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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this is in the wrong area but i couldn't see where else to ask my questions.


Now that I'm setting up my HT room and equipment in my basement, I've been reading about UPSs, Line Conditioners, and surge protectors.


I know what a SP does as I have a regular strip surge protector on my computer like most people.


But what doe s a UPS and a Line Conditioner do that different to a surge protector? And what does a ground loop isolator do ?

Is there an 'all-in-one' unit or shoud I stick with individual units ?


And is it necessary to spend two/three hundred on Tripplite, APC, Richard Gray (names I've read about on the forum) type equipment that sits on the rack as compared to a heavy duty floor type strip surge protector from my local Wally world?


BTW, should HT equipemnt be connected to an RCD socket or to a regular wall socket or does that depend on whether a SP/LC is being used?

If so, do i connect the SP/LC to an RCD socket or not?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice /forum/post/17008640


But what doe s a UPS and a Line Conditioner do that different to a surge protector? And what does a ground loop isolator do ?

Is there an 'all-in-one' unit or should I stick with individual units ?

There is no all in one unit. And it you believe what a majority believe, then you are in denial of well proven science from over 100 years ago.


Let's start with what you thought you knew. What does a surge protector do? It stops what three miles of sky could not. Its few hundred joules absorb surges of hundreds of thousands of joules. That is what most believe. That is what your power strip does?


Surge protection is about the energy. Either energy even from a direct lightning strike is absorbed in earth without entering the building. Or that energy hunts for earth ground destructively via appliances.


What does a protector do? Connects a surge from one wire to all others. Now the surge has more paths to find earth, destructively, via nearby appliances.


Let's go back to where was well understood for over 100 years. From the NIST (US government research agency):

> 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.


What does that power strip protector claim to do in sales brochures? Arrest, suppress, absorb, or stop surges. What does that power strip protector not have? Earth ground.


No earth ground? What is the third prong on a receptacle. Safety ground. For effective earthing, a protector must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), no sharp wire bends, no splices, not in metallic conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, all grounds separate until they meet at single point earth ground. Power strips have all but no earth ground.


We can move on to your other questions. But first your assumptions (knowledge only from hearsay) must be corrected. Any facility that must have surge protection - that must never have surge damage - do not waste money on plug-in protectors that cost tens or 100 times more money.


To have even better protection, they upgrade earthing. See discussions such as Ufer grounds - what is installed so that the protector is even better. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
 

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It sounds like it might be a little late to install a Ufer



A UPS will allow you to cool your PJ lamp down correctly in the event of an outage (hopefully prolonging lamp life.)


I have nothing to say about line conditioners.


TVSS- I was under the impression that a TVSS could help dissipate occasional surges coming in through the POCO lines and possibly even Phone and Cable. Lightning strikes aside, is this assumption incorrect?


One thing worth paying attention to is that some manufacturers will specifically advise against conditioners or TVSS (KRELL comes to mind.)


rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/17009404


There is no all in one unit. And it you believe what a majority believe, then you are in denial of well proven science from over 100 years ago.


Let's start with what you thought you knew. What does a surge protector do? It stops what three miles of sky could not. Its few hundred joules absorb surges of hundreds of thousands of joules. That is what most believe. That is what your power strip does?


Surge protection is about the energy. Either energy even from a direct lightning strike is absorbed in earth without entering the building. Or that energy hunts for earth ground destructively via appliances.


What does a protector do? Connects a surge from one wire to all others. Now the surge has more paths to find earth, destructively, via nearby appliances.


Let's go back to where was well understood for over 100 years. From the NIST (US government research agency):

> 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.


What does that power strip protector claim to do in sales brochures? Arrest, suppress, absorb, or stop surges. What does that power strip protector not have? Earth ground.


No earth ground? What is the third prong on a receptacle. Safety ground. For effective earthing, a protector must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), no sharp wire bends, no splices, not in metallic conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, all grounds separate until they meet at single point earth ground. Power strips have all but no earth ground.


We can move on to your other questions. But first your assumptions (knowledge only from hearsay) must be corrected. Any facility that must have surge protection - that must never have surge damage - do not waste money on plug-in protectors that cost tens or 100 times more money.


To have even better protection, they upgrade earthing. See discussions such as Ufer grounds - what is installed so that the protector is even better. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

Wow...I take back what I said. Makes sense - no earth ground, no earth grounding. I know there's earth grounding in my house (like most if not all homes I expect) as I can seea big rod in the ground around the side of my house!


However, all appliances are going to be connected either to sockets in the wall or to a 'surge protector' which is then connected to the wall socket (I assume also that all sockets are earth connected to the house earth grounding?) .... so what's the harm in a surge protector (assuming it's grounded).


Or are you saying that it's all a big scam and i shouldn't bother with anything ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mbec /forum/post/17010051


It sounds like it might be a little late to install a Ufer



A UPS will allow you to cool your PJ lamp down correctly in the event of an outage (hopefully prolonging lamp life.)


I have nothing to say about line conditioners.


TVSS- I was under the impression that a TVSS could help dissipate occasional surges coming in through the POCO lines and possibly even Phone and Cable. Lightning strikes aside, is this assumption incorrect?


One thing worth paying attention to is that some manufacturers will specifically advise against conditioners or TVSS (KRELL comes to mind.)


rob

Rob...What's aTVSS?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbec /forum/post/17010051


It sounds like it might be a little late to install a Ufer



A UPS will allow you to cool your PJ lamp down correctly in the event of an outage (hopefully prolonging lamp life.)

Just how often do people lose power while watching a movie? If we are having a violent thunderstorm, odds are I'm not going to be watching anything and will be unplugging my equipment instead.
 

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TVSS- transient voltage surge suppressor


When the subject of UPS is brought up here, generally it is in the context of protecting a PJ. I agree that, where I live at least, it would generally be unnecessary in that application.


I would imagine a UPS could be valuable for a HTPC as well.



rob
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan /forum/post/17010831


Just how often do people lose power while watching a movie? If we are having a violent thunderstorm, odds are I'm not going to be watching anything and will be unplugging my equipment instead.

You know its happend to me once, watching film and power went out. If I had not had the Rope light and rear bar on low I'd have never have known there was an outage as all equipment was still running. Was glad of the UPS to enable me to shut the PJ down and the EXIT sign to get me out of the room. Man its dark with no lights.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice /forum/post/17010736


However, all appliances are going to be connected either to sockets in the wall or to a 'surge protector' which is then connected to the wall socket (I assume also that all sockets are earth connected to the house earth grounding?) .... so what's the harm in a surge protector (assuming it's grounded).

The sentence was posted specifically so that the question need not be asked. "For effective earthing, a protector must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), no sharp wire bends, no splices, not in metallic conduit, separated from other non-grounding wires, all grounds separate until they meet at single point earth ground. Power strips have all but no earth ground."


Wall receptacle is safety ground - also called equipment ground. If it is earth ground, then a motherboard ground is also earth ground. Again, a surge permitted inside the building will go hunting for destructively paths to earth. Things you thought were insulators can actually conduct a surge destructively.


Every foot shorter to earth means better protection. Even sharp wire bends (there are what - 15 sharp bends from the receptacle) means compromised protection. Safety ground in a Romex cable with other wires - compromised protection. How many feet from that receptacle to breaker box? Six more feet on the protector's cable. More reasons for compromised protection.


All part of the concept that says "a protector is only as effective as its earth ground". More reasons why receptacle safety ground is not earth ground.


Effective protection means internal appliance protection is not overwhelmed by the rare (typically once ever seven years) surge. Effective protection costs about $1 per protected appliance. Available from companies with more responsible names such as General Electric, Keison, Leviton, Square D, Intermatic, etc. The Cutler-Hammer 'whole house' protector is available in Lowes for less than $50.


TVSS is simply another word for a surge protector. Numerous names for a protector does not change reality. NIST was even blunter:

> A very important point to keep in mind is that your surge protector

> will work by diverting the surges to ground. The best surge

> protection in the world can be useless if grounding is not done

> properly.


Your telco connects their computers to overhead wires all over town. Suffers maybe 100 surges with each thunderstorm - without computer damage. Their protectors earth every incoming wire where it enters the building. To make protection even better, their protectors are up to 50 meters separated from electronics. The underlying concept that requires a shorter connection to earth and why separation increases protection: wire impedance. Not resistance; impedance.


All phone lines already have a 'whole house' protector. Telcos install it where their wires meet your. Installed for free since it is so effective and so inexpensive. How good is that protector? You are responsible for providing single point earthing that makes that protector effective.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathan /forum/post/17010831


Just how often do people lose power while watching a movie? If we are having a violent thunderstorm, odds are I'm not going to be watching anything and will be unplugging my equipment instead.

Even more likely, the power will go out while the DVR HD is spinning (since it runs continuously). Now it's not really a problem as long as the power stays off long enough for the drive to come to a stop. But that doesn't always happen, and it cost me a TiVo drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/17011503


Wall receptacle is safety ground - also called equipment ground. If it is earth ground, then a motherboard ground is also earth ground. Again, a surge permitted inside the building will go hunting for destructively paths to earth. Things you thought were insulators can actually conduct a surge destructively.


Effective protection means internal appliance protection is not overwhelmed by the rare (typically once ever seven years) surge. Effective protection costs about $1 per protected appliance. Available from companies with more responsible names such as General Electric, Keison, Leviton, Square D, Intermatic, etc. The Cutler-Hammer 'whole house' protector is available in Lowes for less than $50.

I was getting confused between earth ground and safety ground. Now that's clear, are you then suggesting a whole house protector?


And how does effective protection cost $1 per protected appliance???
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice /forum/post/17024073


And how does effective protection cost $1 per protected appliance???

To be effective, energy must connect short, no sharp wire bends, etc to earth. Any facility that must never suffer damage always earth 'whole house' protection.


Everything inside the house contains internal protection. Protection that can be overwhelmed by the rare and destructive surge. We earth destructive surges so that nothing inside the house is damage. No damage to furnace, dishwasher, clock radios, bathroom and kitchen GFCIs, dimmer switches, alarm system, computers, rechargeable flashlights, doorbell, refrigerator, air conditioner, answering machine, ... easily 100 appliances. What needs protection especially if a surge exists? Smoke detectors. Where are plug-in protectors or UPSes for each? How much spent? $5000?


One 'whole house' protector sells in Lowes for less than $50. The effective protector is less than $1 per protected appliance.


Take a $3 power strip. Add some ten cent parts. Its gets sold in the grocery store for $7. Or the same protector circuit sells for $25 or $150 under labels such as Monster Cable. That would be $25 or $150 per protected appliance - and that manufacturer does not even claim surge protection in his numeric specifications. Easy is to convince people that plug-in protectors will somehow stop and absorb what three miles of sky could not.
 

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a UPS should be on anything that has hard drives or fans (i.e. PVR, HTPC, Servers, PJ).



the idea is to provide enough power for you to properly shutdown the equipment in the event of a power failiure.



For a hard drive, if sudden power loss occurs and there is no UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source) you may corrupt the hard drive due to many reasons, such as: Head failure, physical damage to the platters. Loss of data stored in onboard buffers.


For items with fans, thats obivous, for cooling.



Remember, even though your PVR may be "off" it sometimes does updates in the background. If the power fails during one of these updates you could be pooched.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mike_P /forum/post/17044665


a UPS should be on anything that has hard drives or fans (i.e. PVR, HTPC, Servers, PJ).



the idea is to provide enough power for you to properly shutdown the equipment in the event of a power failiure.



For a hard drive, if sudden power loss occurs and there is no UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source) you may corrupt the hard drive due to many reasons, such as: Head failure, physical damage to the platters. Loss of data stored in onboard buffers.


For items with fans, thats obivous, for cooling.



Remember, even though your PVR may be "off" it sometimes does updates in the background. If the power fails during one of these updates you could be pooched.

So if I have a computer with no UPS and there has been frequent power outages the hard drive can become corrupted...What are the indications of a corrupted hard drive???
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splicer010 /forum/post/17044818


So if I have a computer with no UPS and there has been frequent power outages the hard drive can become corrupted...What are the indications of a corrupted hard drive???

Does not happen. If data is saved to disk, power loss will not erase that data. Disk drives are never warned that power will be removed. First time a disk drive's computer learns about power off (normal or blackout) is when voltage starts dropping. With today's drives as it was with 1960s drives. Disk drive responds to both power loss in the same manner.


Older file systems could corrupt an existing file if the updated file was not properly saved. This was a problem with FAT filesystems. Such problems were eliminated with HPFS filesystems (OS2) and later technologies including NTFS.


Power loss does not corrupt a drive. If a file is being saved when power is lost, then newest file may be corrupt. And so we use a UPS - to protect from that data loss.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughtybutnice /forum/post/17043211


So now tell me about line conditioners and how they differ from and surge suppressors.

Line Conditioner is an ambiguous device. Line conditioner does not say what it conditions. Surge protector or suppressor or TVSS or whatever it might be called is (in this context) typically installed for current tranients. Anything that might obstruct that current causes high voltage. Protection is about diverting that current so that destructive high voltages do not exist.


Other line conditioners may address so many other anomalies such as noise, harmonics, ground loops, excessive current, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/17046964


Does not happen.

Then why does Mr_Mike_P state:
Quote:
For a hard drive, if sudden power loss occurs and there is no UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source) you may corrupt the hard drive due to many reasons, such as: Head failure, physical damage to the platters. Loss of data stored in onboard buffers.

This sounds like other anomolies other than simple data loss/corruption when losing power when saving a file...I realize files alread saved aren't going anywhere but other issues can be a problem according to him...Are you saying that none of these things can happen due to a sudden power loss??? Thanks...You just saved me alot of money on a needless UPS then...
 

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My .02


UPS - I bought a little 1u rack mount UPS for just my server HTPC and maybe router & switch. It is also a AVR (automatic voltage regulator) and suge protection. $175.00


Surge - I bought a Whole House Suppressor (not installed yet) $80.00


AVR (automatic voltage regulator) - I'm looking at one from Furman, 1u, big enough to handle my A/V gear. But alot of cash $850.00 (also has surge, emi, etc., no ups)


When I was a kid (at my Dad's electrical company) and into my 20's I worked as an electrican in AZ and CA. I now work for a manf in NC and have talked to those that run the plants. In all states, everywhere had voltage variations that took out all sorts of gear, motors and controllers.


From my experience, voltage drops and spikes are the "killers" of gear. But a whole house suppressor sure won't hurt!


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/17046964


Does not happen. If data is saved to disk, power loss will not erase that data. Disk drives are never warned that power will be removed.

I'm pretty sure the exact implications of sudden power loss are model-specific. I can't find a reference, but I recall that there were some drives a few years back that could damage data/sectors if power was dropped in the middle of a write because of residual charge in the write circuitry combined with a slight change in platter speed (or something like that). Some recent Hitachi models apparently even have special circuitry to try to deal with this scenario:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitachi /forum/post/0


When the drive power is interrupted while the heads are still loaded, the microcode cannot operate and the normal 5V power is unavailable to unload the heads. In this case, normal unload is not possible, so the heads are unloaded by routing the back EMF of the spinning motor to the voice coil. The actuator velocity is greater than the normal case and the unload process is inherently less controllable without a normal seek current profile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westom /forum/post/0


Older file systems could corrupt an existing file if the updated file was not properly saved. This was a problem with FAT filesystems. Such problems were eliminated with HPFS filesystems (OS2) and later technologies including NTFS.

According to Wikipedia, NTFS only has metadata journaling. This means that while the filesystem structure is protected, the actual file content is not. This is pretty common in high-end server filesystems; certainly XFS and JFS have the same issue. I know from direct experience that in XFS it manifests as a file that appears to be intact but when you read it you just get blocks of null bytes.
 
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