HURRICANES, LIGHTNING and BACKUPS, OH MY! - Part 1
If you have lived in Florida for a while, you are probably well aware that we are prone to hurricanes. The Hurricane Season starts on June 1st and lasts until November 30th, with the most active part of the season in the Mid-August to Mid-October time frame - right where we are now. Why am I writing about hurricanes in a computer blog? Simple really, if you are like most of my customers, you keep your life on your computer, banking, addresses, email addresses, all your music, you know - everything. If you were to lose it due to a lightning strike, or hurricane damage, what would you do? Here is some simple advice to keep your digital life safe from the storm. In this post we’ll talk about power problems. During a hurricane, you will have lightning, and may have power lines down, providing less than optimal power for your home.
Lightning is bad. You’ve probably heard that Florida is the Lightning Capital of the world, but that’s not completely true. (The spot with the most lightning lies deep in the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo near the small village off Kifuka (elevation 3200 feet, 970 m). Thunderbolts pelt this land roughly 158 strikes per square kilometer per year. The North American continent ranks next to last of all continents.) But Florida is the Lightning Capital of the US, with about 59 strikes per square kilometer per year. A surge protector will help but a better solution for many is described below.
Brownouts are worse. These dips can be more ruinous to your computer than a surge! Too little power coming in causes the power supply of your computer to work harder to try to make up the deficit. This can cause system lock-ups, unexplained crashes, and a much shorter life expectancy for the power supply and computer in general.
The solution is simple, an Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS. Sometimes called a “Battery Back-up”, these units provide a source of clean, steady power, and will enable your computer to run on battery power for a few minutes even in the event of a complete power loss, which will give you time to shut the computer down properly. With the proper UPS, brownouts or dips will not be seen by the computer, as the UPS filters the incoming power and boosts lagging power, and shunts excess power, including surges, automatically. Most have an included insurance plan for connected equipment which protects you in the event of a catastrophic power surge (a.k.a. lightning strike), by paying for repairs!
How do you know which UPS to buy? The easy way is to ask one of our technicians at US Computers at 727-530-4561. For those of you who want to do it yourself, here is the formula for how big a unit you need (Recommended to power the system for about 20 Minutes):
1. Take your computer’s power supply out put in watts and multiply by 1.4 2. Take your monitor’s current rating in amps, times 106 3. Add the two numbers together to get the recommended Volt-Ampere (VA) rating for your system. For example: You have a computer with a 300 watt power supply, and your 17” monitor draws 2 amps. 1. 300Wx1.4= 420 VA for the Computer 2. 2a x 106 = 212 VA for the Monitor 3. Total =632VA 4. Recommended VA Rating of your UPS 600 –650VA
Of course you can get a lower rated UPS, but the run time will be lessened, sometimes considerably. If you don’t care how long the system will run without power, but just want the surge and brownout protection, a 300VA – 500VA Unit should work fine for most home systems. UPS units sold at U.S. Computers start at only $49.99 and come with a $100,000.00 connected equipment warranty. Stop by and see one today! Check our current UPS inventory.
Posted by U.S. Computer's - Clearwater Store
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