Any reason NOT to use a computer UPS on HT gear?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Gordon Moore, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Gordon Moore

    Gordon Moore Second Unit

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    With lightening and other bad weather causing short power spikes and outages lately. I got to thinking about buying a desktop UPS with AVR and plugging the TV and other AV gear into it. Anu thoughts on why this *MIGHT* be a bad idea. I don't have high-end gear or anything with big voltage draws but I figure I should be as gentle on the electronics as I can.

    THoughts? Many thanks.
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Many UPSs do not put out true sine-wave power when they're in battery mode.

    I don't know that there's much of anything that'll protect against a close, direct lightning strike, apart from a true electrical isolation. (That is, the incoming AC runs a motor which in turn runs a generator which in turn runs your equipment. Inefficient as all-get-out.)

    A lot of UPSs don't like the inrush current of a large receiver, although once it kicks on, it should be okay for short (less than a few seconds) outages. I don't know about TVs, though.

    Leo
     
  3. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    I think most of the Hi-Fi audiophiles tend to go with power line conditioners rather than UPS's to stabalize and isolate equipment voltages. There are coax isolators for Cable and antenna inputs but the best choice is to disconnent when possible. Personally, I'd like to find an auto disconnect - manual reset device, so power fluctuations would shut everything off and I could power it back up when things settle down. TV's and other devices nowadays tend to auto turn-on when power comes back up and if it doesn't come up cleanly the device can be damaged.

    Two major problems: TV's can draw a 1000 watts at turn on (6-10 amps) and their current consumption varies widely requiring a VERY large UPS to safely operate them. 2: Anything that uses a power transformer (rather than a switching power supply) may fail catastrophically running on anything but a sinewave. During a recent power outage two transformer based power supplies (router and 8 port lan switch) literally smoked while the PC's, modem, monitors did just fine on the ancient Tripplite UPS (can run servers for 24 hours but crude power conversion).
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Yes, a lot of battery backup UPS systems put out square waves, while OK for PCs and such, aren't really appropriate for HT gear. Here's one of the best surge protectors I've come across:

    www.brickwall.com
     
  5. Gordon Moore

    Gordon Moore Second Unit

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    Okay well, that answers that. Thanks guys! [​IMG]
     
  6. SteveLeach

    SteveLeach Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to provide some more information. I run all of my electronic equipment through various UPS's. I have one for my computer, nothing new here. But I also have one for my plasma screen and DVD player. I have another that I run my audio equipment through.
    The one that runs my plasma and DVD is an APC smart-ups 1400. It allows me plenty of time (~20 minutes) to power things down if I loose power during a movie.
    The key is finding one that has a pure sine wave output. You can generally find them on eBay for around $50 as they are heavy and shipping cost is fairly high.
     

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