Technology Showcase: Power Conditioners
Oct 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles
The wide spectrum of devices goes beyond controlling voltage fluctuations and removing noise.
Rated to provide a continuous output of 1000W, the H10 power conditioner from APC (American Power Conversion) uses isolated noise-filter banks and automatic voltage regulation (AVR). Surge protection is provided for the unit's input current. This protection extends to coax connectors for DSS, Cat-5 boxes, or a cable modem. Telephone-line connections are also shielded by surge protection. The H10 also incorporates isolated noise-filter banks to eliminate electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference that could affect audio and video quality. DC-trigger jacks allow connection of a component to act as a DC trigger in activating delayed outlet banks, and that DC control can pass through to another component as well. To avoid voltage transients during power up and power down, a sequencer can introduce a delay of 0 seconds to 12 seconds between the powering of connected components and turn them on and off in the proper preset order. The front panel includes indicators for proper power wiring, input voltage level, filtering status, unit power, delayed-on status, and line-boost status and line trim to show voltage regulator activity. It also includes a push button to adjust the range of the AVR and to set delay time.
For home AV systems, the Belkin PureAV PF30 home-theater power console uses Multiphase PureFilter circuitry to isolate audio and video components. It also provides advanced overvoltage protection to automatically disconnect power from equipment when voltage levels rise to unacceptable levels. It then restores power when voltage returns to safe levels. The front panel includes a multifunction LED display that combines all the essential controls with a voltage and current monitor. The PF30 also protects equipment connected to its coaxial terminals. Audio and video filters are used with a high-current filter to clean power for high-load devices such as power amplifiers, and the unit has a 15-amp circuit breaker. The high-current connection also has a delay feature to avoid large voltage fluctuations during power up and power down sequences. This allows the power amplifier to be automatically turned on last and turn off first to avoid those big thumps being sent through the loudspeakers. The video filter is always on while the audio filter is switched. The PF30 may be operated as a standalone chassis or rackmounted.
The BC6000 power-line filter/conditioner from Blue Circle Audio has a total of 157 different frequency filters with triple parallel wiring in each to prevent noise in connected components. These filters have been selected and installed in a specific combination to form a string of filters covering a frequency range from 120Hz to more than 50GHz. The entire filter network is submerged in a silicone bath to eliminate mechanical vibration. There are double wire runs to each of the three 20-amp duplex hospital-grade AC outlets. For the unit's power input, there is a standard 20-amp Neutrik Powercon twist connector and BC62 premium power cord for an assured connection; the unit may be rackmounted or carried in standalone fashion for field use. The standard unit has six duplex AC outlets, but versions with 12 and 14 outlets are available. On these, the first six outlets are 20-amp and the rest are 15-amp. Also available is a stainless-steel faceplate or a rackmount faceplate, a stainless-steel cover, a rackmount kit, and a standard EIC 15-amp power inlet for use with customer-selected cabling. The maximum power-handling capacity is 1400W.
The Son of Q balanced power system from Equi=Tech is aimed primarily at the home theater or project recording studios. It offers switched power outlets along with an unswitched outlet on the back panel. Six white color-coded outlets on the back are for analog equipment, and four gray-coded outlets are for powering digital gear. A rear-mounted circuit breaker offers overload protection. The Son of Q comes in three sizes. The original model has a 1500W capacity, and the Son of Q Junior is available in a 1000W capacity. Both of these can connect to any 15-amp, 120V wall outlet. The Son of Q Senior has a 2000W capacity and requires a 20-amp power outlet. Each unit is available with an anodized aluminum front panel in either black or silver, and they all incorporate LED indicators for input and output power. The input power indicator also shows when there is active surge protection when lit. Standard features on all models include bifilar-wound transformers, magnetic and Faraday shielding, redundant surge protection, and completely passive circuitry. All units are tested to meet ANSI/UL Standard #1012 for Class A power distribution equipment.
Composed of five models, the Series II line of 20-amp power conditioners from Furman Sound offer Series Multi-Stage Protection Plus (SMP+), a proprietary surge-suppression and noise-filtration system that is composed of three technologies used in concert: linear filtering, series multistage protection, and extreme-voltage shutdown. The linear filtering avoids leakage to ground that causes ground contamination and noise; series multistage protection involves no sacrificed components due to voltage surges. Extreme-voltage shutdown powers down all components safely and quickly in the event of a significant voltage spike. All models also offer a rear-mounted BNC connector for small lamps and a front-panel power outlet in addition to the eight rear-panel outlets. The front-panel power switch is protected by a hinged cap to prevent accidental cut-off. The PL Pro II also features a front-panel LED ladder voltage-level indicator, and all models except the P-8 Pro II base model offer two retractable front-panel long-life, low-heat LED lights with a dimmer control. The PL-PRO D II provides numeric voltage readout, and the PM-PRO II adds a numerical current meter to the front-panel voltage meter.
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