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ninjageek

Need a hardware Geek......

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Ok not long ago I made a post about the strange problems I had with my computer. Keyboard, Power button going bad. Now the House I live in for whatever reason eats light bulbs. Someone in another forum Suggested a Power Conditioner for my computer. Its supposed to stop voltage spikes that a surge protector may not. I have a decent surge protector.

So I thought of this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120318

Need your thoughts and Ideas. Thanks.

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You can get light bulbs that are 130Volt rated. Or Country bulbs is the other name.

But first thing to do is stick an electric voltage meter in the plug outlet to see how much voltage is coming down the line.

My current place is 120volts in. My last place was 126volts in.  

But I use backup power supplies(UPS) to condition my power to 120volts(automatic voltage regulation (AVR)). I have a nice 1700'volt amp' unit on my main computer now that gives me an hour of backup time to run the system with router and DSL modem and 22" monitor. And I am only sucking about 13% of constant power from it, during power failure/brown outs.

If you see surges that kill stuff. That can be a slightly loose neutral wire in your power panel, to maybe a bad transformer or line that is not controlling it's residential service voltage properly.  Our pole out front got serviced and they added a 'air to ground surge breaker', for the big transformer, which services about 15 homes. But I also have a surge protector in the power panel as well.

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Ok not long ago I made a post about the strange problems I had with my computer. Keyboard, Power button going bad. Now the House I live in for whatever reason eats light bulbs. Someone in another forum Suggested a Power Conditioner for my computer. Its supposed to stop voltage spikes that a surge protector may not. I have a decent surge protector.

An answer devoid of numbers is useless. A symptom of posts without knowledge.

For example, one more useful suggestion discussed 120 volts at 126.  That means light bulbs burn out twice as far.  Completely ignored by line conditioners.  If that same voltage is 135, then light bulbs burn out four times faster.  Again, the line conditioner does nothing.  But then the line conditioner was recommended without any technical facts.

  Now lets start with important symptoms.  For example, are lights changing in intensity especially when major appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, etc) power on or off?  If yes, your computer and light bulbs may have been 'canaries in a coalmine'.  Reporting a serious human safety issue. And again, the line conditioner does exactly what it specs claim - ignore the problem and do absolutely nothing.

  Second, you must confirm earth ground exists.  Lights can illuminate while a serious problem remains.  There is no way to test for this.  You must visually inspect.  Essential is a quarter inch bare copper wire that exits the breaker box.  Must connect outside to an earth ground rod.  Does it exist?  Is it properly (firmly) connected to that rod?

  Also another bare copper ground wire must connect the breaker box to where the cold water pipe enters the building - on the earth side of the water meter.  Is that wire also firmly attached?

  Important questions necessary so that the few more knowledgeable posters can actually provide assistance. 

  That line conditioner does not claim to solve what your symptoms imply.  In fact, numbers suggested by your symptoms also say a line conditioner will completely ignore the problem.  Problematic numbers are too small for a line conditioner to even see.  But to better know, first some important facts must be provided in the above questions.

  Do not take this lightly.  In at least one rare case, the homeowner ignored the strangeness.  Fortunately no one was home when the gas line exploded.  Safety is so easily accomplished.  And the few who post usefully  also provide numbers.  If that line conditioner did anything, the recommendation would also include a number that says why.  Better is to provide answers to the above questions so that one with necessary knowledge can provide assistance.

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I will try to be a bit more specific. A few others in town have told me they have the same problem. Use 60 watt bulbs, Even went through the bulbs that were supposed to last 3 years went out in a month. Never saw a bulb burn out. Have to replace one about every 6 months or less. They dont stay on 24/7 Never saw them get dim or to bright. Just seems they wear out kinda fast.

Think I am getting tiny voltage drops or spikes. The bulb never gets Really bright or dim just seems to wear out. Talked with one guy that said he has had to put power conditioners in homes before.

My old computer had the power supply go bad. Replaced it then got some strange problems with the keyboard, power button going bad. Got a new tower. Its a week old. All the hardware worked fine in the new tower. Video card, Ram was fine. Just seems like a power conditioner may not be a bad investment. 70 bucks may prolong the life of my computer and prevent any damage. Who knows for sure.

Wish there was some software I could put on my computer to monitor for any voltage spikes and or dips. Offer a way to post a 30 day run of any spikes or Drops so someone allot smarter than me could take a look and see it all is well or there are some issues. May google around for that when Time allows. Im just so clueless with this end of computing.

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  A few others in town have told me they have the same problem. Use 60 watt bulbs, Even went through the bulbs that were supposed to last 3 years went out in a month. Never saw a bulb burn out. Have to replace one about every 6 months or less....

Think I am getting tiny voltage drops or spikes. The bulb never gets Really bright or dim just seems to wear out. Talked with one guy that said he has had to put power conditioners in homes before. ...

Wish there was some software I could put on my computer to monitor for any voltage spikes and or dips.

Nothing in your post implies dips or spikes.  How dim must a light bulb be before any voltage drop interferes with a computer?  Most than 40%.  Are you seeing lights dimming to well below 50% intensity?  No?  Are you  seeing light bulbs get massively brighter?  No?  Then minor and still insignificant voltage variations do not exist.  Your worries are more based in myths invented by the least technically informed.  Dips cause no damage to light bulbs or any electronics.

  Dips create damage only when fear is posted without numbers.  Spikes

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There is this, but $300 bucks though. I think it records the voltage inline to your computer and then ethernet to your computer for the monitoring software, data logs.  I don't know what else you could get for cheaper.

This does not line condition or control voltages to the end machine.

http://www.networktechinc.com/enviro-sensor-power.html

AC Power Monitor with Relay

Or the dual unit for $210. Prices are variable

http://www.networktechinc.com/cgi-bin/keemux/enviromux-aclm-v.html

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Just a short Updated. I bought a UPS. Im telling ya guys. If you can. BUY ONE!!! Not one of those cheep ones you get at wall mart. Spend the 100 bucks and get a Good one. Make sure it has AVR. Automatic Voltage Regulator. While I am not in real need of battery backup, I want a good surge protector. I had a decent surge protector. Even had a guy check it to make sure it was working fine. It was.

I just got my first Overload warning from it. Saved my work, Reset it and all is well. Funny part is I had it plunged in to my expensive 40 dollar surge protector. The UPS Caught it and tripped and My surge protector let the surge past. I will never have another computer without one. Probably replace it every 3 or 4 years if unable to find a replacement battery.

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Batteries are easy to replace. As long as you have one of those larger battery only stores. They sometimes sell solar power units as well.

I open my UPS's and put a piece of black tape on the speaker, to quiet it about half way for them middle of the night blackouts. Or I could just de-solder it. But that would mean not waking up to shut everything down if I don't have the auto shutdown software installed.  But then again, when the power goes out, it gets so dead quiet, I automatically wake up.  

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  Im telling ya guys. If you can. BUY ONE!!! Not one of those cheep ones you get at wall mart. Spend the 100 bucks and get a Good one. Make sure it has AVR. Automatic Voltage Regulator. While I am not in real need of battery backup, I want a good surge protector. I had a decent surge protector. Even had a guy check it to make sure it was working fine. It was.

  Surge protection inside that UPS is the same protector circuit in a power strip protector - just tinier.  Read  numeric specs.  To make that protection claim, one must ignore facts.  IOW a classic mistake.  "I would not have seen it if I did not first believe it existed."  Defines why the proectcion existed.

  Anything AVR does is already inside a computer's power supply.  Computers must work 100% fine at those voltages - and at voltages beyond those levels.  Even the original IBM PC did that.  Any voltage that causes hardware damage is well outside those AVR ranges.  And one is so fast that many UPSes would not even respond to 300 consecutive events.

  And still some know otherwise using observation and speculation as proof.  Even the $100 UPS manufacturers do not claim to provide that protection.  What is the better UPS?  It starts at $500 - not $100.

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