laptop surge protector

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Old 09-14-04, 12:11 AM
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laptop surge protector

I want to settle an argument with a co-worker of mine. Is there a need for a surge protector for a laptop receiving power via an AC power adapter?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-14-04, 04:20 AM
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That depends. Do you want to protect your equipment or not?
 
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Old 09-14-04, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
That depends. Do you want to protect your equipment or not?
LOL, good answer. Do you NEED a surge protector on ANYTHING? Well, no. But you should have one, yes.

Why would a laptop be any different than a PC?

Chris
 
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Old 09-14-04, 01:36 PM
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Naturally, you can assume that I care about my equipment.

I have been told that the AC converter acts as a particularily good surge suppressor. This information came from what I consider a respectable source.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-14-04, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by raharold
I have been told that the AC converter acts as a particularily good surge suppressor. This information came from what I consider a respectable source.
Well, I suppose that there could be built in power protection in the AC adaptor. But if there is, it's a specialty item and isn't typical.

So, the winner of your bet would depend on whether you're betting in generalities or this particular device.

Chris
 
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Old 09-14-04, 03:40 PM
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No, this "theory" applies to all AC to DC converters. The specifiy way an AC to DC converter negates the +/-sine curve of alternating current also dampens surges. Adding to this effect is the battery that essentially acts as a buffer between the power input and the computer components. I'm not an expert so I may be explaining this wrong but this is what understand.

B.S. ... I dunno, maybe. Sounds reasonable to me though.
 
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Old 09-14-04, 04:16 PM
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Check out this link - last bullet and the following paragraph. The AC to DC converter and laptop battery act similar to a UPS except that the power is not converted back to AC. Sounds like a large surge will wipe out the converter and battery but regardless, the surge is supressed and the computer is still protected. Also, my converter has one of these torodial line conditioner things on it too, so small current fluctuations are "conditioned."

Please correct me if I am off base here but this is starting to sound more and more convincing to me.
 
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Old 09-14-04, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by raharold
Check out this link - last bullet and the following paragraph. The AC to DC converter and laptop battery act similar to a UPS except that the power is not converted back to AC.
I'm not sure where you get that from. An AC adapter does not work like a UPS... Bottom line is this (and I'm not an electrical expert). An AC adapter does NOT protect against surges at all. I'm pretty sure.

However, I'm going to copy this thread into electrical just because I want to see what the mods there think. Interesting questions here.

Chris
 
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Old 09-14-04, 05:28 PM
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I'd have to disagree..

the AC adapter will supress a surge, but it will probably burn itself out while doing so. (burning up the parts inside the convertor should use up a lot of the surge's energy.) If the power surge is large enough, some of it may still get through to the laptop. There are usually more power supply components inside the laptop itself that could be damaged. The other reason why I would use a surge supressor is because I would hate to even ask how much it would be to buy a new AC adapter. As far as I know, there is no standard/ generic replacements for most laptops, so you would have to buy one from the manufacturer. That's about it for my 2 cents worth! LOL
 
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Old 09-14-04, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Desy2820
the AC adapter will supress a surge, but it will probably burn itself out while doing so.
Ok, cool. Like I said, I'm no electrical expert. Racraft is an electrical engineer, so perhaps he knows more than I. I'd like to know a definitive answer myself.

I think the bottom line is this, though, raharold... You still would need additional surge protection regardless. So, if that was not your bet, pay up.

Chris
 
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Old 09-14-04, 06:08 PM
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There are many different types of AC adapters for laptops.

Some have an adapter. Some are built into a docking station. There are even some laptops that take the ac directly and have their own converter.

The bottom line is that a surge may, depending on the strength or duration, damage the adapter, the docking station, the battery, and/or the laptop.

The opposite of a surge, a brownout, is not as likely to damage a laptop, although it is still not good for the equipment.
 
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Old 09-15-04, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for the input guys. This is good information. I agree one should still have a surge protector. I do .
 
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Old 09-19-04, 11:00 PM
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For what it's worth...

Laptop AC/DC converters are simply half wave (cheaper) or full wave (better) rectifiers with filtering and voltage regulation. Their only role in surge protection would be placing a few more components between the surge and the laptop. As a matter of fact, many of them are marginally rated (ever noticed how hot they get?) so probably are more susceptible to a decent surge than lots of other components.
 
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