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Phone Line Isolator

Just like AC power outlets, phone outlets can experience power fluctuations. A power surge can enter a computer through a modem, a device used to connect a computer to a phone line. Not only can a modem be damaged by a power surge on the phone line, but other electronics inside the computer, such as the motherboard, can be damaged. A phone line isolator, sometimes called a modem isolator, can be purchased at an electronics store. It provides protection against phone line surges. No computer connected to a phone line through a modem should be without one. Many surge protectors now come with a modem isolator built into the strip. Figure 4.31 shows an example of a surge strip that has modem protection integrated into the unit.

Power supplies and associated protection equipment are not exciting topics, but they are very important to a technician. Power problems can catch you unaware. Always keep power in your mind as a potential suspect when troubleshooting a computer.

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