You can add Monster to the list of vendors that likes using security screws of some sort. In this case, it uses “non-reversible” flat-head screws. These were surprisingly easy to reverse out, though. I simply sharpened my flat-head screwdriver's tip, applied pressure to make it bite into the screws and kept it from slipping.
It looks like quality Chinese manufacturing strikes again. As soon as I started prying the top cover off the bottom, I was greeted by the sight of a suspicious hole through the white neutral wire. Whoever put the cover on this unit did not bother ensuring all wires were safely tucked out of harm's way, put the screw right through it and crushed the insulation in the process.
This is one of those occasions where uncovering manufacturing defects and potential safety hazards (like a compromised wire and an enclosure screw connected to mains power) requires breaking the warranty.
A (Much) Closer Look
This is a bottom-side view of the wire. As the screw bore through the insulation, it pulled it into the screw hole, ripping it off and leaving exposed copper. Had the screw been maybe a millimeter closer to the middle of the wire, it might have cut it in two.
When I called Monster's customer support and explained what I found, they offered a replacement even though I technically voided the warranty. But because shipping for warranty replacement was at my expense, I decided to have it replaced as defective by Best Buy instead.
In my replacement unit, wire routing at the cable's entry point is different. Instead of going around the housing edge and breaker switch to the left, it scurries to the right then directly under the main PCB, far away from any screws.
Some Prying Required
The cover's top half popped off fairly easily with only a few snaps holding it down, but the bottom end required extra leverage and patience for some reason. I got the prying started with an expired credit card and, once I had enough room, I upgraded to a bamboo chopstick.
The Fun Begins
The only thing left in the way of separating the top and bottom shells is the GreenPower switch fastened to the bottom half by two tiny screws and the cable connector glued to the PCB. Everything else is fastened to the top cover where the outlets are. In my replacement unit, the glue glob is on the wire, seemingly acting as strain-relief at the connector.
There is some amount of lint or other particles stuck on solder flux near the mid-right solder joint on both the original and replacement units.
The Dinky Switch
PCBs do not get much simpler than this: one switch, one resistor and one connector. I am a little surprised that Monster did not simply put the resistor on the main PCB and soldered the wires directly on the switch.
Since there is no electrical isolation between mains and the control circuitry connected to this switch, safety regulations require the use of extra isolation. Here, it takes the shape of an interposed plastic cap between the user and the switch's body.
This looks familiar: those of you who have seen my inexpensive power strip round-up may remember the Dynamark “bonus” unit, where I mentioned press-fitted studs but did not actually put pictures of what I meant. Here is a chance to make up for that.
The top cover studs on the left go in the bottom cover holes on the right. No glue, no barbs or anything fancy. The only thing holding the two parts is tight tolerance between them generating enough pressure and friction to make extraction difficult. I am surprised these things did not break. There is one on each side, likely intended to keep the shell together between the time where the two halves are combined and when screws get put in.
With the last impediment removed, we get a full view of the PCB's back side. From the left, we see the coax and phone surge protection, the outlet connection strips, a small PCB whose function is unclear from this angle, the rather busy main PCB, the breaker switch, power cord and finally, the tiny GreenPower switch PCB.
The HT800G ships with a four-conductor phone cord and contains a matching two-circuit surge protector comprised of CNR10D241K MOVs and fuses.