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Protecting your editing system

UPS.pngIf lighting struck your studio, what would happen to your editing system? Many editors protect their editing system with a surge protector, which will keep the electrical surge of the lighting strike from entering your editing system. This is an absolute must, but plain-vanilla surge protectors–especially the cheap kind–wear down over time.  Be sure your surge protector is UL-listed, mail in your warranty card, and if you use a consumer-grade surge protector, you'd be wise to find one with a light, alarm, or cut-off that kicks in to warn you when the surge protector has worn out.

Remember that lightning surges can enter your system through any physical metal connection to the outside world, including any Ethernet, antenna, co-ax, or phone cables as well as power cables.  Many surge protectors shield some or all of these types of connection, so bear them in mind as you tally up your surge protector needs.

The other question you have to ask yourself is can I keep working if the power goes out, or at least get my current work saved, and my system properly shut down?

Using a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a very responsible decision for protecting your editing system, as well as your work. A UPS puts a substantial battery between your system and the outside world, so any excess surge sinks straight into the battery without passing through to your system.  The UPS will not only act as a very effective surge protector, but it will also provide emergency power to your system for as long as the battery lasts.  That will allow you to continue working, or at least get your current work saved, and your system shut down.

Most UPS units have a number of outlets to plug in equipment, and all provide some degree of surge protection as well as back up power for a short time after the power goes out. If you are not currently using a UPS, you should highly consider getting ahold of one. Price varies with battery size and maximum voltage, but entry-level models are available at your local big-box discounter for under $100, which is more than reasonable based on the protection they provide.


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Creating Crawling Text in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

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