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How Do You Deal With Power Issues ?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Dirk, Jan 12, 2020.

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  1. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Where I live [somewhat frequent] power outages are all but a certainty. Like many of us here, I have some expensive and precious gear and want it to be protected. To that end I installed [professional grade] Whole Home Surge Protection and also have a Panamax M5300 downstream.

    Unfortunately, however, no measure of surge protection can really protect your gear if it loses power in an ugly way. That happened to me last night and while I was just about to settle in and watch the NFL playoff games of all times!!!

    Imagine sitting down after a long day and being greeted with craziness and then a total loss of power.... By "craziness" I mean flashing lights, reboots, etc. In my case, my gear is fine but I had to reset everything, which was embarrassing because it took time and I had guests in attendance.

    I'm seriously considering a generator. Anyone else have [or are considering] one?
     
  2. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I have UPS's on all home theater and computer components. Gives me about 15 minutes to shut things down properly.
     
  3. Message #3 of 9 Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I only keep my desktop computers with surge protection. At least if there's issues from power damage, I can recover the hard drive if it's not fried dead.

    For anything else, I don't have much issue if they die from power issues. My current tv screens and other av equipment are around 10+ years old. Even if the insurance denies pay out for dead equipment, I'll just buy new stuff.
     
  4. Message #4 of 9 Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    UPDATE:

    While I was trying to watch yesterdays playoff games with my guests I noticed weirdness in the sound quality. They never noticed anything and wondered what I was worried about. For the moment I just made adjustments and we continued. As I examine my system today [while alone and able to do so] I realize my Outlaw 7140 is not even powering on! It handles my entire rear and overhead stage so no wonder things didn't sound right yesterday. Initial troubleshooting suggests it's probably a fuse. Hopefully I'll know more soon.

    UPDATE #2:

    Not even the fuse was bad. It just seems things got out of sync. I use a 12 V trigger to turn on this amp from my Marantz AV7702 MKII. Somehow that wasn't happening after the power outage which required manual intervention. All good now!!!
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    @John Dirk

    Put your theater electronics on a UPS to allow for controlled power off during an outage. You need that even if you get a whole-home generator, because they have 10 sec response times (whose main job is to ensure you don't lose heat or A/C, lights stay on, and you don't lose food. They're not meant to ensure a football game isn't interrupted or expensive electronics aren't damaged by unexpected power loss).

    If your outages are minutes, a big UPS might be sufficient. If you have frequent (even once a year) outages of a day or longer, it might be worth while for you to invest in a backup generator or standby generator. As you probably know, this can range from a simple gas generator that you snake an extension cord in to keep the fridge and some emergency lights going, up to an integrated standby generator that runs off LP or house NG.

    Or, because you're in the South, it might be worth considering installing solar panels and a battery backup. That's the most expensive, but might still be financially sound. And, if you're so inclined, you might take personal philosophical satisfaction or technological futurism enthusiasm from such a system. :)
     
  6. Message #6 of 9 Jan 18, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    John Dirk

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    Great advice @DaveF and thanks. I do have a Panamax M5300 protecting most of my gear. It's not a UPS but is supposed to be able to detect dangerous over/under voltage conditions and kill power to connected devices if it does.

    The Outlaw was not connected to the Panamax because when we bought this house a few years ago I also went to separates. I found an unused circuit in the room adjacent to my theater room and decided to split my power amps between it and the Panamax-protected circuit to reduce the overall demand from each. Everything worked as planned except I now unwittingly had my Outlaw connected directly to a wall outlet with no inline protection. Since it's a power amp, I reasoned [while in the moment] it could withstand surges, etc. It did withstand this one but I realize I was just lucky. Even power amps have delicate circuitry designed to expect fairly accurate DC voltage levels. I should have known better...

    We have frequent power outages here but most are mitigated within a few hours or less. This one was different. The power went off and then on again a few times and too quickly for me to even know what was happening. My projector WAS connected to a UPS which gave me time to safely shut it down once I realized this was going to be a serious outage. This is what I need for all of my devices. I've since put the Outlaw on the UPS that formerly protected the projector, [leaving it basically unprotected as it now depends solely on the Panamax] so I probably need to consider a bigger UPS that all of my gear can be connected to at the same time.

    Power was out for about 7 hours this time. I wasn't worried about losing food but I was VERY worried about my theater equipment and other expensive home electronics such as the built-in microwave, washer/dryer and fridge. Where possible, these all have individual in-line surge protectors, but still...

    We've already put way too much money in this house to consider solar anytime soon. The stories I could tell. :)
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Taken out of context, the above struck me as quite humorous. Only on a place like HTF could you find a statement inferring "who needs food, as long as the home theater is okay?". :laugh:
     
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  8. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    So true. :cheers:
     
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  9. John Dirk

    John Dirk Cinematographer
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    Anyone have experience or recommendations with this? It looks like a potentially great solution but I'm not sure how viable it is without solar, which is something I couldn't justify at this point as we've already SUNK too much into this house.

    https://www.tesla.com/powerwall
     

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