Looking for Surge Protectors w/ RFI EMI Filtering

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Geoff S, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    Looking to spend up to $50, (more if neccesary) for a good Home Theater Surge Supressor with RFI and EMI filtering. Most of what I see at my Home Theater stores are usually all Monster Cable Power Centers that exceed $100 or $200.

    Looking for suggestions from other users on what to buy. I've heard of a few good models, but I'm still looking around. A "So what is everyone using, and does everyone else agree it's good" response is what I'm looking for. Thanks!
     
  2. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Good question, Geoff, and you’re on then right track, since the big HT stores don’t carry the more economical surge protectors in the Tripp-Lite, Belkin and companies such as Panamax.

    Nearly EVERY surge protector for audio-video today comes with RF/EMI filters. Look for it on product specification sheets you can pull up online.

    Products worth looking at include –

    Tripp-Lite ISOBAR 6 DBS
    Panamax Max8 Cable
    Belkin SurgeMasterII with cable terminal

    Some Belkins are going in the $30-$39 range from online retailers.

    www.partsexpress.com has affordable prices for surge units, too.

    www.powersystemsdirect.com has several lines, mostly Panamax and Monster, at discount prices.
     
  3. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Geoff,

    No arguement against this new-design Belkin. It ought to last a while, but after a few Texas lightning storms, dont forget to check the PROTECTION OK LED lite still glows. At some undefined point, these surge protectors can give up their life for you and might need to be replaced. However, this unit has a higher spike energy-catching Joules Rating than any others I have seen in this class, likely indicating a heavier array of MOV coils.
     
  6. Larry Schmitz

    Larry Schmitz Auditioning

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    If you like the Belkin Pure AV looks like Tech Depot.com has it for 68.95 If it is the same model might be a steal.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    If you can step up to a Monster Power Center designed by Richard Marsh, I can recommend it - the results in my system have transformed the sound.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee,

    Which model Monster Power Center are you refering to?
    How much was it?

    Just wondering, cause I'm still looking around till I do finally get one, which will be next week, hopefully. Thanks.
     
  9. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    For $50 don't expect anything more than mov's with sub nanosecond response times (VERY IMPORTANT) to instaneously shunt to ground voltage spikes above the let through voltage(VERY IMPORTANT; 330 volts is required for certification but the smaller the better) above that you're paying for added circuitry to automatically disconnect the power when a sustained abnormal voltage condition is detected, audio grade capacitors that filter noise causing currents from the line, voltage monitoring (window dressing) and properly sized isolation transformers(what all other conditioners aspire to) If you do a search for mov's or surge supressors on this forum you will find more than enough info to help you decide. but specs (response time, let through voltage and noise reduction within the audible range 20hz to 20 khz) is king. good luck
     
  10. John Walker

    John Walker Agent

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    Bill

    Do you have a Tripp-Lite ISOBAR 6 DBS? If so can you comment on it?

    I have some "snow" issues with other small motor loads (fans) on the same branch and I am trying to avoid ripping into the walls for a dedicated circuit.

    Tripp-Lite have been in the business forever. They don't get the same attention in HT circles as other brands. For example the monster 200HT is about $200 CAN locally. Its a tiny unit that sits over your existing wall outlet. Its probably quite good but its twice as much as the Tripp-Lite which I have a healthy respect for (CAD background).

    I notice APC doesn't get mentioned in HT circles. (I've had two of these fry in the last couple of years). Excluding the high end UPS stuff, they seem to be marketed towards home office consummers.

    Anyway can anyone comment on their Tripp-Lite?

    Thanks in advance

    John
     
  11. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    John,

    I see where you’re headed here, and I am reluctant to “recommend” a TL Isobar 6 as any cure to your somewhat undefined problem. As Chu Gai notes here, sometimes throwing these black boxes at our system is like putting basins under leaks, instead of trying to fix the roof.

    In the absence of other motor-driven appliances and such uses on our HT home circuit, mainstream surge units as mentioned are usually sufficient. They don’t seem to make any audible “improvements” but some report a slightly crisper and black level uptick in video from the RF/EMI filtering. However, the main function is standby surge suppression along with inline AC noise filtering.

    People ask about using a TrippLite “line conditioner” such as LC1200, 1800 or 2400, and APC SMART UPS units all the time. In my opinion, these are useful for SPECIFIC conditions and are not necessarily cheaper versions of more costly AV “power conditioners.” Good thinking, tho.

    By Specific Conditions, I mean serious voltage fluctuation more than 5 percent plus/minus from 120VAC; and periodic loss of power delivery from stormy weather coupled with owning set-top boxes like Replay/Tivo and maybe a VCR, all keeping program assignments, and use of projectors with cooling fans.

    bill
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    It's tough to say if the motors are causing a problem because they're on the same circuit and...
    1) dumping garbage into the lines
    2) dumping EMI into the air
    3) a combination?

    Now if that fan is moveable, you can do a little experiment. Run an extension cord to the appliance and see if moving it closer to the TV makes the situation worse. If it does, then quite possibly, a device that incorporates EMI filtering will have a neglible improvement. Maybe? a better shielded, like quad shield, coax might be the ticket. That of course also implies a good connection be made. On a side note, you might want to try seeing what happens when you stick an el-cheapo surge suppressor with EMI filtering on the appliance. Not so much to protect it, but to see if it'll stop anything from going down the lines.

    If you're reasonably comfortable around electricity, or have a friend who is, a separate line could be installed by yourself. I think you should do a little more detective work to see how the problem is originating.
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  14. John Walker

    John Walker Agent

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    As always this is more complicated than I first thought. I am in a new house and have no idea what outlets, lights, rooms, floors etc are on the branch for the HT. If you have any experience with this you will know electricians often wire things bizarrely (perhaps he was working towards his lunch box?)(or trying to save 6' of wire).

    So what I have is at least one bathroom ventilation fan on the same branch. When it is turned off a pronounced white horizontal line shows up momentarily on the TV. I really don't think it’s the cable TV or other IC's picking it up, but rather the fan motor dumping something into the AC line. There is no snow etc while it’s running.

    I live in an urban setting that is likely well serviced as far as electricity is concerned (I am not in the boonies - all our local wires are underground etc).

    It would seem a decent EMI "filter" would remedy the problem and provide basic surge protection. I can't justify $200+ line conditioner at this time and would like to get something for $50-100 for the time being. Later when I upgrade the video display I will budget for a better filter. That could be a few years from now (HDTV in 2006 kind of doesn't make me anxious to replace a perfectly good TV with one that may only be useful for a few years (without some obnoxiously expensive add on box)).

    Does that info help at all?

    Thanks for any useful advice.

    John
     
  15. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    John,

    In the great scheme of thing, then, you don't have an overwhelming home electronics/electrical problem, but rather an annoyance from intermittent interference from that pesky bathroom fan motor.

    At this stage, and I admire your patience, installing an Under-$100 (U.S.) surge protector seems proper. Can't tell if it really screens that fan noise til you try.

    I am in a new house and have no idea what outlets, lights, rooms, floors etc are on the branch for the HT..
    I have 2 to 3 separate household circuits serving my LR, DR and KIT. At the outset, to see what's on the circuit most conveniently outletted, I turned on most lights, lamps, radios etc and closed that masterpanel circuit breaker. It's an interesting exercize in familiarizing oneself with circuit loads and potential interference problems, if any. For example, my garage door opener motor is on my HT circuit because I spliced it in, unknowingly. (But the garage door doesnt get operated when I'm at the HT!)

    In the perfect world we wud look to an electrician to install a whole-house surge supprtessor and one dedicated 15A or prefereably 20A, circuit to a new wall outlet(s) in the home entertainment location. These efforts alone would cost less that buying a MonsterPower 5000 series power center!

    Even with a whole-house unit, it's recommended that a smaller point-of-use unit, like the ones we've been talking about, be used just for these in-house mini-transient surges (motor electrical field collapses) such as you've found.

    So a step at a time, yes?

    bill
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If putting a surge/emi device doesn't work, that'd suggest that your fan issue is one that involves the generation of emi via the air. Like Bill said, it's a matter of patience and detective work. As an aside, you might want to pick up one of those circuit testers at Home Depot. They're about $4 US and even with a new house, you can make a project of giving your outlets a clean bill of health and if there's any problems, then a call to the builder.
     

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