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  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Is the APC Line-R voltage regulator a good option?

    My wife and I will be taking our daughter to visit her family in Santo Domingo in September (2008), and would like to help them to protect their electronics. I asked an electrician friend for advice on dealing with the brownouts, spikes, and voltage irregularities. He suggested the APC Line-R 1200VA automatic voltage regulator as an affordable and reliable option, but he is not use to the demands of the electric grid in the Dominican Republic, so I want to be sure that this is going to be sufficient. I have seen them online for $45 and up, but there's no use in buying it and taking up space in the luggage for something that isn't going to work.

    They have two separate lines coming from two systems to their house and switch back and forth depending on which has current at that time, and also have access to a generator that the motel next door operates at times, so I feel that this is an especially demanding situation, but anything at all would be an improvement over the combination of no protection at all or unplugging everything they have to keep it safe.

    No computers or extremely sensitive equipment, but they do have a nice stereo, tv, cordless phone, ect.

    Thanks

    Scott

  2. #2
    joerusso
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCScott View Post
    My wife and I will be taking our daughter to visit her family in Santo Domingo in September (2008), and would like to help them to protect their electronics. I asked an electrician friend for advice on dealing with the brownouts, spikes, and voltage irregularities. He suggested the APC Line-R 1200VA automatic voltage regulator as an affordable and reliable option, but he is not use to the demands of the electric grid in the Dominican Republic, so I want to be sure that this is going to be sufficient. I have seen them online for $45 and up, but there's no use in buying it and taking up space in the luggage for something that isn't going to work.

    They have two separate lines coming from two systems to their house and switch back and forth depending on which has current at that time, and also have access to a generator that the motel next door operates at times, so I feel that this is an especially demanding situation, but anything at all would be an improvement over the combination of no protection at all or unplugging everything they have to keep it safe.

    No computers or extremely sensitive equipment, but they do have a nice stereo, tv, cordless phone, ect.

    Thanks

    Scott
    Hello Scott,

    Those items can be bought here and perhaps cheaper. I use an inversol/inverso its basically a charger with 4, 6 volt batteries in series. All you really need is some power surge strips, just like you use for computers or you can buy them with one or two outlets. These strips or units will protect the surge and the surge here can be high at times. I would get something with a built in breaker and most strips and units have them anyway. They pop off if the spike in electric is too high, so it just shuts itself down. if you have one from the states, it may burn, giving you a buzzing sound after it comes back up, meaning it did its job, but is now damaged. I would just buy it here to be safe. As you can see, I learned the hard way...lol I now have that buzzing sound in my Radio Shack bought computer strip!! saved my computer, but I can only use 7 of the 8 outlets--

    Go to LA Serina, Plaza lama, La National super market, these places have electronic stores inside and Plaza Lama has a computer store upstairs from their market of food. Good Luck!

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Default They're all different

    Voltage regulators (mentioned by the OP), inverters and spike protectors (power surge protectors) are three different items... one may want to add UPS (battery back up systems) to make it a fourth different item in the family of somewhat related ones.

    A voltage regulator is meant to keep a constant set voltage in the whole house. Here, the poor thing would have to work hard to keep the constantly low voltage to where ever the user sets it to (110 or 120V) as power can easily average below 100V under domestic loads. Those who fancy toasted toasts in the morning may have come to realize that, somehow, the toasting process more resembles a gentle drying process... low voltage!

    A 1400 (peak) VA voltage regulator will soon give up in a house hold which should could easily have a 3 to 5 kWh connection. Peak is peak... average work load should be equal or bigger than the contracted maximum load for the particular user(s).
    Good voltage regulators are expensive. How much in the States, I don't know... but I am certain it can be researched easily in the Internet.

    A word about spike or surge protector bars (since the subject came up):
    Power strip bars with a switch are not necessarily a surge or spike protector.
    Good surge or spike protectors are backed with a damage warranty for any damage caused by a spike or surge to any appliances (as listed) plugged into that device as long the device was connected into a GROUNDED outlet.
    Now, in the DR, you will mostly find outlets with a 3rd ground plug... but many times no ground wires have been installed or properly connected to a ground pole (coper bar into the ground).
    Always safe keep the packaging and receipt to your power surge bar as the warranty terms and contact numbers are printed on the package, for any unlikely claims.
    Buy your power surge bar at trustable sources (preferably a name brand in the USA).
    Some power surge bars now come including jacks for phone (fax machines) and internet (computers). These are the ones you want if it is your goal to protect such machines and in this country phone and power lines can come on the same posts or even criss cross intersections on top of each other.... meaning the phone line may come in contact with power lines during storms and other adverse situations.
    Recently spike and surge protectors became available sized to be built into main GFI switch boxes (in Europe at least). An excellent idea for new homes!


    ... J-D.

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