Surge Protector

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by julienko3, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. julienko3 macrumors regular

    May 6, 2006
    Hi all,

    Is the MacBook's AC Power Adapter a surge protector? If not, should I use a surge protector?


  2. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    No and yes when ever possible. Even though it is over kill, I use a UPS when I am at home for my PB, mostly because the UPS I have provides better protection than most surge protectors out there. I have my FW drives connected the UPS also.
  3. julienko3 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 6, 2006
  4. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

    Jun 27, 2006
    Boca Raton, FL
    thank god someone knew the answer to this. i had an arguement about this. i told him he should plug into a surge protector, and he told me the ac adapter was already protection enough.

    long story short... i win
  5. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    You can never have enough surge protection, the more the merrier. Does the MB have a joule rating?
  6. truz macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2006
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well technically thats not true.....If you look on the rating on most UPS units compared to surge bars, the surge bar can take ALOT more. However, the UPS normally has switched to battery backup before that peak ever hits so its not a problem. :D

    But for actual use a UPS has better protection as it normally it will switch from AC to battery before the bulk of the surge hits. However I have heard of units connected to UPS units fry and regular surge not as the spike was unusual and a very fast spike and it was a cheaper UPS(under $100)
  8. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    even if the ac adapter was a surge protector i wouldn't use it. the thing is surge protectors are suiciadal and do i want a 10$ suiciadal device or the $60 ? $100 ? dollar suiciadal device. a bit of a side note having lost 3 computers and a nice speaker set due to lightning, make sure you're using a surge protector. remeber not all powerstrips are surge protectors. i learned this the expensive way.

    and the ups protect against power dips... (dont know technical term). powerdips can be just as deadly as power spikes.
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Surge Protectors should not be Suicidal. They will simply flip the power switch on the bar to off, cutting the circuit. It turn it back on and it should be just fine. However if the spike was more then its rated for it may make it suicidal.
    Brown outs, your power-supply can normally handle the odd brown out when it only dips to around 100V. However if this happens all the time you will go through power supplies so fast. A friend of mine was going through power supplies left right and center on his PCs and servers. So he was a little mad. He then tested his voltage and he was getting around 100V all the time. He then did the math on his breakers and he was running about 40A through a 20 A breaker. And the breaker never popped.
  10. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    Can someone recommend a Smart Backup system whose USB/software works better with OS X and is easy to use?
    The Cyber Power sw is very sophisticated and shuts the computer down, not that I need it that much.
    I was looking at this for $99, but all I see is Windows on it!

    [EDIT] Just found more info. Apparently none of the software perfectly or consistantly on Macs.
    Pro and cons of the Belkin /Bulldog and APC/Powerchute and only Mac Energy Panel settings.

    I bought a backup once and it had limited sw [Bulldog, not good] functions for a Mac user, which made the whole system and all the extras i was paying for, hard to use or absent:(

    I seem to get frequent, brief outages as well as outright power failures. Theses interuptions must be creating nasty surges. I talked to a Power Company workman and apparently the line equipment will trip, then wait and then test a couple of times to re-establish the connection, before shutting down completley..

    I do have a Tripplite Isobar surge protector, for more sensitive audio equiment and a Belkin surgmaster for the rest, but I think it's time for some voltage regulation. Also, a stereo system is hooked up with the computer and I'm getting some computer interference noises.

    Between frequent power outages and a plethorea of potholes in the pavement, feel like I'm living in a third world country, not 20 miles from the Silicon Valley!

  11. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I highly recommend a whole house surge protector.

    Most utilities now offer an affordable program to install one at your meter base.

    Even with the best surge protection, NOTHING protects your phone lines effectively.

    Very few people understand that your phone lines share the neutral from your power lines.

    If there is a fault down the line, the resulting line voltage zaps your phone line faster than anything man made.

    I would never leave a computer connected to external phone or cable lines when not in use.
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I have that UPS, and, while the software is a bit flaky with Macs (and old), it does seem to work OK. It's a great unit for the price, and the AVR functionality, coupled with the software, enabled me to diagnose overvoltage on my home line which had fried a piece of non-UPS'd stereo equipment - the utility company then fixed it so other things weren't affected.

    So, I personally like it.

    I strongly recommend an AVR (automatic voltage regulation) UPS. They don't cost much more.

    Also, FWIW, when you (the generic "you") use your Apple laptop power adapter, you really should use the plug with a ground on it as opposed to the two-prong one right on the brick.
  13. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005

    I agree, full electrical protection for other than just surges, without buying the very expensive kind, seems like just the right price to performance ratio.
    The plan is to buy a fully tested, used AVR UPS unit, with a new battery, to keep costs down.
    Can those battteries be replaced?

    Shipping costs for heavy batteries is also worth considering.

    Had a suspicion the advanced power monitoring sw would not be top of the line, and require a Mac user's accomodation. Second class software is starting to bug me!

    After needing to use a clone backup, a couple of days ago, and seeing how much time and energy it saved to be prepared, in case of an emergency, the search for an APC unit, has a renewed urgency. I don't want to be the guy that buys protection, after a catastrophy has hit!

  14. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    I forgot how this worked, remember it wasn't obvoius.
    Isn't the phone line ring voltage something like 60 volts, half the household voltage 120 volts (USA), but using much less amperage? The phone company getting power for the system from the powerlines?

    As far as my houshould phone line conection to the electrical utility, all I see is, they may share common grounds objects at least at the house, like gas or water pipe or rod.

    I grounded the phone box at the line of demarcation to the househould grounding rod, gas line and waterline.

    The purpose was to provide a better ground, than me holding the end of the phonewire, in case some high or houshold current made contact with the phone line, for instance if a high voltage wire burns in two as a squirrel leaps across, onto the phonelines below.

    The phone company, here in California does not ground the dermacation/junction boxes, allthough there is a grounding screw inside, I put a ground wire there myself.
    IIRC the power company grounds the sytem by running a wire down the telephone pole.

    I suspect Pacific Gas& Electric tries to keep phone lines away from power lines, where they could short to one another more easily, within the customers home wiring.

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