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Surge Protection?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by JW, Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. JW

    JW Guest

    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.

  2. Jackcsg

    Jackcsg Guest

    Stop grounding it! That's were lightning goes....why bring it to the
  3. Guest

    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

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

    A UPS alone is also useless againt brownouts, you still need voltage
    regulation, as in the units i mentioned above.
  4. Have had good sucess with Ditek products ground all my systems and have
    virtually no failures.

    Nick Markowitz Jr.
    Markowitz Electic Protection
    Private Industry Fire Investigator.
    Qualified Electrical- Fire Alarm Contractor

    Contributing Editor Pa. Firemans Magazine
    Staff Editor
    Senior Correspondant
    Senior Affilliate
    Contract Broadcast Engineer WAVL 910 AM apollo Pa.

    "To error is human to realy foul things up requires a computer"

    Irish Diplomacy

    The ability to tell a man to go to hell and he tells you how much he is
    looking forward to taking the trip.
  5. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    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.

    Don't even for a minute assume a plug-in UPS will provide effective
    surge protection. They don't mention which transients it claims to
    protect from. The transient that typically damages electronics?
    Plug-in UPSes forget to even claim protection from that typically
    destructive type of surge. Its called lying by telling half truths.
    Better to have you *assume* all transients are same; to imply
    protection from a typically destructive type of transient. Like all
    protectors, the plug-in UPS can only be as effective as its earth
    ground - which is again why distance from UPS to earth ground defines
    an effective or ineffective protection 'system'. No earth ground means
    no effective protection from a typically destructive type of transient.
    So they forget to mention earth ground AND forget to provide that all
    so critical dedicated (less than 10 foot) connection to earth ground.
  6. Guest

    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.
  7. Mike Sokoly

    Mike Sokoly Guest

    From Mike Holt TodayBasics 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
  8. Jim

    Jim Guest

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

    Monster Cable is better than "regular" wire.
  9. Guest

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

    Crash Gordon Guest

    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.
  11. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    But will you still receive/muzzle RF signals??
  12. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

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

    w_tom Guest

    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

    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 confused 'whole house' regulator with 'whole house'
    protector. Five electrical problems were defined. The 'whole house'
    protector is for surges which has nothing to do with blackout and
    brownout protection provided by UPSes. The UPS is for data or
    operational protection from blackouts and brownouts. Blackouts and
    brownouts do not cause hardware damage in properly constructed
    electronics. Hardware damage created by surges is addressed by an
    earthing system as described in the earlier post. A 'system' so well
    proven that earthing is standard in telco switching stations,
    commerical radio stations, etc throughout the world. Not discussed are
    problems created by noise and harmonics.
  14. Guest

    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

    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.
  15. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    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

    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 electronics.
    Then the naive assume damage did not occur until when power goes back
    on. Power loss and power restoration typically does not cause the
    damage. Damage is caused by the same thing that caused power loss.
    Electronics was damaged before power was restored. Damage that a
    'whole house' protector may eliminate. You have damage. You also
    admit you don't have properly earthing. You only demonstrate why
    damage occured. Electricity works same in both third and first world
  16. Guest

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

    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

    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.
  18. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    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

    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

    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

    If the manufacturer claims protection, then he has provided
    numbers for that protection. What are those numbers? No
    numbers would suggest that protection is equivalent to a wire
  19. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    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?
  20. Guest

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