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Powring computer from a generator

 
 
Livewire
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      07-08-2004
I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)

I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?
 
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Unknown
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      07-08-2004
When you say outside, one wonders how far from an AC outlet? Will a long
extension cord do?
"Livewire" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ...
> I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
>
> I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?
>


 
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Livewire
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      07-08-2004
In article <XHdHc.2555$(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> When you say outside, one wonders how far from an AC outlet? Will a long
> extension cord do?
> "Livewire" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) ...
> > I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> > am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
> >
> > I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> > know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> > mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?
> >

>
>

Sadly no -- I'm talking the middle of a field. I can't afford both a
laptop and a generator and the generator wins because it costs less and
cane also be useful for lighting and other mains-voltage gear. Assuming,
that is, that the generator will safely power the computer and laser.
 
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EricP
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      07-08-2004
On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 16:14:41 +0100, Livewire
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
>am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
>
>I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
>know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
>mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?


What's the power requirement of the two likely to be?

 
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Secret Squrrel
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      07-08-2004

"EricP" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 16:14:41 +0100, Livewire
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> >am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
> >
> >I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> >know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> >mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?

>
> What's the power requirement of the two likely to be?


Are you printing off brochures for cows?
**SS**


 
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Livewire
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      07-08-2004
In article <40ed7822$0$7806$(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) says...
>
> "EricP" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 16:14:41 +0100, Livewire
> > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > >I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> > >am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
> > >
> > >I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> > >know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> > >mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?

> >
> > What's the power requirement of the two likely to be?

>
> Are you printing off brochures for cows?
> **SS**
>
>
>

Not brochures . . . a moospaper!

Actually it is for agricultural events. And I'm looking to buy a 2kw
generator (2.4 KVA) which will be more than I'll ever need.
 
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Paul - xxx
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      07-08-2004
Livewire typed:
> I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
>
> I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?


We do something similar to this for lap-timing, race-control, PA, etc etc
for the model car meetings which we race at, which are often in a field,
miles from anywhere else ..

We use a petrol generator and a bog-standard UPS, in-line with a re-settable
(small button) surge protection for itself., along with an RCD device for
human protection. (Overkill we think, but .. ) I wouldn't use just a surge
protector, they're often a 'one-shot' deal .. ie, if there's a surge they
blow instead of your PC .. In which case you replace the surge protector.
If you _really_ want protection then spend more money on the UPS than on the
generator. Not only do they protect the PC from lack of petrol, they also
do a great job of smoothing the power delivery.

Only problem we've ever had is forgetting to re-fill the petrol tank every
six hours, and we run sometimes 12 hour days from 7 am to whenever we decide
to finish. The computer and UPS have survived at least three times a year
of the generator stopping, once for over an hour, with no loss of data or
subsequent problems.

--
Paul ...

(8(|) ... Homer Rocks


 
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Livewire
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-08-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, (E-Mail Removed)
says...
> Livewire typed:
> > I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
> > am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
> >
> > I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
> > know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
> > mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?

>
> We do something similar to this for lap-timing, race-control, PA, etc etc
> for the model car meetings which we race at, which are often in a field,
> miles from anywhere else ..
>
> We use a petrol generator and a bog-standard UPS, in-line with a re-settable
> (small button) surge protection for itself., along with an RCD device for
> human protection. (Overkill we think, but .. ) I wouldn't use just a surge
> protector, they're often a 'one-shot' deal .. ie, if there's a surge they
> blow instead of your PC .. In which case you replace the surge protector.
> If you _really_ want protection then spend more money on the UPS than on the
> generator. Not only do they protect the PC from lack of petrol, they also
> do a great job of smoothing the power delivery.
>
> Only problem we've ever had is forgetting to re-fill the petrol tank every
> six hours, and we run sometimes 12 hour days from 7 am to whenever we decide
> to finish. The computer and UPS have survived at least three times a year
> of the generator stopping, once for over an hour, with no loss of data or
> subsequent problems.
>
>

Thanks for this seriously useful help. I think it points me exactly in
the direction I need.
 
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Paul - xxx
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-08-2004
Livewire typed:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, (E-Mail Removed)
> says...
>> Livewire typed:
>>> I need to use a computer and laser printer outside over the summer and
>>> am looking to buy a *very* cheap generator (I'm cash-strapped!)
>>>
>>> I'm worried about the output stability of the generator. Does anyone
>>> know whether buying a normal surge protector like you would use on the
>>> mains supply provide enough protection for my electronics?

>>
>> We do something similar to this for lap-timing, race-control, PA, etc etc
>> for the model car meetings which we race at, which are often in a field,
>> miles from anywhere else ..
>>
>> We use a petrol generator and a bog-standard UPS, in-line with a
>> re-settable (small button) surge protection for itself., along with an
>> RCD device for human protection. (Overkill we think, but .. ) I
>> wouldn't use just a surge protector, they're often a 'one-shot' deal ..
>> ie, if there's a surge they blow instead of your PC .. In which case you
>> replace the surge protector. If you _really_ want protection then spend
>> more money on the UPS than on the generator. Not only do they protect
>> the PC from lack of petrol, they also do a great job of smoothing the
>> power delivery.
>>
>> Only problem we've ever had is forgetting to re-fill the petrol tank
>> every six hours, and we run sometimes 12 hour days from 7 am to whenever
>> we decide to finish. The computer and UPS have survived at least three
>> times a year of the generator stopping, once for over an hour, with no
>> loss of data or subsequent problems.
>>
>>

> Thanks for this seriously useful help. I think it points me exactly in
> the direction I need.


No worries ..

--
Paul ...

(8(|) ... Homer Rocks


 
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w_tom
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-08-2004
That UPS recommendation is flawed. Typical UPSes would
connect computer directly to AC mains when not in battery
backup mode. The UPS would only kick in when generator was so
grossly out of control that voltage dropped excessively. How
low must voltage drop before it affects a PC? Voltage so low
that incandescent bulbs are at 40% intensity. If any
generator is that bad, then it is better scrapped.

There is no plug-in solution to 'any' generator. PCs are so
resilient that most every generator would never harm the PC.
However we cannot say this for every generator. IOW don't
spend money on plug-in solutions to a defective generator.
Get a minimally acceptable generator that is serious and that
makes specific engineering claims - with numbers. No numbers
means those specification are called junk science.

A benchmark in generators is Honda. They have excellent
regulation and response due to their superior design. Those
are two essential specs that every generator must provide.
Hondas are extremely light. They burn cleanly. They have
some of the best fuel economy (because they better adapt to
all loads). And (this is most important in any outdoor event)
they are extremely quiet.

IOW if you want a generator, then your requirements are met
inside the generator - and not with any plug-in solution.
Exactly why you need numerical specs - and not subjective
recommendations.

To further demonstrate the problem with another poster -
surge protectors are only 'one shot' devices when myth
purveyors have openly deceived the consumer. Effective surge
protectors shunt (they don't stop, block, filter or absorb
surges) without damage. They remain fully functional after
the transient. They do their job without human even aware
that the transient occurred.

This made bluntly obvious by manufacturer datasheets for the
internal active components. Component manufacture is quiet
clear about what their product must do inside the protector.
If a surge protector component is damaged by the transient,
then the surge protector was grossly undersized. The
protector was built in violation of those component
manufacturer's data sheet. However making protectors
undersized is so profitable especially when protectors are
recommended by the technically naive on subjective myths.

A transient too small to damage computer, instead, damages
the grossly overpriced and undersized protector. Then the
technically naive says, "Surge protector sacrificed itself to
protect my computer." Reality: protector was so grossly
undersized that a transient too small to cause computer
damage, instead, damaged the ineffective protector. Just
another way to get the naive to recommend ineffective
products. Grossly undersize the protector so that the naive
recommend it.

Neither a surge protector nor the exact same circuit in a
plug-in UPS will provide generator protection. That
protection must be part of the generator. Honda is a
benchmark. Furthermore computers are so resilient that even
poor generators should not damage a properly constructed
computer.

Learn what your generator must do. Look at Hondas. Start
by learning what a generator must accomplish. Any good
generator means no need for UPS or surge protector to drive
computers.

But then, again, I cannot stress the importance of a quiet
generator.

Livewire wrote:
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, (E-Mail Removed) says...
> > We do something similar to this for lap-timing, race-control, PA, etc etc
> > for the model car meetings which we race at, which are often in a field,
> > miles from anywhere else ..
> >
> > We use a petrol generator and a bog-standard UPS, in-line with a re-settable
> > (small button) surge protection for itself., along with an RCD device for
> > human protection. (Overkill we think, but .. ) I wouldn't use just a surge
> > protector, they're often a 'one-shot' deal .. ie, if there's a surge they
> > blow instead of your PC .. In which case you replace the surge protector.
> > If you _really_ want protection then spend more money on the UPS than on the
> > generator. Not only do they protect the PC from lack of petrol, they also
> > do a great job of smoothing the power delivery.
> >
> > Only problem we've ever had is forgetting to re-fill the petrol tank every
> > six hours, and we run sometimes 12 hour days from 7 am to whenever we decide
> > to finish. The computer and UPS have survived at least three times a year
> > of the generator stopping, once for over an hour, with no loss of data or
> > subsequent problems.
> >
> >

> Thanks for this seriously useful help. I think it points
> me exactly in the direction I need.

 
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