AS1768 is based on EN 62305. There is some interesting commentary about that standard comparing to NFPA 780 here - https://www.esgroundingsolutions.com/lightning-protection-systems-nfpa-78/

    The UPS provides a sacrificial device in the path of the surge. The input stage of the UPS could be destroyed by the surge and there is still a chance the devices on the output might survive.

    I'd like to see those numbers, there are a lot of junk power supplies out there. Seems a wild over generalisation to state that a UPS would always be built to a lower specification than a computer power supply.

    Yes they have lots of weasel words in their documentation, I agree that for the most part cheap surge protection, especially the plug in devices are a waste of money, but they offer some protection, not no protection. If they offered none whatsoever (like electronic rust prevention) then sure I would agree that they are a scam.

    You would get a lot more traction around here if you dropped the condescending tone. You might be surprised at the depth of experience of many members of this forum.
     
  18. HSV_Enigma

    HSV_Enigma Member

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    Judging by his posts I would say he is American, American electrical installations are rubbish and barely earthed but he rants on like 'big-surge' is a giant conspiracy theory.
    Lightning Surge Outer Harbor.jpg
    This is the remains of some of the lightning protection I installed after a nearby event, this was protecting a communicaition line which lost connectivity as soon as this happened, the end equipment was fine once these cartridges were replaced ($5000 modems). These were earthed using the normal mains earth through a less than stellar earthing system, as you can see the MOV detonated from the energy but the gas arrestor clamped down and took the bulk of the blast.
     

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