Review of Smart Strip power strip

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Donald_S, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I was looking for a solution to having some of my a/v equipment automatically power off when I shut off my receiver. I got a suggestion from DavidLW to look at the Bits Ltd. Smart Strip product.

    The idea behind the Smart Strip is that there is a controlling outlet. When that outlet shows a big drop in power draw (i.e. it's powered off) it shuts off the 6 switched outlets on the strip. When power jumps up, it powers those devices on.

    I ordered one and here is my take on the product:

    The strip is one of the most well thought out ones I've seen. It has 10 outlets altogether, 1 controlling, 3 other hot, 6 switched. 1 of the hot outlets and 3 of the switched ones are spaced for transformer plugs, so your really get 10 usable outlets.

    I decided to plug in my receiver as the control, my DVD player hot, and my TV, subwoofer and small backlight as switched. Initially the control didn't power off anything, but making a small adjustment to the sensitivity of the trimmer did the trick. The power on/power off levels differ by 20%, so that you can't get a 'cycle' of powering on and off going by setting the trimmer right at the threshold.

    I'm pretty darn pleased with the result. Now my subwoofer that I was always leaving on gets shut off, and I don't have to crawl behind my TV to turn on my theater back light.

    The specs on the strip are pretty good. It can handle up to 15 amps, has the usual lightning strike protection, and even has some line noise protection. It has a $30,000 equipment meltdown warranty as well.

    Some people won't like the idea of completely powering off a/v equipment. Some say that constant heat stresses components, others say that power up and down will. I think frankly both are true to some extent. But you can choose which ones are connected hot with the Smart Strip and choose your poison. Frankly I think the convenience and power savings make this a great deal. Especially since the strip is only $30. Compare that to any Monster strip, even the ones that don't have noise suppression circuits.

    You can order one at:

    http://www.bitsltd.net/smartstrip/home2.htm

    Donald
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Great review Donald. This has often plagued people with external subs and power amps.
     
  3. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Bob. It's nice when you have what you think is a unique problem and find that it's so not unique, and that there is a product specifically designed to solve it.
     
  4. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    I thought I would resurrect this thread for a couple of reasons.

    First of all, I think people should be phone in their order to make sure they get the right one. I ordered (online) the LCG1 and apparently my receiver (Yamaha HTR-5640) is not power hungry enough to cause the switched outlets to turn on. So, I emailed the Smart Strip folks and found out I should have ordered the LDG1 (which doesn't show up on the webpage) and which has a higher (lower?) sensitivity so that it will work with my setup.

    But, I wasn't left holding the bag. Nope. The Smart Strip folks are sending me an LDG1 along with a prepaid airborne label so I can send the LCG1 back to them on their nickel. In my book that is incredible customer service.

    I was also told they were working on a new version of the LCG1 which would have a "sensitivity improvement."

    Anyway, I thought I would give folks a head up about ordering the right unit and about the great customer service they provide.


    Mitch
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Hey Mitch. Yes, it's a well thought out review and the comments that you added regarding how the company handled your particular situation really added something important in my opinion. Far as you know, do they have a similar product or have plans for one that has coax or satellite protection too?

    BTW, for anyone else who is reading this, take a look at how this company deals with specifications.
    http://www.bitsltd.net/smartstrip/specifications.htm
    Concise, talks specifically about how the joules are spread around, let's you know it can handle little spikes (I just may order one to have laying around and to see how it handles this nice old Sears fan I've got that tosses out one hell of a spike into the AC lines), etc. Now contrast that with your run of the mill surge protector at any audio store. No comparison.
     
  6. Mitch G

    Mitch G Agent

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    I can't answer your question about support for coax/satellite protection. But, they (he? [​IMG]) seems to be a well run company open to new ideas. So, you may want to just email them and ask about it.


    Mitch
     

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