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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:44 AM   #1
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Ouch!--Preventing power surges

Hey folks,
I was scanning footage to capture on my miniDV camera. It's an older piece of Sh*t and time for a new one, but thats aside from the point. I had the camera pluged into the DC adapter and from the camera - firewire into the computer. About half hour through my viewing, a surge went through the motherboard and fried the whole thing. Does anyone have some good safe gaurd and preventive advice so I don't loose three days to rebuilding my computer again?

Sincerly,
Michael Estepp
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Old January 7th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #2
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Buy a surge protected extension lead, they range in price and shape.

Belkin do various kinds, they also come with a connected equipment surge protection warranty.

Cheers,

Ed
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Old January 7th, 2004, 11:20 AM   #3
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Are you asking to prevent your computer in the future or prevent
damage to your harddisk now?
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Old January 7th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #4
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Im looking to prevent future surges through the firewire cable, if thats possible.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 02:02 PM   #5
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Michael,

I would guess that it's very rare that a Firewire Card will on its own, send voltages to a connected device that will damage it. In this case, it sounds as if a surge on your AC (Mains for our UK friends) input line damaged the computer which in turn damaged the connected cam. I strongly recommend that you invest in a combination surge protector/battery backup. It will prevent all but the most severe surges from damaging your computer AND will give you time to save your work should you suffer a power failure.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #6
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Thanks, so you are saying that there is no way for a surge to have gone from the camera to the computer? only the other way around?
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Old January 7th, 2004, 04:08 PM   #7
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You can never say never when in comes to electrons! They have a way of proving you wrong, especially in surge situations. The fact that the voltages and current available in the cam are much lower vs. the computer would suggest that the computer was the source. It's possible that a surge from the AC power supply to the cam could get through but would likely smoke the cam in the process.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 12:38 AM   #8
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Please people I want you to know what happened to my sister she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Last year there was a storm a big storm that hit the area as a bolt of lighting hit the house it fried the wires in the whole house. Every part of the electrical was blown. All the appliances and the weird thing was her husband was on the computer when it hit and he had electricity go up his arm.

The insurance for the house covered everything to a point however the computer was really not covered.

My suggestion is that you get an APC or Belkin Back Ups Pro one that backs up the lose of power. Little old power strips are worthless except for putting your transformers for your devices on. The best part of a Back Ups is that when you get to mush power it saves the unit and your insured for your computers. However if you get to little as in a "Brown Out" that is when the power company has the rights to send you less power so they don't have black outs well they give no warnings as to them and your CPU doesn't like the loss of power.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 08:30 AM   #9
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Just as a funny note: I wouldn't worry about my CPU. More with
the things I have in my memory banks and more specific my
harddisk.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #10
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I agree with Sharon, you need to invest in a good UPS. A UPS has saved me more than once from power problems.

However, more importantly is that you have a good back-up policy in place, whether this means backing up to a secondary hard drive on another computer, DVD-R, CDR, or the like. Should anything untoward ever happen to your computer, you will have a back-up of your data.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 10:23 PM   #11
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Over the last ten years, I have lost enumerable amounts of electrical equipment in my house due to surges. Phones, microwaves, computers etc. . . Even though things have settled out now, I have good surge protectors on almost everything in the house. After losing two more nic cards last summer, I added a Belkin APC backup to my editing computer and complete surge protection on my cable box and cat 5 cables. It is really easy to find protection for phone lines, but, finding protection for the cat 5 was difficult. Most electronics stores never heard of it.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #12
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Christopher GOOD CALL on the backing up of your apps and your projects. I forget from time to time and I let it go for a couple of months and then I sometimes pay for it.

Again good call.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #13
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i'm currently using both of the following:

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...duct_Id=123044
http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm

it is the belkin 1200VA and APC RS 1500 or 1000. they both offer usb connections to let the computer know when power goes out and they also offer AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator). in terms of prices they offer it from $150-200 but it's worth every penny cause of the data you are protecting and the peace of mind coming from stability. i highly recommend one or the other.
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