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Thread: Surge Protector

  1. #1

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    Default Surge Protector

    Is a surge protector necessary for a home theater system?

    If so, which one is good?

    I have all my home theater stuff plugged in to two seperate outlets, that way I won't blow a fuse. I have the projector and DVD player plugged into one and the receiver and subs plugged into another. This means I might have to get two surge protectors because I don't think one outlet can handle all the home theater stuff. By the way when I say seperate outlets, I mean they are connected seperately.

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    Here is my assessment. What would it cost me if a spike went through and fried some of my equipment? What is the cost of a surge protector? Do the math. I purchased a unit for $300 and have a 5Ch amp, Preamp, CD Player, DVD Player, SUB, digital cable box and Plasma all connected. I have never tripped a breaker.
    Michael ;)
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    I'd buy this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/PanaMax-Max-1000...QQcmdZViewItem

    It'll clean up the electricity which will clean up your pciture on your TV,

    I use a version that they make that has a Voltage regenerator built in, it stores energy and provides a constant 120 Volts as long as my system pulls less than 4.0Amps,

    I've never pulled 4 Amps, maybe 3.8 at the most.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...&postcount=498

    Las
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
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    Quote Originally Posted by karaim View Post
    I have all my home theater stuff plugged in to two separate outlets, that way I won't blow a fuse.
    Depending on the code in your area. It is possible to have 7 to 9 receptacles on the same breaker / fuse. So plugging your stuff into different receptacles won't necessarily work unless those receptacles are on different breakers.

    The power at my house is pretty consistent. It runs about 119v - 123v. It will run a bit lower as we get into AC season in Texas. The Monster 3600 has perform admirably during the couple power outages since I have bought it. Personally, all my equipment is protected. I just consider it cheap insurance to help protect my investment

    On the decision of whether you need one and what to get. You will need to first determine how good your power is. Just because you don't have many power outages / surges, doesn't mean you have consistent power. Stereo equipment can also be damaged by voltage drops and spikes.

    Also, if your running a DLP or something that has a fan in it, you might want to consider a battery back-up system that will allow the fan to still run to cool the bulb if you loose power. Most battery back up systems will also condition the power toward a constant voltage that helps your equipment not see all the variations in power.

    Get a meter. Digital ones are easier to read. Switch it to AC and plug the probes into the 2 holes in the receptacle that are side by side. What Voltage do you see? Is it pretty consistent? Plug in your vacuum cleaner (high amp draw) in a receptacle next to the meter one and on the same circuit. Does the voltage drop? Does it return to the same voltage before the vacuum was plugged in? Check your power for a few days at different times of the day and note the AC voltage. Is there big differences between the voltages late at night and early evening (when most folks are home and using the most power in your neighborhood)?

    Do your lights go dim in your house for a bit when your using a lot of power and someone plugs in a hair blower or vacuum? Dim lights means a voltage drop. If you see a lot of fluctuation in voltages you might want to get a line conditioning model. If you get a line conditioner make sure it is rated for the amps that your system will draw when everything is on. What I'm saying here is that if you buy one that it rated for a computer system, it might not be big enough to support the amp draw from your stereo.

    Personally, I always get good surge protectors for my electronics. But I also lived in house that got hit by lightning twice. My electronics all survived but some of the other stuff in the house got fried.

    Hope that helps a bit,
    Scott
    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ..... Frank Zappa

    My Mid-Fi Systems - In The Showcase

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    Conditioners only help so much with fluctuations. I ended up with two UPS's, one for my PC and associated hardware and another for my 2 ch/HT rig.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Thanks a lot everyone. The replies were a big help. I am going to get a good surge protector. Lasareath, the one you recommended sounds pretty good, but I will shop around.

    Gadabout, I have 2 separate breakers in my home theater room. I have a receiver, 2 Subs, a DVD Player, Digital Cable Box, a CD Player, and a Projector in my HT room. I think 1 breaker should be able to handle all of that. Do you know if there is a way I can check the load on the breaker?

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    Quote Originally Posted by karaim View Post
    Do you know if there is a way I can check the load on the breaker?
    Karaim,

    You need an Amp Meter, I used to work for an Electrical engineer and they had an extension cord that they stripped back a piece of the outside insulator so that the 3 wires (Hot, Neutral & Ground) were exposed.

    They would plug whatever they wanted to measure into this extension cord and then use the clamp over just the Hot wire and it would measure the load.

    Sal

    http://www.edmo.com/index.php?module...130&cat_id=671
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL's
    With new Exotic wood, Sonicaps, Mills & RDO198's - Born on 4-24-1989 and Signed by Matthew Polk!!!!


    My Polk SDA SRS 1.2TL's http://www.LASAREATH.com/


    It All Started here: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath2

    Part Deux: http://tinyurl.com/lasareath3

    Car Stereo---->http://www.salsleaf.com/leaf_stereo/index.htm<---- NEW for 2013

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by karaim View Post
    Gadabout, I have 2 separate breakers in my home theater room. I have a receiver, 2 Subs, a DVD Player, Digital Cable Box, a CD Player, and a Projector in my HT room. I think 1 breaker should be able to handle all of that. Do you know if there is a way I can check the load on the breaker?
    My guess is that all those would be fine on one circuit (breaker). It also depends on the amp rating of the breaker 10a or 15a. If 15a breaker they will be OK.

    Also, if you are at the edge of the breaker limit, and find yourself tripping it occasionaly, you can change the order in which you power things on and not trip the breaker. If you remember the scence in Apollo 13 when they are trying to get everything on and keep the amp draw below a certain limit, it is the same principle. (I doubt you will need to resort to that)

    As far as checking current draw at the breaker, I use a clamp meter. For the clamp meter, I turn the all the house power off with the main panel breaker (usually at the top). I then pull front panels off to expose the wiring to the individual breakers. Find the wires that go to your breaker and put the clamp around them. Turn back on the main breaker power and power everything in the stereo you can then read the current draw at the breaker. If you don't want to buy a clamp meter, and can't borrow one, some of the rental places will rent them out.

    Also, if there are a few friends that want to go in on a device you could get a USB power monitor. You simply plug in the device to any wall circuit then it automatically logs any power events. After a few days you pull the monitor off and plug it into a computer via USB to read any alarms.

    http://www.acscout.com/servlet/.1608...FQQRGgodV0CTvQ

    Cool lil tool if you think your house / apartment might have power issues. However, it doesn't log current draw (amps). It will show you if you need to install a line conditioner.

    Since your running a projector, you might consider putting a battery backup on that. The fan runs on most of them after power shut down to cool down the bulb / electronics. If you have a power outage, the fan can't do that.

    Hope that helps,
    Scott
    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ..... Frank Zappa

    My Mid-Fi Systems - In The Showcase

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    I bought the APC H15 for under $200 from their web site.
    Hitachi 50" Plasma full HD 1080--Onkyo 805 AVR
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    Polk LSi25 fronts--Polk LSi 15 rears
    Genesis G-2800 sides--Polk PSW 650 sub
    APC H15 power conditioner--Netgear digital media player
    Napster external hardrive--Linksys Wireless G router
    Samsung DVD--Blue Jeans wires

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