Rob recently replaced his laser printer. But since he connected it, he gets a beep on his backup power supply. Didn't happen until he plugged in the printer, and when he turns it off, it stops beeping. Leo suspects that the battery may be wearing out and it's pulling too much of a load. As UPS wear, the capacity may go down, and a little extra in wattage can make the UPS choke. Plus, Rob may need to plug it into a different circuit, not a different plug. He might need the next model up.
Jay's house was in a recent thunder storm and his cable modem (and other devices) are dead. What happened? Leo says that the cable modem has more than one access point to get zapped by power surges from a lightning strike. If there is a lightning storm, the best route is to disconnect and unplug. Another tip is to look into whole-home surge suppression, installed by an electrician.
Dick says that when using an uninterruptible power supply, she'll need to use an isolation transformer with it. It sits in between the UPS and the computer that cleans the power and evens out any spikes. The trouble is that nobody buys them because they can be expensive.
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."
Glen is looking for a cheap UPS (uninterruptable power supply). Leo says that he'll get what he pays for and Leo recommends Tripp Lite. He'll want one that is compatible to his OS so that the computer can trigger the UPS to start up.
Scott chimed in on the last call from Addy in London, who wanted to know what the best headphones were for under $40. Scott recommended checking out the "Wall of Fame" at innerfidelity.com. Here are the in-ear headphones Scott recommends:
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.
Becky bought her first Mac and it's been in and out of genius bar with repairs. It keeps dying and she's worried because her Apple Care is about to run out. It could be that her power is fluctuating causing components to fail. In that case, she can get a UPS from TrippLite that will condition her power. She would want to find one that is constantly conditioning the power, and those cost a little bit more.