Some questions came up locally about power, quality of power and their affect on astronomy equipment.

Have you considered a whole house surge protector on your main panel?
I think it would be $300-400 $Can but may require a spare/empty circuit breaker location.

Power to our observatory starts at the back deck on a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor) jack, then a buried 50′ 16gauge extension cord to the observatory.
Then a UPS to help bring up the voltage if need be (it would charge up the UPS battery during low demand and discharge the battery and bump up brownout/low voltage during higher demand).

The rest of the observatory is powered through that (LED lights, white lights, telescopes, laptop, 12vdc battery charger, netbook and supersid radio telescope).

Then *another* 50′ extension cord (16 gauge?) out to the tardis observatory, where another UPS is there to support.
That runs the torus telescope, torus computer, LED lighting red and white, imaging laptop).

From there *another 50′ extension cord runs out to the Serenity observatory. No UPS there.. we ran out of them.
It runs a laptop, the radiojove radio telescope and the telescope mount.

When we build *another* larger observatory out in the back, I think it will be about time to dig up the 16 gauge power cables and replace them with heavier 14 gauge or 12 gauge ones.

So.. get a UPS with a small battery -maybe 7AH at least) (you are not using it for long term power but rather filtering and support (brownouts and low voltage) when needed. You also get a software package that lets you log power events (serious ones, not minor noise), but in general there are RFI filters in the UPS as well.

One of the units is an APC BackUPS Pro 1000 which has gigabit rated network surge proection jacks, 4 surge jacks, 4 UPS Battery Backup jacks. Non critical equipment is plugged into the surge-only jacks (ie the 12vdc battery charger, etc).

The UPS is to be able to let you:
1) see when the power/lights go out
2) save your computer from a sudden crash (most of our laptops are old and the laptop batteries are no good anymore)
3) allow you to park your scope and shutdown your computer.
The biggest use of all is surge protection, brownout protection and RFI filtering.

* please note that items are secured and locked, video surveillance is onsite along with some active deterrence measures as well *