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Mac on generator power, yes or no?


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Kind of an odd ball question, not sure where to post this, but here I go. I'm on an OPE (Outdoor Power Equipement) forum. The topic of generators often comes up. They claim that computers need "clean" (something to do with "sine waves") power and that generators, the cheap big-box store bought ones, are not such a great idea for sensitive electronics such as computers. However, expensive "inverter" generators, such as Hondas are recommended. I hope this question makes sense. By the way, I'm talking about using a generator in an emergency situation, such as a power outage. Having gone through Sandy, I'm in the market for a generator.
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To improve the "quality" of the electricity…you could use a "power conditioner" between the generator & the computer equipment.

Power conditioner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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I have a "monster" cheapo genny for my home appliances, and a clean inverter generator (Honda eu2000i) for electronics. An inverter genny is definitely the way to go for electronics. With a genny, it is definitely a "get what you pay for" proposition.

"Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." – Henry Spencer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
I have a "monster" cheapo genny for my home appliances, and a clean inverter generator (Honda eu2000i) for electronics. An inverter genny is definitely the way to go for electronics. With a genny, it is definitely a "get what you pay for" proposition.

Wow, nice set up. That Honda is a thing of beauty but frightfully expensive, but yes, this is an example of getting what you pay for. Did you have problems with the cheapie in regards to your electronics?
The question remains is if it would be OK to run a computer with a cheap unit.

Anyway, here is the issue, or nonissue, explained:

Why Your Sine is Important to Champion - Champion Power Equipment
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I never tried the less expensive generator on my sensitive electronics. I have no doubt my computer or HD TV would power up and charge off the less expensive generator, but have no desire to risk it damaging something valuable when I have been warned about the possibility repeatedly. I've spoken with too many folks and read too many articles on the subject to chance it. In the "older" suburbs of Minneapolis we lose power at least 2 or 3 times a year in the winter and spring, often for extended periods of 2-7 days. The power lines are above ground, we have really big old trees and we get a bit of snow and ice from time to time. It happens so much it's not even newsworthy up here. I have neighbors and coworkers who have torched TV's and destroyed various other electronics with Home Deport Shanghai-special generators. Anyhow, a good source for generator horror stories are some of the many sailing hobbyist forums, RV forums or any of the shtf-type forums.

For what it's worth... I bought the inverter generator before the "whole house" generator though because it would be easy to bug out with, it's very fuel efficient, my 115lb wife can pull-start it, and it is quiet. Even forgetting the inverter aspect of it, those 4 things alone sold me right off the bat. The bonus was that it would safely run all of my sensitive communications electronics which IMHO is more important than heat or AC in a crisis. It can also easily power a few lights and one big item like the furnace or AC or refrigerator (in addition to a computer, router, modem and phone) if I alternate what it's running at a given time. Best of all, it's so darn quiet the whole neighborhood doesn't get to know I even have it by hearing it run - less temptation for someone else to redistribute my assets based on their priorities.

With a genny, the saying "Buy once, cry once." holds true.

"Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." – Henry Spencer
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Sort of a side note to the "clean power issue". I live about 3 miles from our local power plant and spikes and surges are rampant. I was replacing my microwave oven every year despite having it on a surge strip (and not the really el cheapo variety either.
Finally broke down and bought a small UPS for my kitchen appliances (~ $75 purchase) five years ago and haven't replaced a microwave since.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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