Surge protector for iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mwfernandez80, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. mwfernandez80 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2011
    I have the baseline iMac 21.5, and I feel the need to get a surge protector for because my power just went out last night and who knows when it will again. Luckily my computer was turned off anyways. But any recommendations for a good surge protector would be welcomed. I would only be plugging the image and possible a little desk lamp into it if that makes a difference . Thanks!:apple:
  2. mwfernandez80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2011
  3. GhostMac24 macrumors 6502


    Jul 27, 2011
    I have a UPS that is good for something like 60 minutes in the event of a power outage. It is also a heavy duty surge protector. I think I paid something like $50-60 for it at Sam's Club a year ago. It's made by APC and has been rock solid.
  4. mwfernandez80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2011
    Sorry for the noob quesion but, what is UPC AND APC? Are they brand's or types or what?
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    UPS = uninterrupted power supply. It's basically a battery backup for electronics. APC is a brand that makes high-quality ones. CyberPower is pretty good too. If you buy Best Buy's generic brand, you're actually just getting a rebranded CyberPower.

    Try to find a UPS that has a USB port on it. Then you can plug your Mac into it via USB and have the operating system automatically shutdown when the power goes out; such as when the UPS battery gets low or after a set amount of time. The setting for this (after you plug it in) is in your Energy Saver settings.
  6. spoon72 macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2011
  7. westom macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2009
    A blackout is voltage going to zero. A surge is voltage going above thousands. The two are completely different anomalies. A solution for one does not do anything for the other. Blackouts do not harm electronics. What are you trying to solve? Important is to define a problem before trying to fix it.

    Blackouts are a threat to unsaved data; not to hardware. A UPS provides temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. Provides time to save unsaved data. Or to keep downloading a movie during that blackout.
  8. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Isn't that the point of the AVR (assuming your UPS has one, which mine does)? If you supply your machine with constant 120V, wouldn't that still be considered clean energy?
  9. turbobass macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Are voltage spikes not common when the power comes back on? I've heard that when the power comes back on it can cause a spike that can be damaging. So, not the blackout itself but the secondary consequence can be harmful?
  10. westom macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2009
    The point of AVR is to regulate voltage - not 'clean' it. 'Clean' is a subjective term for all type of anomalies. A term to confuse laymen who do not demand numbers.

    Meanwhile, voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. Ideal power for all electronics (as will be described later).

    This is a 120 volt sine wave output UPS. 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts between those square waves. The RMS is a regulated 120 VAC. A perfectly ideal power source for all electronics. And potentially destructive to small electric motors and power strip protectors.

    Due to 'dirty' power from that UPS in battery backup mode, the manufacturer will quietly recommend no motorized appliances or power strip protectors on its output. And would rather not say why. They are often selling a myth of 'clean' power. If that UPS power was really clean, then the manufacturer defined it with numbers in specification. Good luck finding such numbers such as %THD. Better for profits is to encourage the least informed to keep making subjective recommendations.

    Do you need 'clean' UPS power? That "120 volt sine wave output" is perfectly ideal power due to protection already inside all electronics. Then electronics converts that power to even 'dirtier' electricity. First 120 volts is converted to well over 300 volts. Then converted to high voltage radio waves. Then the supply converts all that to a rock steady low voltage DC. Even makes the '50% intensity' voltage irrelevant and ideal. Best 'cleaning' already exists inside electronics. Those educated by advertising would not know this.

    Other anomalies also exist. To have a better answer means discussing each anomaly, one at a time, with numbers. Most who recommend a UPS never do that. Most will recommend only what hearsay and sales brochures encourage them to believe.

    If anyone makes a recommendation without citing specification numbers, then suspect the worst. This post contains some numeric examples.

    OP asked for surge protection. Due to no numbers, he has confused a blackout with a surge. What happens when power is restored? Due to powering so many loads, voltage slowly increases. This may be harmful to motorized appliances that dislike low voltages - ie refrigerator. And that type of power on is ideal for all electronics. Sometimes we design circuits inside electronics to reproduce that slowly increasing voltage to increase life expectancy. It contradicts what so many believe due to "subjective" knowledge.

    Spikes during power on are mostly mythical. Sometimes a surge can cause a power off. So surge damage happened before power was lost. Those who 'know' only using observation then assume power on cause the damage. Another example of why so many know only from hearsay and junk science reasoning.

    UPS has one primary function. To provide temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout. Other anomalies are best solved elsewhere.

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