Bugs & Fixes: Turning power off turns trouble on
Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:26 PM
After the damage occurred the surge protector probably began delivering "noisy" power to your devices, which can cause all sorts of problems to attached devices as varying draws are made through the damaged surge protector.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:29 PM
Does that mean you only turn off the surge protector while these devices are still up and running?
Posted 21 December 2012 - 04:09 PM
From having dealt with electronic equipment for 40+ years, I've come across two modes of thought:
1. leave the equipment on 24/7. Don't put the equipment through the physical strain of heating up / cooling down. Weak electrical (mechanically weak) connections don't move around and break down.
2. have the equipment on only when you need it, saves energy.
I leave my stuff on 24/7.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 04:50 PM
That is may well be what happened. Although I don't know why a surge occurred in this case, when it never had before. And as everything seemed to be getting power normally, it didn't occur to me that "noisy" power (whatever that may be exactly) would cause the display system. But I suppose it did.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:38 PM
All of our Tripp Lite ISOBAR ULTRA surge blocks at a research group have this clear warning on them - if they are off, there is nothing preventing surges from hitting your equipment and as bad, insurance will not cover the loss.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:34 AM
""The Surge Protection outlets will protect your peripheral (non-data sensitive) equipment such as printers, faxes, and modems from physical hardware damage caused by surges, spikes, and over voltages. These outlets are ""Always On"". They are not controlled by the On/Off switches on the front of the UPS. As long as there is good input AC power from the wall, these outlets will remain on."
Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:17 AM
Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:42 AM
Yep. I've had many an engineer prescribe the exact same thing over the years. I don't restart or shut down unless necessary.
Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:09 PM
I like to know the how and why, too, but it's been my experience with troubleshooting that you don't always find the proximate causes even when you fix the problem. We cannot all be experts in everything. Troubleshooting, almost by definition, is a matter of trying this and trying that until the problem is resolved. Though Ted doesn't need me to speak for him, this is clearly the procedure he followed in this case.
By the way, though folks seem to be assuming Ted was using a UPS, most affordable surge protectors do not include a battery back up. Replacing a UPS unit can be a costly proposition. Even replacing the battery is expensive - not to mention the toxic chemicals from the old battery that need to be recycled.
As for whether the surge protector was "doing its job", if it was tripped by a power surge large enough to break the fuse that provides the surge protection, it should have no longer been able to supply any power to plugged-in devices. That's the whole point, if I'm not mistaken. If it was damaged by a surge and continued to function, even at a sub-par level, it was simply defective, which seems to me to be a more plausible explanation than some otherwise undetectable power surge. Indeed, from the symptoms Ted describes, the surge protector was creating irregularities in the current. This would explain the original malfunctions in his peripherals. And, even after they adapted to the new power stream, which may have been more erratic at the moment he turned the surge protector on, it appears it continued to provide flawed current, to which his monitor was more sensitive than his other devices.
Now I'm no electrical engineer and I may have the mechanics of the surge protector wrong. Perhaps it was designed to block a surge and still be usable after the surge had passed. Still, it was clearly performing badly, however it was designed to work. Given the amount of stress a surge protector can experience in daily use, even without a surge event, it should not be surprising that they can fail from time to time.
Whatever the cause in this case, I feel forewarned to pay closer attention to my surge protectors for signs of malfunction or fatigue.
Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:16 AM
Don't you use Time Machine? It preserves a history of your data, as a backup utility should.