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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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Touted as the first company to design and manufacture voltage-regulation products specifically for the audio industry, Juice Goose is now offering the RM series of power conditioners from Emerson. The 20-amp RM-120-10 centers its front panel around an LCD display for volts, amps, watts, volt-amps, frequency in hertz, power factor, kilowatt-hours, and time of day readouts. There are 10 outlets on the rear and two on the front, along with a covered master power switch and an array of indicators for power on, proper grounding, and surge-protection status. With 40,000 amps of surge protection and up to 60dB of AC line-noise filtration, the RM-120-10 delivers plentiful protection.

Sequenced power conditioning is offered by Lowell in its new ACSPR-SCS4-2009-RT2. This 1RU box packs a four-step power sequencer with surge suppression, alarm interface, and contact closures for remote power trigger control, along with nine AC outlets. With a choice between rocker and key switch control, the unit presents a simple interface in addition to a straight­forward green-and-red ladder up/down LED array designed to illustrate the unit’s functions in realtime. The delay time among the sequence steps is adjustable from .5 seconds to 10 seconds, and connections for the alarm interface, trigger, and remote switches are via plug-in barrier-strip terminal blocks. The device’s surge suppression is rated as GSA Grade A, Mode 1, Class 1 for endurance, and it meets ANSI C62.41 and UL 1449-2 compliance requirements, meaning this product can be installed in demanding projects with confidence.

Though the company is best known for installation racks and associated hardware, Middle Atlantic Products provides an extensive array of power systems designed for the home-theater market through its Exact Power division. For commercial applications, Middle Atlantic recently introduced two Multi-Mount rackable products: the PD-2015R-NS and the PD-2015R-HH-NS. The former is a nonswitchable unit while the latter employs a combination switch/breaker for the front AC outlets. Both models can be mounted either horizontally or vertically, and they feature three-plug orientations to accommodate various wall warts. A 4in. depth, coupled with a space-filling 20 outlets, means a single Multi-Mount can handle a tall rack packed with equipment. For further protection, the unit’s 9ft. main AC cable uses Middle Atlantic’s exclusive Signal Safe structure to minimize the effects of magnetic fields on nearby components. The Multi-Mounts are UL-listed and TIA/EIA-compliant, and they feature reversible rack ears for ease of installation in almost any situation.

In audio, the name Monster Cable Products is generally associated with premium cabling, but the company also offers a wide range of power conditioners under the Monster Power moniker—including the top model Pro 7000’s balanced power configuration. For more accessible control of the incoming AC, Monster has the Pro 3500 with a healthy dose of the firm’s technology provided for power conditioning. Based on Monster’s PowerCenter topology, the Pro 3500 is built using the company’s patented Clean Power filter circuit, sporting separate filtering domains between digital and analog outlets. The Clean Power circuit works in conjunction with surge and cross-component protection to improve the performance of connected audio and video devices. Convenience features include twin front-panel outlets, dimmable connection points for 12V LED lamps, and a full information display and diagnostics center.

Straight-ahead power distribution in a convenient package is the hallmark of the Numark RC-8. Its sliding, pivoting dual lamps are dimmable and useful for illuminating the racked items below. A large LED display shows incoming voltage, while a row of eight RFI/EMI filtered outlets populates the rear panel. Surge protection is handled by a quick-response clamping circuit, and a 15-amp circuit breaker stands guard as a protector of last resort.

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