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Author Topic: Surge Protection  (Read 3309 times)
W4OEQ
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Posts: 161




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« on: September 06, 2017, 06:57:46 AM »

I live in a rural area in which the electrical power is not 100% stable.  At random times, particularly during rain storms, the 110vac power to the house will flicker or be completely cut.  If I am using my ham radio (e.g., TenTec Omni VII) at the time, the power on-off-on fast switching places great stress on the rig, computer, amplifier, etc.  The question is whether or not I should get one or more surge protection back-up devices to protect the rigs) until I can properly turn them off.  I have read the previous posts on this topic but they tend to be devoted to those who want an emergency power supply which is not what I am addressing.  Comments?  73, Tom, W4OEQ
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KD8IIC
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Posts: 648




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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 07:50:27 AM »

 Tom; Greetings.
Considering your Ten-Ten is not an AC mains supplied rig but rather you must use an outboard 12 VDC supply. Please just consider an easy-low cost solution; add a 12v SLA type battery in parallel with that DC power supply output. If/when you have a glitch then the 12v SLA battery will take up the slack instantly, no?
At least it will not get a spike and you will have time enough to power it down if you need to.
The battery will remain sufficiently charged by your power supply, no?
 Just a suggestion.
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AC5UP
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Posts: 4413




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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 08:04:22 AM »

The OP also mentioned a computer and amplifier as well...

As a research starting point, click this:  http://www.homedepot.com/b/Search/N-5yc1vZbm05/Ntk-Extended/Ntt-surge+protector?Ntx=mode+matchpartialmax&NCNI-5

Large selection of device types and prices.  I have a device similar to this  http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-15-Amp-Type-BR-Double-Pole-Surge-Arrester-BRSURGE/205448789  in my breaker box as 'a good idea'.  No telling if it has ever saved my bacon as it does absolutely nothing most of the time and that's OK with me... 
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WA3SKN
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Posts: 6496




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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 08:36:40 AM »

You can use filters, you can use batteries, you can use a UPS system... of varying sizes and abilities.
What is your budget? Have you determined total wattage needed and for how long?

-Mike.
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W4OEQ
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Posts: 161




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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 11:04:09 AM »

To clarify the situation ..... My problem is that there is a sudden absence of 110vac for the entire house.  The city power then quickly recovers in a split second.  When this happens, the Omni-VII and associated equipment blink, relays open and close, the radio makes a big cracking sound, and then power returns.  I want to prevent this because it can only be doing harm to the equipment.  This kind of disruption usually happens during stormy weather but, being semi-rural, it can occur at any time.  For example, a car could crash into a power pole causing the electrical grid to quickly switch to another source.  One respondent suggested using a backup 12vdc battery in parallel with the TenTec external 12vdc supply.  Had not previously considered this approach.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3525




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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 11:24:00 AM »

Power your equipment with batteries alone, recharging them overnight or when not in use!
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N3QE
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 12:33:10 PM »

One respondent suggested using a backup 12vdc battery in parallel with the TenTec external 12vdc supply.  Had not previously considered this approach.

That is a fine approach.

Some 12VDC supplies will die horrible deaths if they are turned off or AC power removed while charging a battery.

Some supplies handle this situation fine, others need a protection diode.
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KS2G
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Posts: 732




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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 01:42:04 PM »

Not a surge protector -- an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
They're widely available -- just find one that provides enough wattage for the rig and whatever else you want to protect.

For example:
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntt=UPS

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K1HMS
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Posts: 463




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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 02:32:26 PM »

Not a surge protector -- an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
They're widely available -- just find one that provides enough wattage for the rig and whatever else you want to protect.

For example:
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntt=UPS


KS2G and others are right, just get a UPS. I use APC ES650 on my network/wifi gear and one in the shack for the radio gear and computer. They also provide excellent surge and under voltage protection.  I buy them used without the battery on eBay for $20 and get the largest correct battery fit at Batteries R US.

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N3DT
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 03:11:21 PM »

If it's just your radio and associated equipment I agree that a ups or even just a battery will help. But if you want to protect everything in your house you need a whole house protector. I have one because I use X10 or Leviton DHC controllers for lights and before I got one of these whole house protectors, I would loose several of the DHC controllers every lightning season. Since I've installed it maybe 10 years ago, I haven't lost any. It's situational I know, but I think they do work in reducing spikes. I live in a very rural place where we loose power all the time or it winks out for a few seconds like you say. I got the Intermatic one, it was about $100 but the first 3 DHC controllers I didn't loose it saved me money. If you're diy handy you can install them yourself.
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W4OEQ
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Posts: 161




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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 05:49:52 PM »

My apologies to readers if I am confusing the issue by my terminology.   As I understand it, a surge protector will prevent spikes in my line voltage from causing problems with appliances in the house, including my ham equipment.  However, it appears that this would not solve my problem which is caused by BREAKS in the power.  In other words, short periods of NO voltage to the rig.  I previously concluded that what I need is the same kind of battery backup device such as the ones I use to protect my household computers.  My inquiry was intended to clarify whether there is something inherently wrong with using an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with my Omni VII, two meter rig, laptop computer, etc.  Tnx, Tom, W4OEQ
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W6EM
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 06:32:22 PM »

Tom:  It sounds like what you are likely experiencing are the effects of devices called "reclosers" or "service restorers," in utility vernacular.  Basically a smart circuit breaker with an automatic delayed closure following a momentary short on the high voltage lines.  These are used frequently on rural circuits where there are lots of trees which may drop pieces of limbs and such, that touch and then fall away from overhead lines.  They are also timed to allow any fuses beyond them time enough to blow, and then separate faulted pieces from main lines.

A UPS would solve your problem with momentary interruptions, low voltage sags or high voltage transients.  The linear might be a problem, as most are 240V, or have high demand from 120V circuits.  I'd recommend getting one rated to handle 500 Watts for about 10 to 15 minutes for all but the linear.  If you can separate the filament transformer for the linear and power it with a separate 120V feed, you could add that to your 120V UPS as pulsing filaments isn't too good on tubes.

The only downside I can think of in the case of the UPS is possibly noise from it, since they do produce a pulse width modulated source when operating.  Some of them have an auto bypass that allows normal operation and will switch on within a quarter cycle or so.  At least they used to......

73.

Lee
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1768




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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 09:47:57 PM »

I live in a semi-rural area and have similar periodic power failures. We can have several short "outages" within a few minutes at times, which is hard on stuff.  I have an APC brand UPS on my computer/monitor/printer and it keeps the PC on line without a glitch. A UPS is highly recommended if you have "erratic" AC power during storms.
If you find it has some RF noise, I suspect some ferrites and/or a toroid of a mix that is for RFI supression would kill the noise. Just run the AC power wires and DC cables through the toroid as many times as you can.

Using a battery for back up or primary rig power certainly works, but most rigs are designed to operate on 13.8 V DC and will have a little lower output on 12 Volts, but no big deal.

If it were me, I sure would try a UPS (one that also filters and "conditions" the AC line) first............  A whole house surge protector is another matter entirely, but well worth the cost and time to install it (which is not much if you are comfortable working in an electrical panel).

73,  K0ZN
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 09:53:10 PM by K0ZN » Logged
N4MQ
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Posts: 139




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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 04:59:11 AM »

Have you considered using a relay to power your equipment / bench / shack and if there is a brownout or drop out, the power is off and you can reset it when you feel the power is stable again.  The blink is what causes A/C compressors to fail, in my 38 years running a HVAC company the failures were due to the reclosing  of the breakers in rapid succession.  like going from 60 MPH to zero and back to 60 MPH in your car, a terrific stress.

If you have any big transformer cores it also possible to have the core partially magnetized and then hit with the same polarity pulse driving it into saturation and a big current pulse.  Zero cross over switches are not recommended for magnetics due to this factor, Peak voltage switches are the better choice.  Previously I had a power control switch control like the commercial EPO's  ( emergency power off ) switch in case is issues or for completely powering off the shack when I leave ( with exceptions ) and it served me well.  Its nice to have a master power control switch especially if your family has to shut the thing down due to an unexpected event.  Shoot when my rigs are off all antennas are disconnected AND grounded thru another relay - safety.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2017, 05:50:34 AM »

What you are looking for is a Online/double-conversion Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

The online UPS always has the batteries connected to the inverter, and has no power transfer switches. When the power goes out, the rectifier stops supplying DC charging power and the batteries keep the power output on. When power comes back on, the rectifier again supplies power and begins recharging the batteries. This is what you want for equipment that is very sensitive to power fluctuations. This is a more expensive solution but optimal for your situation.
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