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Custom Digital specializes in providing components and Professional Installations for Home Theater Systems, Whole Home Audio / Video Systems, Structured Cabling and more.

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Power Conditioners / Back Up Power Supplies

Spending money to protect equipment from voltage surges is somewhat easily accepted by many system owners, yet spending money simply to clean those external inputs feeding your home theater gear is hardly understandable.

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **To appreciate the benefits associated with the use of power conditioners and line protection devices, one must first have an understanding of what constitutes the real problem.

AC Power

The AC power that flows into our homes - to feed sensitive and expensive electronic gear, is dirty and dangerous. Surely, it is fine for lamps, drills, heaters, etc, but not for your home theater, audio and video systems.

Anything that shares your power line back to the power company's main junction, industrial equipment, streetlights, transformers, elevators, and even a neighbor's home appliance - will distort the AC waveform and pollute the AC supply.

In addition, power spikes on the AC line as a result of power usage patterns around the neighborhood, will have a damaging effect on audio and video gear.

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Radio Frequency Interference:

Added to all this is even more distortion as a result of radio frequency interference caused by home appliances, nearby industrial equipment, and radio and TV stations. Every copper line in your house can act like an antenna, picking up radio and TV signals from the air and adding them to the AC line current. Seen on a laboratory oscilloscope, the AC line current would appear clogged with noise and electronic pollution that degrades audio and video gear used in home entertainment systems.

An initial attempt to solve the problem:

In an attempt to minimize the voltage fluctuations as a result of in-house electrical appliances, many home ** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **theater enthusiasts install separate power lines from their mains consumer unit/circuit breaker panel, to drive sensitive entertainment equipment. This helps keep large current-drawing items like furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. from stealing power from your electronics.

Maximize Quality

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Still, it will not prevent power line distortions from coming into the house - nor will it block noise from motors, switches, etc, within the home. Even more so, it will not provide the required protection against dangerous power surges on the AC line.

The best way to stop power surges and power distortions is to make use of appropriate power conditioners and line protection gear designed specifically to meet the needs and power demands of your audio and video systems.

Voltage Surges and Lightning Strikes:

AC power is not the only source of high voltage surges. Anything that connects your gear with the outside world can carry surges into your system.

In particular, lightning strikes hitting overhead power cables, cable TV, satellite and outdoor TV antennas, and telephone lines, can result in dangerous surges down the interconnecting cables - both through a direct hit or through induced current - that will surely spell disaster in an instant.

There is more when it comes to over-voltages...

The devastating effects of a voltage spike or surge depend mainly on:

Peak voltage reached during the surge .

Energy level contained within the surge.

The duration of the over-voltage - typically this may last up to a few milliseconds.

Rise-time, i.e. the time it takes for the surge voltage to reach its peak.

Engineers usually divide brief but extremely dangerous over-voltages in two main categories:

Spikes or transients where the surge duration is a maximum of up to one microsecond (one millionth of a second), and...

Surges when the duration lasts for up to a few milliseconds (one millisecond is equal to one thousandth of a second).

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Mail comments or questions to info@customdigitalinc.com Copyright 2006 Custom Digital Inc. Last modified: 01/17/07