Brickwall + UPS. Alternative? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-08-2009, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I have a new entertainment system. I guess I'd like to protect it from surges and brownouts, while doing some conditioning.

Haven't spent a ton of money on the whole system (say $2K total for LCD, receiver, BD player and speakers, which seems to be not much these days) so obviously, I'm not looking for a similarly priced protection system...

I guess I am considering a Brickwall and an APC UPS. Is that good, or can I do better for $400?
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-08-2009, 10:45 AM
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A UPS might be a serious consideration if you're using a TV or projector that uses a bulb that requires a controlled cooling off period before it's turned off. In that case a properly sized UPS would provide the power necessary to accomplish this function for those concerned about maximizing bulb life. If this is not you, then you don't need it.

If you live in your own home, happen to be located where lighting strikes are not uncommon (Florida, parts of the midwest, etc.), then you should consider what's known as whole house unit. Those can be installed by an electrician (may start getting pricey), yourself (but you better know what you're doing here), or leased from your local utility company for somewhere around $10-$15/month. These devices are located at the panel where it's close to the earth grounding rod. They're designed to shunt surges to the grounding rod, therebye minimizing the amount that gets into your house. They should also not only protect your incoming AC but the phone, cable, and/or satellite lines. You still benefit from a plug in device whether it lays on the floor or sits in your rack.

The Brickwall device and similar units are based on the priciple damming the surge (storing up the energy) and then 'slowly' bleeding it off whereas MOV based devices act as dikes (not DYKES!) and divert or shunt the surge away. I'm not sure if the Brickwall family of products provides the means to route your incoming cable and phone is so used into the device. If not, you might just want to consider units based on MOV technology such as those from Panamax, Belkin, Tripplite, APC, etc. With these units, the more you spend, the more bells and whistles you get like greater joule ratings, switched/unswitched outlets, 12V triggers, isolated outlets, sequenced turnons, dimmability, etc.

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-12-2009, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I do live in Florida. I am concerned with surges, and brownouts, in my area. I will inquire as to whole house protection from surges and costs. But, in the meanwhile, what's a simple thing do to protect my investment?

I am interested in protecting my equipment from brownouts and noise also. I'm confused by the plethora of devices. What's a good choice?

For example, I noticed the Acoustic Research PW100 as an example, but with coax and ethernet protection (again until such time as I put a whole house unit on, which, depending on cost, could be months away)...

Input is very appreciated. This area of computer and AV equipment is so "mysterious"...
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-12-2009, 06:15 PM
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is your soil sandy where the grounding rod is?

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-12-2009, 06:39 PM
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Concur with CG. In addition, see this circular:

http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/p.../surgesfnl.pdf

Insure you have safety to the power and data lines against all the anomalies stated in the NIST circular. Beyond that, if you think you perceive quality issues with video and audio playback, then consider the line regulators and UPS; often its rarely needed.

Since Fl is the US's hotbed of lightning activity I would guess it has the highest number of experienced electricians in dealing with surges. You should have a NEC rated ground regardless of your soil type, whole home surge suppression and later per device surge suppressors plugged into the wall for select electronics, i.e., TV yes, lamp no. The gamut of protection is described in the NIST brochure.




Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadogg View Post

I do live in Florida. I am concerned with surges, and brownouts, in my area. I will inquire as to whole house protection from surges and costs. But, in the meanwhile, what's a simple thing do to protect my investment?

I am interested in protecting my equipment from brownouts and noise also. I'm confused by the plethora of devices. What's a good choice?

For example, I noticed the Acoustic Research PW100 as an example, but with coax and ethernet protection (again until such time as I put a whole house unit on, which, depending on cost, could be months away)...

Input is very appreciated. This area of computer and AV equipment is so "mysterious"...

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