Final system question

Discussion in 'A/V Interconnects, Cables & Power Conditioning' started by tmurnin, Jul 19, 2013.

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  1. tmurnin Audioholic

    tmurnin
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    Hi everyone -

    After multiple iterations, u-turns, false starts, etc., I've finally made my basement HT decisions.

    Display: Panasonic 65" VT60
    Front L/R: Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf
    Center: Aperion Forte Center
    Surround L/R: Aperion Intimus 4BP
    Subwoofer: HSU VTF-2
    AVR: Denon 2809ci (re-using existing equip)
    BD: Oppo BP-103

    Now my final question, I have dedicated 20amp circuits for the display and AVR electronics. Am I ok with a Home Depot surge protector to plug everything into, or do I need a Panamax/Monster type power conditioner with cool blue lights and gauges that I can spend endless hours gazing into?
  2. afterlife2 Audioholic Spartan

    afterlife2
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  3. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    Separate circuits for display and AVR? But on the same phase, right?

    You don't need the Panamax, but fitting a surge protector outlet strip behind a wall-mounted TV is a pain...if that's what you're doing. There are wall outlets with built-in surge protectors that fit a standard box.

    The basic Panamax is a fine product, and its ability to protect against surges is usually a bit better than the HD generics. They also often offer under-voltage protection, which is actually kind of nice. The 4000 at $200 is an Ok deal, but as with most things the 80/20 rule applies...you can get 80% of the value for 20% of the price...with the basic unit from HD.
  4. westom Audioholic

    westom
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    Monster has a long history of identifying scams. Then selling an equivalent product with more expensive looking paint at higher prices.

    Did you know that reversed speaker wire subverts sound? Monster sold speaker wire with the amp and speaker ends carefully marked. Many said they could hear the difference when a wire's speaker end was connected to the amp. So Monster sold that $7 speaker wire for $70. And so many recommended it.

    The equivalent circuit to Panamax/Monster is a $10 power strip selling in Walmart. View spec numbers. Ignore subjective recommendations.

    Facilities that cannot have damage do not waste money on that device. Another completely different device (unfortunately also called a protector) is earthed in facilities that cannot have damage. And for much less money. Key is not the protector. No protector does protection. Key is what absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules.

    How many joules does a Monster absorb? Near zero? Destructive anomalies are hundreds of thousands of joules. Only earth ground absorbs that. So Monster, et al will not discuss earth ground.

    Other manufacturers with better integrity provide the 'whole house' protector. It has the always required low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth. These are provided by ABB, Siemens, Leviton, Syscom, General Electric, Square D, Intermatic, Polyphaser, and Ditek to name but a few. These are the only solution in any facility that cannot have electronics damage to anything in the building. A Cutler-Hammer (Eaton) version was sold in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.

    If your electronics need protection, then so does the dishwasher, clocks, air conditioner, security system, refrigerator, and (most important) smoke detectors. What protects all them? The same and properly earthed 'whole house' protector.

    Again, no protector does protection. Protection is defined and provided by what absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Single point earth ground. All four words have critical significance. How many joules does the Monster claim to absorb? So it also needs to be protected by an earthed 'whole house' protector.
  5. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    You mean like this one?
    Monster Cable 6-Outlet A/V Surge - Walmart.com

    Monster Cable 6-Outlet A/V Surge:555 joules of protection
    Handles current surges up to 6,000V

    555

    Yes, if 555 is near zero.

    They will, however, repair or replace connected equipment damaged by a power surge for up to 5 years. Sounds like they don't have to do that much.

    Though he's being a bit sarcastic and is focussed on a technical detail of how power protectors work, westom makes a good point that whole-house protection is a much better solution than a surge protected power strip or a component style power conditioner. The problem is, for many, adding whole-house protection can be a rather costly option. The situation dependent on how the main breaker/fuse box has been installed. Worst case, the entire box has to be changed (that's a $2000 - $3000 project), best case, $500 of parts and installation to add a central protector. In either case, the strip option is less expensive.
  6. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    He's not being sarcastic. He simply doesn't know what he's talking about.
    There's a very good reason why he has so many red chicklets.
    His contributions to the forum center solely on this subject. One that he has only half a clue.
  7. westom Audioholic

    westom
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    The 'whole house' protector is the least expensive option. At $10 per appliance, you need $hundreds of those protectors for the dishwahser, dimmer switches, clocks, refrigerator, air conditioner, etc. The 'whole house' protector sells for as little as $50. Even with ane expensive electrician, that is maybe one or two dollars per appliance. And to protect from surges that the Monster, et al does not claim to protect from.

    Or just rent one from the AC power company. These things are so easily installed that the girl who reads the meter might install it.

    Manufacturer's with better integrity offer the superior 'whole house' solution. Including ABB, General Electric, Ditek, Square D, Siemens, Syscom, Intematic, Polyphaser, and Leviton. A Cutler-Hammer sells in Lowes and Home Depot. Nobody spends $thousands for a protector that can even harmlessly earth direct lightning strikes. Nobody need completely rewire the electric box for this superior solution.

    In facilities that cannot have damage, a properly earthed 'whole house' protector is routine. A near zero joules in the Monster need protection provided by the 'whole house' protector. And not just from damage. Another rare problem created by these near zero joules protectors; it has created house fires.

    Why do so many recommend these so adjacent protectors? Advertising. If the Monster did protect from typically destructive surges, then someone could post a Monster spec number that claims that protection. Nobody does for one simple reason. It does not claim to protect from typically destructive surges. It can't. It has no low impedance connection to earth. But it sure is profitable.
  8. jneutron Senior Audioholic

    jneutron
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    You're being overly generous.
    To the OP: Your best option is a two layer defense. First, a whole house unit at the service panel. Second, a multiport unit at the equipment. Nearby strikes will have the ability to create loop voltages which can toast the equipment. A multiport unit can provide better protection against that. cheers, jn
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  9. tmurnin Audioholic

    tmurnin
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    ANd by multiport unit, a basic Panamax-type deal is fine? Very disappointed to hear, as I really love those fancy looking blue-light gauges.....
  10. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    The Panamax is a fine product, but no better than a cheap strip unless you need noise filtering (almost nobody does). It's not a good deal in terms of protection, it's a good deal in terms of finesse. Though I fully recognize they are over-priced in terms of function, I will often include them in systems for several reasons. They're not a high cost in the total system, they also offer good power distribution which you'll need anyway, and they are a highly visible reassurance that at least something has been done in the way of protection. I also suggest whole-house protection, but hardy anyone actually does it, unless we're also installing home automation with controlled dimmers. At over $100 a pop, that usually is enough to make whole-house protection a no-brainer.

    The whole-house protection suggestion does result in more complete protection, but the cost analysis is way off. Cost per protected device is right in principle, cost of installation is wrong, and situational. The device may be $50, installation could range from $100 to $500, and in some cases dictate a complete re-working of the distribution box. Many of these mount to the outside of the box. If the panel is flush-mounted in a wall, you'll rip out the wall to install the protector. If that can't be done, and you want to use one of the snap-in units that fit in place of a breaker, but the panel is full, you're replacing the entire panel just to add the protector.

    The other thing to keep in mind, a whole house protector doesn't come with the "insurance policy" of at least $10,000 gear repair/replacement if damaged. A direct lightning strike on your power line will blow the whole house protector and stuff connected too. Nothing stops a direct strike. But if you also have a $10 Monster strip and that happens, your stuff gets fixed or replaced.
  11. westom Audioholic

    westom
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    The Panamax makes no claims to protect from lightning. Because it is only for another type of surge that typically does no damage. 'Whole house' protectors are even selected to earth direct lightning strikes. And remain functional.

    A typical lightning strike is 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector is rated for 50,000 amps. Because it must earth direct strikes. And not be damaged.

    Read the insurance fine print. So many exemptions that is will not be honored. For example, one exemption said a protector from any other manufacturer anywhere in the house voided their warranty. The exemptions are numerous. And vary even within different products from the same manufacturer.

    Many tell stories. For example:
    But then why would they honor that warranty. A protector adjacent to appliances does not claim to protect from typically destructive surges. They will replace the protector. With obscene profit margins, they can do that maybe three times and still have a profit. That protector is a profit center; not protection.

    Another and different device from companies with integrity are for surges that do damage - including direct lightning strikes. This other solution is always found in every facility that must even suffer direct strikes without damage. For telco switching centers (COs), that is about 100 surges per storm without damage.

    A case study of a Nebraska radio station discusses how they stopped lightning damage. They upgraded what actually does the protection. Ineffective protectors (with big buck warranties) have no earth ground. What makes a 'whole house' protector so effective? Well, where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? The low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth ground. What did they upgrade to stop further damage? Earth ground. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground:
    http://www.copper.org/applications/electrical/pq/casestudy/nebraska.html

    Orange County FL (a high lightning region) was also suffering damage to their emergency response systems. Again, what did they do to stop lightning damage? Not a big buck warranty. Instead they fixed what defines protection; what makes the 'whole house' protector so effective: single point earth ground
    Case Study: Florida 911 Center Upgrades Lightning Protection System for Maximum Safety


    Take a $3 power strip. Add some ten cent protector parts. That protector sells in Walmart for $10. A Panamax is electrically equivalent; with a larger price and a warranty full of exceptions. Informed homeowners, instead, earth one 'whole house' protector. The solution proven by over 100 years of science and experience. It has sold even for less than $50. And harmlessly earths direct lightning strikes - rated for 50,000 amps.

    Where do hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate? Only a 'whole house' protector connects low impedance to earth - where that energy is harmlessly absorbed.
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  12. jneutron Senior Audioholic

    jneutron
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    I note you post in the same incongruent fashion.

    I see you still throw that Orange county Florida garbage even though they found that the earth connection was bad.

    I see you do not understand the distinction between line to line and line to neutral transients, surges, and how the whole house system works.

    I also love your stories, and second, third, even fourth hand accounts of a friend of a friend of a brother of a dental hygienist who heard about some lightning caused failure in a next door neighbors kitchen of a patient..

    You still cut and paste without regard to understanding.

    Your statements and reckless disregard of knowledge is not only silly, it can be dangerous should somebody who does not know you think you know what you are talking about.

    You need to post this stuff on forums where they do not know you. Here, many already understand your shtick

    jn

    ps...my money is still on you not being human, but rather, a bot..
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
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  13. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    Thanks j, I lost count of all the PM's I've sent him with that same line.
    I don't always drink this early in the morning... But when I do, it's when westcom is posting.:D
  14. jneutron Senior Audioholic

    jneutron
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    Why in the world would you waste all those ones and zero's???? That's like wrestling with a pig.. you both get dirty, but the pig loves it.
    Vodka....it's not just for breakfast anymore...

    W-dude provides a valuable service actually. He pastes incoherent parcels of the work of others in such a way that it takes very little knowledge to trash his assertions.

    It would be more difficult if he understood the topic. Thankfully, it's a no brainer to see through.

    jn
  15. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    JN, Rickster,

    Thanks for the heads up. This was the first time I've crossed thats (make that wires) with him.

    (pouring now)
  16. tmurnin Audioholic

    tmurnin
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    Appreciate that feedback. Thought I was the only one who didn't understand what he was talking about. Not sure if it's a language issue or not, but it's just hard to follow that kind of disjointed commentary.

    I don't live in an area where we experience brownouts. My electrical main is underground (i.e. no overhead lines to the home), so I think I'm ok holding off for now on the whole-home solution and just going with an inexpensive power distributor for the HT. Thanks to all for the help.
  17. jneutron Senior Audioholic

    jneutron
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    I don't believe it's a language thing.
    If you don't want the whole house thing, I still recommend a multiport unit, and it doesn't have to be expensive. When you hook up a tv and stereo and cable box, there is the possibility that you've formed a grounding loop. When that happens, an nearby strike can cook inputs or line ins because of the voltage created. A multiport unit helps stop that by connecting all the wire's grounds together.

    Also make sure that the cable entry to your house is where the mains come in, and that the cable shield is tied to the electrical mains grounding rod. If it comes in at a different location in the house, a near strike will very possibly compromise your av system. (compromise being a nice way to say "blowed up....sir..").

    Even with one or two layers of protection, stick built homes can't be fully protected in the event of a direct strike. The problem is the magnetic field created by the bolt. It can create voltages wherever there is a conductive loop. If you can keep the loops small, you're better off. The problem in a typical house is that the AC wires in the wall are not very close to the cable coax, so that loop is out of your control. Hence the need for a multiport at the equipment.

    jn
  18. westom Audioholic

    westom
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    It was explained multiple times. A simple concept. But he intentionally ignores it. Otherwise he would have to apologize for all his insults.

    'Line to line' and 'line to neutral' transients are made irrelevant by protection already inside appliances. They have names such as transverse. Typically cause no damage. Adjacent protectors are designed to protect from irrelevant transients. Transients made irrelevant by what is already inside appliances.

    Another type of transient approaches an appliance on any or all AC wires ... in the same direction. This has names such as longitudinal. This current may create no voltage across a 'line to line' protector. While also creating thousands of destructive volts inside an adjacent appliance. That type transient must be earthed BEFORE entering a building. Once permitted inside, it uses appliances destructively as a connection to earth. No adjacent protector will discuss it or protects from it. Some naive consumers will then make excused rather than learn why he made damage easier using an adjacent protector.

    If a destructive surge is approaching on all AC wires, then an adjacent protector sees no voltage while that current is blowing destructively through the appliance. Sometimes that destructive transient approaches only on one wire. For example, the hot (black) wire may be at 6000 volts. What does that adjacent protector do? Leaves that 6000 volts incoming on the hot wire. And puts maybe puts 5600 volts on the green and white wires (assuming a 400 volt 'line to ground' and 'line to neutral' protector).

    Now that current has three wires to hunt for earth destructively. One wire at 6000 volts. Other two at 5600 volts. That protector only sees a 400 volt transient. Where is protection? That adjacent protector is doing exactly what the manufacturer same it would do.

    If he knew how a protector worked, then he posted technical facts. He never does. Instead he harps about the obviously irrelevant 'line to line' protector. Then denies case studies from Florida and a Nebraska radio station because he does not understand them. Education by advertising makes basic science difficult.

    Protection is never about a protector. Protection is always about the earth ground.

    How does that adjacent protector (that claims to absorb hundreds of joules) somehow stop or block a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules? It doesn't. It cannot and does not have an earthing connection. It does give typically destructive transients even more paths to blow through adjacent appliances. Fortunately the only protection from typically destructive transients is already inside electronics. But only if that transient is tiny.

    When damage happens, the naive proclaim nothing can protect from lightning. It is called denial. The other and well proven solution routinely does that protection. But only if properly earthed - as even discussed by Nebraska and Florida case studies.

    Why is an insurance (warranty) bogus? Why does it have so many exemptions? An adjacent protector is often so grossly undersized that even it needs protection only possible by earthing one 'whole house' protector. Best is to let naive consumer believe the bogus warranty claims.

    Facilities that can never have damage only earth 'whole house' protectors. A telco's CO suffers about 100 surges per storm without damage. Need do nothing for irrelevant 'line to line' and 'line to neutral' since even those are made irrelevant by earthing a 'whole house' protector. Which costs many times less money.

    The fewer and informed know about transverse and longitudinal currents. Know why earthing and a 'whole house protector is necessary to even protect grossly undersized plug-in protectors. Where does hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate? Only the informed both ask and answer that question. As did case studies in Florida and Nebraska.
  19. avengineer Banned

    avengineer
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    I respectfully disagree with this on several points. First, line to neutral transients can and do cause damage. To expect protection inside appliances by default is simply naive. It's not there all that often, and if it is, and gets hit and blows, you'll have either nothing or a the device will require a service call. That's not exactly irrelevant.

    Several references have been made to case studies in Nebraska and Florida. It would be helpful to link to those so those of us who would like to attempt to absorb that information with our feeble minds may have a lash at it.

    I did google something like Nebraska and Surge Protection, found a story about KROA's tower getting struck by lighting, and their poorly designed grounding system basically re-directed the strike through equipment. Interesting, if inapplicable story. But I assume that's not what you're referring to.
  20. westom Audioholic

    westom
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    That protection existed and was required long before PC even existed. 120 volt appliances would withstand at least 600 volt transients without damage. Todays appliances are even more robust. How often are you replacing dimmer switches? Daily? Weekly? Even they have superior internal protection that makes most transients (ie line to neutral) irrelevant.

    Why do destructive surges do damage? A direct lightning strike far down the street is a direct strike incoming to every appliance. Does that not sound just like KROA's damage? Of course it does. Their tower and your AC utility wires are, to lightning, same. Does not even matter if those wires are overhead or underground.

    Protection is always about connecting destructive surges to earth. Always. This even applies to anomalies created by stray cars hitting utility poles, accidentally cutting underground wires, utility switching, and 33,000 volt distribution wires falling on local distribution. In every case, the current either connects to earth BEFORE entering. Or it goes hunting destructively inside via appliances.

    This transient also has other unique features that distinguish it from a lesser 'line to neutral' transient. It is a current source. That means voltage increases as much as necessary (ie 8000 volts) so that the same current continues to flow. Line to neutral transients do not have that aggressively destructive nature.

    Protection is always about the earth ground system - always. Otherwise a "strike is re-directed through equipment".

    Either that transient is earthed before it enters the building. Or it goes hunting for appliances. Hunts for a best and destructive connection to earth. Increases voltage (ie 8,000 volts) to blow through that appliance if necessary. Nothing stops the destructive type of surge. 'Whole house' protection is the well proven solution to avert that damage.

    BTW, protection is defined by layers. The 'whole house' protector is only your *secondary* protection layer. Informed homeowners also inspect their *primary* protection layer. Each layer is only defined by its earth ground. A picture demonstrates what to inspect:
    Florida Power & Light and BellSouth

    BTW URLs for both Florida and Nebraska case studies were cited in the previous post #11.
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