Blinking Clocks and VCRs

Nearly every home in America has at least one digital clock, if not more. Manufacturers of electronic equipment have included digital clocks, almost universally it seems, as an added feature. Most of these appliances are very sensitive to momentary power outages. A power disturbance will send these clocks into a state of eternal midnight 12:00 - 12:00 - 12:00.

While this usually amounts to nothing more than an inconvenience, it has the potential of being much more damaging if you were trying to record an important program on your VCR or use a computer. Then a blip can mean lost programs and hours of work.

Momentary power outages cause microprocessor equipment that does not have onboard or external back-up to lose its random access memory or RAM. This is the kind of computer memory where current work or active programs are stored. On a VCR, the programming function and station settings often reside in a RAM location. On digital clocks, the time and alarm settings are in this area. Power outages as short as one second can erase the RAM and all of the data stored there.