# power line conditioner

S

Jan 1, 1970
0
What can a line conditioner protect my computer from that a good power
supply cannot? Can I expect a much longer life from my computer
components using a line conditioner?

B

#### Bill Vajk

Jan 1, 1970
0
Spacey said:
What can a line conditioner protect my computer from that a good power
supply cannot? Can I expect a much longer life from my computer
components using a line conditioner?

As a general rule, your computer will become obsolete
before the components fail.

S

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bill Vajk said:
As a general rule, your computer will become obsolete
before the components fail.

It won't be obsolete to me! I'd still like to use it for a decade or
two, and would like to know if a line conditioner will help it survive
that long (running at expected temperatures).

B

#### Bill Vajk

Jan 1, 1970
0
It won't be obsolete to me! I'd still like to use it for a decade or
two,

Look back 2 deades at the machine you would have bought
then and tell me you'd still be using one of those
today. Give me a break. You couldn't be using the
internet with one of those things they way you do.

Look forward to advances and growth similar to those
we've experienced in the recent past.
and would like to know if a line conditioner will help it survive
that long (running at expected temperatures).

Best guess is that while line conditioning would save you
from some of the failure modes ordinary commercial equipment
you bought won't last two decades. Of 7 machines on a LAN
I use sometimes two motherboards failed between 4 and 5
years of age. Both intermittently failed to recognize a
peripheral (one the keyboard, the other the mouse.) An
identical machine used in a residential setting had the
USB port and the integrated sound card fail just after
3 years. (These were all barebones systems purchased from
www.krex.com at their store which is nearby.)

Obviously everyone's mileage varies. I have ~10 computers
here, and I typically lose 1 to 1.5 motherboards each year
despite power conditioning.

Motherboards are inexpensively made these days. CPU's run
quite hot with lots of cooling. If nothing else, fan failures
slip up on people when least expected. Computers have become
just another disposable.

It was about 2 decades ago that I bought an 80286 motherboard
with a 10 MHz processor overclocked to 12, and no ram or
anything else with it, for the basement bargain price of $285. For about the same price in devalued dollars I can buy a 2.6GHz CPU, motherboard, and 512 megs of ram across the counter at MicroCenter, and that sucker has a lot of stuff built into it. Today I have no use for the 80 meg MFM harddrive that cost me in excess of$700 a decade + back. By today's standards
is is small and slow (82 microseconds track to track seek time
but it did interleave 1:1, hot stuff back ten.)

1984 cars aren't real popular here either.

T

#### The Captain

Jan 1, 1970
0
What can a line conditioner protect my computer from that a good power
supply cannot? Can I expect a much longer life from my computer
components using a line conditioner?

The line condition that destroys or damages more PCs or any other
electronic equipment than any other is high overvoltage on either the
mains power supply line or the copmmunications pair.

For networked PCs in a protected office environment, these aren't much
of a problem, but for a home PC, they can be a killer. I speak from
experience. A nearby lightening strike can couple into connected
lines and cause thousands of volts to appear momentarily on either
your PSU input lines or modem connection.

A good PSU will accommodate minor swings in supply voltage and will
operate as long as the rest of your equipment. However, unless you
have built in overvoltage protection in both comms and power ports,
you should install high voltage protection on both these if you live
anywhere where lightening is likely, which I guess is everywhere apart
from Antarctica.

Just about everybody sells these and they're cheap.

For longevity, the one thing you need to look out for is dust in the
every three months and make sure that the vanes of the heatsink aren't
getting clogged, and unclog them if there is any kind of dust buildup
there, your processor will last a hell of a lot longer. The dust will
restrict the airflow over the vanes and the procesor temperature will
rise quite remarkably, ensuring a short and eratic life.

Cap

J

#### JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
using a line conditioner?

Most failures are catastrophic--not incremental,
so long life would come from a lack of a dramatic event.
Vacuumming out dust and preventing heat buildup is a good practice.

Overvoltage and spikes are the real enemy.
Your ally here is the metal oxide varistor.
These are packaged as surge protectors.
The one thing that must be recognized is that,
as these absorb abuse, they degrade and must be replaced.
There is no indication of the current state of the devices within.
The best hedge is to initially buy the one with the largest rating
(in Joules) that you can find.

....and I'm with you on using hardware as long as it still runs
--even if you end up using it only as a Linux print/file/whatever server
and getting a little networking experience out of it.

S

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bill Vajk said:
Look back 2 deades at the machine you would have bought
then and tell me you'd still be using one of those
today. Give me a break. You couldn't be using the
internet with one of those things they way you do.

Look forward to advances and growth similar to those
we've experienced in the recent past.

Best guess is that while line conditioning would save you
from some of the failure modes ordinary commercial equipment
you bought won't last two decades. Of 7 machines on a LAN
I use sometimes two motherboards failed between 4 and 5
years of age. Both intermittently failed to recognize a
peripheral (one the keyboard, the other the mouse.) An
identical machine used in a residential setting had the
USB port and the integrated sound card fail just after
3 years. (These were all barebones systems purchased from
www.krex.com at their store which is nearby.)

Obviously everyone's mileage varies. I have ~10 computers
here, and I typically lose 1 to 1.5 motherboards each year
despite power conditioning.

Motherboards are inexpensively made these days. CPU's run
quite hot with lots of cooling. If nothing else, fan failures
slip up on people when least expected. Computers have become
just another disposable.

It was about 2 decades ago that I bought an 80286 motherboard
with a 10 MHz processor overclocked to 12, and no ram or
anything else with it, for the basement bargain price of $285. For about the same price in devalued dollars I can buy a 2.6GHz CPU, motherboard, and 512 megs of ram across the counter at MicroCenter, and that sucker has a lot of stuff built into it. Today I have no use for the 80 meg MFM harddrive that cost me in excess of$700 a decade + back. By today's standards
is is small and slow (82 microseconds track to track seek time
but it did interleave 1:1, hot stuff back ten.)

1984 cars aren't real popular here either.

Okay, okay! Maybe two decades is a bit much, but I would still make
use of a P133 machine today. With motherboards more cheaply made, and
maybe more sensitive to bad power than those in the past, I wanted to
take some precaution. Thanks for your thoughts as they are
enlightening. Spacey

S

Jan 1, 1970
0
The line condition that destroys or damages more PCs or any other
electronic equipment than any other is high overvoltage on either the
mains power supply line or the copmmunications pair.

For networked PCs in a protected office environment, these aren't much
of a problem, but for a home PC, they can be a killer. I speak from
experience. A nearby lightening strike can couple into connected
lines and cause thousands of volts to appear momentarily on either
your PSU input lines or modem connection.

A good PSU will accommodate minor swings in supply voltage and will
operate as long as the rest of your equipment. However, unless you
have built in overvoltage protection in both comms and power ports,
you should install high voltage protection on both these if you live
anywhere where lightening is likely, which I guess is everywhere apart
from Antarctica.

Just about everybody sells these and they're cheap.

For longevity, the one thing you need to look out for is dust in the
every three months and make sure that the vanes of the heatsink aren't
getting clogged, and unclog them if there is any kind of dust buildup
there, your processor will last a hell of a lot longer. The dust will
restrict the airflow over the vanes and the procesor temperature will
rise quite remarkably, ensuring a short and eratic life.

Cap

thinking of getting a decent UPS (line interactive), like a Fenton
PowerPal, but perhaps that is overkill and would be better with a
surge protector. PowerPal specs say: "Complete surge suppression and
noise filtration". But then I thought "doesn't a good PSU do noise
filtration?"

Surge protector requirements:
UL standard 1449:
"In addition, the UL label should list a clamping Voltage of 500 volts
voltage on hard-wired TVSS. The lowest clamping voltage recognized by
UL is 330 volts (.33 kV)."

As for the uninterruptible power, I save often, and rarely have power
go off anyway. Luxury item I can do without. Spacey

S

Jan 1, 1970
0
Most failures are catastrophic--not incremental,
so long life would come from a lack of a dramatic event.
Vacuumming out dust and preventing heat buildup is a good practice.

Overvoltage and spikes are the real enemy.
Your ally here is the metal oxide varistor.
These are packaged as surge protectors.
The one thing that must be recognized is that,
as these absorb abuse, they degrade and must be replaced.
There is no indication of the current state of the devices within.
The best hedge is to initially buy the one with the largest rating
(in Joules) that you can find.

...and I'm with you on using hardware as long as it still runs
--even if you end up using it only as a Linux print/file/whatever server
and getting a little networking experience out of it.

"Most failures are catastrophic--not incremental"

statistical data would be nice, but I'm willing to take your word for
it.

http://snipurl.com/4g0y
http://snipurl.com/4g0z

Spacey

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