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I am looking to protect my HTPC setup as well as my home HT gear (ethernet lines, PS3, switches, ectc.). I don't know what I really need-have been reading through various articles and from what I have been reading it seems that everything is either too expensive or a wast of money. I have my HTPC in my office with a 30ft. HDMI cable running to my Pioneer 5020, and have ethernet hooked up to my PS3, Tvix media streamer, and my Dish Network receiver all via an ethernet switch. I want to be protected basically from lightning strikes (had one about a year ago and killed my router, a cheap TV, and my garage door opener unit). I don't want that to happen to my quality stuff. I am guessing that I would need two units-one in the office (where the PC is) and one in the living room with my HT gear and HDTV. $100 for each device would probably be my limit, or is that just wasted money unless I go extreme? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Get a UPS (APC ideally) that has an AVR (Auto Voltage Regulator)... your good to go with that and should be able to get one for under $100 as you dont need anything that large for your components. A UPS is much better protection then a surge protector and are great noise filters (if they are of the right quality/brand - if not they can introduce noise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobeman /forum/post/16983444


I am looking to protect my HTPC setup as well as my home HT gear (ethernet lines, PS3, switches, ectc.). I don't know what I really need-have been reading through various articles and from what I have been reading it seems that everything is either too expensive or a wast of money. I have my HTPC in my office with a 30ft. HDMI cable running to my Pioneer 5020, and have ethernet hooked up to my PS3, Tvix media streamer, and my Dish Network receiver all via an ethernet switch. I want to be protected basically from lightning strikes (had one about a year ago and killed my router, a cheap TV, and my garage door opener unit). I don't want that to happen to my quality stuff. I am guessing that I would need two units-one in the office (where the PC is) and one in the living room with my HT gear and HDTV. $100 for each device would probably be my limit, or is that just wasted money unless I go extreme? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobeman /forum/post/16983444


I am looking to protect my HTPC setup as well as my home HT gear (ethernet lines, PS3, switches, ectc.). I don't know what I really need-have been reading through various articles and from what I have been reading it seems that everything is either too expensive or a wast of money.

Anything that will stop or absorb surges is mythical. Surge protection has been proven for over 100 years - and did not use that power strip or a UPS claim to accomplish.


Either you connect surge energy harmlessly in earth. Or that surge goes hunting for earth ground destructively inside the house. It is that simple. Telcos, connected to overhead wires all over town, do not use plug-in solutions. Suffer about 100 surges with every thunderstorm. And must never have damage. They use a solution that you can install for about $1 per protected appliance.


First, no protector provides surge protection. If in doubt, view its numeric specs. That APC UPS - where are the spec numbers that list protection from each type of surge? Do not exist. That APC connects electronics directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. But it was recommended only because a majority keep telling one another the same myth.


From the NIST (US government research agency) is what an effective protector does:

> You cannot really suppress a surge altogether, nor "arrest" it.

> What these protective devices do is neither suppress nor

> arrest a surge, but simply divert it to ground, where it can do

> no harm.


Now you know what you must do. How to do it. First earthing must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical Code. That means a ground wire from breaker box to earth - and do nothing to safety grounds inside the house. That earthing connection (from every incoming utility) must be short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), no sharp wire bends, no inside metallic conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, etc.


For example, a ground wire up over the foundation and down to earth is not sufficient. Too long. Too close to other wires. Too many sharp bends. That ground wire is better through the foundation and down to 'single point earth ground'.


Cable and telephone must also be connected to that same electrode. All ground wires meet at the earthing. Cable needs no protector. It can be earthed directly. Protector does nothing useful. But the telephone cannot connect directly. So all telephone lines have a 'whole house' protector installed where their wires meet yours. But again, that protector is only as effective as the earth ground - which you provide.


For AC electric, only more responsible companies sell effective solutions. APC is definitely not on the list. Keison, Square D, Intermatic, General Electric, Siemens, and Leviton sell effective 'whole house' protectors. The Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes for less than $50. That is protection for everything. One protector earthing a surge means that surge need not find earth destructively through household appliances. But again, the protector will only be as effective as its earth ground.


Where is that surge energy? Will some magic APC protectors make that energy just disappear? Again, view the numbers. Will those 300 joules in an APC absorb a surge of hundreds of thousands of joules? Another made that claim. Will the APC stop what three miles of sky could not stop? Of course not. That is why telcos all over the world waste no money on those APC products. Telcos need protection that actually works. Telcos use protectors that cost tens or 100 times less money - to have superior protection.


Protectors that will earth direct lightning strikes and remain fictional. Yes, effective protectors are installed to earth even direct lightning strikes and not be destroyed. Unfortunately that does not get the naive to recommend the superior solution. The naive recommend because the protector was damage. Effective surge protection means you do not even know a surge existed. That is the 'whole house' solution - so well proven as to be standard even in munitions dumps. To too waste no money on the APC solution. Instead they use properly earthed 'whole house' type protection.


A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - which the APC does not have and will not discuss.
 

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From my understanding, UPSs are more about providing power when there is none (maybe after a surge...), thus giving one the ability to shut down their computer/electronics safely, without losing anything. I wouldn't trust them, personally, for the sole purpose of surge protection.
 

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Actually if you want real lightning protection, you need to get a lightning rod. Serious, no joke. Surge protectors and UPS units either can't protect against a sufficient surge from lightning or are used instead when the power goes out to leave something on (if you have money, like a datacenter) or shut down your OS safely.


Otherwise, get a lightning rod, or beef up your homeowner's insurance.
 

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I will say this much.....

from everything that I've learned what westom is saying is pretty much right on. The better your ground, the better your protection. You want to achieve the lowest impedence you can.


With APC, well, I like them for their UPS duties, but I would never trust them for surge protection. Nor would I ever recommend to. If anything put a surge protector in front of it (never downstream) to protect the UPS itself. Really....do you want a UPS that costs hundreds of dollars to sacrifice itself during a surge?
 

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Kinda true. A surge comes in and the ups will measure said change in voltage. The UPS will then switch to battery once the surge reaches a specific range. Like if voltage goes up to 135V, or down to 100V. The quality of product is in how fast it can switch and how reliable it is after a surge. Ive burn cheap systems lol
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vapore0n /forum/post/16993586


Kinda true. A surge comes in and the ups will measure said change in voltage. The UPS will then switch to battery once the surge reaches a specific range.

True as long as you ignored numbers - just make assumptions using speculation. A UPS takes milliseconds to respond to anything. Surges are done in microseconds.


Where are UPS manufacturer's specifications that claim protection? Even the manufacturer does not claim that protection.


What protection does it provide? A computer's power supply is required to do as much or more than that UPS might accomplish. That UPS connects a computer directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. Three hundred consecutive surges could pass through a UPS before that UPS might think about responding.


Meanwhile, do you really believe the millimeter disconnect in a UPS relay will stop what three miles of sky could not? You have claims a relay can sto that. Just another reason why we know the UPS does not do what you have posted.


View manufacturer spec numbers. That UPS does not do anything you have posted. It does not even claim to provide that protection. But what you posted is the popular belief.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/16987561


Either you connect surge energy harmlessly in earth. Or that surge goes hunting for earth ground destructively inside the house. It is that simple. Telcos, connected to overhead wires all over town, do not use plug-in solutions. Suffer about 100 surges with every thunderstorm. And must never have damage. They use a solution that you can install for about $1 per protected appliance.

Telephone companies never have damage on their systems? What planet do you live on? The installations here use no protection other than grounding and we see severe damage to many phone systems all the time. They are the most likely thing to take damage in a home when lightning strikes nearby. While your advice about grounding is important, field experience with hundreds of installations demonstrates clearly to me that system local (plug in) surge protectors can be very effective, if the system is properly grounded and all signal lines to the system pass through the surge protector.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcaillo /forum/post/16997452


Telephone companies never have damage on their systems? What planet do you live on? The installations here use no protection other than grounding and we see severe damage to many phone systems all the time.

When lightning destroys such equipment; a major national news story if any town is without phone service for days while the computer is replaced. For the same reason that commercial airliers must not crash. A failure typically traceable to human failure. A million people may be in the air every day - and none die. Telco COs all over the world suffer about 100 surges with each thunderstorm - and no damage. Why? Because properly earthed surge protection is used - and no plug-in protectors. They waste no money on what is recommended by hype for massive profits: plug-in protectors.


How often are munitions dumps struck by lightning? Often. How often do they explode? Virtually never. They also use no plug-in protectors. Do you still want to argue about the rare exception? When that rare failure happens, the first thing investigated is the most common reason for failure - defective earthing. Often traceable to a human mistake.


Many who never learn how protection works or what a protector does will quickly credit a plug-in protector. They only understand what they see rather than what really is. Reality: protection inside the appliance did the protection. Some will see a damaged protector and exclaim, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my computer." What he really said is, "I have no idea what a protector does." A surge too small to overwhelm internal appliance protection easily destroyed the plug-in protector. Those educated only by retail stores even get angry when reality is stated. They never learned what a protector does. Get angry at anything that exposes that shortcoming. They never learned and therefore believed a myth.


What do protectors do? Again the NIST:

> What these protective devices do is neither suppress nor arrest

> a surge, but simply divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.


So you know better? You know the plug-in protector without a low impedance earthing connection to earth will magically suppress or arrest a surge? That is what you have posted. How few joules will somehow absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? It will magically make surge energy just disappear? Those are what you have claimed. Or would you (for the first time) like to explain why a plug-in protector works?


Did you ask that question that only the most responsible ask, " What does it do? How does it work? Where are the numbers?" Did you even ask that? Or did you just blindly believe what your were told to believe? Why does a protector work? Only because you know. That is what you have posted.


Telcos all over the world routinely suffer 100 surges from each thunderstorm and no damage. Why does a surge typically once every seven years cause household appliance damage? Only when the human did not properly earth the less expensive and so effective 'whole house' protector. A technology well understood and well proven for over 100 years.


Do you spend $1 per appliance for the protector that is well proven by 100 years of experience and in every telco switching center? Or do you believe what you were told to believe - the plug-in protector that costs tens or 100 times more money. So ... where is that manufacturer specification that claims protection? You could not even provide that? Or course not. Even the manufacturer does not claim what you have posted.
 

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Regardless of whether or not a surge protector does anything, many brand-name protectors offer warranties up to $500,000 or whatever for connected equipment. Go with that so that you are covered in case your components do get fried.
 

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Good Luck collecting on such insurance.


Read the fine print, it is impossible tocomply with the terms.


Generally you must register each piece of equipment with the insurer

File a full claim within 10 days

Return the damaged goods to the surge protector company at your expense, etc. etc.


Best protection is a whole house protector, but few people install them, even though they are relatively cheap.


BB
 

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That's reassuring. Surge protectors not protecting our investments. Then what are we to do just short of going with a rod?
Hard to believe all the surge protectors out there are useless.


So those of us with $30,000 HT are left twiddling our thumbs? Hoping we don't get that sudden massive surge during a thunderstorm...that will fry our gear. That or don't use during thunder storms?


Would like to "protect" my new HT system electronically if possible. Thought a good surge protector would do the trick.
 
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