Tag Archives: power supply

Do You Need an Uninterruptible Power Supply?

If you have hardwired security devices at your home, we recommend that you invest in an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Such is also useful for your computer and telephone equipment, as well as a variety of other important electronic and data devices. Often referred to as a backup power supply, an uninterruptible power supply will assure that your hardwired devices have a continuous supply of energy in the event of a brief power failure. An uninterruptible power supply is also one of the best ways to guarantee that your power is not interrupted through tampering or wire cutting.

How Does an Uninterruptible Power Supply Work?

Depending upon which UPS you invest in, your devices can be powered for up to 15 minutes after your regular power source has failed. There are three main types of uninterruptible supplies that you can use for this purpose: On-line UPS, standby UPS or a line interactive UPS. Each works slightly differently, but all three essentially keep energy stored at capacity in a backup battery. When a power failure occurs, stored energy is immediately sent to the device(s) attached to the uninterruptible power supply. This all happens in the blink of an eye and stored power is also regulated so as not to allow a power surge, which can cause permanent damage to electronic devices.

Is a UPS Good For a Blackout?

Yes, a uninterrupted power supply can be useful during a short-term blackout (commonly referred to as a brown-out). Bear in mind, however, that many UPS devices only offer power for up to 15 minutes and are, therefore, not recommended to be used as a main backup power source in the event of a blackout lasting longer than a few minutes. A UPS will, however, give you enough time to properly power your devices down in the event of a blackout. Such is particularly useful if you need to backup sensitive data to avoid its complete loss during an ongoing power outage.

Who Else Needs a Uninterruptible Power Supply?

Well, we believe it is a good idea for everyone to have a UPS. Most homes and businesses today run multiple electronic devices ranging from personal computers and laptops to various home security devices. An unexpected power failure can not only leave you in the dark, but it can also cause the loss of sensitive data and may even cause damage to devices that are not shut down properly. A UPS is a reliable, affordable and practical solution to help you avoid these common issues.

How to Choose the Right UPS

The process of selecting an uninterruptible power supply largely depends on what sort of electronic equipment you intend to use the UPS for. If you are merely needing a backup power supply for computer equipment, we strongly recommend the Direct UPS 600va Designed for PC Only. This small and lightweight device will provide you with several minutes worth of backup power for your personal computer, telephone and Internet connections during a brown-out, all without an overload risk.

If you intend to use an uninterruptible power supply for your closed-circuit television devices and other electronic security equipment, we recommend the Direct UPS 600va Off line UPS. Also compact and lightweight, this device is able to control input voltage, while also providing a DC start when necessary. This model also provides surge and overload protection.

In addition to knowing in advance what you intend to use an uninterruptible power supply for, you should also have an idea of how long you will need its power. We know that this is hard to know ahead of time, since you likely haven’t a clue about when you’ll actually need to use backup power, much less for how long. Bear in mind, however that an uninterruptible power supply is intended only for short-term power failures usually lasting between five to 15 minutes. For longer power outages, a backup power generator is a better option. With this in mind, consider how much extra time it will realistically take you to properly protect your data by manually powering your devices down in the event of a power failure and then select an uninterruptible power supply accordingly.

Further Assistance

As always, our technical support team is available to answer your questions about uninterruptible power supplies and to help you choose which type is right for you. We encourage you to visit our main store to familiarize yourself with the several UPS options currently offered. Don’t forget that you may also read each associated product manual to help you determine exactly which one is right for you.

What’s Your Story?

Do you currently own an uninterruptible power supply? Have you had an occasion to use it yet? We’re always interested in hearing your comments and experiences, and we look forward to you sharing both in the comments section below.

How to Know Which Power Supply is Right for Your Surveillance System

Taking the time to select the right power supply for your home surveillance system is a highly worthwhile endeavor. Without a strong power source cameras cannot function properly, which may present a very serious security threat to your home and to your family. With multiple brands and options to choose from, the following are a few basic tips on selecting the power supply that is right for your system.

Do Your Homework

A little homework is always in order prior to selecting the right power supply for your home surveillance system. For instance, you will need to determine ahead of time how many cameras your system will operate. You will also need to know the precise current that each camera will draw. Most likely, you’ll also have to perform a few conversions during this process. Remembering that half of an amp is actually only 500 milliamps will help you accurately do so. Also, some experts recommend adding slightly more to your final sum just to be sure that your power supply is adequate.

Choosing Between a Power Adapter and a Power Supply Box

Knowing how many cameras you will use from the onset is also important in determining whether you want to use a power adapter or an actual power supply box. If you will only be using a single camera, you’ll probably only need an adapter where you can use either a 12 volt DC or a 24 volt AC power supply. If you will be using multiple surveillance cameras, however, such will require a power supply box, which can be mounted on a nearby wall and plugged into a standard wall outlet. A power supply box is also generally more secure as metal boxes present a barrier to tampering with your camera’s wires and fuses. Boxes also tend to be more durable, overall.

When purchasing a new system, a little forethought about how your surveillance camera will use power can also prevent a headache later. For example, your surveillance camera will run non-stop during the day and night, which may mean that the power being used may fluctuate since LED lights are not necessary during the day, but will be consistently illuminated throughout the night. With this in mind, do note that choosing a dual-voltage camera might be a good idea.

Replacing a Power Supply

When purchasing a new surveillance system, the correct power supply will typically be included, so there is no need to fret too much over which one you should choose. Some surveillance systems even come with a backup power supply, which is a feature that you definitely want to look for when shopping for a new surveillance system. If you are replacing a broken or damaged power supply, however, pay close attention to what brand and model you are purchasing in order to determine whether or not it is compatible with your existing system. Also, make sure there is ample space in the power supply box for a backup battery if one is not already included. As always, look for UL certification to be sure that any power supply you are considering meets the highest safety standards.

Be Prepared With the Right Tools

In addition to selecting the right power supply for your home surveillance system, there are a few additional tools that you will need for its proper installation. Your primary tools will include a screwdriver and wire-strippers. Depending upon where you place your new power supply, you may also need a staple gun in order to secure any exposed wiring. If you can afford one that shoots rounded staples, such as the T-25 staple gun, we highly recommend investing in one. We understand that the T-25 is rather pricey in comparison to other staple guns, but our recommendation is rooted in the fact that rounded staples will help prevent the pinching of your wires, which may happen with standard square staples.

Installing Your New Power Supply

Installing a power supply for your home surveillance system should not take very long. In fact, if you are simply swapping parts to repair or replace a current power supply, it will likely only take you a few minutes to complete the task. If you’ve never done a job like this before, however, or if you aren’t very experienced with do-it-yourself projects, in general, then we recommend that you reserve a weekend so that you can take your time with a proper installation. You may finish it in far less time, of course, but should you run into any challenges, allowing yourself a couple of days should be more than enough time.

Got Questions?

We are always happy to help you with your home security needs. Should you have further questions about selecting a power supply or if you need assistance with installing one, feel free to give us a call.

Have you recently purchased a new power supply for your home surveillance system? How did you go about deciding upon the right one? We look forward to your comments below.