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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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High-end home-theater systems require extensive power protection. For this, Panamax offers the Max 7500-Pro. The 7500-Pro contains a 720VA isolation transformer designed to deliver proper power to digital displays and their source drivers. It features a mechanically oriented ground-loop isolator, and it is IP-addressable for use in automation systems as well as to provide remote diagnostics capability. Automatic voltage monitoring, voltage regulation, and balanced power round out the performance aspects and complement features such as autodimming meters and DC trigger inputs and outputs. There are 11 outlets: six switched, two high-current, one front-panel, and two continuous.

Phonic brings the rackmounted PPC8000 to the market with an eye toward uncluttered lines. Its front panel is populated with twin pull-out lighting tubes, a dimmer pot and on/off switch, an unswitched outlet, an illuminated power control, and a resettable circuit breaker. For the rear, there are eight AC outlets grouped into four pairs. Conditioning and protection consists of a triple-mode varistor along with RFI and EMI filtering.

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PS Audio has introduced what it claims is the world’s first no-setup network-addressable power conditioner: the Power Play 8000. With three zones of control, the product allows control of any connected device from any Internet appliance. The Power Play 8000 does not require a static IP address, and it can respond to any web-enabled device thanks to the industry’s first use of a cloud computing structure. Remote restart is a given via the 10 filtered outlets, in addition to power up/down and status indication. A logical graphical calendar is used to schedule power times, and the built-in autoreboot function means it can monitor the Internet connection and restart the connected modem or router when the connection fails. Spike protection, surge suppression, and over/under voltage control are included, as are common-mode and differential-mode AC cleaning.

The latest power product from Raxxess is the PD-800VM, a rackmounted conditioner with an LED voltage display, a pair of dimmable tube extension lamps, and a front-panel unswitched outlet. It provides an extended 12ft. main lines cable, a front-mounted circuit breaker, spike and surge protection, and RFI/EMI filtering. The rear has unevenly spaced outlets to accommodate various plugs. The entire unit is wrapped in steel with a powder-coated, cold-rolled faceplate.

Richard Gray’s Power Company (RGPC) products highlight its patented parallel-power delivery system with its control over delivered current and elimination of devices between the power source and connected equipment. The RGPC 600 RM Pro is a 2RU product with six outlets on the rear plus a front outlet. It is designed to power a typical midsize home theater and improve its performance. Twin banks of triggered low-voltage outlets allow for power switching, while the included TV Guard extends protection to the coax cable.

Though it’s not as visually appealing as other conditioners in the lineup, the Rotel RLC-900 delivers plenty of power and protection. With a rear panel divided into zones by types of connected component, the RLC-900 can sequentially power a system correctly without the need for elaborate external measures. Considerable thought has been given to appropriate filtering and isolation, making the RLC-900 a contender—even among its more attractive brethren.

Samson Technologies’ PowerBrite PB15 Pro brings cool-touch, long-life LED lamps to the table along with surge protection, peak-voltage-spike clamping, and RFI/EMI filtering. The PB15 also features rear-rack lighting through its built-in and adjustable LED gooseneck lamp. Nine outlets, eight rear and one front, are available up to a maximum of 15 amps.

SurgeX has a solid reputation for power protection, and its SX1115-RT continues the theme by employing the company’s patented Series Mode technology—which is designed to withstand multiple surges and do so without ground contamination. The SX1115-RT is a 15-amp, 1RU system capable of remote control in larger power distribution schemes. Its switched outlets can be controlled either through low voltage or contact closure, and it can also be interfaced with the SurgeX SEQ sequential controller. Protection includes impendence-tolerant EMI/RFI filtering, Inrush Current Elimination (ICE), and Catastrophic Over/Under Voltage Shutdown (COUVS)—out-of-range voltage self-removal.

Tripp Lite’s rackmountable LCR2400 adjusts to varying line-voltage swings to provide a steady supply of useable power. In fact, the LCR2400 can provide 120V from a low of 89V to a high of 147V. As a full 20-amp model, it has the ability to control a midsize system on its own, and it features seven diagnostic LEDs for status indication and a full complement of surge- and spike-protection circuits.

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