In the event of an emergency power outage, the BioLite Solar Home 620 is a kit for keeping the lights on. Kit includes a 6-watt solar panel, mounting screws, the control box, three individual string lights with individual switches, including one with a motion sensor. The handsome control box includes a 20-watt hour rechargeable battery to store solar energy, 2 USB device charging ports, a digital display for feedback on power availability, and control for the built-in speaker. You can use the built-in FM radio or use the SD card reader to play your own MP3 music files.
Power surges occur most commonly when you regain power to your place after a power outage or during the operation of high-power electrical devices such as air conditioners. Switching between devices that demand a large amount of power can upset the general voltage flow within your electrical system. When a power surge occurs, there is the possibility of your devices using less power to overload on electricity and be fried internally.
Carmine has an HP Spectre laptop, but his USB-C connector won't power the laptop using his OtherWorld Computing adapter. Leo says that he's supposed to be able to with this new model. It's a data port as well as a power port, and so it may be an authorization issue. Leo says that he may want to try the HP power dongle. He'll also want to be sure he's getting enough power through the Type-C connector. There may not be enough through the OWC, and the laptop may think it's just a data connector.
Ted called in to address Elizabeth's iMac reboot issue. He says that Apple has made a change to the OS and it causes reboots because the RAM is third party. The thinking is that over time, the iMac will "kernal fault" due to a change in the voltage of the RAM.
Elizabeth is having an issue with her Apple iMac rebooting randomly. Leo says that overheating may be the culprit. Computers will shut down or reboot when it overheats. But if it happens when she's doing nothing, then overheating is unlikely. A buggy operating system may cause it if a process is running away. It could also be a power issue in her home. Power can be "dirty" and that could be causing it. Using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) could prevent low power and power surges. The electrical cord being frayed and loose could cause this too. It may also be a failing power supply.
Mike has been having issues with his Dell Inspiron shutting itself off while he uses it. This started happening after he updated to Windows 10. One thing that Windows 10 has problems with is power, sleep, and hibernation. Mike might try disabling those settings in the Power Management control panel. The freeze up and shut down while he's working shouldn't be happening though, and it could be a driver issue. Leo suggests Mike try reinstalling Windows 10, because sometimes an upgrade over top of an old operating system can go wrong. He should back up all of his data first.
Phil is trying to cut back on his electric bill and his friends suggest powering down his technology, including his router and network every day. But his other friends say that could do more harm than good. Leo says that he'll stress the electronics less if he doesn't turn them on and off on a regular basis. He should just leave it alone. He can reboot things once in awhile, but all modern computers and networks are designed to sip power from a low power mode. If he's not using it for a few days or weeks, then it's OK to power them down.
Lightning and power fluctuations can cause a lot of problems with electronics. Many people buy surge protectors to safeguard their computers, but that can only go so far to protect your devices and computers. For instance, if the power suddenly goes out, there's nothing keep your computer from potentially losing critical data and shutting down in an unsafe manner. Also, in the event of a lightning strike, there's so much power surging through that no surge protector will sufficiently save you. A much better solution is to get a UPS, or "Uninterrupted Power Supply."
John has to replace his A/V receiver. He's lost two in the last few months. Leo says that sounds like an indication of "brown power" that's surging or spiking. Scott agrees, and says a power conditioner would be a good thing to get. It's not cheap, but it could help. Scott also says that if speakers are designed to use a specific receiver and he tries to plug them into a different one, it could strain the receiver more than it should.
Fred has a monitor that suddenly went out. So he replaced it with a TV and now it's gone out as well. Leo says that the original monitor may not be bad, it could be the cable. It could be a bad cable or the refresh rate settings in his computer may be incorrect. But since it happened when he turned on his printer, his power connections could be to blame and putting in an AV power supply could be helpful. They have surge suppression that will filter the power and keep it consistent.