Brownout Blues

It’s not uncommon for our part of Painesville, Ohio to get a blackout or two as the hot, muggy weather becomes more common in Northeast Ohio and everyone turns on their air conditioners. Last Friday, however, we had a brownout, which resulted in everything that was left plugged in suffering from a severe under-voltage for several hours.

While my computers were protected by an Uninterruptable Power Supply, or UPS, with under-voltage protection that was programmed to shut them down after five minutes, I had forgotten to plug my 19″ Viewsonic A91F+ into a protected socket. After full power was restored several hours later, I discovered that the monitor would no longer power on.

I replaced the Viewsonic on Saturday with a Samsung SyncMaster 997DF 19″ flat-screen CRT monitor. At $179.99 from Best Buy, it really wasn’t a bad deal, performing on par with the $249 Viewsonic.

Still, I’d highly recommend everyone consider looking into a UPS for home use. Surge protectors really don’t offer all that much protection outside of a particular type of over-voltage and do nothing to protect your electronics from temporary power sags and under-voltage.

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