So you have thousands $$$ of dollars in audio equipment sitting in your studio. You've got Korg keyboards, AKAI samplers, a top of the line music and gaming PC, or maybe even an Apple PowerMac (or MacPro). Life is good.
But you follow the power cables and you're plugging them into a $10 Wal-mart power strip? Are you crazy?
No sir! Don't do that. If you value the investment you've put in your gear. You need better protection from the unpredictable nature of power coming from the Electric Company. You need to protect yourself from power surges, sags, AC line noise and power failures.
You need a UPS or Uninterruptible Power System. But not any $50 from the bargain bin of CompUSA will do. Some of those bargain basement prices UPS output a modified square wave. Those are fine if you're only powering a cheap white-box computer. But if you'll be connecting delicate audio equipment and beefy dual core, dual processor behemoths with multiple hard drives, you want a true SINE WAVE output UPS. These types of UPS mimics the sine wave that utility power companies send. Not some stair-step square waves.
UPS's are rated in VA (Volt-Ampere). It goes like this.... the higher the VA, the more devices you can attach to your UPS.... OR the longer it can supply power to your equipment of smaller load. Also, depending on the size of the UPS, it may only be able to give you so many minutes to keep everything powered up (just long enough for a safe shut down). So the bigger the UPS (which means, the bigger and more batteries it has), the longer it can supply power. Some UPS will have like 4 batteries inside them. Some will only have one (1).
For instance, an 800VA UPS may give you 10 minutes of runtime power, while a 1500VA will give you 36 minutes. But pick another 1500VA model, and it may give you up to 55 minutes of runtime.
Here's a handy UPS selector sizing guide
. Just select the type of computer you have, how many monitors, hard drives you're using, etc... and it will give you a "SUGGESTION." It's a suggestion because obviously, you can always go higher. If in doubt, pick the higher VA UPS.
Note, your exact computer model may not be shown... just pick a similar model.
What am I using here? I'm using a Back-UPS XS 1000VA just for my PowerMac G5, and two (2) Smart UPS 1400VA for my servers.
And oh... UPS don't last forever. I mean, the batteries. These batteries are rated for 3-5 years. So after that time period, I recommend you buy new batteries for your UPS.