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UK domestic supply and power surges.

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UK domestic supply and power surges.

Posted by Americo Watkins at 17:33 on 2012 Jul 28

I'm just about to set up my paramamount ME GE mount. Using a supply from my house to the observatory.I understand that there have been problems re surges in the UK domestic power supply that in the past have damaged the electrical boards of the mount.Are the surge protectors sold for PC's or those sold at B & Q's sufficient to protect the mount from these domestic power surges. The equipment will be disconnected when not in use.Regards Eric

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Re:UK domestic supply and power surges.

Posted by Richard Miles at 22:28 on 2012 Jul 31

Hi Eric,Isn't the problem not one of a domestic surge but from an electric surge through the ground loop and/or induced currents in conductors when lightning strikes nearby or some other electric storm is taking place?If you have an observatory some distance from the incoming electrical supply then it is good to provide a local earthing point(s) in which the resistance to earth is very low, e.g. a thick conducting metal rod(s) set a couple of feet into the ground, which itself is impregnated below with conducting metal powder that doesn't oxidise or graphite powder.Also make sure that all kit including the telecope mount casing is earthed.CCD cameras can also be disrupted by induced currents.Richard

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Re:UK domestic supply and power surges.

Posted by Americo Watkins at 03:43 on 2012 Aug 02

Hello Richard,I had heard that in the early days of the mounts existance that often the on board electronics would fail and need replacing due to the fact that the UK domestic supply was not stable and suffered from surges and spikes. I had been advised to use surge protectors such as supplied by Maplin similar to those used for PC's. I wasn't sure if this was the case still and if so would they suffice.Re-electrical storms, yes these seem to be a major concern. The domestic supply from the house is a very short distance. I might well do as you suggest - belt and braces. As a child in the school playground a lightening bolt missed me by a few feet and left a melted patch in the playground surface. Hopefully, the gods have tried once and failed so they might have given up.

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Re:UK domestic supply and power surges.

Posted by D A Dunn at 16:51 on 2012 Aug 31

Hi,Just a comment. Living in rural France as I do we suffer from all manner of voltage fluctuations. On my computer network I have 2 UPSs. One for the network drives and one for the "master" computer. They will hold the system up for at least 15 min. They also block any spikes on the line. I am sure they would also protect any other sensitive equipment.RegardsDavid

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Re:UK domestic supply and power surges.

Posted by Americo Watkins at 15:58 on 2012 Sep 03

thanks David,I know a couple of people who also use these and they seem to work. Will take a look at them.Eric