Surge Protection?

Surge Protectors are pretty useless, at least down here.

You need to get at least a Voltage Regulator, also known as Line Conditioner. This will protect your equipment against brown outs, spikes, etc.APC 600 watt Voltage Regulator is good for just voltage regulation.

Better even, get a UPS with built in Voltage Regulation, check out the sinewave product.

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A UPS alone is also useless againt brownouts, you still need voltage regulation, as in the units i mentioned above.

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We've promoted surge protection for alarm systems for years but have had some recent discussions on exactly what should be protected on video systems. We've been pleased with some of the ditek products but are eager to explore any options that install easily and have shown good results.

Would appreciate your feedback on what's been working good for you.


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Stop grounding it! That's were lightning goes....why bring it to the equipment?

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Have had good sucess with Ditek products ground all my systems and have virtually no failures.

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Nick Markowitz

If you think a surge protector is going to stop or block what three miles of sky could not, well then, of course a surge protector is useless. Never saw an effective protector sold in Kmart, Staples, Circuit City, Sears, Radio Shack, Best Buy, or Walmart. So many inferior brands promote a scam on retail store shelves by telling half truths. Two components of a surge protection system are a surge protector AND surge protection. Yes, protection is a 'system'; not some box sold on retail store shelves. Some protection 'systems' don't even include a surge protector. A wire from the incoming utility to earth ground does same as a surge protector. But that other component

- earth ground - is essential for every protection 'system'. No short connection to earth ground means no effective protection. Plug-in UPSes forget to mention that.

Since they are not selling effective protection, those plug-in protector manufacturers sell their grossly overpriced protector with woefully too few joules. Then when the grossly undersized protector is destroyed by a transient, the naive human will assume, "the protector sacrificed iteself to save my ....". The naive human will then recommend that ineffective and grossly overpriced product to friends AND buy another.

Effective protectors 1) earth the transient (don't stop, block or absorb it) and 2) remain functional after the transient. Especially noted point two. A protector destroyed by the first transient was undersized causing a naive human to recommend the product.

Effective 'whole house' protectors have brand names of responsible manufacturers such as Intermatic, Square D, Cutler Hammer, Polyphaser, GE, Leviton, and Siemens. Names such as Belkin, APC, Tripplite, and Powermax sell ineffective and grossly overpriced protectors; and even forget to mention earthing.

A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground (such as with plug-in protectors) means no effective protection. Every incoming utility must connect to earth ground before entering a building - either by direct hardwire connection (meaning no protector is required), or via a 'whole house' protector (so that a connection to 'essential' single point earth ground is less than 10 feet long).

UPSes are only for blackouts and brownouts. 120 VAC electronics must work just fine at below 100 volts. That means a UPS will switch to battery backup generally at a voltage below 105. However that switchover takes time. Therefore electronics must specifically claim to keep operating even when power (at less than 100 volts) has been lost for at least 17 milliseconds. UPSes are for blackouts and for brownouts. But other numerical parameters apply.

Those plug-in UPSes are often called computer grade. A 120 volt output during battery backup could actually be 200 volt square waves with up to a 270 volt spike between those square waves. This 'modified sine wave' could be harmful to some small electric motors and other appliances. Computer grade UPS is designed only for powering items more robust such as computers. Just another consideration when using a plug-in UPS to power an alarm panel.

D> Surge Protectors are pretty useless, at least down here.

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Dont know where you live, but i live in the 3rd world with ancient electrical, and since 1996 through all the hurricanes, lightning storms, daily brownouts, spikes, almost daily power outages ... only thing that has protected me is the Voltage Regulator, and yes, its a Tripplite. I have all my camera systems on APC Voltage Regulators and for 5 years they have never been hit. Now if you can afford a whole house voltage regulator then go right ahead, but for installers and to warranty the product a plug in voltage regulator is recommended. A UPS is just recommended for battery back up for PCs.

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Somehow, I just feel this all should be put in the same category as:

Monster Cable is better than "regular" wire.

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From Mike Holt Today

Basics of Surge and Transient Protection ? Part 2

In this multipart series we will cover surge and transient protection for all types of signal, control and power lines. My goal is to help the reader understand the basic principles and be able to assess the capabilities of the types of protection available on the market today. One of the most important skills you should learn from this series is the ability to ask the right questions and evaluate the answers received.

In part 1 of this series we looked at the NEC requirements for surge arresters and transient voltage surge suppressors in particular articles

280 and 285. In this segment we will look at the nature of surges and their impact on equipment and systems.

The modern home or office will typically have several connections to power and communications services. These include the AC power, telephone and cable TV system. Residential broadband internet access is accomplished via the TV cable or a DSL telephone connection. Commercial internet connection is generally either T-1 or DSL. Any or all of these utility service connections can be a potential surge entrance. Surges can be due to a direct lightning strike to the utility network, an induced current, load switching, power factor capacitor switching and a direct lightning strike to the building among others.

Surges and transients are terms that are frequently used interchangeably to describe events of very short duration (significantly less than 1 cycle or 16.66milliseconds (mS)). Transient events are normally measured in microseconds or 1/1000 th mS. A long transient event would be one that lasted for a full millisecond. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Standard C62.41.1?-2002 is a guide that describes the surge voltage, surge current and temporary overvoltages in low voltage (up to 1000v AC rms) AC power circuits. The term, temporary overvoltage, is one that addresses a rise in voltage for a significant period of time from a few milliseconds to perhaps hours. A temporary overvoltage generally presents a threat to the facility that cannot be addressed through the use of Surge arresters or TVSSs.

Surges resulting from a lightning strike will generally have the highest potential current. Because the source of this current is the difference in potential between the sky and earth, this energy must be returned to the earth. For surges that are a result of load or capacitor switching the source is the power system itself and the energy must be returned to the power system. Externally generated surges are most likely to be common mode, that is, elevated voltages with reference to earth. A direct lightning strike to a single power line conductor near the facility would however generate a surge between the conductors or normal mode (meaning at right angles) surge. Surges due to switching and load variations are far more frequent than those due to lightning. These surges do not normally carry the power of surges due to lightning but they can cause a disruption of the proper operation of equipment.

There are three basic impacts that a surge can have on equipment or systems. These are:

? Immediate damage to the equipment or system that stops its proper operation until repairs are made. This applies to redundant systems because proper operation is defined as all redundancy available.

? Damage to the system is not immediately apparent but the system will eventually stop proper operation at some time in the future as a result of the surge.

? Circuit interruption. This is becoming increasingly common with the advent of smart equipment with microprocessor controls. Sometimes systems will restore themselves and other times human intervention is required such as a reboot of the system.

The goal of proper surge protection is to prevent all of these outcomes. A more likely experience is that we will prevent the first two and limit the third outcome. The reason for this is that surge protection will affect the normal function of power, control and communication lines and may actually cause the type three outcome.

In our next segments we will look at the basic operation of surge arresters and TVSSs and the individual components they employ. We will also consider the impact of inductance on suppression operations.

Ed Roberts

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Mike Sokoly

or a helmet is better than a cap ... after all I can trip and crack my skull open while walking down the street ... :-)

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I gotta laugh when people demand Monster Cable and want it installed for their 400$ (complete) audio system. Like the plumbing will make the water cleaner...hey that's it !! Monster Plumbing...we could make a fortune.

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Crash Gordon

Electricity does not change in third world countries. Five electrical problems are blackouts, brownouts, harmonics, noise, and surges. The plug-in UPS only addresses two: blackouts and brownouts.

For example, numbers cited by Mike Sokoly from C62.41 put surges in the microsecond category. That Cyberpower UPS connects a load directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. It specs 4 milliseconds to transfer to batteries. IOW 100 consecutive surges could have passed through adjacent electronics, causing damage, before the UPS disconnected from AC mains and connecting to battery power. Where is the protection from surges? The UPS forgets to mention that it does not protect from a type of surge that typically damages electronics.

Another missing spec that is probably overlooked is the expression "simulated sine wave". How simulated? Maybe just like the output describes in the earlier post: two 200 volt square waves with a spike between those square waves. They use the expression "simulated sine wave" so that the naive assume this is cleaner power. Why do we suspect otherwise? Notice the missing spec for Total Harmonic Distortion. Clean output power would be 2%. So instead, the Cyberpower UPS forgets to include that number.

Brownouts causing electronics damage are myths. Brownouts can be destructive to motors. But industry standards even 30 years ago demand that low voltage never cause electronic appliance damage. What happens when electronics are turned off? Power to transistors slowly falls to brownout voltages. If brownouts were destructive, then so is power off. Just another reason why power off is not destructive to electronics.

Again more facts. Even Intel standards demand that a computer work just fine when line voltage drops so low that incandescant light bulbs are at less than 40% intensity. Should voltage drop excessively, the computer must simply shutdown due to insufficient power. Those who repair computers know of the signal line in ATX power supplies that orders a shutdown due to low voltage - and without damage. Signal is called Power Good. Even properly constructed computers are not harmed by low voltage.

Electronics were not damaged for five years. That is proof that the UPS was effective? Well, destructive surges occur typically once every eight years - a number that varies significantly with location. Five years with no damage really proves nothing. Furthermore, all electronics already have some internal protection.

Cctvbashamas has c> Dont know where you live, but i live in the 3rd world with ancient

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Dude, I am not talking about Plug in UPS for brownout protection, read the original message. Noone is reading all that mumbo jumbo stuff you posted.

We are not electricians so we cant care less about whole house whatever, thats the electrical side ... Plug In VOLTAGE REGULATOR is all you need for power protection for electronics such as CCTV and Alarm, simple as that.

AND AGAIN, we have destructive Surges every day here in the 3rd world, take a vacation down here and you will see.

AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, when the power comes back on, that is when we get hit ..

Ive never grounded or earthed anything in my life and wont start,cause using my APC 600 watt Voltage Regulator there is never going to be a problem. Read again also, from 1996 until now ... Hmmm, thats .. work it out.

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But will you still receive/muzzle RF signals??

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Frank Olson

"Monster Protection"... Hey... sounds a whole lot better than "Alarm Farce"... errmmm... "Force"... :-))

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Frank Olson

As I pointed out previously, low voltage is not hardware destructive. Hardware protection means 'whole house' protector ... from something that typically occurs once every eight years.

Dude. Low voltage does not cause hardware damage. Your 'something that typically occurs once every eight years' is not noise that are mistaken for surges. Noise is made irrelevant by protection already inside the appliance. Protection that can be overwhelmed (typically once every eight years) if the 'whole house' protector is not installed.

Again, please read what I had posted as intensely as I read your posts. You are inventing problems that do not exist in your third world power. And you are ignoring problems that can be even more serious in third world power. Whereas 1st world nations need 'whole house' protectors; third world power needs them even more. That UPS does little to solve power problems that typically cause hardware damage. Voltage regulation is nice except that electronics must work just fine, without the external voltage regulation, even when incandescant lamps are at less than 40% intensity. That voltage regulation solves nothing except when power goes so low that electronics shutdown ... without damage.

When do you get hit? Often damage occurs when the power turns off. Same transient that causes power loss may also damage electr> Dude, I am not talking about Plug in UPS for brownout protection, read

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I dont use a UPS, never have. i use a VOLTAGE REGULATOR.

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Voltage Regulation keeps it at a safe level when the voltage comes back on after a blackout, or if too much power tries to come through, and doesnt give it power if it is too low like in a brownout. We have them several times a day here. I experience everything you can dream of related to power problems, every single day. Remember in the US you guys have great electrical while we are working on outdated second hand crap that was basically given away to our gov for free, which they cant keep working properly as they dont have the cash to buy new products. Without these simple $30 Voltage Regulators you can basically kiss your electronic & PC equipment goodbye down here.

APC Voltage Regulators Include:

Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) - Automatically steps up low voltage and steps down high voltage to levels that are suitable for your equipment.

Lightning and Surge Protection - To prevent damage to your equipment from power surges and spikes.

Resettable circuit breaker - Easy recovery from overloads; no need to replace a fuse.

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Idea that power turns on like water flowing down a channel is nothing more than speculation. When power comes on, with so many appliances and light bulbs to start, then power comes back very slowly. When does power get restored fastest (and therefore might deliver too much power)? When that one appliance is the only one turned on. Just one example of why power up is not destructive.

Meanwhile, appliance that lasts longer when power is applied slower also contain a device that was even found in 1950s televisions. The technology is that old and that standard. It is called an inrush current limiter. Just a second reason why no destructive inrush of power exists when power is restored.

An appliance that fails after a blackout was more likely damaged by the same transient that caused the blackout. The appliance was damaged when power was lost; not when power was restored. Power restoration is cited as a reason for damage when speculation replaces scientific reasoning.

Meanwhile, this well proven fact was demonstrated in 1930s GE and Westinghouse science papers. Earth ground is necessary for the AVR to provide effective lightning protection. However I too can put a knot in a wire and accurately claim that is lightning protection. A wire knot is more than zero protection. Therefore it is protection. But the knot is so close to zero protection as to be all but nonexistent protection.

You want more than near zero lightning protection. You want effective protection. No earth ground means no effective protection from lightning. An AVR without a dedicated and short connection to the building's earth ground cannot provide effective protection. At best, it would only provide lightning protection that already exists inside electronic appliances.

If the manufacturer claims protecti> Voltage Regulation keeps it at a safe level when the voltage comes back

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Look at specification numbers for that voltage regulator (AVR). How low will line voltage go and the voltage regulator still output 120 VAC? Does it claim to correct voltage as low as 105 Volts? Or does it claim to correct voltage as low as

95 volts? wrote:

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I have proven it here this summer, what i recommended works. End of story. Guys, add a $30 APC 600 watt Voltage Regulator "at the least", to your CCTV system.

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