Resist the Surge

Resist the Surge

Protecting AV Systems Through a Range of Innovative Features

A survey of current surge protection products provides a sort of crystal ball for what 2012 might offer in terms of innovations. Surge suppression may seem like a pretty straightforward category as far as features go, but the products detailed here display a surprising range in innovative qualities. Some of these include automatic features, remote access, multiple outlets, simplifications such as fewer buttons, intelligent communication between units, and methods to limit noise and other interference. So as we look forward to the new surge suppressor products that will be released in 2012, it’s safe to say manufacturers will continue to furnish the category with more creative and increasingly convenient w5ay0s% to protect AV systems from the varying threats power surges produce.

SurgeX Space Saver

The Space Saver line from SurgeX is designed to be a more efficient, space-conserving unit providing maximum protection. The two models in the line, the Compact Mount and the Vertical Mount, can be mounted with plugs facing up or down. Power distribution is organized at the back of the rack for easier access. The Compact Mount can mount anywhere and is available with two, 18, or 24 outlets. The Vertical Mount features a fixed bracket and hinge to open and close as needed, as well as eight grounded AC outlets, two of which always remain on.

Juice Goose RX Series

RX Series products clean up both common mode and normal mode noise without contaminating the ground. This reduces ground line surges to less than 0.5 volts, while limiting normal mode surges to fewer than 10 volts. Also, RX Series products feature patented circuitry, which protects from over voltages and in-wall wiring faults.

Middle Atlantic RackLink

The RackLink suite of products maintain AV system reliability through automatic actions, including reboot, turning on emergency fans, shutting down equipment in overload or over-temperature conditions, and proactive power management. These features include input voltage and temperature monitoring, as well as user-defined threshold monitoring, and logging and issuing email alerts if monitored values breach thresholds. The RackLink system can be managed locally or remotely by a standard browser-based user interface that integrates with control systems via an openarchitecture API. Free mobile apps are available for iOS and Android operating systems.

Lowell Surge Suppression Line

Surge suppressors from Lowell have been expanded to include 20-amp and 30-amp hardwired options. Each model is ETL listed and conform to the latest UL standards. The COMPAC units measure nine inches by six inches by 1.75 inches, and terminate to a six-foot (non-metallic) flexible whip. The 20-amp COMP AC has a duplex outlet on a rotating plate that can be flipped to reorient the outlets without removing a mounted unit. The 30-amp COMP AC features one outlet that can be used as or converted to hardwired output. Both versions are available with standard or insulated ground outlets and include universal mounting brackets.

Furman CN-1800S, CN-2400S

The CN-1800S and CN- 2400S are the first products to feature Furman’s SmartSequencing technology, which allows large and complex AV systems to be powered on and off by just pressing one button or turning a key. Engineered specifically for commercial AV installers, the CN-1800S, with 15-amp capacity, and the CN-2400S, with 20-amp capacity, combine AC power distribution, protection, filtration, and sequential system power on/off in 1RU, 120 VAC rack-mount units. With the SmartSequencing’s bidirectional communication between installed units, the primary unit can control and sequence multiple secondary units. Both devices feature eight rear-panel outlets—in addition to one front-panel convenience outlet— in four duplex outlet banks, with three of the banks capable of being sequenced on and off with an adjustable delay.

APC Audio-Video Surge Protector

Designed to protect surround sound systems and video components from power surges and spikes, the APC Audio-Video Surge Protectors feature AC and video line surge protection while complying with UL 1449 second edition standards. The power-saving P8VNTG model offers master/controlled outlets that can automatically cut power to unused equipment. There are four models in the line: the P4V and P6V walltap units that avoid cord clutter; the P8V, featuring eight surge-protected outlets on the top of the unit; and the P8VNTG, offering illuminated outlets and SmartShedding technology, which allows a master outlet to sense when a computer has been turned off or gone into sleep mode, allowing the unit to shut off power to unused devices.

Tripp Lite IBAR12

Tripp Lite’s IBAR12 offers network-grade surge and noise suppression in an allmetal, multi-mount cabinet. Detachable mounting flanges are configurable for rack-mount, wall-mount, and under-counter installation. IBAR12 uses only one rack space when installed in any 19 inch EIA standard rack. Features include network grade AC surge suppression with EMI/ RFI noise filtering. Outlets are arranged in isolated filter banks to limit noise interaction among connected items. Tripp Lite’s Isobar technology provides these filter banks, which deliver an extra measure of line noise filtering for equipment connected to the same surge suppressor. The unit includes 12 outlets (two front/10 rear), a 15-foot AC power cord, and a guarded power switch to reduce the risk of accidental shutoff.

Lindsey M. Adler is an audiovisual storyteller based in New York.