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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm configuring my rack for my room and have come up to the point of needing some recommendations on power.


Needs:

Surge support for all components

UPS support for JUST the projector and the Set-top Boxes

Needs to be rack mountable (unless I go with a really small APC)


I would like to stick to APC if possible as they're full line is locally available for pretty cheap. I'm not opposed to two units either if needed... a J15 or J10 and a H10 or H15.


My only concern with getting a BIG UPS to do the whole thing is electrical draw when not in use. Maybe I don't understand that right... if you're not charging the battery (and it's already charged) are you using all that much juice?


Also... I do have a small computer APC UPS that I could shove in the back of the cabinet (not rack mountable) and go with a Furman or a Middle Atlantic surge if they are capable enough to handle my gear.


Gear:

Mitsu HC-6500 Projector

Denon 4308ci (maximum spec'd power draw is 972 watts)

Denon 2500 Blu Ray

Xbox 360

2 Motorola FIOS Setup Top Boxes

Media Center PC running a large RAID 5 storage array (7 HD's total)


Also, is there any need in surge protecting my Velodyne DLS-5000R? (across the room)
 

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Got you own house? Got any lightning there in Plano?


If so, go whole house (incoming AC, phone, cable) for primary means of protection.

Add additional surge protectors including UPS where needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/17044335


Got you own house? Got any lightning there in Plano?


If so, go whole house (incoming AC, phone, cable) for primary means of protection.

Add additional surge protectors including UPS where needed.

Lightning is viscious out here in Dallas... what's it cost to do the whole house? (3,400 sq ft house... 1 main breaker box)
 

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That's hard to say. First off, there's a wide variety of units varying in price, capability, and bells & whistles. Then, are you going to install it yourself or hire an electrician. But let me bounce one relatively cost effective solution that might work for you.


Contact your local utility company and see if they do surge protector/lighting arrerstor installs. If they do, often the only cost is a monthly lease which can be $10-$15 or so per month. Now, that usually only addressess the incoming AC (they install it by or in the electrical panel). Incoming phone and cable/satellite you can do yourself inexpensively and quite safely. Your insurance company may also offer a discount if you have this done which can help defray the costs.


Let's take it one step at a time, OK? In the meantime, just do a search for 'whole house' on this forum and get a bit more background why that's the place where you start first and not by buying Monster, etc. In a nutshell, the closer the surge protecting device is to earth ground, the more effective it becomes. Panel placement usually means you're 10 feet or less from the grounding rod. Hang in there!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leifashley27 /forum/post/17045189


Lightning is viscious out here in Dallas... what's it cost to do the whole house? (3,400 sq ft house... 1 main breaker box)

About $1 per protected appliance. Some sources: Cutler Hammer sells in Lowes for less than $50. Intermatic sold in Home Depot. Most all electric supply stores have other manufacturers.


However no protector provides surge protection. Protection is what absorbs that surge energy - earth. How good is your earthing? When done, every 'whole house' protector (including the one already installed for free by the telco) must make a 'less than 10 foot' connection to earthing. No sharp wire bends. Separated from other non-ground wires. If your breaker box ground goes up over the foundation and down to earth, then protection would be compromised. Too many sharp wire bends. Too close to other wires. To long. The ground must be rerouted through the foundation and down to single point earth ground. Earthing must both meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code.


Only you (or your agent - the electrician) are responsible for proper earthing. It applies to all protectors. How conductive is the soil. You may need to install a network of ground rods or a buried bare copper wire looping the building. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
 

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Westom has posted this same paragraph almost word for word on another forum.


I used to live in Irving Texas. I have lived in Dallas and Fort Worth as well. Yes the lightning storms can be unbelievably spectacular.


That being said, No one in the building trades including commercial and residential installs ground fields like that. Grounding electrode fields (multiple ground rods connected together) are used for television and radio transmission towers and structures that are natural lightning rods and for electrical sensitive equipment in primarily metal buildings such as plane hangars.


I personally installed audio video equipment in high security hangers at Love Field, and at DFW. I also designed the electrical for my church in Irving on the flight path of DFW. The church is made from 2 large domes and a steel girder and siding building that was in an open field when it was built. (Northgate United Methodist Church in Irving if you want to Google it.


In NONE of our installs were grounds aside from the traditional neutral buss /ground rod systems required. These installs dealt with commercial, industrial and residential installs and different inspection styles for each.


We have installed numerous complex AV and control systems in Tornado Alley. Not one time, NEVER were we required to step outside the code and use ground fields. They add nothing to the safety of the in home system and do nothing to alleviate noise or hum. The grounding electrodes on residential building must be outside and accessible for inspection- not through the foundation.


The high voltage and current of direct lightning strikes is best handled by the equipment designed for that purpose and provided in the power transmission grid by the supplying agency.


Texas, Oklahoma all all the other states in Tornado alley that deal with massive and frequent electrical storm activity do not supercede the NEC on grounding connections.
 

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If your soil conditions are good you probably only need one rod although it doesn't hurt to install a second one, properly sunk, spaced, and bonded. For those who live where the soil is sandy or drains too well, you benefit from a second or even a third rod.
 

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Most electricians find it easier to add a second ground, than to go to the time and expense (for the special meter) of measuring the first rod. By the way, many ground rods don't measure the NEC required 25 Ohms for one rod.
 

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I always use a 10 ft, 5/8 in copper clad rod driven down with about 6 inches exposed. This is the burnished and a burnished ground wire clamp is attached. Never had an issue to date not meeting code in So Cal, Md, Tx, Wa and DC
 

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Just because something meets code, it doesn't mean it's the best that can be done.


Most of the time exceeding code is overkill, but other times you can do better and it may make a difference.
 

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I always use spec grade 20 amp duplexes, I always use 12/3 for all outlet runs, I usually layout the wiring with each room independent of another. Always use at least one 20A home run for HT and or large computer systems.


Since the ground rod is only for spurious voltage protection and is not part of the phase/neutral loop, multiple ground points for a standard load center are needless.


If you have a tower or similar structure then agrounding field is necessary.
 

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IMHO Westom makes two valid points: a good ground is essential, and a whole-house surge suppressor will solve most of your problems. He does seem to get rather excited about the rest of it though...


A residence doesn't need a ground field like a commercial transmitter. A single ground rod might do the job. If you need two or three ground rods, you might as well go with an Ufer ground (little more than 20 feet or so of rebar buried in concrete), which can actually be the rebar in your foundation if the conditions are right. There certainly some houses out there that don't have good ground systems. There are houses that rely on the cold water line for the ground, with no driven ground rod. Just think what happens when a repair is done with PVC pipe.


I prefer hospital grade receptacles to spec grade only for the reason that they usually grip tighter (didn't hurt that I got them real cheap, too).
 

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A ground rod or system is not a part of the phase/neutral supply from the transformer. It serves only to redirect spurious voltages that MAY be induced on the neutral feeder. It will not affect the phase lines at all. Every telephone pole carrying 7200 or 13,200 volt primary lines to a transformer has a ground lead on it and it goes to a ground plate or coil on the buried end of the pole.


The neutral in a home comes from a split winding on the transformer which is fed from a single high voltage phase. The neutral that is the center tap of the transformer secondary is tied to ground(earth) at the pole and at the panel. The neutral bus is tied to the transformer center tap. The building ground that is tied at the neutral buss does not provide an alternative return path to the transformer.


The ground wire usually used (8 awg solid copper in steel jacket(greenfield) is not capable of handling the current of a direct lightning hit. It only dissipates an excessive induced voltage in a worst case scenario. If the neutral from the transformer is opened somehow, the voltage at all outlets will not remain at 120 volts as some would imagine or expect from the connection to earth through the grounding electrode.


The best solution is to run a dedicated 20 amp (12awg)feeder to the HT equipment area. Use top grade outlets spec or hospital. If you use hospital grade, keep in mind that the flanges are not connected to the third pin ground. The ground pin is isolated and is designed to be connected to a separate grounding electrode; in this case the neutral buss bar bonded to the case ground of the load center.
 

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But this goes to 11.
 

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So, LeifAshley, what will you do for your rack?


Choices:

1. Run a new 20A circuit.

2. Local surge suppression with rack-mount APC product.

3. Whole-house surge surpression ($50-$1000).

4. Improve ground


Let us know what your first choice is, and what you'll do in the future.


You may want to re-post your UPS energy consumption question.
 

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To protect both your rack and subwoofer, get the ps audio soloist. And probably use a duet, quitiet with it to protect the extra components...
 

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Right. And leave everything else in the home unprotected? You know those products aren't even UL1449 listed, right? No one knows just how they'll behave when hit with a bona fide surge.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai /forum/post/17076515


Right. And leave everything else in the home unprotected? You know those products aren't even UL1449 listed, right? No one knows just how they'll behave when hit with a bona fide surge.

...guaranteed to blow your mind, along with any equipment within a decent radius of the initial blast or fire
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzalc3 /forum/post/17068991


To protect both your rack and subwoofer, get the ps audio soloist. And probably use a duet, quitiet with it to protect the extra components...

You could do better with a whole house unit for little more $$ and protect your entire realm like Chu indicates.


Don't forget to protect the phone and cable and sat too....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie /forum/post/17076654


...guaranteed to blow your mind, along with any equipment within a decent radius of the initial blast or fire

I seem to recall McGowan saying something that the costs of testing were prohibitive and besides, it's got other listings. I don't know what they are but you should've read how McGowan looked to redefine the term surge by saying it's basically an overvoltage situation.


PSA, like a lot of outfits doesn't follow applicable regulations when it comes to their products. For example, their latest Perfect Wave Dac, which is sold in the US, is required to have been tested for EMI/RFI emissions according to FCC Part 15 B - unintentional radiators. It doesn't but that also costs money.
 
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