Is your system fully electrically protected?

  jack 14:23 08 Jul 05
Locked

Did you say 'Yes'?

Are you sure?.

This topic comes up when ever thunderstorms are around.
Another question that circles around- 'Do you leave your machine on 24/7 or do you switch it off at the wall at the end of a session?'

Take a tip - check it all out from time to time especially if you have been adding new kit and rushing to connect up to get it working.

This is what happened to me 2 nights ago.
Machine busy away doing a long burn.
Me sitting there contemplating that mares nest of cabling under the desk- and by eye checking cables and plugs.
'Ah yes I got anti surge' - I sez to me.
Another look to computer plug - 'Yes I do switch it off at the end of a session at the wall'
Then it struck - Computer switch off at wall?
Antisurge strip at my feet.
But computer not plugged into antisurge strip-its on to the wall socket.
So check out that tangle of cabling- make sure all goes where it should- a quick switch round in the past may just have put that vital plug in the wrong socket.

  bretsky 15:08 08 Jul 05

I use an APC 650 Back-UPS with no problems, PC left on 7/24, was working the other day and APC cut in for a split second about half a dozen times due to mains supply fluctuating, was reassured to see that all was working as it should. But if we're expecting a storm or there are long periods of inactivity, then yes I power down, just in case.

Have PC tower, flat panel monitor, scanner, and printer all into APC.

APC has a very good tech support dept, and would recommend them if you need a ups.

WinXP (stand alone) 2002 sp1.

bretsky ;0)

  octal 17:41 08 Jul 05

No and it never will be.

Simple really, all surge protectors work on the principle of discharging Live and Neutral voltage transients to the ground wire. There is nothing protecting the ground wire, large voltage transients are quite happy in coming up the ground wire as well as down it in the case of a close lightening strike. This is the worst scenario that can happen, because the ground wire is quite often connected in some way to the VDD or ground rail in the computer, which is connected to every chip in the computer. It doesn't take much imagination to guess what happens if a large transient appears on the ground.

There is only one safe way of protecting the computer in a storm, switch it off and unplug it.

Oh, by the way, ground voltage transients can happen naturally, particularly if you live in an industrial area. I speak from first hand experience having recently had to spend many thousands of pounds and time replacing some microprocessor boards in equipment at work because of a "dirty" ground, the transients are only microseconds duration but they are enough to pop the CPU.

  Buchan 35 19:58 08 Jul 05

Excellent input from obvious experts. I shall be following their advice. Thanks lads.

  jack 20:21 08 Jul 05

Octal - Thank you
I am sure there is a lot of mis-info around about
the value antu-surge protectors
Is what you say true of Uniteruptable Power Supplies also?

I think I will this unticked for the time being

I off on hols tomorrow - the machine will be unplugged - thats for sure.

  octal 20:44 08 Jul 05

"Is what you say true of Uniteruptable Power Supplies also?"

Of course, if the ground connection goes straight through to the computer the same thing will happen.

There is one way to combat short duration transients is to simply place a 1:1 isolating transformer between the mains and the computer, the short duration pulse saturates the iron core of the transformer which effectively stops the transient reaching the computer. The ground connection can be taken care of with a trap which presents a low impedance to any fault conditions so retaining safety and a high impedance to any short duration transients, they are very easy to make.

Enjoy your holiday, you lucky devil!

  jack 20:54 08 Jul 05

We are off to Hastings barely an hours drive from home but still a holiday - being a crumblie it is all one holiday of course.

  octal 20:54 08 Jul 05

This is what I mean click here

  octal 21:00 08 Jul 05

I love Hastings, its something about the seagulls flying around Eastcliff make you feel you're really next to the seaside.

  jack 09:10 09 Jul 05

Octal
your input has so impressed me- with a warning about the potential dangersof the way most folk use their kit- I have posted a note to the Editor in the hope that this topic or a version of it is posted to top of the page from time to time.
Will be reading about it in a week
J

  Forum Editor 09:20 09 Jul 05

Why doesn't somebody make an easily installed device which could be used by 'ordinary' computer users - people with limited or no knowledge of electrics/electronics?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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