[SOLVED] AVR and Frequent Power Fluctuations questions.

Mar 25, 2022
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Hi,

I live in the Philippines and electricity fluctuations aren't uncommon. I bought a relay-type AVR (I can't afford a UPS at the moment and blackouts are pretty rare in our area) and recorded a video of it showing the fluctuations on the output voltage meter.
*You can see at the start of the video and around the 1:10 minute mark the short span between each tick.

I have a Seasonic Focus GM-650 and I've read that most current branded PSUs have built-in protection against fluctuations and heard about this thing called "Active PFC."

What I'm worried about though is that there are times that I can hear the AVR click 5 or probably 7 times in a row, a bit faster than a clock tick (more like the ticking speed of a car's turn signal).
It's rare not to hear a click for hours. Probably the longest the AVR would stay silent is an hour. Most of the time I'd hear a click or two every few minutes.

Because of this, I'm hesitant to plug my PC directly to the wall outlet, thinking that it's better to have the frequent fluctuations wear out the AVR first.

- Can my PSU withstand such frequent fluctuations?

- Also, whenever the AVR clicks, the pointer in the output voltage meter points past the red bar (220) and lands on the left tip of the right-most white bar (300) -- I thought AVRs are supposed to provide a constant output. Is this normal/how it's supposed to show?

I hope an expert can help clarify these points in layman's terms.



Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Satan-IR

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I'll give plugging the PC to the wall outlet a try next weekend.

I tried looking into UPSes and learned that Seasonic recommends a UPS with a pure sinewave output; however, a high quality simulated sinewave UPS from a reputable manufacturer could also be a possible solution to be used with our power supplies.

I couldn't find a good UPS brand in my country that offers pure sinewave output.
My English comprehension isn't that good and with the way they worded using simulated sinewave, it sounds like I shouldn't bet on it working properly with my PSU.

Any insights/suggestion?
A UPS? Why not? A proper simulated or pure sine wave UPS would have proper voltage regulation and that would kind of mean less stress on the AC side of the PSU. Apart from that having a UPS in general would give you the time to shut PC down in case any of those "rare" blackouts happen. A simulated sine wave is somehow a comprimise between accuracy of a pure sine wave UPS and the low cost of square wave ones. Yes pure sine ones are better but they're much more expensive than simulated sine wave ones..

For now, as I said before, I'd connect the PSU directly to AC/mains and forget about the AVR. Later on, if it gives you peace of mind, a proper simulated sine wave line-interactive UPS wouldn't hurt and would increase longevity of equipment connected to it, such as the PSU and specially the monitor which is not fed by the PSU and has it's own power supply brick and voltage regulation cuircuitry directly connected to mains.
 
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Satan-IR

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Is this the output of the AVR which is only connected to one load? That is your PC/PSU? AVRs are just transformers that buck the voltage when it drops.

Is the clicking coming from the AVR? And not the PSU at the same time or at all? Does the PSU click too when connected to AVR output or wall outlet directly?

Your PSU from here has full range AC input, that is it can operate with voltages 110V to 240V AC as input and I don't know the hold up time actually. So you might not need the AVR for the PC after all.

The answer to the problem is a good line interactive UPS with proper voltage regulation but since you said the blackouts are pretty rare you might not need that either.

The clicking noise is probably the relay in the AVR switching the power output to the buck transformer because the AC (main) voltage drops below the voltage the AVR is rated to monitor/work at or even maybe interference actually from the PSU (APFC circuitry?) which trips the AVR.

I, personally, would plug the PSU directly into mains unless there are other large (inductive load) devices on the same circuit as the PC, such as big motors/fans andAC unit maybe or fridges etc? I think there's the hum of a fan or AC in background?
 
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Mar 25, 2022
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Is this the output of the AVR which is only connected to one load? That is your PC/PSU? AVRs are just transformers that buck the voltage when it drops.

Is the clicking coming from the AVR? And not the PSU at the same time or at all? Does the PSU click too when connected to AVR output or wall outlet directly?
Hi, thanks for taking a look into this!

The clicking sounds only come from the AVR (every time the output voltage meter pointer twitches).
The only time I hear the PSU click is when the pc shuts down.

I have the PC and monitor plugged to the AVR, which is plugged to a power strip (I have my speaker set plugged to it, as well as two phone chargers). The strip is plugged directly to the wall outlet where my electric fan is also plugged in.

We also have a 2.5 HP split-type AC in our living room.

I still get fluctuations even if I plug the AVR directly to the wall outlet and even tried unplugging my PC and monitor from it (I've yet to observe if I don't get the occasional several clicks in a row. Will test on my day off).

One more thing I forgot to mention, I plugged my monitor to my onboard graphics because when I had it plugged to my GTX 1650, the monitor sometimes momentarily blacks out whenever the AVR clicks. This doesn't happen on the onboard graphics. 🤔

EDIT: I have an i5-6600, 16 GB RAM and 7 RGB Fans (most lights off), IIRC, total max wattage is around 420+ something and my AVR can support up to 1000 watts.

Also, sometimes instead of a click, I hear a deep, springy "Whooomp" sound, kinda like a guitar's bass string being plucked once.

I'm now thinking of ditching the AVR but hopefully my PSU is able to compensate for the rapid changes and won't easily "wear out" this way.
 
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Satan-IR

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The only time I hear the PSU click is when the pc shuts down.
This sounds about right/normal.
I have the PC and monitor plugged to the AVR, which is plugged to a power strip (I have my speaker set plugged to it, as well as two phone chargers). The strip is plugged directly to the wall outlet where my electric fan is also plugged in.
That fan might have some effect on the AVR too. Also the AC split if it's on the same circuit as the Strip>AVR>PSU. That is same line coming from fuse box/power temrinal to one room with split and then going on to where the AVR>PC is plugged in.
I still get fluctuations even if I plug the AVR directly to the wall outlet and even tried unplugging my PC and monitor from it (I've yet to observe if I don't get the occasional several clicks in a row. Will test on my day off).
That's normal too as it is connceted to mains AC (with or without other devices on the strip) and/or the PC/monitor and any dip in AC/mains voltage would make it do whatever it's supposed to do (switch to boost transformer to increase voltage).

BTW, in the previous post I mistyped "buck transformer" while I meant to say "boost transofrmer" to increase voltage.
the AVR switching the power output to the buck transformer because the AC (main) voltage drops
One more thing I forgot to mention, I plugged my monitor to my onboard graphics because when I had it plugged to my GTX 1650, the monitor sometimes momentarily blacks out whenever the AVR clicks. This doesn't happen on the onboard graphics. 🤔
This might be because the cable from graphics port to monitor might not be best quality and the interference from the AVR switching makes monitor lose signal momentarily maybe? I would check and see if this still happens if the PC/PSU and monitor are connected to AC/mains outlet from wall directly, no AVR involved.
I'm now thinking of ditching the AVR but hopefully my PSU is able to compensate for the rapid changes and won't easily "wear out" this way.
The PSU is designed and supposed to handle anything between 110V to 240V AC and a proper good quality PSU (I think this is a good quality unit you have) with proper protections is able to protect the system components should there be a major power event or failure of the PSU itself and the PSU is exposed to the mains fluctuations and prolonged exposure to large fluctuations do stress PSU circuitry and can potentially shorten its life to some extent.

Personally though I wouldn't connect the PC to the mains via the AVR but when possible I would get a good quality line interavtice UPS that can actually do decent voltage regulation and handle both voltage surges (spikes) and also voltage sags and brownouts.
 
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Mar 25, 2022
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0
10
0
I'll give plugging the PC to the wall outlet a try next weekend.

I tried looking into UPSes and learned that Seasonic recommends a UPS with a pure sinewave output; however, a high quality simulated sinewave UPS from a reputable manufacturer could also be a possible solution to be used with our power supplies.

I couldn't find a good UPS brand in my country that offers pure sinewave output.
My English comprehension isn't that good and with the way they worded using simulated sinewave, it sounds like I shouldn't bet on it working properly with my PSU.

Any insights/suggestion?
 
Mar 25, 2022
4
0
10
0
Your AVR isn't doing anything your PSU can't do itself. Get rid of it. It's not doing anything.
Thanks for chiming in!

I was worried that the rate of fluctuations we get in our area is too fast/frequent for the PSU to handle.

Does that mean that the AVR bearing most of the brunt of the rapid and frequent fluctuations help prevent the PSU from "wearing out" too soon is a one of those myths?
 
Last edited:

Satan-IR

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I'll give plugging the PC to the wall outlet a try next weekend.

I tried looking into UPSes and learned that Seasonic recommends a UPS with a pure sinewave output; however, a high quality simulated sinewave UPS from a reputable manufacturer could also be a possible solution to be used with our power supplies.

I couldn't find a good UPS brand in my country that offers pure sinewave output.
My English comprehension isn't that good and with the way they worded using simulated sinewave, it sounds like I shouldn't bet on it working properly with my PSU.

Any insights/suggestion?
A UPS? Why not? A proper simulated or pure sine wave UPS would have proper voltage regulation and that would kind of mean less stress on the AC side of the PSU. Apart from that having a UPS in general would give you the time to shut PC down in case any of those "rare" blackouts happen. A simulated sine wave is somehow a comprimise between accuracy of a pure sine wave UPS and the low cost of square wave ones. Yes pure sine ones are better but they're much more expensive than simulated sine wave ones..

For now, as I said before, I'd connect the PSU directly to AC/mains and forget about the AVR. Later on, if it gives you peace of mind, a proper simulated sine wave line-interactive UPS wouldn't hurt and would increase longevity of equipment connected to it, such as the PSU and specially the monitor which is not fed by the PSU and has it's own power supply brick and voltage regulation cuircuitry directly connected to mains.
 
Reactions: RendellDraw
Thanks for chiming in!

I was worried that the rate of fluctuations we get in our area is too fast/frequent for the PSU to handle.

Does that mean that the AVR bearing most of the brunt of the rapid and frequent fluctuations help prevent the PSU from "wearing out" too soon is a one of those myths?
Myth. The PSU is not going to "wear out" as long as the voltages are within the range of the PSU's capability.

If you are experiencing complete power losses, than you want a UPS.
 
Reactions: RendellDraw

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