Which Surge Protector?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Daman, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Daman

    Daman Second Unit

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    Hi!! Am planning to buy another Surge Protector or Line Conditioner for the HT, i already have one by Radioshack which is just a surge protector with no line conditioning. I was reading the primer section which mentioned that any protector with joule rating over 2000 should be good, was checking out a few monster line conditioners above that rating which are pretty expensive - the one i like was for 150$ odd with line conditioning built in and rated at 2770 something joules.. now i would get the same stuff at Radioshack for much less,i mean with regards to joule rating but dont know whether they have line condionters built in or not.. can anyone advice me which would be a better buy? The Monster one or the Ratshack one? I would probably buy today after work so any quick advice would really be appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't waste your money on the Monster ones. As for the RatShack, they don't have line conditioning however you can get many other cheaper brands that do from places like Walmart and even Home Depot for very good prices. Basically the best buy would be one that has an AVR or Automatic Voltage Regulator so it keeps the volts steady throughout the line in order to protect your very sensitive equipment. You can find many brands of those for $80 or less.
     
  3. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    I use panamax (but I get them wholesale too)monster gets a huge mark up even before the dealer sees them
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Just what sort of conditioning do you need?
     
  5. Philip>L

    Philip>L Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a Panamax surge protector that has both overvoltage AND undervoltage protection. We had a nasty brown out here last year and the undervoltage protection came in handy...
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Did it refuse to transmit current during the brownout?
     
  7. James Buhler

    James Buhler Stunt Coordinator

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    Proof of statement please???
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Because you can get comparable if not better specs for less money? Regardless though, if you've got your own house it's far more effective and cheaper on a $/protected appliance basis to install a whole house unit
     
  9. James Gumbart

    James Gumbart Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I've read about this, it's not a very effective method of protecting individual items. It's only designed to stop very large surges and will not protect against smaller ones or things like brownouts.
     
  10. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    I also recommend/use Panamax.
     
  11. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    For the average joe that walks into Futureshop/BB/CC they are overpriced. If your willing to go into your local BM store and negotiate a better price its worth the time and money.

    Kevin
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Who needs to negotiate? Get a TrippLite or a Belkin for well under $100 US or for that matter, a Stratitec for $20. It's like when you go to a car dealer and you want to buy oil or a filter. You're going to pay more. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that people who haunt the forums are looking for more insight or other options.
     
  13. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    who's building the monster one? I believe it's tripplite (monster doesn't I know) I don't like many of monsters products simply because I've had nothing but failures from them. One thing I tell my customers is don't waste your money on one with no warranty
     
  14. BrentT

    BrentT Auditioning

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    Try searching for brickwall on google. I can't post URL's yet but I like the product and the web site has excellent info on why the product is better. Makes it easy even if you aren't an electrical engineer.

    Brent
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    And you undoubtably read about this from a manufacturer or vendor that sells point of use devices.

    If you've read any of my posts on this matter, you'll find that I advocate a two prong approach for those looking to protect themselves.

    1) Whole house
    2) Modest units placed where you think they'll do the most good.

    To the above, I'll add a third item and that's seeing that your home or renter's insurance has provisions for equipment replacement (full value, not prorated) in the event of electrical damage. Usually you get addtional protection as part of the package: water damage, theft, accident, etc. As to whether you want to do this, that's up to you, but it doesn't hurt to ask the questions, get some quotes, and shop around.

    Quite the contrary, a whole house unit is vastly superior with regards to protecting individual items by virtue that it grounds the surge before it can get into the building. A surge is a high energy, relatively short duration, violent electrical event. It is not a simple raising of voltage or current hence I've no idea what you mean by a small surge. An overvoltage is not a surge. A surge looks to ground itself anyway it can. Once it enters your house, then it remains to be seen what path it will follow in order to reach earth ground. It may go back down the ground wire, jump wires, ground itself via the toaster, microwave, that nice $1000+ electronic washing machine you just bought, your computer, phone, clock radio, microwave, where you're charging your cell phone, etc. Its entirely unpredictable. Hence if you've installed a point of use device to "protect" your HT system, you've left everything else in your home vulnerable. Why not just lock the door to your house instead of relying on a gun in one room to protect everything, no?

    You see, to a surge, a ground wire looks entirely different from earth ground because that ground wire is now a relatively high impedance device. That's the beauty of whole house because properly installed, ground is invariably 10 feet or less away. Any reputable company that markets protection against surges is going to stress, if not hammer at you, the IMPORTANCE of earth ground. Further, any facility that knows what its doing is going to have facility wide surge protection in it. They may well have additional point of use devices, but no one is going to rely solely upon those.

    As far as brownouts go, that's another matter entirely. If you've got a problem with those, then you need to look into the reasons. There's been more than one instance where a person's problems with their home can be traced to a problem outside that's the responsibility of the electrical company or some kind of wiring problem within the house. With all matters, you define your problems, assess your individual paranoia quotient, and you choose your solutions. For a point of use device, I happen to favor those that use Silicon Avalanche Diodes which some call transorbs. But that's just me. I've also got a few el-cheapo, believe it or not, $1 in the wheel barrow dumping ground at Home Depot units that I plugged in things like my dishwasher, microwave, and a few other things. This all works in conjunction with a whole house unit.

    I've got no idea who builds Monster's units but I'd hazard to say they source them from overseas. A point of use surge protector is a pretty simple device. I don't have much faith in those warranties Stephen as careful inspection of them will indicate that it's a fair market replacement. As I mentioned earlier, insurance is something to investigate. Who knows, you might be looking forward to a surge then 10 years from now. Upgrade time my friend!

    I'm not going to lose any sleep if you buy a Monster unit. I figure if some additional information is given to you, from someone that doesn't have an axe to grind, then you can use that information to make an informed shopping decision that works for you.
     
  16. Steven_Jobe

    Steven_Jobe Stunt Coordinator

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    Not saying that the monster one's aren't good. I'm just saying it's a waste of money when you can buy one's from Panamax or even Acoustic Research with the exact same specs for much, much less. Monster is overpriced on ALL of their products and people who don't do their research buy into it. Do your research, look around even these forums about Monster products. Their prices are marked up even before they get to stores.
     
  17. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Panamax yes, Acoustic Research no way. There]s no way AR has the same features cramed into the plastic casings doing the AC filtration and seperation that Monster or Panamax offer.

    Kevin
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Try getting meaningful specs out of any of them when it comes to EMI/RFI filtration. I sure as hell struck out.
     
  19. Steve Lumbert

    Steve Lumbert Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out the Tripplite ISOBARs. You can get them on-line for around $45-50. The build quality on these are amazing and the outlets are isolated from one another.

    In my system I use an ISOBAR 6 Ultra and ISOBAR 8 Ultra plugged into PS Audio AC recepticles.
     
  20. Jeremy Little

    Jeremy Little Supporting Actor

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    The AR's do NOT stack up at all. They are actually pretty pathetic at line conditioning. Also, the coaxial protection on them drops the cable signal 6db which has dramatic effects on the signal. How does that compare to the .5db loss through a Monster power center.
     

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