Power Coditioner Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MikeTz, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. MikeTz

    MikeTz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Can anyone point me to a reasonably priced power filter/surge suppressor that uses avalanche diodes (TranZorb is one industry name) instead of Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV)for surge protection? MOVs degrade over time and you never know when they have lost their effectiveness. Most conditioners I review use MOV technology because it's cheap.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    www.transtector.com but you'll have to order directly from them. i believe it's the DPS series and runs in the neighborhood of $100. PS Audio I believe also makes similar units but it seems the price is a bit elevated for what's being offered. there are also some hybridized units that use MOV's and SAD's out there.
    regarding degradation of MOV's...if you want that to be a non-issue simply get units with beefier MOV's (more joules).

    regardless, the right way to do protection is to install a whole-house unit as your primary means.
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Or, get a unit that tells you the status of the MOVs. The balanced power unit I have has an LED status indicator that indicates whether the MOVs are still useful or not.
     
  5. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Transector is a hybridized MOV/SASD, check the specs. According to www.elect-spec.com the single advantage of suppressor diodes over other solutions is speed. But they cannot handle high voltages. Hence there use in mostly low voltage high speed telecom apps. And you’ll never see a high voltage implementation without secondary suppression, usually MOV’s
    Strange then that Transector gives a response time of 5 nanoseconds and 25 joules. Which is way slower than the usual sub picosecond (1 thousandth of a nanosecond) response time of suppressor diodes. My Panamax Max2 which only uses MOV’s has a 1 nanosecond response time I assume at its entire joule rating. It also has an indicator that lets me know if suppression still works. Assuming Panamax isn't fudging the numbers, I don't see the advantages of Transector.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You'll have to give me the link on that one Matt. Transector's DPS Series (the Plus includes cable/satellite protection also) are available in two flavors: MOV & SAD. At least from them, there is no hybridization of the two approaches Both models meet UL 1449 2nd edition and are tested according to ANSI/IEEE protocols which does include a 6kV, 200 amp ring wave with a duration of 0.5 microsecond at a frequency of 100 kHz. That's a pretty hefty jolt. Both types of units if they are overwhelmed will fail 'open'. Now some may look at that as a design fault. I consider it like the secret service. They're supposed to take a bullet and give up their life in order to protect whatever is attached.
    For people who opt to go MOV as their only device it makes sense to go for more joules in order to increase the longevity of the device. There is a rough exponential lifetime increase as the MOV's get bigger. Consider though that a 3000 joule point of use device does not give one all 3000 joules. Since we've got H-N, H-G, G-H to cover, there can be as little as 1000 joules. Further, that amount needs to be derated by 40% or more since the device is not located within close proximity to earth ground (less than 10 feet). This is because that length of wire in your romex run doesn't look like resistance rather it appears as an impedance
    No point of use device is intended to guard against a severe transient as from lightning. For that one needs to go whole-house. Whether they opt for MOV's (comparatively inexpensive), SAD's (more pricey), Brickwall type (somewhere between the two but sourcing can be problematic), Isolation Transformer (more than SAD's), etc. is a matter of what one's objectives are. Often one type can be augmented by secondary accessories such as capactitors. I don't think many electricians are especially knowledgeable here unless they also specialize in large facilities and have appropriate training in this very unique area. Regardless, ther success of these devices in dealing with fairly catastrophic transients (like if you live in Florida, certain parts of the Midwest, etc.) is due not so much to the methodology employed. Rather it is because they're located close to earth ground. Hence, the better your ground, the better your protection. All companies that are serious about protection will stress the importance of earth ground. Unfortunately most people who have sensitive electronics don't go beyond NEC codes which are designed for human safety. Safety for one's equipment that may be heavily transistorized with high density chips requires that one go beyond NEC codes. Perhaps surprisingly, houses that're designed on concrete slabs with an interconnecting rebar reinforcement already have a ground that's vastly superior to your run of the mill grounding rods, no matter how many you put. If you're interested, do a google search on "UFER GROUND". However, that's another topic for another time.
    As far as response time, all I can say is that there's a lot of salesmanship going on and that not everyone is measuring things the same way. That is, if they do indeed measure it. In a way, it's kind of like trying to compare horsepower and torque on two cars that've been dyno tested in two different locations with two different protocols. Can't do it. Nonetheless, SAD's are measurably quicker in response time. About an order, give or take, better than MOV's and most assuredly both are better than gas discharge tubes. Virtually every telco out there uses them because of their rapid response. Not exclusively, but you'll find for example that State agencies that're sourcing a telco system will have as part of their requirements the implementation of silicon avalanche diodes.
     
  7. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My apologies Chu, You appear to be right about the DPS series. I assumed the engineering specs on the hybrid versions were indicative of all their designs especially since Transector is not very detailed on how they achieved the higher voltage and joule ratings for their diodes. Transector's hybrid series are more in line with industry specs on diodes. I don't know the testing conditions under which Electronic Specialists and Panamax calculated their response times but they apear consistent with known response times for the different surpressor technologies.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most of us will never experience a surge that takes something out. OTOH, I've had lighting cause damage twice. Once it took out my son's receiver. Completely blew the capacitors up inside of it. That same lighting strike also split a 20 foot tree about 30 feet from my house like in the movie The Natural. You could still smell the burnt cellulose in the morning. The second time it took out my well pump. That one was $1500.
    I have nothing against using MOV's, SAD's, hybridized units, units that utilize sine-wave-tracking (those are pretty interesting) as point of use devices. However, if you've got your own house, I think using anyone using those approaches as their sole device has made poor engineering, philisophical, and economical decisions if their goal is to protect against the deadliest of transients-lighting. A whole unit is comparatively inexpensive, especially contrasted to the overpriced and underperforming units from say Monster or PS Audio or whomever. When coupled with fairly inexpensive point of use devices one has a fairly good protection mechanism in place. People will do though what they will. We pick our choices and hope they serve us well.
    BTW, I like the elec-spec place. It's a god awful looking website though but they've got a ton of interesting stuff.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't (some local) electrical codes *require* some type of lightening protection? I remember back east that we had a lightening rod hooked up in conjunction with the antenna that we had. (I don't think it was required, just something smart to do.) But seeing as the government of California views itself as necessary to protect its people from themselves... But I also don't remember anything specific in the original house inspection we had done before we moved in. Anyways... [​IMG]
     

Share This Page