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Surge Protectors

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by riverrun, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. riverrun

    riverrun
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    I would like to fit a lightning/surge protector somewhere in the mains supply to my audio equipment. At present I'm using a standard APC 4-way extension lead which, I'm told, in common with other series devices (i.e. something that the current has to pass through):
    "is very good at sensing spikes and removing them, however, they have a very negative effect on sound because they increase the impedance causing poor performance as equipment will struggle to draw the power it needs, when it needs it."
    The preferable alternative seems to be a device which works in parallel, and which therefore doesn't interrupt the current supply. Can anyone recommend a realistically-priced (under £100) and reliable surge-protector of this sort, or perhaps a DIY alternative?
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Get one of the top range Belkin surgemasters. They've got surge protection, RFI attenuation and are well made.

    I've got one and it's great, the PureAV are the best and are available from eBuyer at about £60 for an 8-gang block. I've got a 7-gang block from the range below which I bought from Amazon for about £33.
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    A good lightning and overvoltage protection requires a 3-stage protection:
    Stage 1 (lightning) and 2 (overvoltage) are usually installed in the mains or sub distribution and stage 3 near the equipment.
    Before you needed an isolation between stage 1 and 2 which was typically achieved by distance or inductors, but nowadays you can put them side by side. Stage 1 will take care of high current/high voltage (>1.5kV) induced into the supply and stage 2 will take care of voltages below that(<1.5kV) which are exceeding the standard mains supply required.
    In any case you need a grounding system, usually it is available at or near the mains distribution. For installation consult a qualified electrician.

    The 3rd stage, the equipment protection, is another overvoltage protection (takes care of anything that made it through stage 2) like those built into the x-gang blocks that were mentioned or modules that fit between the AC socket and the plug. Normally you can "install" those by yourself.

    A 3rd stage without stage 1 & 2 will not be efficient, at least if you have a lightning strike it will most likely not be able to sufficiently protect your equipment, the current and voltage is just too high.
    Even with a 1st and 2nd stage no-one can guarantee a 100% protection, but it can lower the risk significantly.

    I have used the following devices for installation at telecom sites that we implement here in Taiwan: Phoenix Contact Trabtech series
    The stuff isn't cheap and you have to weight the cost of replacing your equipment or the hassle with the insurance (if covered in your policy) against it.
    In particular if you build a new house I highly recommend to plan and install such devices (also available from other companies) as it will only be a fraction of the total cost.
     
  4. riverrun

    riverrun
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    Any information/advice about the specific question of sound degradation by series devices and the benefits of parallel devices (if indeed this is the case) would be more than welcome.
     
  5. Swifttech

    Swifttech
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    i have a Russ Andrews Silencer. it protects your equipment from mains spikes and surges and filters mains noise. you will hear an improvment in sound. i guarantee you will not be disapointed with it.
     
  6. riverrun

    riverrun
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    I think you would have to spend another £100 for a Silencer with MegaClamp to give even the level of protection a standard extension block surge protector provides. At least that's what I understand from this quote from a Russ Andrews Sales Adviser:

    "The SuperClamps [with which the Silencer is fitted, a £6 option on most of RA's products] are designed to deal with everyday spike and surge activity on the mains mainly caused by household appliances and sources outside of your house, such as your neighbours appliances or from large electrical units around industrial parks and factories. There not really designed to protect your system from 'direct' lightening strikes. The MegaClamp is a far more powerful device than can cope with the massive voltages and current that lightening can cause, although we do not guarantee total protection and you should always unplug your system completely during an electrical storm."

    Although I'm sure it's just what I need, I would like to find a realistically priced alternative. Or to put it another way, how can I make one?
     
  7. riverrun

    riverrun
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    Anyone?
     
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As already suggested by eviljohn2 I think you should take a look at the Belkin PureAV surge protected sockets. I have one on my system and think it has helped to improve both sound & picture quality.
    As stated they cost from around £60 from www.ebuyer.co.uk just do a search for product code F9G823uk3M

    Mark.
     
  9. riverrun

    riverrun
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    I did follow up Eviljohn's suggestion but the Belkin uses MOV, a series system, as far as I can tell, which degrades sound.
     

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