Need for surge supressor with laptop

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.
11 answers Last reply
More about need surge supressor laptop
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Do you think that silly adjacent protector is going to stop,
    block, or absorb what miles of sky could not? And yet that is
    exactly what those who promote plug-in protectors must claim.

    We routinely protect from direct lightning strikes even
    before WWII. But where protection is effective, the plug-in
    protector is not used.

    Anything that is effective inside that plug-in protector is
    already inside the computer power supply. Protection that
    assumes a destructive transient will be earthed before
    entering the building. Just as Franklin demonstrated in
    1752. Protection is about shunting (diverting, connecting)
    the surge to what it seeks before the surge can find a
    destructive path via a computer - or any other household
    appliance. If a destructive transient is earthed, then
    protection already inside every appliance will not be
    overwhelmed.

    Notice the concept. Effective protection is not about
    blocking or absorbing surges as a plug-in protector must (and
    cannot) do. Protection has always been about earthing before
    the destructive transients can get near to a computer. The
    general concept is called 'whole house' protection. Discussed
    previously including these:
    "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    http://tinyurl.com/l3m9
    "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004 in
    pdx.computing at
    http://tinyurl.com/2hl53

    He had a plug-in surge protector and still suffered network
    and
    modem damage:
    "network card and modem not working" on 3 Sept 2003 in
    newsgroup microsoft.public.windowsme.hardware
    http://tinyurl.com/5h82o

    IOW first learn what a surge protector really does.
    Effective protector does not stop, block, or absorb surges.
    Protection is about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    effective as the protection it connects to. Earth ground is
    the protection - not a protector. Earthing - something that
    an ineffective protector manufacturer must avoid discussing to
    sell an often grossly undersized and grossly overpriced
    protector. A protector is only as effective as its earth
    ground.

    Protection is a building wide solution because the most
    critical component is the single point earth ground. A surge
    protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

    Albert Lee wrote:
    > Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
    > using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
    > out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
    > minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    So we can assume the answer is a resounding "NO"! I agree that surge
    supressors probably aren't worth much but every little bit helps. The
    only sure way to protect against lightning is to completely disconnect
    from the AC mains and from Telco lines. I think what most smart folk
    in Florida do is to have good insurance and back up data on a regular
    basis. With probably the most lightning strikes in the country,
    Florida has the most lightning damage to household appliances.
    Anyway, if traveling with a laptop, just disconnect from AC mains and
    run from battery during a storm. Use the free wireless most hotels
    have made available. That way during a storm you are not attached to
    any source that could zap your computer.
    GR

    w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<41265830.5AF3E966@hotmail.com>...
    > Do you think that silly adjacent protector is going to stop,
    > block, or absorb what miles of sky could not? And yet that is
    > exactly what those who promote plug-in protectors must claim.
    >
    > We routinely protect from direct lightning strikes even
    > before WWII. But where protection is effective, the plug-in
    > protector is not used.
    >
    > Anything that is effective inside that plug-in protector is
    > already inside the computer power supply. Protection that
    > assumes a destructive transient will be earthed before
    > entering the building. Just as Franklin demonstrated in
    > 1752. Protection is about shunting (diverting, connecting)
    > the surge to what it seeks before the surge can find a
    > destructive path via a computer - or any other household
    > appliance. If a destructive transient is earthed, then
    > protection already inside every appliance will not be
    > overwhelmed.
    >
    > Notice the concept. Effective protection is not about
    > blocking or absorbing surges as a plug-in protector must (and
    > cannot) do. Protection has always been about earthing before
    > the destructive transients can get near to a computer. The
    > general concept is called 'whole house' protection. Discussed
    > previously including these:
    > "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    > newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    > http://tinyurl.com/l3m9
    > "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004 in
    > pdx.computing at
    > http://tinyurl.com/2hl53
    >
    > He had a plug-in surge protector and still suffered network
    > and
    > modem damage:
    > "network card and modem not working" on 3 Sept 2003 in
    > newsgroup microsoft.public.windowsme.hardware
    > http://tinyurl.com/5h82o
    >
    > IOW first learn what a surge protector really does.
    > Effective protector does not stop, block, or absorb surges.
    > Protection is about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    > effective as the protection it connects to. Earth ground is
    > the protection - not a protector. Earthing - something that
    > an ineffective protector manufacturer must avoid discussing to
    > sell an often grossly undersized and grossly overpriced
    > protector. A protector is only as effective as its earth
    > ground.
    >
    > Protection is a building wide solution because the most
    > critical component is the single point earth ground. A surge
    > protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
    >
    > Albert Lee wrote:
    > > Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
    > > using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
    > > out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
    > > minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    >Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
    >using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
    >out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
    >minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.

    99% of the damaged notebooks are through the network cable. LAN or
    phone. You can get surge protectors for notebooks at Radio Shack like
    I did. With wireless, surges are not a problem but then there is radio
    lightning. ;-)
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    On 20 Aug 2004 06:45:50 -0700, ahlee10@yahoo.com (Albert Lee) wrote:

    >Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
    >using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
    >out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
    >minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.


    They make some really small ones. I'd use one; new laptops aren't
    cheap and the insurance is.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    No to what? If surge protector were so ineffective, then FM
    and TV stations atop the Empire State Building are replacing
    their equipment 25 times every year. Obviously not. If surge
    protectors were not effective, then your phone company would
    disconnect their $multi-million switching computer from
    overhead lines all over town with each thunderstorm. 911
    Emergency operators would remove headsets. Grocery stores
    would stop running cash registers.

    Surge protectors are effective. But plug-in protectors
    don't even claim to provide the necessary protection. So
    again, NO to what? Surge protector are as effective as their
    earth ground which is why they are so effective and why
    plug-in protectors (UPS and power strip) are not effective.
    Details and solutions provided in those previously cited
    discussions.

    ";-p" wrote:
    > So we can assume the answer is a resounding "NO"! I agree that surge
    > supressors probably aren't worth much but every little bit helps. The
    > only sure way to protect against lightning is to completely disconnect
    > from the AC mains and from Telco lines. I think what most smart folk
    > in Florida do is to have good insurance and back up data on a regular
    > basis. With probably the most lightning strikes in the country,
    > Florida has the most lightning damage to household appliances.
    > Anyway, if traveling with a laptop, just disconnect from AC mains and
    > run from battery during a storm. Use the free wireless most hotels
    > have made available. That way during a storm you are not attached to
    > any source that could zap your computer.
    > GR
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    w_tom wrote:

    > Do you think that silly adjacent protector is going to stop,
    > block, or absorb what miles of sky could not?

    Well we're talking about "surge" protectors (or voltage "clampers"), not
    lightning arrestors (like the gas units you'd find along the lead of a
    large antenna array).


    > And yet that is
    > exactly what those who promote plug-in protectors must claim.

    Actually, I think most of them say they'll protect against surges caused
    by lightning, not the lightning strike itself.


    >
    > We routinely protect from direct lightning strikes even
    > before WWII. But where protection is effective, the plug-in
    > protector is not used.
    >
    > Anything that is effective inside that plug-in protector is
    > already inside the computer power supply.

    Speaking as someone who's cracked open many PSUs, I can assure you that
    this is not at all the case.

    (I assume by "protector" you're talking about MOV's.)

    Most of them do have some measure of EMI/RFI filtering, but actual
    3-line surge protection?


    > Protection that
    > assumes a destructive transient will be earthed before
    > entering the building. Just as Franklin demonstrated in
    > 1752. Protection is about shunting (diverting, connecting)
    > the surge to what it seeks before the surge can find a
    > destructive path via a computer - or any other household
    > appliance.

    Yes, and a surge protector, though hardly foolproof, DOES provide some
    protection against transient voltage surges that are often caused by
    lightning strikes.

    In short, I'd rather use one than not use one.


    > If a destructive transient is earthed, then
    > protection already inside every appliance will not be
    > overwhelmed.
    >
    > Notice the concept. Effective protection is not about
    > blocking or absorbing surges as a plug-in protector must (and
    > cannot) do.

    Actually, it can stop a certain level of surge (just how much is
    mentionned inthe product's specs sheet).

    Again, I'm not talking about actual lightning here.


    > Protection has always been about earthing before
    > the destructive transients can get near to a computer.

    Ideally.


    > The
    > general concept is called 'whole house' protection. Discussed
    > previously including these:
    > "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    > newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    > http://tinyurl.com/l3m9
    > "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004 in
    > pdx.computing at
    > http://tinyurl.com/2hl53
    >
    > He had a plug-in surge protector and still suffered network
    > and modem damage:

    I agree that computers, including laptops, need surge protection along
    its data lines as well.

    APC has a neat little protector (available in 3-wire "grounded"), that
    incorporates phone/modem line protection.
    http://www.apcc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=173


    > "network card and modem not working" on 3 Sept 2003 in
    > newsgroup microsoft.public.windowsme.hardware
    > http://tinyurl.com/5h82o
    >
    > IOW first learn what a surge protector really does.
    > Effective protector does not stop, block, or absorb surges.
    > Protection is about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    > effective as the protection it connects to. Earth ground is
    > the protection - not a protector.

    I agree, which is why I recommended the APC model mentionned above.


    > Earthing - something that
    > an ineffective protector manufacturer must avoid discussing to
    > sell an often grossly undersized and grossly overpriced
    > protector. A protector is only as effective as its earth
    > ground.
    >
    > Protection is a building wide solution because the most
    > critical component is the single point earth ground. A surge
    > protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
    >
    > Albert Lee wrote:
    >
    >>Does anyone know if a separate surge supressor is really needed when
    >>using the ac adapter to charge/run a laptop. Would a surge just blow
    >>out the adapter or could the computer be damaged? I'm trying to
    >>minimize how much I carry with my laptop. Thanks.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    Cited was an APC product that does not even claim to protect
    from the type of surge that typically caused electronics
    damage. They claim to protect from a type of surge that does
    not typically exist. This is then promoted by myth purveyors
    as protection from all surges. That APC recommendation is
    based on junk science reasoning. Real world protectors must
    protect from the typically destructive transient - direct
    lightning strike.

    Somehow assumed is that protection is found mostly in MOVs.
    Don't make such assumptions. Furthermore MOVs don't protect
    by absorbing transients no matter how specifications from APC
    are spun. Even MOVs inside that erroneously recommended APC
    cannot
    > stop a certain level of surge (just how much is mentionned
    > in the product's specs sheet).
    That APC spec sheet does not even make that claim. What do
    MOVs do? They do not stop, block, or absorb. MOV
    manufacturers do not make that claim. So how can MOVs work
    adjacent to the appliance?

    Appliances typically have sufficient internal protection
    without using MOVs. Too many crack open a power supplies and
    somehow know what's inside - how it works? This power supply
    probably has no MOVs. So how does it meet this spec?
    > Dielectric withstand, input to frame/ground: 1800VAC, 1sec.
    > Dielectric withstand, input to output: 1800VAC, 1sec.
    Did you 'see' those protection components inside the supply?
    Of course not. One cannot open and just see the protector
    component. Internal protection is an integral design.

    Effective protection is for the direct lightning strike. If
    protectors cannot even provide that protection, then what is
    that protector doing? Enriching a manufacturer who encourages
    myths; would have us believe an adjacent protector will stop,
    block and absorb? Then when the protector fails, the
    manufacturer claims protection only from transients that don't
    typically do damage? What is this other surge that is created
    by lightning - with numbers? Why do us electrical engineers
    not know what this other transient is? More spin. It was
    also called buying the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Those plug-in protectors can even contribute to damage of
    an adjacent, powered off computer. Have traced out and
    repaired a small network by following lightning (IC by
    Integrated Circuit) that transvered the network due to two
    plug-in protectors. May everything functional by soldering in
    new ICs. Where was the protection? Adjacent plug-in
    protector made damage easier to that powered off network and
    computers. Posted is based upon decades of experience
    analyzing as an engineer; not by promoting myths. Which is
    why I am appalled to read more myths that the APC:
    > can stop a certain level of surge (just how much is
    > mentionned in the product's specs sheet).

    One would spend $15 or $50 per protected appliance for a
    protector that does not even protect from a most destructive
    surge - lightning? This when effective 'whole house'
    protection costs about $1 per protected appliance. Rather
    embarrassing that one would recommend that APC product that
    does not even claim to protect from the typically destructive
    transient.

    Look even at that money. Effective protection from
    lightning costs about $1 per protected appliance. The $15 or
    $50 APC does not even claim to provide that protection? Why
    spend ten of times more money on protection that does not even
    work? When junk science (ie: its called a surge protector and
    therefore must provide surge protection) replaces logic. Any
    surge protector that is not providing effective protection
    from all types of surges - especially direct lightning - only
    enriches the manufacturer.

    Why do we know that APC is ineffective? How to identify
    ineffective protectors: 1) No 'less than 10 foot connection'
    to earth ground, and 2) manufacturer avoid all discussion
    about earthing. That APC violates both. A surge protector is
    only as effective as its earth ground once we eliminate the
    myths. There is no difference between surge protector and
    lightning arrestor and TVSS and surge suppressor - except
    where more myths are being promoted. Either we earth the
    destructive transient or electronics is exposed to damage from
    typically destructive transients. Eliminate the hype and
    mirrors encouraged by APC and other myth world protector
    manufacturers. Discover that APC recommendation is not
    effective AND costs tens of times more money.

    If you cannot tell us what an MOV does, then you don't know
    what is and is not protection. What does an MOV do? And what
    does APC suggest those MOVs are doing? And where is that
    earth ground connection to the APC? Little secret. It all
    but does not exist. What are those MOVs doing inside that APC
    that makes it so effective?

    EM wrote:
    > w_tom wrote:
    >> Do you think that silly adjacent protector is going to stop,
    >> block, or absorb what miles of sky could not?
    >
    > Well we're talking about "surge" protectors (or voltage "clampers"), not
    > lightning arrestors (like the gas units you'd find along the lead of a
    > large antenna array).
    >
    >> And yet that is exactly what those who promote plug-in
    >> protectors must claim.
    >
    > Actually, I think most of them say they'll protect against
    > surges caused by lightning, not the lightning strike itself.
    >
    >> We routinely protect from direct lightning strikes even
    >> before WWII. But where protection is effective, the plug-in
    >> protector is not used.
    >>
    >> Anything that is effective inside that plug-in protector is
    >> already inside the computer power supply.
    >
    > Speaking as someone who's cracked open many PSUs, I can assure
    > you that this is not at all the case.
    >
    > (I assume by "protector" you're talking about MOV's.)
    >
    > Most of them do have some measure of EMI/RFI filtering, but actual
    > 3-line surge protection?
    >
    >> Protection that assumes a destructive transient will be
    >> earthed before entering the building. Just as Franklin
    >> demonstrated in 1752. Protection is about shunting
    >> (diverting, connecting) the surge to what it seeks before
    >> the surge can find a destructive path via a computer - or
    >> any other household appliance.
    >
    > Yes, and a surge protector, though hardly foolproof, DOES
    > provide some protection against transient voltage surges that
    > are often caused by lightning strikes.
    >
    > In short, I'd rather use one than not use one.
    >
    >> If a destructive transient is earthed, then protection
    >> already inside every appliance will not be overwhelmed.
    >>
    >> Notice the concept. Effective protection is not about
    >> blocking or absorbing surges as a plug-in protector must
    >> (and cannot) do.
    >
    > Actually, it can stop a certain level of surge (just how much
    > is mentionned inthe product's specs sheet).
    >
    > Again, I'm not talking about actual lightning here.
    >
    > Protection has always been about earthing before
    >> the destructive transients can get near to a computer.
    >
    > Ideally.
    >
    >> The general concept is called 'whole house' protection.
    >> Discussed previously including these:
    >> "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    >> newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    >> http://tinyurl.com/l3m9
    >> "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004
    >> in pdx.computing at
    >> http://tinyurl.com/2hl53
    >>
    >> He had a plug-in surge protector and still suffered network
    >> and modem damage:
    >
    > I agree that computers, including laptops, need surge protection along
    > its data lines as well.
    >
    > APC has a neat little protector (available in 3-wire "grounded"), that
    > incorporates phone/modem line protection.
    > http://www.apcc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=173
    >
    >> "network card and modem not working" on 3 Sept 2003 in
    >> newsgroup microsoft.public.windowsme.hardware
    >> http://tinyurl.com/5h82o
    >>
    >> IOW first learn what a surge protector really does.
    >> Effective protector does not stop, block, or absorb surges.
    >> Protection is about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    >> effective as the protection it connects to. Earth ground is
    >> the protection - not a protector.
    >
    > I agree, which is why I recommended the APC model mentionned above.
    >
    >> Earthing - something that an ineffective protector
    >> manufacturer must avoid discussing to sell an often
    >> grossly undersized and grossly overpriced protector. A
    >> protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
    >>
    >> Protection is a building wide solution because the most
    >> critical component is the single point earth ground. A surge
    >> protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    So electricity enters a computer, damages some components,
    then stops? That violates basic science as even taught in
    primary school. First electricity must form a complete path.
    That means both an incoming and outgoing path. If surge
    entered on network cable, then where did it come out? No
    outgoing path means no surge damage. One must think through a
    problem before wildly speculating that surges enter on network
    cables.

    Let see. How does the surge get into the network? Where is
    the path from cloud to earth and includes a LAN or phone line?
    Defined is complete circuit from cloud to earth -
    destructively through electronics. Phone lines already have
    effective 'whole house' type protectors. So lightning ignores
    this properly earth protector, enters building, then finds
    earth ground through a laptop? Where is the logic in this
    reasoning?

    Lightning bypasses wires highest on utility poles to strike
    lowest wires - cable and TV? Again, where is the logic?
    Both cable and TV wires have effective protection before the
    wire enters a building. But those wires highest on poles - AC
    electric - make a direct connection into the laptop -
    unimpeded. So lightning will ignore effectively earthed
    protectors on phone or cable to get into laptop? Lightning
    will not take the direct and unimpeded path through laptop to
    earth ground via AC electric? These are damning questions.

    Obviously the speculated reason as to how laptops are
    damaged and what is the incoming path is wrong for multiple
    reasons. Speculation that a modem is damaged - therefore the
    surge must have entered on phone line, damaged modem, then
    stopped - is just plain and simply speculation that
    contradicts basic facts.

    Computer assemblers even connect a wire that makes a direct
    connection from wires highest on utility poles directly to IC
    pins inside modem. Why is that direct and unimpeded path from
    utility pole wires to modem not the incoming path for a
    surge? Incoming on AC electric. Outgoing to earth ground on
    phone line via the earthed phone line protector. Now we have
    a complete circuit as required even by elementary school
    science.

    Damaged modem is most typically from transients permitted
    inside the building on AC electric. Damage directly traceable
    to a human who failed to earth before that incoming transient
    could enter the building. Effective protection costs
    typically $1 per protected appliance - and yet the human still
    failed to install it? Yes - many humans even forget their
    primary school science lessons. They wildly speculate that
    destructive surges enter on phone and LAN cables without first
    doing an analysis. Its called junk science reasoning. Junk
    science reasoning that also promotes ineffective plug-in
    protectors.

    What is this radio lightning that is so different from
    lightning? Demonstrated is that network components can be
    most easily damaged by lightning incoming on AC electric. Now
    we have something called radio lightning? What is that?

    AndrewJ wrote:
    > 99% of the damaged notebooks are through the network cable. LAN or
    > phone. You can get surge protectors for notebooks at Radio Shack like
    > I did. With wireless, surges are not a problem but then there is radio
    > lightning. ;-)
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    ............................................................
    > Damaged modem is most typically from transients permitted
    >inside the building on AC electric. Damage directly traceable
    >to a human who failed to earth before that incoming transient
    >could enter the building............................

    The last few lightning damaged PC's I've worked on had every thing
    unplugged but the phone or LAN line. So yes, that's where the surge
    entered. It's amazing how God protects dumb people. Not one of them
    ever knows how dumb they are.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    w_tom wrote:
    > So electricity enters a computer, damages some components,
    > then stops? That violates basic science as even taught in
    > primary school. First electricity must form a complete path.
    > That means both an incoming and outgoing path. If surge
    > entered on network cable, then where did it come out? No
    > outgoing path means no surge damage. One must think through a
    > problem before wildly speculating that surges enter on network
    > cables.
    >

    It's a real shame they forgot to use any of the 8 lines in RJ45
    (network) cable for ground. If they had, it would be possible to flow a
    current through the wire and network card. Then you could do cool stuff
    like rapidly varying the current to communicate bits of information.

    Then again, that would create the possibility of damaging the computer
    if there were an overload e.g. due to lighting strike. I suppose it's
    better just to keep networks running the old-fashioned way, on magic.
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

    They did not forget to use ground wires. Communication via
    ground wires is common mode signalling. Found in elder
    techniques such as RS-232 and 4-20 ma signalling. To make
    communications faster, differential mode signalling is used -
    no ground.

    timeOday wrote:
    > It's a real shame they forgot to use any of the 8 lines in RJ45
    > (network) cable for ground. If they had, it would be possible to flow a
    > current through the wire and network card. Then you could do cool stuff
    > like rapidly varying the current to communicate bits of information.
    >
    > Then again, that would create the possibility of damaging the computer
    > if there were an overload e.g. due to lighting strike. I suppose it's
    > better just to keep networks running the old-fashioned way, on magic.
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