The lights went out again!

Sin Luz - lights went out
The lights went out, not only in Panama, there wasn’t a blackout like that in 10 years in CostaRica … the lights went out throughout Central America! Colombia was saved because it’s not yet interconnected!! … so now I bring:

¡The lights went out again!

Hello, my Geeks friends…

Once again the energy went out in Panama, for the second time in a week and in the middle of a Presidential speech. This time affected several countries of Central America that already cost the job to a senior manager of ETESA, our energy distribution company. But I clearly didn’t come here to talk about someone’s job, but the loss of our electronic equipment due to unexpected electrical interruptions.

Many Panamanians have suffered from problems with their refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners, being these the most expensive equipment of the house, there are those who buy some protection for different problems of energy and rises of voltage; But … what happened to our technological equipment? That router of your internet company, that WIFI equipment that connects your entire home from cell phones, laptops, tablets and any equipment you don’t want to have connected by cable, and printers, scanners, your Xbox or PS4 and what about that PC Gamer that is your PC MASTER RACE glory.

These teams deserve to be protected, because each of them is valuable. Today you have them, but tomorrow you can be in line with your energy provider putting a claim and waiting many months to get your money back.

For this, there are so-called UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) easily described, is nothing more than a battery with an intelligent circuit which controls and continues to provide power to what you connect for a period of time.

Equipment such as your internet router or telephone line and your WIFI router, your laptop or home computer are good candidates to protect, buying a UPS, and at the same time not to lose the service. Your next question should be, how long do I want to keep my computers running and to answer this can we give you an example.

UPS equipment is sold mostly for its VA (Volt Ampere) support capacity, being thus the most common 300, 500, 700 VA basic capacity or 900, 1000, 1200, 1300, 1500 intermediate capacity in the range of Home or SOHO (Small Office / Home Office). Values may vary by brand, but ranges are similar.

An internet router + WIFI router could consume around 30 watts/h, for this, a UPS of 300 VA would be more than enough for 20 minutes or more.

The purpose of a UPS is basically to support the power needs of the equipment long enough to save our work and shut down the equipment safely, as well as short interruptions or other problems of the power line, provide protection.

But the need for an assistant, with an office and email tool, is not the same as that of a graphic designer or system administrator, which may take longer to shut down, so there are more capabilities to support more weather.

Nothing like exporting your video to Youtube and in the last 5 minutes a power outage throughout Central America ends with your glorious work!

Most of the technology components companies will sell you a UPS equipment but there are well-known brands in the market such as APC, CyberPower, Tripp Lite, Liebert, depending on your country, to secure the connected equipment.

What about high energy consumption equipment?

Equipment such as Lasers Printers, Air Conditioners, Microwaves, refrigerators, and freezers are examples of high consumption electrical equipment, which shouldn’t be connected to UPS equipment as they will consume the battery very fast and may even lead to premature degradation.

For this, some UPS equipment have a line of “single protection” plugs which in an event of problems in the power line, will be protected avoiding costly damages, but in an event of total power failure, they will not enjoy the support with battery.

There are also voltage protectors/voltage spikes suppressors, their function is to protect only from line problems and not to hold. These are very common in the market and you can even find them to protect your refrigerator, microwave, or air conditioning, by voluntarily interrupting the power from 3 to 5 minutes which is enough time for the power grid to stabilize. These equipment are considerably cheaper than a UPS but can save you a lot of money and headaches.

Finally, there are the extra options in this equipment and the strips with protection, that provide a first line of protection when filtering inappropriate downloads coming from your telephone line or the coaxial connection of your TV cable box, as well as short-circuits that occur in the same electrical connections due to a malfunction in an equipment, which leads to disconnect by a fuse.

All equipment should have at least one of these protections to avoid substantial repair or replacement costs.

Greetings to all and will be until the next article.

Nathan Levy – Reviewer 507


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