spike versers surge

I worked on computers when they had tubes in them and there were hydraulic pumps in the printers and disk drives. That was the last time computers were fun.

Remember this little sweetheart: 465.jpg

The nice one had the DM44 on top, pretty cool actually. We used it for clock timing on the 4300 mainframes.
I have a 465 on my workbench and a 453 that I just can’t bear to part with. That was the one I carried in my car since the 60s. I had it calibrated right before I retired

Oh yeah, spent many an hour under the hood looking for pico & nano second glitches and reflections double clocking TTL flip-flops and the like.

My theory was if you were chasing ghosts like that you had another problem. I was always right. That is when you start looking at physical planning issues.

Greg…you’re correct but referring to facility power I suspect. My history from the late 60’s thru the 90’s was as a test engineering manager developing and testing designs for circuit boards for mini and personal computers. 30 years with Texas Instruments and Compaq Computer. I was lucky and was only able to identify one instance of facility power issues causing computer hiccups during that time. The other problems almost invariably were caused by product design issues that were identified and corrected prior to introducing new products.


These terms describe increases in the electrical power entering a premise. A “SURGE” represents approximately a 3000-volt increase of longer duration than the more prevalent and sudden “SPIKE”, which produces 6000 volts or more above normal. In many areas of the country, it is not uncommon to record 1,000-volt increases daily over the normal 130 volts provided by the utilities.

Causes of voltages spikes can be attributed to many factors: switching or cycling motors, particularly during the time motors are operating equipment; transmission lines, or other elevated metal objects or structures, serve as transmitters or receivers of over voltage conditions; load switching by the utilities,or lightning strikes several miles away, are conducted into an electrical panel as large voltage spikes; under voltage conditions (“brownouts”), which produce high voltage surges when power is restored.

Regardless of the many reasons accounting for the presence of over voltage conditions, the facts remains that they result in costly breakdowns and damage to equipment and facilities. Repair cost, loss of revenue, additional costs to reprogram computers are a few of the many costs that, quite likely, will exceed the cost of the surge protection devices."

Also the IEEE recommends both Stage 1 and Stage 2 protection against surges and spikes. Not only whole house but as well as localized “REAL” power taps with surge protection built in…prefered with a 400V or less " let through" voltage…

Any idea of cost of this equipment for an average home .
and what would you recommend Thanks … Cookie

Well…I am bias fella but I would recommend a “SurgeTrap” from Eaton at the panel ( i have one on my house ) and a stage 2 power strip as well for specific locations like a computer and so on…not the cheap $ 4.99 strips at lowes or home depot…a real surge protection strip not those…

Just make sure the " Let Through" on the whole house is 400V or less and with the power strip stay about 400V or less ( even 330V ) is available.

Cost : 120.00 for Whole House and 50.00 per strip…but it varies…Roy I will see if I can COMP you one when i do my next seminar…cant promise anything but I will see if they will just let me have one for you.

Thanks for the info and the offer but it might be simpler for me to just go and buy one . Shipping and every thing else could make it awkward.

. Love it NACHI members always help every one none stop.
… Cookie

In the computer room biz, when we looked at the enemy it was us. Most of the noise came from our old 200a switching power supplies. By the time we figured out how to shield from that IBM machines were pretty “spike proof” unless something was bad. That’s why I say a machine being affected by bad power is usually a symptom of something else being broke, not the noise. Usually it turned out to be a loose shield on a transmission line or a missing decoupling capacitor somewhere. To shake out mainframe problems in the bipolar days we actually had an ESD generator we zapped machines with. Once we got into CMOS the technology was bullet proof as long as it was plugged in. That was when you started breaking stuff handling it out of the machine and everyone got wrist straps.