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Tech Tip Of The Day: UPS & Power Regulation

Is it OK to use both a UPS and a power regulator in my studio?

By PSW Staff January 8, 2014

Provided by Sweetwater.

Q: I just got Pro Tools for Christmas and I’m working on setting up a home studio. I’m trying to make sure I have all the power and stuff hooked up correctly. Can I run both a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and an AC power conditioner/surge suppressor, or should I only use one?

A: The answer to this one is a bit surprising. If you’re using a UPS to power equipment in your studio, you may be better off if you don’t also connect other sophisticated regulation and surge suppression boxes in-line.

The components inside higher-quality surge suppression devices present strange reactive loads to a UPS and can cause the UPS to damage them. The UPS will rarely damage itself.

The theory of all of this is way to deep to get into in a short response, but suffice to say that if you have a UPS on-line you shouldn’t also need a sophisticated conditioner-type unit.

You are, in fact, better off without one. If you try to use one anyway you will most likely damage it. Further, the “additional” protection doesn’t show up as additional protection to the gear in question anyway.

More is not better in this case. You’re simply trying to deliver good power to the devices. You don’t want to over modify the power. For more details you should consult the maker of your UPS.

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