Although a normal UPS unit kept the surges out of our computer and camera, these same fluctuations caused banding in the photography. Here is a good example.

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For two years our photography with a digital camera was often ruined due to electrical surges

Sola Hevy duty conditioner
Sola Hevy duty power conditioner

Even if a laser printer is turned on nearby, that causes a fluctuation in the electrical current in that entire part of the building. That in turn causes a dark band for that pixel row that the camera is scanning during the period of the fluctuation. So the photograph here is totally ruined.

The museum electricians felt it worthwhile to upgrade the wiring for the photo studio to hold up to the 30 amp draw of this equipment.

As a result all our pictures turn out beautifully. No more dark bands. This is the Sola MCR Portable, 60 Hz, catalog # 63-13-230-6. To answer your question, no, a normal uninterruptable power supply unit from American Power Conversion will not keep your lights from flickering. Those nice UPS units are to keep your computer from being fried by lightning strikes. By the way, Soli heavy-duty also makes UPS units that are really heavy-duty.

sola heavy duti
Here is the equipment that stops the fluctuations from reaching the lights. You hot-wire the unit into your room's electrical system or else this particular model is portable (140 lb of weight however). This unit handles 3000 watts.

Now we would like to try out the smaller units since they don't require a special plug. Also the smaller units are really portable. This is the 1000 watt unit pictured at the left. It uses a normal 3-pronged electrical plug.

These are intended to protect the studio lighting during digital photography but in fact they are also useful for conditioning the power coming to the computers.

You can also use this handy Sola power conditioner if you have any kind of digital equipment which is sensitive to power surges such as a film recorder (which also needs to be protected from power fluctuation). Keep in mind, the $60 UPS units sold at Office Depot do not protect digital lighting nor film recorders from fluctuations. The UPS units only provide power when the main power source is disturbed. If a nearby refrigerator kicks on, that fluctuation in the current will ruin any digital photography underway at that moment.

Sola Hevy duty conditioner
Sola Hevy duty conditioner

Contact: Clyde Knoppe, Sola/heavy-duty, 7770 N. Frontage Road, Skokie, IL 60077, fax (847) 763 6033






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