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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you are reading this you must have developed some interest in protecting your gear.

I am hoping a lot of people will chime in so we can use the information here to make an informed decision.

I am not at all an expert on this (far from it actually), so if any section of

this opening post is complete BS, I will correct it!


This is thread intended to:
  • collect and centralize some expert opinions on the matter of surge protection, power conditioning (concerned with general power imperfections), balanced power and noise suppression (more concerned with audio).
  • select a range of good products (best value for money). As this is a high-end-gear thread, quality obviously comes before price. I'm sure there are some good products to be found below $1000.

Problems to solve listed in order of importance (interpret as you like):
  1. Surge suppression
  2. Switching transients
  3. Consistent over voltage
  4. Brownouts and sags
  5. Black outs (for the projector folks). UPS capability is not that important.

    15-30 min. tops should suffice.
  6. Frequency variation (no perfect sine wave?)


There are still a few terms I don't know how to qualify so I'll just mention them and someone smarter might shed some light:


1. Line noise caused by RFI and EMI interference.

2. Harmonic distortion. Has something to do with non-linear loads from the connected devices, I think
.

What connections to protect (all equally important)


1. Power to the devices(
)

2. I don't know of the different systems (Europe vs America) but the coax cable which holds the TV signals

3. For digital interactive TV, CAT 5 UTP cable and or DSL cable



The summary after googling a few days:


Problem's 1 and 2 are typically handled by a surge suppressor. A surge suprressor will be often embedded in the product that will handle problems 3 and 4: a line conditioner with balanced power output(I suspect this is the same as voltage regulation). Different power zones (so that one piece of equipment connected does not cause interference to other equipment) also seems like a good idea. For problem 5 a battery UPS is required. A true online UPS, also named a double conversion UPS, should cover 3-5 and and thus solve most power related problems. Unfortunately, they often SEEM to fall short as a surge/transient protector because or their low joule rating. Is this because a true online UPS uses different means to protect from surges and transients? Just take a look at the true online double conversion SMART UPS line from APC, which typically has a joule rating around 400-600 whilst many surge suppressors go well beyond 2000 joules. As a true online UP makes it own AC created from a DC source a surge may very well only take out the UPS and not the equipment. Clarity is really needed here. Oh, I have no idea what problem 6 exactly entails, but an online UPS should solve this too. The reason for all of this is that it 'creates' (regenerates) new clean power when it converts battery power back to AC.

Now, audiophiles have additional criteria. These have something to do with class D vs class AB equipment. The gest of it is that some UPS/conditioning equipment generates harmonics which have an influence on audio.


So, the question is: is there a good device out there that does all this? Clean problem free power (as a sine wave, not stepped), whilst not impacting audio negatively, that provides enough standby time to safely shutdown the equipment? Please note that devices that only offer limited surge protection MAY be assisted by a device placed at the electricity service entrance. I do not know as to what extent this will provide added protection. If someone with a background in electrical engineering could address this question
.

Another side note is that 'high-end' often seems to go hand in hand with 'split-up'. Perhaps it is possible to place a top notch line surge suppressor (either a device or something at the service entrance) before the line conditioner and then connect the latter to a UPS. Something tells me this will create havoc if I would do that
.


In closing, I've included a list of manufacturers that, during my search, have come up enough times to be worth mentioned (in no particular order):
  • APC (Schneider)
  • PSaudio
  • Liebert (don't really know if they do dual conversion?)
  • Eaton (Powerware)
  • Tripp Lite
  • Monster (not many people seem to like this brand and accusations go as far as that Monster is not outputting a true sine wave)
  • Surgex
  • Equi=Tech
  • Panamax
  • Brickwall. Not that known (I think) but they seem to be VERY confident:) http://www.brickwall.com/index.htm
 

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Hi


I am quite interested by this thread. Power Quality is a real issue and does affect all electronic components.. Whether it translates in real perfomrance gains (Better Sound or Better picure) is an ongoing debate but lomgevity amd reliability both increase with good Powe Quality..

I'll also add that on this subject, I will sound a lot like an anti-audiophile. Several of the audiophile brands do not do much on the issue of Power Quality. It is much better to spend on established and professional players in this arena.


I like LIebert, not cheap at all.

APC has gotten around itself and has become close to the de-facto to the general public for all things Power

TrippLite is decent

Eaton is good.

I'll add MArconi as they are making headways in the general public.. They are wel known in the Telecom Carrier world.


Monster when it comes to power quality is to me a joke and PS Audio simply labels a few solution "Audiophile" and sells them at a premium.. I would rather stay with APC than touch whatever they are doing. More later...
 

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just for discussion purposes:


while I appreciate the benefit of a true sine wave output power conditioner....what advantage would it provide to the majority of today's electronic gear that use switching power supplies?
 

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This keeps coming up, and there is much misunderstanding on the matter, but Mark hinted at the answers.



1. Surge suppression

2. Switching transients


These are handled perfectly well by inexpensive surge suppressors, well under $100, some as cheap as $20.


3. Consistent over voltage

4. Brownouts and sags


These are virtually irrelevant to most modern video with switching power supplies. Most can easily handle 90 to 130 volt swings and still regulate fine. Nearly all have protection that will shut the unit down if it goes too low or too high.


5. Black outs (for the projector folks). UPS capability is not that important.

15-30 min. tops should suffice.


The need for lamp cool down is largely an overplayed myth to sell UPSs. Nearly all projectors have a thermal switch that will not allow a hot restart, which is what will damage a lamp. Post power fans are largely to speed up the process of cooling the lamp so that it can be restarted if needed. Thermal lag in lamp systems simply has not been confirmed by anyone that I have found.


6. Frequency variation (no perfect sine wave?)


This is simply not an issue. Small variations in line frequency are completely irrelevant to most power supplies. Large variations have not been shown to exist. The stepped sine wave from a UPS is FAR more likely to cause a problem than anything found on most power lines. As mentioned above, and suggested by Mark, modern switching power supplies are very robust in dealing with this kind of thing.


1. Line noise caused by RFI and EMI interference.

2. Harmonic distortion. Has something to do with non-linear loads from the connected devices, I think
.


This mostly gets filtered by the power supply. Most modern power supplies have filters on the primary to keep the crud generated by the switching circuits out of the other components and to reduce the effects of less well filtered units. It really does not affect performance anyway, though it might slightly affect the efficiency of a power supply, or confuse a voltage detecting circuit in some units. The noise never gets to the video and audio circuits. No one has ever shown that line noise affects the image nor sound quality in a system with a switching supply. The switching pulses generated by the supplies themselves are FAR more significant. Conventional audio supplies MAY be somewhat affected, but again, no one has shown the post power supply effects. Certainly the line filters reduce noise, but to what gain. I know I have looked for it and it just does not get to the critical circuits. That said, ground noise may affect some systems, but proper wiring and gronding usually fixes this.




What connections to protect (all equally important)


1. Power to the devices

2. I don't know of the different systems (Europe vs America) but the coax cable which holds the TV signals

3. For digital interactive TV, CAT 5 UTP cable and or DSL cable


All need to be protected. They can be well protected by a well designed cheap surge suppressor.


IME and IMNSHO, most UPS systems and power conditioners are a waste of time and money, and just one more component to stuff into landfills when the batteries die. Good system design and grounding, along with good basic surge suppression on all power and signal lines can be accomplished with very little investment, and is very effective even in high lightning areas like we have here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
FrantzM thanks and glad you decided to join as your name popped up in a few other threads too! Have Marconi been acquired by another company? A quick google didn't give me their website but as I'm short on time now I'll try to read up on them later on.


One of the problems in assessing these companies and their products is that almost no one has the gear to do objective measurements. I've been looking to contact a few companies but the astonishment after such question is quite funny. I'm not persuaded yet I should spend a large amount on conditioning if our power is fine.

If so, money is better spend on a high end surge protector.
 

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The gear to verify performance differences is widely available. The gear to see the effects of filtering line noise is as well. A good wide bandwidth scope makes it clear that while line conditioners do reduce line noise, that noise almost never makes it past a power supply anyway. It would be very easy to document the claims of performance improvements if they existed, but all we ever see are subjective claims from both vendors and reviewers. Power issues do not take exotic equipment to evaluate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15495054


T

5. Black outs (for the projector folks). UPS capability is not that important.

15-30 min. tops should suffice.


The need for lamp cool down is largely an overplayed myth to sell UPSs. Nearly all projectors have a thermal switch that will not allow a hot restart, which is what will damage a lamp.

lcallo,


WRONG - this is INCORRECT that the thermal switch can protect the lamp when the

cooling flow is disconnected.


When the lamp is on and you have cooling flow - there is a temperature differential

within the lamp - not all parts of the lamp are the same temperature. In fact, it is the

temperature differential that drives the heat flow - the heat flux is proportional to the

spatial derivative of the temperature distribution.


When you lose power - you lose both the heat source AND the cooling on the periphery.

Because the loss of heat is now much less because the lamp is no longer actively

cooled - the spatial derivative of the temperature distribution can no longer be maintained.


That is a steep slope in temperature implies a heat flow. Since we no longer have the

heat flow - we can no longer have the steep slope in the temperature distribution.


Because without cooling, we are closer to the adiabatic limit [ no heat loss ] - the bulb is

tending toward uniform temperature. This means that parts of the bulb will actually be

HOTTER with no heat source and no cooling than they would be WITH the heat source

on - but being cooled.


THAT'S why projectors and other devices have a cooldown cycle after you turn them off -

it prevents overheating of PORTIONS of the bulb.


If you want to fully protect your projector bulb - then you want to have the post-use

cooldown cycle - which means that in the case of a power failure - you should have a

UPS to maintain normal cooling flow; and not let portions of the bulb overheat.


That being said - since the cooldown cycle is just a few minutes - the above statement

about 15-20 minutes of UPS capacity sufficing is correct. The purpose of the UPS is

not so that you can finish the movie - it's so you can successfully complete the projector's

cooldown cycle. That cooldown cycle has been designed into the projector for the reasons

I elucidate above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
lcaillo, I've taken the time to read your posts carefully. You do seem well informed


Confusion about these things is widespread indeed. Most threads never lead to an accepted conclusion, hence the position in which I started this thread.

I've read a great many reviews about how good the sound is after power conditioning. I'll post the reviewers webpage (deals exclusively with audio improvement gear) here when I get home but the reviewer swears by the improvements he can hear. Equi=tech being the crème de la crème.


But basically, you are saying that switching PSU's pretty much cover all the bases except for surge protection? One small remark, while I certainly do agree that most modern equipment is able to handle it, my concern is also along the lines of: am I getting the best out of it and is "bad" power shortening its life?

Are all modern power supplies (Kuro TV, Panasonic) of the switching type?



Would a local electrician carry the gear to examin this? I'm most interested in these objective measurements!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15495054



The need for lamp cool down is largely an overplayed myth to sell UPSs. Nearly all projectors have a thermal switch that will not allow a hot restart, which is what will damage a lamp. Post power fans are largely to speed up the process of cooling the lamp so that it can be restarted if needed. Thermal lag in lamp systems simply has not been confirmed by anyone that I have found.

You seem to be well informed except on this matter, I have two digital CINEMA PROJECTOR INSTALLATIONS where the temperatures accumulated by a complete power outage from normal operation can be reviewed in a temperature and fan log , such log gives you detailed information on about a dozen different sensor points inside the projector. At least three of these sensors showed near catastrophic conditions on this report. IOW with high power xenon lamps a UPS is indispensable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX /forum/post/15495390


You seem to be well informed except on this matter, I have two digital CINEMA PROJECTOR INSTALLATIONS where the temperatures accumulated by a complete power outage from normal operation can be reviewed in a temperature and fan log , such log gives you detailed information on about a dozen different sensor points inside the projector. At least three of these sensors showed near catastrophic conditions on this report. IOW with high power xenon lamps a UPS is indispensable.

CINERAMAX,


CORRECT - if lcaillo were correct - projectors wouldn't need cooldown cycles in the first

place. It is counter-intuitive to think that portions of the bulb and projector could actually

get HOTTER if the power were simply cut than they do when the bulb is on and there

is actually an active heat source.


However, if you REALLY UNDERSTAND cooling and Newton's laws of cooling, and

temperature distributions - it actually comes as no surprise.
 

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This may be the case with large projectors with Xenon lamps, but with all of the consumer projectors that I have seen there is no thermal lag. After discussing the matter with engineers a 6 different projector makers, they all said the same thing...if you have repeated outages, a UPS may be a benefit to reduce the restarts. Otherwise, none of them have found the thermal lag after the mercury arcs extinguish. In consumer applications is is simply not an issue. The companies that I have worked for have hundreds of installs out there with no UPS and we have more power outages in this part of FL than in most areas. We simply do not see problems when power goes out. I have measure temps at the base of the lamps and when the power drops out, the temperature immediately drops. Even in very tight projectors with poor ventilation, I have been able to detect no thermal lag. Engineers that I have spoken with at Philips and Osram have said the same...it is something to look at as a possibility, but they have not seen it as a problem. Again, we do not see early failures of lamps on systems that do not use a UPS.


Now Xenon lamps at very high powers may behave differently. I do not have experience with these.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15496004


This may be the case with large projectors with Xenon lamps, but with all of the consumer projectors that I have seen there is no thermal lag. After discussing the matter with engineers a 6 different projector makers, they all said the same thing...if you have repeated outages, a UPS may be a benefit to reduce the restarts. Otherwise, none of them have found the thermal lag after the mercury arcs extinguish. In consumer applications is is simply not an issue. ..; Again, we do not see early failures of lamps on systems that do not use a UPS.


Now Xenon lamps at very high powers may behave differently. I do not have experience with these.

lcaillo,


You continue to MISUNDERSTAND!! We are NOT talking "thermal lag" - we are

talking about OVERHEATING!!


Your temperature measurements are MEANINGLESS because you are NOT measuring

INSIDE the bulbs!!! Now go back and read my first response until you UNDERSTAND it.


Although the problem is more acute with Xenon bulbs - it is there for all types of bulbs.


One shouldn't be making "blanket statements' about what is / is not good for equipment

unless one understands the physics of the problem completely.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morbius /forum/post/15495324


lcallo,


WRONG - this is INCORRECT that the thermal switch can protect the lamp when the

cooling flow is disconnected.

I did not say that the thermal switch has anything to do with protection when the cooling ceases. I said it does not allow the hot restart of a lamp. You assume that the heat generated by the lamp continues after the cooling flow ceases. This is where I believe that you are wrong. The arc extinguishes very rapidly, and is out before the fans stop turning in the projectors that I have tested.



Also, even in high outage area like we have around here, the frequency is not that great. The vendors have repeatedly told me that it is just not something to be very concerned about. There is nothing wrong with being safe if you prefer, but I do not consider a UPS a good value, even for a lamp based projector.


The hysteria on the matter has led many people to buy UPS products that have poorer surge suppression than they would otherwise likely been able to buy, which causes far more problems, IME.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15496121


I did not say that the thermal switch has anything to do with protection when the cooling ceases. I said it does not allow the hot restart of a lamp. You assume that the heat generated by the lamp continues after the cooling flow ceases. This is where I believe that you are wrong. The arc extinguishes very rapidly, and is out before the fans stop turning in the projectors that I have tested.

caillo,


GADS - you REALLY don't understand this!!


Contrary to your erroneous claim above - I did NOT say that the heating continues.


In fact - I said that when the power fails - we are close to the adiabatic limit - evidently

you don't know what that means.


The heating does not contine - but the heat that is there REDISTRIBUTES in a manner

such that portions of the bulb are actually HOTTER without the heat source and without

cooling than they would be if there was heating but the bulb was being forcibly cooled.


In fact I already said that in my previous post which you either didn't read or don't understand.


PLEASE - go READ that post and try to imagine what the temperature DISTRIBUTION

in the bulb is!!! Temperatures at the base of the bulb outside the envelope are NOT

definitive.


Additionally, if you don't have experience with Xenon systems; please make that caveat

clear before offering more faulty information that could harm people's systems.


In the final analysis, why do you think the projector manufacturers design a cooldown cycle

following power down into their units in the first place? Just for "grins" or just to show they

can do it?


The post power-down cooling cycle is there for a REASON!!! If that post-shutdown cooling

cycle doesn't happen for lack of power - then the projector isn't operating as the manufacturer

intends. The purpose of the UPS is so that the projector's shutdown can be NORMAL - and

in accordance with how the device's designers INTENDED for the unit to shutdown.


People should be very WARY of anyone that gives blanket advice that is counter to the

normal processes built into the device by its designers.
 

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That is contrary to what Philips and Osram have described to me. The cooling is indirect on these lamps, not directly on the envelope. Your assumptions seem to assume that the fans blow directly on the arc envelope, which they do not. You make some assumptions that are not borne out by my experience and extensive discussions with vendors over the last decade.


If it was such a problem, we would have had many premature lamp failures, in the many instalations with no UPS. We have not, and I can think of several clients right away that are on systems that go down frequently in rural areas. I just have not found it to be a problem. I started discussing it with vendors long ago and I always get the same responses...the marketing and low level tech support people scare folks with the notion that it is a serious problem to cover the mftr's back side and the engineers say not to be concerned about it.


Again, this may be very different with the larger Xenon lamps in digital cinema units. I am not familiar with the cooling schemes in those units. I would also assume that such systems would have power backup and power conditioning due to the expense of the system. There may be other sensitivities that I am not aware of.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15496121


The hysteria on the matter has led many people to buy UPS products that have poorer surge suppression than they would otherwise likely been able to buy, which causes far more problems, IME.

It's not hysteria, it's common sense. If it weren't an issue, there'd be no cool down cycle. It's the same reason they recommend idling your car for 5 minutes or so before and after running your engine at higher speeds (not that anyone does this). Besides, all you have to do is plug the UPS into a higher grade surge suppressor if you want better suppression and have the best of both worlds.


Don't let Greg's style of slash and burn persuasion reflexively let you avoid the common sense answer on this one.
 

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I have related the information that I have consistently heard from engineers at the various vendors, including the lamp vendors, as well as my service experience with hundreds of clients' installations. The bottom line to me is that if you are concerned with it, get a UPS. I have no problem with that. The only problem that I have is when people get sold cheap UPS systems with lousy protection and don't know any better. There is nothing wrong with buying a UPS or anything else if it makes you more confident in your system. The notion that it is essential is simply not borne out by my experience.


Again, I am talking about consumer units with mercury lamps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15496311


That is contrary to what Philips and Osram have described to me. The cooling is indirect on these lamps, not directly on the envelope. Your assumptions seem to assume that the fans blow directly on the arc envelope, which they do not. You make some assumptions that are not borne out by my experience and extensive discussions with vendors over the last decade.

lcaillo


WRONG!!! WRONG!! 100% WRONG!!!


It doesn't MATTER how the cooling is done - direct / indirect / WHATEVER!!!


In order for there to be cooling - there has to be a non-zero spatial derivative in the

temperature distribution - that's basic physics.


When the cooling ceases - then the latent energy in the device will redistribute so that

the device goes to a uniform temperature. That's the ONLY steady-state solution when

there is neither a heat source nor a heat sink.


That uniform equilibrium temperature will be GREATER for some parts of the bulb than

those temperatures would be if the heat source were active AND the heat sink - the

cooling by WHATEVER means is also active.


Now stop telling me what assumptions I am and am not making when you don't

the basic physics. It doesn't matter WHAT advances have been made - manufacturers

can NOT get around the basic laws of heat flow.


Tell me why you think projector manufacturers design a post shutdown cooling cycle

into their products.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/15496451



Again, I am talking about consumer units with mercury lamps.

First - you didn't make that caveat clear in your first posting.


Additionally, even consumer gear with mercury lamps have cooldown cycles designed in.


Lousy surge suppression isn't the only issue here. It is also BAD to tell people that they

need not have any concern for power failures. It's like telling someone there's no risk in

not having a UPS on their computer. On many computer systems; you can lose data

when the power fails.


I'm not telling people to get or not get a UPS; that's for them to decide. But what I am

NOT doing is giving people a false sense of security by telling them a problem doesn't

exist and there's no risk - when there IS a risk!!!
 

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Greg, could you try arguing without using the term "WRONG!!!"? It really isn't helpful. And sometimes the "WRONG" part is also, well, 'wrong'.
 
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