Belkin Regulator Pro UPS

Belkin Components

Belkin Regulator Pro UPS
(Uninterruptible Power Supply )

Computers are more sensitive to electrical power fluctuations than most appliances. Low voltage to your computer can do as much damage as too much voltage. Hard drives and monitors can be can be totally destroyed by a "brownout". Surge protectors only protect against sudden spikes in voltage.

Belkin's new UPS, called the Regulator Pro was released July, 1999. New to the Pro series is AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation) which keeps the voltage going to the computer between 92 and 135 volts. When the power drops below 92 volts the UPS adds battery power to bring the voltage up to a safe level, protecting your investment in you computer. This UPS measures 3.8" wide x 12.6" deep x 5.3" high, and weighs in at only 13.7 lbs. It is well finished in grey and sports a full compliment of indicator lights.

Installation of any Belkin UPS is a snap. Plug the UPS in to the wall and plug your computer and monitor in to the labeled outlets on the back of the UPS. Connect the included serial cable to com 1(the software seems to like com 1 better than com 2) and your modem phone line to your computer and the UPS. There is an extra power outlet that offers surge protection only. When all is connected place the included CD in your drive to install the software for Windows 95, 98, or NT.

Belkin's Shutdown Assistant is a nifty little application. It displays six gauges showing input and output voltage and frequency, load level, and battery level. You can select the com port and time for warnings and time to shut down. Plan on using com 1. I couldn't get com 2 to work.

To use the Windows NT UPS Service there are several things to do. First download Instructions for Windows NT from: This is a two-page document that should be corrected by now. Following are the proper settings for Windows NT. All the rest of the settings are optional. Alerter Services and Messenger Services must be started. Server Alerts must know the name of your computer. Set both Alerter and Messenger to Automatic.

Windows NT users also have the option of running the Shutdown Assistant software as an application instead of the NT service. All you have to do is place a shortcut to the application in your Startup folder. There is very difference in the resources used. I prefer to run it as an application because Belkin's software is full featured, with all the gauges for monitoring power and frequency.

The Belkin Model F6C625, a 625 VA UPS installed on my computer system in just a few minutes. Testing, by pulling the power cord from the wall, shut down my computer without a hitch in two minutes. I can change the shut down time in the Shutdown Assistant and never have to worry again about power loss.

Belkin offers several warranties: the Data Recovery Warranty, the Connected Equipment Warranty, and the EccoBattery Replacement Program. Checking Belkin's web site will provide all the information on these warranties. The Data Recovery Warranty was most interesting to me.

Now that I have a Belkin UPS installed on my system I never have to worry about power "brownouts" or spikes. If I am in another room when the power goes out I have plenty of time to shut down my computer.

Evergreen Spectra 400 Upgrade Processor

Evergreen technologies, Inc.

A 400 Mhz Computer Under $200

Do you have one of the older slow Pentium computers? Need a much faster computer? I did and I solved the problem for less than $200. I remembered having installed an Evergreen upgrade processor in my mother-in-law's old 486 desktop. That was simple and it cost her less than $100. For my computer I ordered an Evergreen Spectra 400. I wanted to increase the processor speed from 133 to 400.

When the package arrived I was ready to junp right in to the upgrade process. Resisting my egerness I did follow the complete instructions that came in the box. The 8.5" X 26", fully illustrated, 12 step instruction sheet was easy to follow. As instructed, I read all the instructions before starting on the project.

The first half of the upgrade process is in software. I installed the software, which enabled me to upgrade my BIOS. The BIOS is my computer's Basic Input Output System. My BIOS was dated 1996 and had some limitations as to processor speed and hard drive configuration. After following the instructions for testing my BIOS Upgrade I now have a 1999 BIOS, which, of course is fully Y2K compliant.

Turning the instruction sheet over revealed the hardware steps. With pictures, I was showed how to remove my old processor and set the System Bus jumpers. In my case I did not have to set any jumpers. Inserting the new Evergreen AMD processor required me to locate pin number 1 on the processor. The pictures really helped. After locating pin 1, inserting the new processor was easy. On top of the processor I installed the new fan and connected the power cables.

At this point I came to the moment of truth, testing the new processor. As I stated earlier, I followed all the instructions and recorded the performance of my old processor. To test the new one all I had to do was insert the Install Disk in drive A and restart the computer.

According to the testing software my computer's speed increased threefold. At first I noticed a little speed increase, but after using the computer for two weeks I removed the Spectra 400 and replaced my old Pentium 133. Strange as it may seem, this is where I noticed the speed difference. My computer felt like an old 486 compared to the experience I became used to with the Spectra 400. Now with the Spectra 400 back where it belongs I am again racing through a spreadsheet recalculation.

I highly recommend the Evergreen Spectra 400 Processor Upgrade because it meets my criteria for a good buy. First, the price is reasonable. Second, installation is a breeze, and most of all Evergreen's products work exactly as expected.