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#124249 - 01/14/06 11:24 AM who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line
mincone Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 60
Loc: New York
Could you tell me who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line Conditioner?
M60s VP150 EP500 4QS8 Yamaha RX-V2600 Receiver Panasonic TH-42PHD8UK Plasma Monitor

#124250 - 01/14/06 11:34 AM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Iowa
There are many brands that do a great job. Belkin "Pure AV", Tripplite, and Monster is ok . I use the Tripplite HTPOWERBAR10, tripplite has been around for many years.

Tripp Lite's HTPOWERBAR10 Isobar Home/Business Theater Surge Suppressor provides ultimate protection--5700 joules--stopping damaging surges and filtering disruptive line noise so components perform at their peak! You can see and hear the difference: sharper, crisper video; deeper, fuller audio and longer component life spans. Perfect for large home/business theater installations: high-definition TVs, PVRs, satellite and A/V receivers, subwoofers, DVD/CD players and more. Exclusive Isolated Filter Banks eliminate noise interference between components. 10 outlets (with transformer spacing and plug-in safety covers), 3-line coaxial protection and 1-line tel/modem protection safeguard an entire home/business theater system. $500,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance coverage with Data Recovery Warranty (USA and Canada only). Includes metal housing, color-coordinated outlet/plug labels, 16 diagnostic LEDs, 8 ft. cord with a right-angle plug, two 6 ft. gold coaxial cables and 6 ft. phone cord.

5700 joules surge suppression rating with EMI/RFI line noise filtering help components perform at their peak (sharper, crisper video; deeper, fuller audio and longer component life spans)
$500,000 Ultimate Lifetime Insurance (USA and Canada only) covers connected components against surge damage...for life!
Data Recovery Warranty (USA and Canada only) covers a hard drive and the valuable information stored on it
Isolated Filter Banks eliminate interference between connected components
Metal housing safely withstands the strongest surges
10 surge-protected NEMA 5-15R AC outlets safeguard an entire home/business theater system
Widely-spaced outlets accommodate up to 6 transformers
Four plug-in safety covers protect against accidental contact
3 sets of surge-protected Type F gold coaxial connectors (with two included 6 ft. gold coaxial cables) safeguard components on cable, satellite and antenna line
1-line tel/modem surge protection (with included 6 ft. phone cord) safeguards personal video recorders (PVRs) on a single dial-up line. Built-in splitter (1 jack in and 2 jacks out) allow simultaneous connection of two devices sharing a single line
8 ft. cord with right-angle NEMA 5-15P plug provides convenient location anywhere within a home/business theater system
16 diagnostic LEDs alert user to 6 input voltage levels, 6 amp usage levels and 4 operational conditions (protection, grounding, power, switched status)
Keyhole slots provide convenient wall or cabinet mounting
Illuminated master switch provides one-touch power control over all components. Circuit breaker protects against dangerous system overload
Metal housing (gold) stands up to the most demanding environments
UL and cUL listed
Lifetime product warranty
Color-coordinated outlet/plug labels

M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
(M22-OWM22-VP100)-all in storage

#124251 - 01/14/06 08:16 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line
ratpack Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
I use two of the Powerbars in my home.
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

#124252 - 01/14/06 09:01 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line
spiffnme Offline

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5222
Loc: Los Angeles
As I mentioned in another thread, it seems that this offers the best protection.

"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

#124253 - 01/14/06 11:42 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector / Line
ratpack Offline

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 1155
Loc: Alabama
Is there an independent test of that one listed somewhere? If so, please post the link.

There is REALLY nothing wrong with using MOVs for surges.
The Rat. M80s, VP-150, QS8s, SVS PC 20-39+, OPPO, Onkyo 703s, Harmony 880 Sony 60" SXRD HDTV

#124254 - 01/15/06 11:03 AM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector /
Abyss Offline

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 27
No, there isn't anything wrong with using a good MOV protector such as Tripplite, Belkin and Monster. That is if you don't mind replacing the unit every 2 or 3 years. MOV's do wear out from everyday surges that you may not even notice. Something else people seem to make the mistake in is if you buy an all in one unit, phone/sat/surge, if any of these blow then you’ll still have to replace the unit. Buy a separate surge protector for your phone/cable and if you have a satellite then you shouldn’t even need one, if it has a proper grounding block.

I posted in another thread about this so I’ll just copy/paste some of it here:

I had an MOV catch fire in an APC and nearly burnt down my home not to mention, in real world use you need to replace these MOVs (Metal Oxide Varistors) every couple of years, meaning purchasing a new unit, MOVs are not user replaceable. I bet ya the salesman didn’t mention that. As a result I learned a lot of things about MOVs and they are useless. Once you learn how MOVs work, you’ll wonder why you ever bought one and whos bright idea it was to use them, they are outdated. I only use series mode surge protection found in the Brick Wall series There are also other Series Mode units such as ZeroSurge and SurgeX

As an example, I live in Miami Florida and when Wilma went through, a cat3, she took down many transformers and when our transformer blew it went out in a flash of glory. As a result my neighbors stove, tv, vcrs, computer, water heater, you name it, she lost it. Even things she had plugged into power strips and her computer which was plugged into an APC, fried! I had every major appliance unplugged or breaker thrown off except the refrigerator and tv. I took one of my Brick Walls and used it for the spare tv and refrigerator. When the power went I thought it was all over, I’ve never seen a transformer blow like this one did, it was quite a show. After the hurricane passed, I fired up our generator and walla, the refrigerator and tv still work. I think that’s the best testament to which is better, Series Mode or MOV.

BTW, Adcom licenses the ZeroSurge technology in their unit as well. As for independent tests, I do not have any direct links anymore but they are out there. I do have the Underwrites Laboratory pdf archived somewhere on ZeroSurge, I d/l’ed it when I was doing the research on their claims. I’m sure you could find it as well on the UL site. Another piece of useless trivia is that series mode protection was developed for the Dept of Defense who weren’t happy with MOVs.

#124255 - 01/15/06 01:20 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector /
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18029
Loc: NoVA
Wow, those are a touch pricy. I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. And not in comparison to the other stuff people are looking at.
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

#124256 - 01/15/06 01:51 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector /
bridgman Offline

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5590
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Interesting. I thought MOVs were still the only game in town, despite their problems. Something new to read about ;(

EDIT - Hmmm. I won't call total BS on the BrickWall products because there is some validity to what they are saying, but IMO there is a bit of BS mixed in with the good stuff.

They make a big stink about ground current with MOV based systems, implying that there is some strong technical reason why MOV protectors have to dump surge current to ground as well as neutral. As far as I know, MOVs are connected from hot to ground as well as hot to neutral for protection in the case where part of the failure involves neutral being disconnected, or for "common mode" surges where there is a spike on both hot and neutral.

Their point that a typical MOV protector will dump surge current equally into neutral and ground on a Hot-to-Neutral surge is only true if the two MOVs have the same characteristics, which AFAIK is true on the cheapest protectors but not on the better ones (the threshold on the MOV to ground is higher so it doesn't fire unless (a) neutral is floating or (b) the neutral MOV has already sacrificed itself to the surge.

I have to admit, though, that from BrickWall's graphs it does appear that the competing products they tested used the same MOV characteristics on both ground and neutral, or (more likely) that the test surge was so large that both MOVs kicked in at almost the same time anyways. It would be interesting to see the same graphs with a smaller, more typical surge which is where you care the most about ground current.

Moving past the BS, there is some good stuff in the BrickWall products as well.

A lot of the BrickWall protection comes from a big series inductor, which seems like it would help on a spike but not on the very common "oops, the 5kv wire touched the 110v wire" scenarios. If you look at their test graphs they are all running with a very short surge (50 microseconds) which the inductor can absorb easily. With a longer surge (more typical of a transformer failure) there is a much greater chance of something being sacrificed. BW talks about the IEEE guidelines but I thought there was also a time element as well as voltage/current. Maybe someone else can check; I have to vacuum ;(

The rest of their protection looks pretty good (active, SCR-driven current dumps instead of MOVs) but I'm hoping they have oversimplified the drawings they provided. SCRs only conduct in one direction so presumably each current dump in the diagram is actually a pair of cross-connected SCRs and associated circuitry.

Anyways, the interesting thing about BrickWall is that there are two forms of protection -- one operating exactly like an MOV but presumably more rugged and another (the series LCR circuitry) which AFAIK could be used just as easily with MOVs.

Actually, the blurb for Tripp-Lite ISOBAR surge protectors claims that they have big honkin' inductors as well. Not sure if they are just part of a noise filter or are big enough to perform the same kind of function that the inductor in the BrickWall provides. BrickWall certainly seems to think not

Edited by bridgman (01/15/06 02:23 PM)

#124257 - 01/15/06 02:43 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector /
Ajax Offline

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6319
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Excellent, informative post, John. Though I didn't understand most of the technical stuff, I believe I got the gist of what you had to say, which was that though the Brickwalls provide good protection, so do most of the better MOV based protectors, particularly when encountering the more typical, real world surges. Did I get that right?

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

#124258 - 01/15/06 02:51 PM Re: who offers the best quality Surge Protector /
bridgman Offline

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5590
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Just to be clear, I'm not saying "don't buy the BrickWall products". They actually look pretty interesting, although I would like to know how they handle common mode or floating neutral scenarios (these are the reason most surge supressors wire a MOV from hot to ground as well as hot to neutral).

There are, I guess, four main claims for the BrickWall suppressors :

1. By using an LC circuit in front of the surge dumps they are able to reduce the current surges and prevent the rest of the circuitry from failing.

2. By using active circuitry (SCRs and slew-rate sensing trigger circuitry) rather than MOVs they are able to provide more robust protection and to do a better job of minimizing the amount of surge energy passed through to the equipment.

3. By using series capacitors in the surge dumps (see 2) they are again able to limit the amount of current being dumped into neutral.

4. By only focusing on hot-to-neutral surges (the most common) they avoid dumping surge current into ground and the associated problems that ground bounce can cause.

Claim #1 seems valid but I don't think they are the only people using series LCR circuitry these days. They may be running the largest inductors which is definitely a benefit.

Claim #2 is probably true in the sense that MOVs tend to be fairly small and the design doesn't seem to scale up well to "big honkin' MOVs", while "big honkin' SCRs" have been commonplace for decades.

Claim #3 seems valid for short surges but it seems to me that the series caps would also largely eliminate protection from longer surges. I haven't done the math to see if the capacitors would fill up before a corresponding MOV would fry, but I don't think you can store an MOV's worth of joules in a little capacitor

Claim #4 is true but then what DOES happen in the case of a common-mode surge (lightning) or floating neutral scenario ? Most of the reviews I have seen of the BrickWall seem to suggest pairing it with a more conventional MOV suppressor anyways, placing the MOV suppressor after the BrickWall. I suspect this is to pick up the hot-ground MOV protection that BrickWall doesn't believe in

Anyways, they look interesting but unless we understand what they do about common mode surges I wouldn't throw out your MOVs yet.

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