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help with UPS

Last response: in Components
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July 13, 2006 5:18:18 PM

I've recently been interested in protecting my computer from power problems. I live in brazil, and we usually work with 110V, but I think we have somewhat big power fluctuations (I've measured 140V here on many occasions, for instance)... And spikes too.

Here's what I want to protect: a dual-core A64 X2 4200 with 2GB of memory and 2 hard drives with a Radeon X550 (I want to upgrade later on! It's all a matter of cash, really), the system runs on an OCZ PowerStream 520W PSU. I also want to protect the 19" CRT Monitor (LG T910B). I've also been considering protection for my Logitech Z-5500 speakers, but these draw a lot of power (500W rms!!!)... The point is, however, that I've found them to be efficient electrical sensors in that they actually make somewhat strange noises whenever there are power fluctuations, and there seems to be a lot of them. I've heard the speakers stutter whenever, for example, my brother turns on a small ventilation fan he has in the adjacent room - which is, I think, probably a sign of bad wiring. Unfortunately, though, these "can-be-heard" fluctuations are somewhat common whenever other electrical appliances that draw a little more power get switched on and off in this house. :( 

So, what should I get? I've been considering either a decent line conditioner or a UPS, and I'm also considering asking an electrician to set up a more robust wiring solution for the electrical outlets that my computer uses. I might even set up a superior voltage of 220V - we have both here in Brazil. From my simple voltmeter measurements, I've found that the 220V lines are considerably more stable and I've never measured a 20%-25% overvoltage on 220V (which would mean 280V!!!) like I have with 110V (->140V!!)

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: actually, voltage specs for this particular area of Brazil are 127V, not 110V. Thus 140V is a 10% overvoltage. However, UPSs are always rated at 115V, which, if accurate, means that 140V is 20% above normal. It's a mess!

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July 14, 2006 1:55:14 AM

Hmmm.. should I try to get an online, true sine wave UPS?... Or should I get a line-interactive one?... I'm still deciding on this. What do you guys think about wave forms?

I don't know, but I might end up with a good, maybe 2kVA or so, sine wave online UPS and be done with power for good. I wouldn't have to worry about anything power-related for the foreseeable future...
!