The burning smell during a brownout.
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fredpb

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I have posted my opinions about specialty power "conditioners" before. The expensive "audio kind". I have always believed they were just too expensive and more hype than help.

I use BRICKWALL brand Series Mode surge suppressors in addition to MOV devices for surge suppression.

But a few days ago one phase (one of two in most homes) went out in my condo. It started as a brownout, lasted a few moments, then that phase of power went out. Half my condo was dark. It was fixed 3 hours later by the power company.

When I realized what was happening, I ran to my living room and switched off my main system, A/C, water heater, then ran back into the bedroom to switch off my audio and video systems there.

One casualty. My VCR in my bedroom fried. Bummer. I was lucky. It could have been one of my main system components.

Now I add one more component to my main system, and to the others as I can afford it. True "Line Conditioners". No, not the $500 pretty audio ones, a real one. Ended up with a Tripplite LC2400 2400watt Line Conditioner.

1) Surge Suppression
2) Banks of outlets are filtered from each other.
3) AC REGULATION. It's not a super expensive type, but it is a sinusoidel output device that basically uses a few transformer taps switched in and out to regulate the output voltage to protect again surges (overvoltage) and slumps/brownouts.

I will use it in conjuction with my Brickwall.

Best thing, the price, it's under $200. Got it at PROVANTAGE.com .

APC also makes one that's 1200w at under $100.

I could not find anything that would disconnect devices from power if they sensed a brownout, and LEAVE them disconnected until manually reset.

"Audio" brands were much more expensive, and did not regulate power until they were really pricy. Of course, I have no flowery words to describe the "improvement" to my system
.
 
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jerikl

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I've really been thinking about connecting my equipment to better stuff, but am not sure what to get. The power isn't great here at all, but I've never had a problem with any of my equipment frying due to power related concerns. Also, I should be moving into a newly built house within the next month or so, so hopefully bad wiring will not be any concern.

So, I'm wondering... what are the benefits of going with something like a Tripplite voltage regulator that fredpb just discussed over a Tripplite surge suppressor like the Isobar series?

With the voltage regulator, I understand that it is basically keeping the voltage stable. This obviously protects against surges/sags/etc. But, what happens if the voltage falls out of the protected range offered by the regulators?

With the surge suppressors, I'm assuming that they only protect against surges? What happens if the voltage falls too low?

I'm also open to any other brands of equipment - just giving an example.
 
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andrzejpw

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Reminds me what happened to some people we know. . . went away on vacation, and left all of their stuff connected. Home theater, tv, etc.

Came back 2 weeks later, EVERYTHING fried.


Use protection!
 
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fredpb

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jerikl:

This was my original problem. I wanted something that would disconnect my systems from the ac power during a low voltage or power outage.....and leave them off until I manually reset them.


Such a device is easily made from components from Home Depot and Radio Shack. The only thing is the case and sockets and heavy ac carrying stuff. That is why I did not make one myself. I don't have the facilities.

Well, Panamax says it does make one, and it's on Audio Advisor for $300. It disconnects during long low power situations. But what powers this device? Even it is subject to power problems.

My solution to spikes was many MOV devices (surge suppressors) in my house. My main system also uses a Brickwall Series mode unit. But The Tripplite will handle overvoltages and slumps in voltage.

I was listening to music last night, and thought maybe I should not have spent the money on the regulator. During that time, another brownout occurred! Glad I got it now. Happens alot in my condo.

But I had a brainstorm. I have two expensive MOV good surge suppressor units that have one outlet that is current sensitive, and anything that is turned on in this outlet turns the strip on and off!!! All I need is a device that will go off during a power outage and stay off and plug it into this strip connection!!! Now one of these does not handle heavy current ac. So no problem making this device. A box, some wires, a 125vac relay, and a momentary switch. Voila!

But as far as commerically available units goes. There is nothing in a reasonable price range to disconnect your power to equipment if a bad brownout out of the range of the regulator occurs. I have had many many brownouts every month, but only one (the last major one) that was really bad and took out one phase of power. I have been here 18 years.

I eventually will stick a regulator on my bedroom system (audio), but that's only when I have the extra $$$$, which will be quite a while.


And a good MOV unit will have at least 1000 joules of capacity.
Buying one for $10 and 170 joules will just give you, well, almost no protection.
 
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aeberbach

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I recently built a pair of 300B monoblock amps. They sounded terrible on apartment power. I plugged them into the UPS that I use for the PC (1400 OptiUPS) and the difference is amazing. Curious, I looked at the power with an oscilloscope. The difference there was also amazing. 7V difference, and a much cleaner sine wave out of the UPS. It might be the most dramatic improvement you can make to a system unless your power is already clean, certainly more than changing interconnects.
 
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jerikl

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Fredpb,

So are you saying that the Tripplite Isobar's will do the job? The 6 outlet version has 2350 joules of protection. $50,000 warranty on equipment, plus lifetime warranty on the actual Isobar itself. Will it do anything to hurt the sound significantly, or is this just something I'm going to have to find out for myself?
 
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fredpb

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Quote:

Originally posted by jerikl
Fredpb,

So are you saying that the Tripplite Isobar's will do the job? The 6 outlet version has 2350 joules of protection. $50,000 warranty on equipment, plus lifetime warranty on the actual Isobar itself. Will it do anything to hurt the sound significantly, or is this just something I'm going to have to find out for myself?



My manual that came with the LC2400 said 1400joules of protection. I have only just installed mine today, as it came today....pretty fast delivery.

I listened a bit. No difference in sound to me. It is a surge suppressor(spikes) and voltage regulator. Nothing but a big transformer. It's not going to do much magic for sound, but I don't have it for that, I have it for protection.

The only thing power wise that I THOUGHT I heard an improvement with was my Brickwall Series Mode Surge Suppressor, which acts like a great filter.

I do "believe" in power conditioning, but not fancy power cords.
Give your equipment clean, consistant power, and it will make you happy.
 
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fredpb

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Had my first nasty thunderstorm since I put in regulator. For the second time, one phase of my house power went out, or went down.

The thunder and the beep on my UPS for my Tivo in the living room system woke me up from a nap (ok, I fell asleep listening to music). I got up and turned off my amps. Same crud as before, living room lights on, but main system power down. I was still sleepy eyed, but it took a few seconds to come back on once power came back up. I think the Tripplite may disconnect power when it's not suitable. That's nice.

A town just north of me blew out one of it's power distribution stations a few weeks ago. Since then, power has been really bad.

You know, no one wants power stations near them, but we need them now. This is going to have to change.
 
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