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Which devices should be on a UPS?

All devices with spinning hard drives – computers, music servers, home automation systems, etc should be on a UPS. Power outages can cause the hard drive head to ‘crash’ onto the platter and damage the disk. If you use a digital audio workstation (DAW), a UPS will allow you to save your work and shut […]

What is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS)?

A UPS is a device that provides battery power to connected electronics in the event of a power outage. There are three different types of UPS systems: standby, line interactive and online ‘dual conversion’. Pros: UPS systems are the only solution that can protect your projector  or hard drive equipped electronics in the event of […]

What is an isolation transformer?

Isolation transformers are oversized, specially designed versions of the transformers found in linear power supplies. They are called isolation transformers because there is no direct electrical connection through an isolation transformer (excepting safety ground). Incoming electrical energy is converted to magnetic energy and then back to electrical energy. Well designed isolation transformers have a large […]

What is a passive power conditioner?

A passive device is anything that doesn’t contain any powered electronic circuitry. Examples of passive devices include isolation transformers, surge protectors and resistor-inductor-capacitor (RLC) type conditioners. Power re-generators and UPS systems are active devices. Resistor-inductor-capacitor (RLC) devices represent the vast majority of ‘audiophile’ power conditioners on the market. The simplest devices forgo any resistors or […]

What is series mode surge protection?

Series mode surge protectors use a large, carefully designed inductor in the hot or live circuit and other circuitry to roll off high frequency / high rate of change transients. The technology was developed and patented by Jack Hartford of ZeroSurge and is licensed by a small number of other companies who know what they […]

What shunt mode surge protection?

Shunt mode surge protectors are typically based on circuits that contain metal oxide varistor (MOVs) which, under normal operating voltages, act as an open circuit and allow no current to flow through them. The MOVs will start to conduct should the voltage level rise above the clamping voltage of the MOVs (i.e. a surge condition), […]

What is a whole house surge protector?

A whole house surge protector is a device connected at your service panel that provides protection from ‘big’ surges such as lightning strikes. Most residential houses are supplied with two 120V legs and so a whole house surge suppressor designed for such an installation would typically have ‘four mode’ protection: live 1-neutral, live 1-ground, live […]

What is a surge protector?

Simply put, a surge protective device (SPD) is a device designed to protect against damaging and dangerous short, high voltage transients that are created by devices outside or inside the home or studio. There are many different protection mechanisms that are used in surge protectors. The principal ones being voltage breakdown (e.g. gas discharge, voltage […]