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Computer History Museum Completes 21st Century Makeover

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, simply has no room for failure. That's why the exhibit technology team at Bowen Technovation chose Furman's P-8 PRO II and AC-215A power conditioners to protect sensitive components in the museum's control room equipment racks and to ensure optimal performance from flat-panel displays, touch screens, and projectors throughout the museum's multimedia exhibits.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum is home to one of the world's largest international collections of computing artifacts. In January, the museum completed its "21st century makeover." The two-year $19 million project includes a newly renovated building, the centerpiece of which is the exhibit "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing." The new exhibit includes 100 multimedia stations incorporating flat-panel displays, touch screens, and projectors. In addition, the museum's control room features 12 44U equipment racks housing a wide range of components, from media players and computers to amplifiers and Cat 5 extenders.

"Power protection was vital to this installation. This is a very high-profile museum in a high-tech location, so equipment failure or poor performance is not an option. In addition, as the museum is located in California, rolling brownouts and blackouts are a concern," said Brian Norris, designer for Bowen Technovation, an Indianapolis-based provider of AV, lighting, control, and production solutions. "To protect the equipment from damaging power irregularities while enhancing audio and video performance for visitors, we chose two different Furman products. For the equipment racks, we utilized 22 P-8 PRO II power conditioners, and 110 AC-215A compact power conditioners are protecting equipment in the exhibit spaces."

The 20A P-8 PRO II power conditioner offers eight rear-panel outlets and one front-panel outlet, zero ground contamination circuitry for the delivery of pure AC, and a BNC connector on the rear panel for the connection of any standard gooseneck lamp. The unit features Furman's proprietary Series Multi-Stage Protection (SMP) for comprehensive, non-sacrificial surge/spike protection; Linear Filtering Technology (LiFT) to reduce AC line noise; and Extreme Voltage Shutdown (EVS) to protect equipment from dangerous extreme voltage conditions.

The AC-215A comes in a compact 1.75-inch by 5-inch by 8.5-inch design and weighs only three pounds. The unit's low-profile design makes it ideal for mounting to the back of a flat-screen television, or anywhere that discretely located remote power protection and purification are needed. In addition to SMP and LiFT, the AC-215A features Auto-Reset EVS circuitry to detect dangerous voltage irregularities and safely power down itself and connected equipment in unsafe conditions.

"Although this installation was in a newer building with an upgraded electrical system, you never want to take a chance on power protection," added Norris. "We chose Furman solutions because of our past experiences with their products, and we knew that we could count on their rock-solid designs. Furman has again met all of our expectations and provided flawless performance for our client."

computerhistory.org