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Surge protector

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April 12, 2010 4:53:11 PM

I wasn't sure which forum to ask in, so I figured this one seems to be the *best*.

Anyway, I'm trying to find a surge protector that I can use that has COAX protection that would be compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 and also has gigabit compatible RJ-45 protection.

I have found protectors with COAX/RJ-45 but here's my problems
#1. They state they remove EMI from the coax by limiting frequencies, which they don't state what range, so I'm not sure if it'll interfere with my cable modem.

#2. They say that they protect my Ethernet 10mbps network.. WTF? Who advertises to protecting 10mbps NICs? None of the docs state that they work with gigabit.

I'm "assuming" both are fine, but I would like to know for sure.

Or even better. What's a great surge protector with these features?

Thanks :wahoo: 

More about : surge protector

April 13, 2010 3:44:28 AM

Kewlx25 said:
I wasn't sure which forum to ask in, so I figured this one seems to be the *best*.
Anyway, I'm trying to find a surge protector that I can use that has COAX protection that would be compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 and also has gigabit compatible RJ-45 protection.

World's best surge protector is required to already be on that cable. A wire connected short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point ground - where coax enters the building? Then replacing any that wire with any protector would only degrade surge protection.

You are making the mistake that all salesmen hope you will make. No magic box protector claims to provide protection. Not one. The effective protector is a connecting device. Diverts. Shunts. Connects every incoming wire inside the cable to earth ground. Why? The only thing that does protection is earth ground.

Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Always. Either that energy connects short to earth - harmlessly absorbed. Or that energy is inside the building hunting for earth via appliances. A protector adjacent to the appliance may even give that surge more destructively paths through some appliance anywhere in the room.

Do you really think that hundreds of joules inside a 'magic box' will stop and absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? That is what retail salesmen are claiming. Don't take my word for if. View the spec numbers (and always ignore sales brochures that can say most anything). What are joules in the spec sheet? Surges that cause damage are hundreds of thousands of joules. Stop. Go read that spec sheet.

A wire from a coax cable’s ground block to earth ground. Where does hundreds of thousands of joules go when not inside the building? There lies the best surge protector you could ask for. How to make that protector better? Any money you might waste on 'magic boxes' is better spent upgrading the earthing. Why? A protector is only as effective as that earth ground. Better earthing means even better protection.

Well that is the cable. But other wires can carry surge energy inside the building. Surge protection means no energy inside. Telephone wire cannot connect directly to earth. So all phone lines have a 'whole house' protector where telco wires connect to yours. To connect to earth, a protector makes the short connection to earth. How good is that telco 'installed for free' protector? How good is your earthing. Their protector will only be as effective as something only you are responsible for providing - that single point earthing. Only you determine how effective every protector really is. All incoming wires - telephone , satellite dish, cable, AC electric - must connect short (íe 'less than ten feet, no sharp wire bends, no spllces, etc) to the same earthing electrode.

Which leaves the most common source of all surges - AC electric. Again, you cannot earth those two AC wires directly. So you do that has been done routinely for over 100 years. Earth AC electric wires with a connection that is less than 10 feet - via a 'whole house' protector. Only more responsible companies sell effective 'whole house' protectors. Name that most any guy should recognize for their quality include Siemens, Square D, General Electric, Intermatic, Polyphaser, or Leviton, The effective Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.

Protection is what? Always about where energy dissipates. If every wire dumps energy into earth BEFORE entering the building, then a surge is not inside hunting for earth destructively via appliances. As stated before, all must be earthed short to single point ground. Earth ground – what ineffective and high profit protectors will not discuss.

Your telco's computer connects to overhead wires all over town. Suffers about 100 surges with every thunderstorm. And must never have damage. Why? They waste no money on protectors inside the building. Every wire enters a vault to be earthed by a 'whole house' protector. So that the protector is more effective, telcos want their protector up to 50 meters away from electronics. You must learn same. Effective protection means your protectors are where all wires enter the building. Then all surges - even direct lightning strikes - need not be inside the building.

Telcos suffer maybe 100 surges - and the protectors are not damaged. You do same. A typically lightning strike down the street may be 20,000 amps. So all those responsible companies make 'whole house' protectors rated for 50,000 amps or higher. Protector that costs about $1 per protected appliance means you never even know the direct lightning strike existed. But again, this is how it was done even 100 years ago. This is how it is done everywhere that engineers install protection. And this is completely unknown to an overwhelming majority only educated by retail salesmen. Your choice.

Protection is always and only about where energy dissipates. The only effective solution always makes that short connection to earth. Otherwise surges may even destroy plug-in protectors and appliances. It is this simple. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Then you will quickly identify many retail scams that sell for tens or 100 times more money per protected appliance.
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April 13, 2010 4:23:01 PM

I know I'm going to have to re-read this because there is some interesting info.

Your main thing is about whole-house protection, but I live in an apartment. I'm kind of screwed on that.

When I was younger, I had a non-lightning strike surge hit my friend's house while we were playing LAN games together. My computer was on my 1500VA APC UPS and his computer was just on a power strip. My UPS just make a clicking sound as it switched to battery for a split second then went back.

The surge didn't kill his computer, but it did fry his on-board NIC and the surge went from his NIC and killed the port on my switch that he was connected to. After that, about once per month, another port would die on my switch until the switch was completely dead, and at the time it was worth almost $300.

Now I have a $180 router, and soon to have a $100 cable modem. I figure having $30 worth of protection wouldn't hurt.

I do see what you're saying though. When I build a house, I'm going all enterprise-grade protection. I'm a fan of APC since it's used in lots of datacenters.

edit: I noticed you talk about protectors "absorbing" the energy, when they actually divert the energy to ground/earth; Which is why my APC unit will beep every couple of seconds to drive your crazy if you have a faulty ground. But I don't need a $300 APC UPS, just a decent surge protector.
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April 14, 2010 3:22:26 AM

Kewlx25 said:
I do see what you're saying though. When I build a house, I'm going all enterprise-grade protection. I'm a fan of APC since it's used in lots of datacenters.
edit: I noticed you talk about protectors "absorbing" the energy, when they actually divert the energy to ground/earth; Which is why my APC unit will beep every couple of seconds to drive your crazy if you have a faulty ground.

In communications facilities that must never have damage, APC's equipment is considered ineffective. In data centers where computer techs have no electrical knowledge, adverting replaces well proven science. APC gets used.

Your APC beeps because safety ground is missing. Safety ground is not earth ground. APC cannot detect earth ground. And that should be obvious. Temporarily disconnect earth ground. APC will neither detect nor report that missing earth ground.

APC is happy to have you confused or uninformed. APC will not discuss earth ground. For example, see a repeated reference to 'less than 10 feet'? One of many reasons why safety ground is not earth ground. How does that APC, with a six foot power cord, make a ‘less than 10 foot’ connection to earth? It doesn't. So APC does not discuss 'divert'. Will not discuss earth ground. Will do anything to confuse safety ground with earth ground. You may think it 'diverts'. In reality, it may even ‘divert’ destructively through an adjacent appliance. An IEEE brochure demonstrates this with the surge diverted 8000 volts destructively through a nearby TV. So APC is vague about everything. Nothing from APC is enterprise grade.

Now what do informed server facilities do for enterprise level protection? From “Planning guide for Sun Server room”
> Section 6.4.7 Lightning Protection:
> Lightning surges cannot be stopped, but they can be diverted. The plans for the data
> center should be thoroughly reviewed to identify any paths for surge entry into the data
> center. Surge arrestors … should divert the power of the surge by providing a path to
> ground for the surge energy.
That means every wire gets connected to earth where it enters the building. A short connection to earth ground is via wire or a protector. Any protector that does not make that short connection to earth – ie APC – also does not provide effective protection. See those APC specs? Notice no protection defined.

When to plan surge protection for a new home? Before footings are poured. Protection system is installed in concrete. If you did not understand that, then you did not understand what was posted. Learn about Ufer grounds. When is protection best installed? When the footings are poured. Why? Because a protector is only as effective as its earth ground – which an APC does not connect to.

Being in an apartment is no excuse. Too many options for effective protection exist. Including cooperative landlords. Even the utility can install a ‘whole house’ protector behind their meter.
If a surge is anywhere inside the building, then that surge will hunt for earth destructively via any appliance. Either energy is completely outside a building. Or that energy will hunt for ground destructively via appliances.

Why do telcos locate protectors at the service entrance? Why no money wasted on APC products? Telcos only use effective protection. Same reason why telcos also want protectors up to 50 meters separated from protected electronics. Yes, separation increases protection. If energy is inside a building, protection already inside electronics is the only protection. So that protection inside equipment is not overwhelmed, surges must be earthed BEFORE entering the building. APC cannot and does not do that.

APC has no place in a list of responsible companies that include General Electric, Polyphaser, Intermatic, Siemens, Leviton, Clipsal, and Cutler-Hammer. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - which APC will not discuss due to no dedicated and short connection to earth.
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April 15, 2010 5:15:55 PM

Two questions

#1. I see you list GE. In general, I like GE an a company. Would you say that their electrical protection is top grade?

#2. Who makes a great UPS? I tried CyberPower once, only to have it die in the first day on a basic component and that instantly shot down my confidence with them.

By basic component, it was a component near the on/off switch and shorted out which caused lots of smoke, I assume it was of cheap quality because there should've been an breaker or something to kill the power on an internal short.
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April 15, 2010 5:16:10 PM

Best answer selected by Kewlx25.
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April 15, 2010 11:59:21 PM

Kewlx25 said:
Two questions.

General Electric makes a good protector. But an industry benchmark is Polyphaser.

What defines protector quality is 1) how short it can connect from utility wire to earth, and 2) how many amps it is designed to shunt (divert, connect, conduct). The minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. And you must make an earthing connection that both meets and exceeds post 1990 National Electrical code.

Most electronics failures are due to manufacturing defects. Unfortunately, a manufacturing defect that may occur years later, instead, too often gets blamed on mythical surges. Your failure may be an isolated event. But UPSes are typically made as cheap as possible.

A replacement battery may cost almost as much as an entire new UPS - because it is made that cheaply. Estimated life expectancy of a typical UPS is something above three years. Even car batteries exposed to harshest weather and used daily should survive seven or nine years. Serious UPSes installed in reliable facilities require battery replacement in something less than 20 years. A typical home UPS is made as cheap as possible.
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