Centralized vs. Decentralized UPS Systems

One of the first steps in choosing the most appropriate UPS solution is deciding whether to use a centralized or decentralized setup. While both have their advantages, knowing how to answer this question depends on a number of factors.

Here are five things to consider when deciding between a centralized and decentralized solution: [Read more…]

What’s the Difference Between 24 AWG, 26 AWG and 28 AWG Network Cables?

When shopping for Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a network cables, you may notice an AWG specification printed on the cable jacket, like 24 AWG. The AWG stands for American Wire Gauge, a standardized system for describing the diameter of the individual conductors (wires) that make up a cable. To understand the differences between similar network cables with different AWG sizes, let’s take a look at what wire gauge means. [Read more…]

Protect Your Fish, Plants and Equipment with UPS Battery Backup for Aquariums

One never knows when a power outage may strike, and if you own fish and other sea creatures, you should be prepared with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your aquarium. Heaters, aerators, filtration systems—all need electrical power to operate and keep fish alive. They need heat when it is cold, cold when it is hot, and oxygen to breathe at all times.

An aquarium battery backup system can prepare you for the next unexpected power outage. By purchasing a UPS system for your fish tank, you can ensure that your essential equipment will continue providing life-giving power.

Before choosing a UPS system, you’ll need to measure your total load. That is, the total number of watts put out by your life-sustaining equipment such as filters, aerators and heaters. Be sure your aquarium battery backup system can handle more watts than the total load of your equipment. Also, you may want to consider the amount of runtime you’ll need, in case the outage is longer than anticipated. Most power outages last from just a few minutes to less than an hour. If you still need help calculating the capacity (load) of your aquarium and determining the desired battery backup runtime, checkout this UPS sizing guide.

One more point to consider: pure sine wave power. Many popular brands of electric motors for aquarium filters and aerators require pure sine wave power to operate. Incorrect power output can result in motors running slowly, erratically, or not at all when the UPS is on battery. Thus, you’ll need a fish tank UPS that generates pure sine wave power, as the following choices do.

[Read more…]

How to Choose the Best Power Conditioner for a Guitar Amp

Line noise is like kryptonite to a musician. It doesn’t matter how well you jam if the music is drowned out by hums, hisses or other background noises caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI).

Some EMI/RFI line noise is man-made caused by, for instance, wi-fi signals, fluorescent light bulbs and cell phones. Some causes are natural, such as sunspots and lighting. All line noise has the potential not just to mess up your music, but your valuable equipment as well.

A good power conditioner for your guitar amp is essential to not only filtering out disruptive EMI/RFI line noise, but also protecting your gear from everyday power surges and spikes that can damage sensitive circuitry. Several guitar-amp power conditioners are available that will do the job. [Read more…]

Single-Phase vs Three-Phase Power Explained

Single phase power is:

– Used in most homes and small businesses
– Able to supply ample power for most smaller customers, including homes and small, non-industrial businesses
– Adequate for running motors up to about 5 horsepower; a single phase motor draws significantly more current than the equivalent 3-phase motor, making 3-phase power a more efficient choice for industrial applications



3-phase power is:

– Common in large businesses, as well as industry and manufacturing around the globe
– Increasingly popular in power-hungry, high-density data centers
– Expensive to convert from an existing single phase installation, but 3-phase allows for smaller, less expensive wiring and lower voltages, making it safer and less expensive to run
– Highly efficient for equipment designed to run on 3-phase



To illustrate the difference between single phase and three phase, imagine a lone paddler in a canoe. He can only move himself forward while his paddle moves through the water. When he lifts the paddle out of the water to prepare for the next stroke, the power supplied to the canoe is zero.

Now picture the same canoe with three paddlers. If their strokes are synchronized so each is separated by 1/3 of a stroke cycle, the canoe receives constant and consistent propulsion across the water. More power is supplied and the canoe moves across the water more smoothly and efficiently.

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