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Technology Showcase: Power Conditioners

May 5, 2009 10:20 AM, By Kent Morris

New solutions offer better control of AC line noise, surges, spikes, and voltage fluctuations.

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Known for producing a plethora of media-system accessories, Belkin has addressed the need for power conditioning with its PureAV Home Theater Power Console PF60. Designed to look like a home-theater component, the sleek PF60 offers 13 programmable outlets running through an array of six isolated filters the company terms Phase 6 PureFilter that are engineered to prevent cross-contamination of noise among components. An automatic overvoltage protection circuit removes AC from connected equipment when it senses a dangerous level, but it continues to monitor the line and will restore power when the voltage returns to a safe range. The PF60’s front-panel display conveys input voltage and output current for each bank of outlets, whose switch and delay functions can be individually programmed.

As a pioneer in balanced power, Equi=Tech has espoused the benefits of dividing incoming voltage into ±60V relative to ground to create a high-voltage version of a balanced audio line. The company’s Model Q is a power conditioner able to garner the respect of world-class engineers and musicians alike. The Model Q boasts military-grade components and heavy-duty operational devices, such as its half-million-cycle switches. The Model Q is available in sizes ranging from 1kVA to 10kVA, with a minimum of 12 AC outlets including a front-panel GFCI-protected circuit for constant-need devices such as master clocks. Unique features such as a bifilar wound transformer and a typical 97 percent efficiency rating combine to produce an elegant solution for safe, clean power.

ETA Systems has just introduced its Hybrid Power Station (HPS) for use in mixed-component designs. The HPS provides power conditioning through an isolation transformer for digital gear and a second section with surge diversion and noise filtering for analog equipment. The digital portion supplies 5 amps, while the analog section can deliver either 10 amps or 15 amps, depending on the model— PDI-1800NA or PDI-2400NA, respectively. Built as a 2RU box, the HPS offers a direct solution to the need for protection of differing devices in an audio system.

When the need arises to protect and condition power amplifiers, most products are unable to deliver the reserve capacity needed for the transients amps face in the real world. Furman Sound, however, is now offering its Power Factor Technology (PFT) with the ability to provide 45 amps of instant reserve current in the P-1800 PF R power conditioner. The PFT system minimizes line impedance for connected high-drain devices such as powered loudspeakers by providing the backup power amps require. For high-gain instrument amps, Furman has added its Clear Tone Technology with additional noise filtering focused on the musical range of frequencies. The P-1800 PF R also features a dimmable front-panel voltage display, a Littlite-compatible BNC connection on the rear panel, wall-wart AC outlet spacing, and a front-panel USB charging station. Diagnostic status indicators grace the front panel, and the company’s Extreme Voltage Shutdown system detects and protects itself from out-of-range voltage problems.

For custom-design situations or when a unique approach is necessary to meet the spec, Interact Power has several viable options. The company specializes in both fully customized products designed to a specific goal and commercial off-the-shelf models with standard features and common options. For example, the company’s 51102 series is a 1RU rackmounted power distribution and conditioner available in 15-amp, 20-amp, and 30-amp versions. They come standard with EMI filtering and transient protection. The clear zinc front panel can be private labeled and colored, making it ideal for onsite advertisement at the front-of-house and switching positions.

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