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Surge Protection, Anybody?

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 Cat
(@cat)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

Hope this is the right spot for the following question...

Okay, my C24 board and ProMac are ready for pickup this Saturday. Both my insurance company and the sales dude INSIST I get a surge protector for it all. Yeah...no kiddin'! But, geez...there's HEAPS of 'em out there! Who makes the best??? Someone suggested I buy one from a manufacturer that says they'll reimburse you in cash for damage caused by failure of their product. (Yeah...right!!! :lol: )

It was also suggested to put in a "dedicated circuit", and a seperate copper earthing stake...with a three phase On/Off switch. In case you are wondering...although it's certainly a single phase setup, this switch lets you cut Active/Neutral/Ground all at once if a storm is brewing.

:?

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I unplug if a big electrical storm is coming. I have my computer plugged into a power strip. that has a fuse for surges. not the best solution.
the real surge protector/power conditioners cost several hundred dollars.
the irony: I cannot afford that, but if everything gets fried I couldn't afford to replace it all. :shock:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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You could go with the Belkin surge protectors - pretty good at a fair price. Avoid Monster - way overpriced products with nothing about them that's technically better (and may be worse) but they do have a great spiff program for the salesmen and spend a lot on advertising.

You could also consider a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Those have good surge protection just by the design plus you get a certain amount of power on time if the electricity cuts out so that you can save and/or shut down safely. APC is a good brand here - I just picked one up for my revamped home network (router, switch, VOIP box, NAS, etc.).

Now my pricing experience is based on North American prices and there may be different choices in Australia. You could try asking some local computer / networking types.

Glad to hear that your new toys are finally on their way. Yeah! :D

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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(@notes_norton)
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I always use either a Power Conditioner (Tripp Lite) for gear that has an internal battery, or a UPS for those that do not.

The power conditioner protects you from both surges and dips. The dips can be almost as bad on your equipment as the surges.

The laptop in my office is connected to a UPS along with the USB hard drives. I'd hate to have a power problem while writing on an external drive.

On stage, all my gear gets plugged into a Power Conditioner.

When I'm not using my computer and peripherals, they are not plugged in. Lightning doesn't respect a surge protector (I guess it cant read the ad copy)

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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(@dogbite)
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Notes.....are you saying a power conditioner/surge protector is not safe when lightening threatens?

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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I should have prefaced my query with saying that although we've used SP's here...DEFINITELY...a close lightning strike will kill it. We run off of genrators out here...and I COMPLETELY unhooked all the wiring from a big Cummins to save it from harm. But! Lightning pulsed into the ground and found the long DC remote starter wire...and fried the mother board.

Seriously...I'm a bit paranoid of screwing up all this equipment and am well aware of The Fates having it out for The Cat. Like the time I parked my car AWAY from a big (huge & totally rotten) tree when the wind was howling...but after it blew down...even though it missed my car by a hundred feet or so...it fell off the freakin' Council truck RIGHT smack-dab onto my car as they drove off with it!!! :roll:

Okay...

Q: Why doesn't lightning normally strike the same thing twice?

A: Because, after the first strike...it ain't there! :lol:

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@dogbite)
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if your power from generators you MUST then get a good power conditioner
or else you will ruin your new gear.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@notes_norton)
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Notes.....are you saying a power conditioner/surge protector is not safe when lightening threatens?
DEFINITELY NOT SAFE.

Example 1)

Many years ago, I was practicing at home and went out for lunch. I live in Florida where summer thunderstorms can come out of nowhere. All my gear was plugged into a power conditioner, and each zip strip had surge protectors in them. These were high-end products, not the cheapies you find in Wal Mart. I left in a hurry and forgot to unplug them.

When I got back, a t-storm had passed my neighborhood, and my Akai sampler was toast. It cost $350.00 to repair it.

Example 2)

Many years ago, I had a job with the phone company (in a failed attempt to get out of music and become a fine, upstanding, productive citizen - only playing music on the weekends).

Lightning hit a house (1) the drop wire from the pole to the house was empty neoprene, all the copper vanished (2) the metal flashing strip on the house was fused to the connector of that drop wire (3) the surge protector on the wall was missing, parts of it found on the back yard fence (4) the ground wire from that protector was missing, only a carbon stripe on the wall indicated where the wire used to be (6) the wire from the protector to the phone was petrified, with small bits of colored plastic dripping out like small icicles (7) the inside of the phone was melted (8) there were two holes in the ceiling exposing the "wirelath"

There is so much force in a direct hit of lightning, or even a close hit, that no surge protector or power conditioner in the world will offer any protection. They will protect your equipment from normal dips and surges, make your tubes and transistors last longer, keep interference down, and protect you if the lightning hits a quarter of a mile away, but they will not stop a close hit from damaging your gear.

Rule of thumb. When you aren't using it, unplug it. This goes to amps, computers, synthesizers and even you TV set (I've sen them blown up too, there is a lot of lightning in South Florida).

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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(@dogbite)
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OMG. :shock:
thanks Notes.

I am going to unplug from now on.

what about the computer. can that be unplugged when not in use without any troubles or worry????????

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

if your power from generators you MUST then get a good power conditioner
or else you will ruin your new gear.

You'd think so...which is certainly the case with most...but NOT the Big Fellas. We're talkin' 3.9 litre CUMMINS turbo diesels (70kvA output) with every conceivable doo dad in the mother board. Most folks think of those little Honda pull-start things when they think of home power....not here in Oz. In fact, it's exceedingly common to be "off grid". HOWEVER...Cummins/Onan do make a GREAT little thing (gasoline/battery start/5000 watts continuous) that is as clean as you'd ever want: their P 5000 e.

BEST for RECORDINGS: SEA 2200watt inverter/charger (48vDC to 240vAC off of a 48vDC battery bank) is the ULTIMATE "clean" technology for totally noiseless use! I mean...you will measure 'ZACLY 240vAC and 'ZACLY 50 Hz...dead on.

I wondered why I couldn't just yank the plug outta duh wall rather than put in a dedicated cutoff switch: because if it's close by...mounted on your wall...flipping it on (or off) will become a normal part of your recording routine. TRULY...if you forget to yank the plug...and you are not home...BANG!

Well...it's Saturday morning here...me and my sons are gonna slam down some pancakes...and head to Brisbane to get all the gear! Sheesh!!! I put this order in the first week of December! For you GNers far from Brisbane...you should check out their site: <www.musiclab.com.au>

BIG SURPRISE to me is the "private blog site" they told me I'd have access to with other C 24 purchasers across the world. Now THAT will be interesting!!!

Later!

Cat :wink:

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

You could go with the Belkin surge protectors - pretty good at a fair price.

THANX for that! Yep...that's the brand most computer installers use here in Oz. I even saw that our Motor Vehicle Dep't uses them....

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

if your power from generators you MUST then get a good power conditioner
or else you will ruin your new gear.

You'd think so...which is certainly the case with most...but NOT the Big Fellas. We're talkin' 3.9 litre CUMMINS turbo diesels (70kvA output) with every conceivable doo dad in the mother board. Most folks think of those little Honda pull-start things when they think of home power....not here in Oz. In fact, it's exceedingly common to be "off grid". HOWEVER...Cummins/Onan do make a GREAT little thing (gasoline/battery start/5000 watts continuous) that is as clean as you'd ever want: their P 5000 e.

BEST for RECORDINGS: SEA 2200watt inverter/charger (48vDC to 240vAC off of a 48vDC battery bank) is the ULTIMATE "clean" technology for totally noiseless use! I mean...you will measure 'ZACLY 240vAC and 'ZACLY 50 Hz...dead on.

Cat :wink:

your "dead on" is still ends up being pretty ambiguous. when you say ZACLY 240 VAC (RMS) and ZACLY 50 Hz, you've told me the RMS voltage of the waveform and clock rate, but nothing about the shape of the waveform -- a very critical point. a true RMS metering circuit will produce the same 240 VAC RMS measurement for a 480 Vpeak-peak ideal square wave and for a 679 Vpeak-peak (pure) sine wave. the latter one is what most appliances expect. the former works well with recent transformerless AC-DC converters (those magically lightweight wall worts and power bricks), but anything with a power transformer (uh … guitar amps, older-heavier power bricks) abhor square wave inputs. all those extra harmonics end up as wasted heat, interference … anyway, unless I see the loaded and unloaded waveforms on an oscilloscope, I wouldn't know from those numbers exactly what I would be getting.

again, most mains-sucking appliances were designed with sinusoid waveforms in mind, and their AC motors and transformers are optimized for sine waves. OTOH, the most power-efficient inverters and power converters will actually "prefer" to operate on squarish input waveforms (fast transitions, lots of odd harmonics of the 50 or 60 Hz). in recent years, the better power processing and generation equipment provide both efficiency and decent waveform by creating stepped waveform approximations of a sine waveform -- better. and filtering (aka power conditioning) will further extract the sinusoidal fundamental by rejecting the harmonics. really good generation equipment will have waveform analyzers to monitor the output waveform and provide … well, whatever the makers specs/claims, hopefully.

(all this sound familiar? the power generation, processing, filtering, non-linearities are similar in many ways to audio overdrive, clipping ….)

-=tension & release=-


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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I think that Ogg The Neanderthal said it first:

"Huh?"

:?

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@gnease)
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more simply: if the meters read 240 Vrms and 50 Hz, you are not guaranteed a good mains source -- only one that superficially meets the two numbers with which laymen are familiar. a comparison: you know that 15 W of tube power that sounds so much louder than 15 W of solid state power? different waveforms (fundamental + harmonics), even if the total power of each is 15 W. similar principles apply to power supply electronics.

-=tension & release=-


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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Topic starter  

Thanks for that...

All's I've got to go on are what all three companies I use say (TRACE, Solar Energy Australia, CUMMINS)...that they put out "pure sine wave".

Certainly, there's more cause for concern with electricity generated by a diesel engine as opposed to the inverters. Cummins (here in Oz) uses an electronic system made by POWERCOMMAND (13.01) tied into an electronic governor. As far as diesel gensets go...they are the best. They have every sort of parameter you can think of used to put out "clean" power...BUT!!!!!...somethin' ALWAYS screws up, nevertheless!!! :?

While I'm at it...YOU (Gnease) may be the right guy to ask about a neutral wire tie-in I am planning...but it's not a GN-type question...so I'll PM it to you, if ya don't mind!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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