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Voltage Regulator - what do I need?


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#1 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 11:16 PM

I have some Thai-made UPSs here in Thailand but unfortunately the power supply is all over the place recently and we're getting power spikes/failures that the UPSs just can't take and my machine crashes and reboots (these failures are usually accompanied by a loud bang from a nearby street! Oh the joys of living in a developing country lol).

I figure I need some sort of voltage regulator before the UPS, but I'm not sure what. Can someone advise me what such a thing looks like and how much it might cost?

Or should I just go and buy an APC power supply? Would this be better?

By the way our rated power supply here is 220V.

#2 ce4jesus

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 08:03 AM

Hi Nick,
In short it sounds like your UPS is being bombarded by large voltage spikes. Spikes like these will often take out a UPS's surge protection circuitry and then get passed along to sensitive electronics. We had a similar problem in remote areas with some of our systems. We ended up placing an industrial grade power conditioner in front of the UPS's.
BTW, just as a side note, most small UPSs will only hold a computer up for around 15-30 minutes depending upon what you have plugged into it. They're typically just made for short term use to do an orderly shutdown.

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#3 Scuba_SI

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:38 AM

I got one for $4 in Indonesia, a big red box which cuts out if the power spikes, i have that before the UPS which stops the ups from getting nailed by the spikes.

They should be easy to come by in Bangkok, every computer in every office has on here.

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#4 WaterWorks

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 07:01 PM

problem here in Thailand is that pretty frequently the voltage off the mains fluctuates between the expected 220v (sometimes dangerously much higher!) and as low as about 160v - go figure.....

of course - with a few power hungry peripherals plugged-in - when voltage drops too low then the onboard batteries in a UPS can't charge and when the power cuts, so does the UPS with it..... ergh...... :) :( ;)

another option is to have separate dedicated UPS's for each piece of hardware...

otherwise, head for the approx 100USD type transformer. Big solid boxes, aproximately 30cmx30cmx30xcm weighing in at approx 15+ kilos!

the cheaper options are generally wee little plug-boards (Scuba-SI's one seems to not be included, as he says he got a big box....sounds like a bargain!) with built in surge protection but they're pretty-much designed for the more reliable electricity networks of countries that have a more developed infrastructure....

#5 Nick Hope

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:22 PM

Chris, my UPSs deal fine with the routine drops in voltage. I hear them "clicking in" occasionally, usually at the same time as the lights dim a little. My recent troubles have been far more dramatic power problems than just a dip in voltage, hence the loud bang from down the street. There's so much construction going on around here at the moment. Plus the infrastructure still can't seem to cope with heavy rain.

Next time I'm in Phuket Town I'll have a look for what's available.

2 seasons ago a knackered generator on the dive boat put 1000V through all my chargers/power supplies during the night. That was fun.

#6 Nick Hope

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 02:49 AM

I'm starting to wonder if this is relevant...

In the manual for my Enermax Liberty power supply it says "...please use Sine Wave type UPS. This PSU is not compatible with Simulate Sine Wave type UPS".

My older computer, on a similar Thai-built UPS, does not crash when the power cuts, and I can't find anything about the UPS type in the manual for the power supply (Enermax EG365P-VE).

Anyone know if these typical Thai-built UPSs are "sine wave" or "simulate sine wave"? And does anyone know what type the APC UPSs are?

#7 Nick Hope

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 09:53 PM

Well, I got an APC Back-UPS RS 1000. It's one of those tall thin ones. In the Power Chute software I had to set the sensitivity to "low" because the power supply here is so awful, but since then it's been working like a dream while all around it fails. Great piece of kit!

#8 fdog

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:48 AM

It sounds like you need a Line Conditioner. These convert AC current into DC, then invert the DC back into steady AC.

TrippLite makes the best Line Conditioners although I don't reccomend their UPS products which seem to be pretty bad.


All the best, James

#9 wagsy

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 03:14 PM

James that line convector is a great idea.
A computer only runs on 12 DC volts anyhow.

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