laptop surge protector

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Old 09-14-04, 01:11 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, 05:20 AM
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That depends. Do you want to protect your equipment or not?
 
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Old 09-14-04, 07:34 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, 02:36 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.

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Old 09-14-04, 03:35 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, 04:40 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, 05:16 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, 06:04 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, 07:23 PM
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Interesting question indeed!

A friend who is an electronics tech told me that if I didn't have a regulated 12v DC power supply that I could use a regular auto battery charger conected to a battery. He claimed the battery would completely eliminate the partial ac wave from the charger.

Darn, I wish I though of this excuse to buy an oscilloscope before!
 
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Old 09-14-04, 08:05 PM
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The answer would depend on if you consider the adapter part of the laptop. I believe the actual laptop would be safe but the adapter could be damaged.
 
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Old 09-14-04, 08:36 PM
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Without considering the battery portion of the laptop, the AC to DC adapter on the laptop performs the same function as the power supply in your desktop PC.
Both would benefit from a TVSS (surge protector).
 
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Old 09-15-04, 07:56 AM
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Yes, the battery and A/C adapter act as somewhat of a buffer between the power line and the PC components, but a strong enough surge could still do some expensive damage. I definitely wouldn't call the adapter and battery similar to a UPS because there are several other components that go into a UPS to isolate the A/C connection completely from the outgoing power. The benefit of a laptop surge protector is two fold: 1. It provides an equipment warranty if a surge were to get through and damage the PC in any way. 2. It usually provides surge protection for a modem or Ethernet cable which is where a very high percentage of damaging surges enter to begin with. So, professionally speaking (this is a large part of what I do...), the one who says there is a need for a surge protector is correct. I tell my customers that every piece of equipment I sell them needs to be plugged into a surge protector or UPS at all times. All power cables and all data cables. Within the life of the equipment, I guarantee I'll find out the majority of those who didn't follow my advice.

Doug M.
 
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