Originally Posted by HDTVlover45
However, I'm confused as to your opinion of the powerbridge. Your suggestion that it's a "kludge" (I admit that's a new word I haven't heard before) confuses me as to why that is. Your suggestion of installing a recessed outlet and branching off to another existing outlet; for those that don't want to mess with electricity directly and those who want to use their external power surge/conditioners, your suggestion doesn't solve the problem. A whole house surge is expensive and usually requires an electrician to install and does not provide any "clean" power.
I'm still a proponent of the powerbridge over your suggestion that really doesn't solve anything more than the obvious, than to have an electrician do what doesn't save any money and doesn't really provide the full protection of my flat screen TV.
was easy to install myself without any direct contact with electricity, or need to hire an electrician, and I have my LCD fully protected with my Pure AV surge/conditioner, which does give me an improved picture.
Just my opinion, no disrespect to you Gary and your opinion.
Let me clarify. I am an Electrical Engineer and my job requires me to specify power circuits for electronic equipment including power conditioners and UPS systems.
As to my suggestion that the Powerbridge was a "kludge". For me, or for the average DIY type person, adding a receptacle would cost less than $20. The PowerBridge is $50 plus the cost of the Romex wire between the boxes. For those that have the confidence but not the knowledge to add receptacles, I reccomend the Time-Life book Electrical Wiring
, which has a step-by-step illustrated procedure for installing a wall receptacle.
Nor does the PowerBridge address the need to conceal the signal wiring in the wall. Failure to use the correct low-smoke insulation type in a residential wall subjects the inhabitants of the building to the possibility of toxic smoke during a fire from burning non-rated insulation. YES the building code forbids this in some
areas but the possibility of death from this cause exists everywhere
. The Panamax addresses this with an optional signal module at additional cost. The Panamax power and signal modules togather may exceed the cost of the flat panel itself, they are less economical than an electrician. Thus my suggestion that all non-compliant cables be sheathed in plastic conduit which is
rated for in wall usage, and which an average DIY person can install for less than $100.
Now about surge protection used at the end of a branch circuit. It's fairly ineffective compared to surge protection installed at the building service entrance. The limitation is the small size of the ground wire in the branch circuit. The very large current induced by a nearby lightning strike can cause thousands of volts to be present on the ground wire itself.
==>Indeed in most post-mortems of lightning damage, the grounding system itself was the conductor of the damaging current. The ONLY place in the building these currents can be safely diverted is at the service entrance, where there is a heavy duty ground attached to a metallic pipe or ground rod(s).
As for the dubious claims that power conditioners improve the audio or video performance of the equipment they are attached to, if
this occurs it is an entirely reliable indication that the life/safety ground at that wall receptacle has an appreciable electrical resistance between the branch and the service entrance ground, and is not therefore providing the safety benefits a ground should provide. Such "power conditioning" equipment operates by establishing an "isolated ground" which is not tied to the building ground - and therefore a potentially lethal voltage could exist between your equipment rack and any metallic object that is
attached to ground - including a nearby appliance or plumbing pipe, or even the outer shield conductor of a coaxial cable. My preferred approach in such a case is to repair the faulty circuit, and not to use a "power conditioner" that potentially masks a safety hazard. Therefore I have never used a "power conditioner", nor will I reccomend them to friends or relatives. In a situation whereby one must choose between equipment performance and safety, there should never be any issue of priorities - the equipment should first be made safe, and only then should performance problems be addressed.
In addition to the whole-house surge protection at the service entrance for power wiring, telephone, cable TV, and broadband connections (excepting only optical fibers with no metallic conductors) also should have surge arresters installed at the point where they enter the building, and where surges can be safely diverted into the heavy-duty building ground. Antenna wiring is a special case and no antenna should be placed on top of a structure without either having the bottom of the mast/tower grounded (preferably by burying the base of the mast several feet into the earth), or by having a heavy duty copper or aluminum ground wire attached to the mast and then grounded to a metallic pipe or ground rod.
For those of you who desire a deeper knowledge of power and grounding topics, the authoritative reference since the 1970's has been FIPS PUB 94 (Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 94, aka "Guidelines for Electrical Power for ADP Installations"). It is not uncommon to find illustrations and text from this document reproduced in manuals for computer and A/V equipment. FIPS PUB 94 can be ordered from the National Bureau of Standards at a nominal cost of less than $50.