AmazonBasics ABHT1208TC Surge Protector Tear-Down

About the author
Daniel Sauvageau

Daniel Sauvageau is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He’s known for his feature tear-downs of components and peripherals.

Read more
Create a new thread in the Photo reports comments forum about this subject
6 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Onus
    Good teardown. I think I'd go with the Isobar too after seeing the differences.
    0
  • mihen
    I have an isobar and CyberPower UPS.
    0
  • Zaporro
    "I’m guessing here, as none of them face outward for me to read numbers from, and I did not want to rip the tape off."

    Is this a joke? Most imporant part skipped because .... yea why? Its taken apart, there is no warranty anymore, it takes 1 second to rip tape with a knife and be thorough in a review.

    Also, this and 99% of so called "surge protectors" look about the same and work the same, they are at most overglorified power splitters with on-off switch and indicator. Sure they might "protect" hardware from tiny spikes caused by say toilet ventilation fan but thats it. Any serious surge of installation fault will go through it like hot knife in butter. As far as RF/noise protection goes, most of mid/high range PSUs have it built in.

    If someone really cares for their hardware and want real protection (instead of something to just to take it off your mind with illusion of safety) you go at minimum for AVR type UPS or perfectly full On-Line UPS type.
    0
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    Anonymous said:
    Is this a joke? Most imporant part skipped because .... yea why? Its taken apart, there is no warranty anymore, it takes 1 second to rip tape with a knife and be thorough in a review.

    Depending on where you live, "warranty void if opened" may have no legal standing. Where I live, if you can demonstrate with reasonable certainty that whatever you did has nothing to do with the original reason something needed to be open for repair, the manufacturer still has to fix the original fault even if you killed something else in the process of attempting to fix the original problem.

    As for why I didn't bother ripping the tape, that's simply because 20D201 or 20D271 doesn't really make that much of a difference: in case of a major surge, the full protection won't be reached until the 20D471s kick in and 270V is still within the normal input range of universal switching supplies which have to handle ~400V peak input. Also, that tape is there to keep the MOVs' heat trapped with their respective thermal fuses in case one of the MOVs overheats. Since I bought this power bar to give to my mother, I didn't want to mess with the original tape which is part of the device's safety mechanisms. If you dig out my past tear-downs, you will see that I've never bothered to remove shrink/tape from MOVs if I couldn't easily put it back on either - unless I had no plan to use the device post tear-down.

    If you think a UPS will protect anything from surges, you are sorely mistaken: power line surges are microsecond-scale events while standby UPS have a switching time measured in milliseconds. Standby UPS use relays to switch input/output power and those have millisecond-scale response time. Typical surges will be over and done with before the relay's contacts leave their original position even if the UPS itself had instantaneous event detection. The only UPS that can protect against that are dual-conversion "online" UPS which are converting AC to battery voltage back to AC again 100% of the time, cost $600+ and will add 5-10% to your power costs due to conversion losses. Also, if you look at my UPS tear-downs, the amount of surge protection they provide is more basic than what's in the ABHT here.

    Also, although PSUs may have some degree of internal surge protection, most people would much prefer blowing up a $20-50 power bar which can be readily replaced by anyone and protect multiple devices at once than blowing up the protection (if any) within the PSUs inside their PC, monitors, TVs, proprietary power adapters and other peripherals which are far more difficult if not impossible to replace and more expensive.
    1
  • BlueCat57
    Like the low profile plug but they always seem to be facing the wrong way for me or the cord isn't long enough once I plug it in.

    How many people actually run their coax through their surge protector? How many run their phone and/or ethernet through it?

    You also now need a couple of USB ports on a surge protector now.

    I'm still looking for the "perfect" surge protector. I wish I could design one and make a million dollars BEFORE the design got ripped off.

    I'd like to see UPS systems designed horizontally like a surge protector. That would make them more versatile. With USB outlets and a BIG battery they would offer true backup power in a blackout.
    0
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    Anonymous said:
    Like the low profile plug but they always seem to be facing the wrong way for me or the cord isn't long enough once I plug it in.

    Especially in places where the construction code requires that outlets be installed upside-down so they don't look like smiley faces, then low-profile plugs end up sending their cord up.

    As for your little poll, back when I had cable internet, I did pass coax through my power bar. I've been on DSL for most of the past 10 years and I'm passing the phone line through the power bar, to the DSL modem, then Ethernet back to the power bar before going to my broadband router. That way, a phone line surge would need to overcome two layers of surge protection on top of the modem's own internal insulation before putting any of my LAN equipment at risk.

    I'm not convinced about needing USB ports on power bars but I do have a few products sort-of in that category down the pipeline. Personally, most of my power bars are not particularly accessible. I prefer using USB charging stations and self-powered USB hubs which have much smaller desktop footprints for convenient access to 5V power.
    0