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Author Topic: Surge protector problems  (Read 5945 times)

Scooterbob

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Surge protector problems
« on: March 06, 2009, 03:54:38 PM »

  I am having problems with my CM15A system working properly with a Dynex surge protector power strip.  All works well within the home, except for the study were the computer is located.  I recently bought a new computer (Vista) and upgraded to Active Home Pro--CM15A.  I have a "plug in" phase coupler which worked well with the old Active Home version.  When the surge suppressor power strip is on--plugged into a 10x wall outlet, I can not control the lights in the room with the hand held remotes.  Power strip off, all is well.  The computer, LCD monitor, cable and wireless modems are all on the power strip.  This is a Dynex DX-S114221 rated at 1800 joules and has EMI/RFI filtering----how much ???   I have unplugged everything from the Dynex but left it plugged into the wall outlet---same problem.  When it's "on" can't control the room lighting, "off" everything works.  The 5 amp "plug in" noise filter will be "iffy" given the equipment--300 watt computer--monitor rated at 1.5 amps etc.  Would buying a better quality power strip do it?  I have a whole house surge protector wired in at the main, could I get by with just a regular power strip?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
                                                                     Thanks-----
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Brian H

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Re: Surge protector problems
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 04:14:33 PM »

Many of the better Surge Strips have a great power line noise filter in them.
Problem is X10 Signals look like power line noise and get absorbed.
You may want to try an X10 type power line filter and put your strip on the filterted output.
I have seen 5; 10 and 15 amp plug in X10 filters so you should be able to find one heavy enough.
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Scooterbob

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Re: Surge protector problems
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 07:25:55 PM »

Thanks for the suggestion.  I was under the impression the 10X filter came in a 5 amp plug in only.  I found the 10 amp plug in filter on-line.  Next question--I would be plugging the surge suppressor power strip into the 10 amp noise filter, which will plug into a SR227 appliance module (wall outlet).  Do you think there will be any conflicts?  I also thought I read one post that said plugging a surge suppressor into a noise filter or other device would cancel out any warranty for damage due to a power surge. Anyone have any more information on this?
                                 Thanks again---
                                                         
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Brian H

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Re: Surge protector problems
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 03:50:27 PM »

Yes I have also seen things on not using a surge strip on the outlet of a filter. I don't have much data to add on this and hope others that have had a similar situation will chime in.

I have my APC BX1000 UPS on a filter as its input filtering kills X10 and Insteon signals. They also warn not to use a filter on the AC Input. So I guess my safety warranty is also in question.  ::)
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BVD

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Re: Surge protector problems
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2009, 10:26:44 AM »

  I am having problems with my CM15A system working properly with a Dynex surge protector power strip.  All works well within the home, except for the study were the computer is located.  I recently bought a new computer (Vista) and upgraded to Active Home Pro--CM15A.  I have a "plug in" phase coupler which worked well with the old Active Home version.  When the surge suppressor power strip is on--plugged into a 10x wall outlet, I can not control the lights in the room with the hand held remotes.  Power strip off, all is well.  The computer, LCD monitor, cable and wireless modems are all on the power strip.  This is a Dynex DX-S114221 rated at 1800 joules and has EMI/RFI filtering----how much ???   I have unplugged everything from the Dynex but left it plugged into the wall outlet---same problem.  When it's "on" can't control the room lighting, "off" everything works.  The 5 amp "plug in" noise filter will be "iffy" given the equipment--300 watt computer--monitor rated at 1.5 amps etc.  Would buying a better quality power strip do it?  I have a whole house surge protector wired in at the main, could I get by with just a regular power strip?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
                                                                     Thanks-----
Well ScooterBob here are a few things for you to think about.
1. You have a whole house surge suppressor wired in at the main. This will protect your house wiring and appliances from surges generated on the power lines coming into your house from the power company's transformer.

2. You have a plug in coupler installed somewhere in your home. This is an easy way to couple the phases but not necessarily the best. I prefer a wire in coupler/repeater wired in to the circuit breaker box. The coupler/repeater must be mounted in it's own enclosure to comply with many codes. Put it on a 220V 15-20 Amp breaker. You get an equalized coupling effect as well as amplified X10 signals. This is more dependable regardless of the size of your home.

3. This is a Dynex DX-S114221 rated at 1800 joules and has EMI/RFI filtering. The EMI stands for Electrical Motive Interference and the RFI stands for Radio Frequency Interference. While this might be fine for someone who is just plugging in computer components it creates problems for someone trying to control devices using what would be seen as electrical/radio frequency noise. It would not help to buy a better power strip as the one you bought is working too good already.

You have a few choices the way I see it.

1. Buy a 1:1 120VAC isolation transformer with a 1KVA rating, this would equate to about 9 Amps @ 120 Volts. This is an expensive solution but it would allow you to use your super power strip as the windings are inductively coupled and the primary side would not see the surge suppression/EMI/RFI filtering plugged into the secondary.

2. Buy a 10-15 Amp Plug in noise filter and a cheap power strip with no suppression. You may already have one of these laying around the house. If you are electrically inclined you might open one up that has surge suppression and clip the diode and or capacitor out of the circuit. If you are not electrically inclined leave it alone and buy one, they are only about 5.00.

The filter will keep any noise caused by the computer equipment from making its way back onto the power wires.

Sorry for the long post but I hope this help you get your X10 gear working the way you want it to.

Till Later,
Bob
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