Originally Posted by AV Doogie
P.S. Whats with the neutral broken by a tree? Do you have bad dreams of such things
Actually I've been witness to the damage about 3 X so far, and as I said, a line voltage that fluctuates between say 50 and 220 volts causes major damage in many things.
One was a new home construction in a monster late model (6 years?) in Calgary where the owner didn't clue in that he was going through light bulbs like crazy as he wasn't home that often. His MOnster (
) power conditioner for his expensive HT went dead, so he bypassed it. That's when the fun begain. His alarm panel got taken out 3 X, so he finally got suspicious, and even after multiple trips out from the power company, nothing amiss was found. ONce he talked to his neighbor that happened to work for the power company, and once they put a chart recorder on the AC line, they found that he (and the neighborhood) had spikes up to 150-160 volts at random. They are still in litigation with the power company last I heard. But here again, the power conditioner that was supposed to protect this stuff died. To me, these devices should be the LAST thing to fail in a system.
Two others were trees falling and snapping the neutral line. One was in a nightclub and the surge smoked many things, ditto for the home it happened to.
To switch to protecting cablevision and telephone lines, consider that there are all sorts of line amps and switches on the poles in various neighborhoods. Do you really think that some $200 home device will provide better protection than what's already on the poles, protecting industrial grade cablevision boosters that cost far more than any distribution that you'll do within your home?
One last example: I am working on a CRT projector that had multiple arcs of the 34,000 volts right to the CPU data lines. The customer apparently let the set run, as there was a dark arc mark on the HV wire. It takes a LOT of arcs to actually discolor a pinhole break in an HV line.
While the continuous arcing took out a bunch of chips on several boards, the set actually arced once when I put the replacement boards in, as I had to fire the set up once to see where the arc was coming from.
Considering the data lines are running at 5 volts, you'd figure a direct 34,000 volt hit onto the data lines would nuke everything again, right? Nope, the replacement boards kept on working (although I unplugged the set as soon as I saw the first arc).
Also, I've lived in my house now for 5 1/2 years. I'm 45 minutes outside of Vancouver, and I have 4 computers running 24/7, same with a bunch of power amps, shop equipment and test equipment. The only thing protected is my main work computer with a 1000Va UPS, rescued and re-batteried about 3 years ago.
WE have regular light dimming brownouts here, and the power fails maybe 6 times a year. Sometimes for 10 minutes, once for 3/4 of a day. With all sorts of stuff turned on all the time, nothing has ever blown here. So I see no need to add any protection.
AS for Steve's original post re this $200 protector, I really can't see it being more than a few MOVs in a box, considering the size of the box and the cost of it. So I can't see it giving more than basic protection, which I believe to be in the vast majority of electronic equipment already.
As I said on another post, I recently repaired a Monster HTS 5100 II conditioner with fancy wording and claims. It contained little more than that Panamax unit that I posted pictures about a few months ago for surge protection.
If you're going to argue that a power conditioner/surge protector is actually going to do something for you and your equipment, I'd then only consider something beefy with lots of large inductors to absorb power surges like this one:http://www.inouye.bc.ca/specs.htm
I believe retail is about $800.00, so it's not something that I'd personally buy, but again, if you believe the hype, then I'd take a unit like the Inouye one over the Monster stuff with maybe 1/10 of the conditioning components in it.
As DIzz said earlier, I can only comment on Vancouver power, as I've never lived anywhere else in the 44 years I've been on earth harassing people.
I do know that when I worked at a TV repair shop in the 80s, lightning gave us good business once or twice a year, and a hit close enough to jump the switch gap in a television that was turned off would probably not be protected by any of this surge protection stuff.
Whether you spend $100-150 to repair the power supply of a TV, or spend $200 to replace a one-use surge protector, isn't the end result about the same?