Acoustic Research 10 Outlet Power Conditioner

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Acoustic Research 10 Outlet Power Conditioner
Price: $32.99
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Condition: New

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A “power conditioner” without an isolation transformer is not conditioning power. A little filter isn’t doing anything your switch mode power supply isn’t already doing. /actual EE

Support and Manuals over at the Product Page

So…it’s a power strip, basically.

Well, a lot of audio equipment still use linear power supplies so the filter could help there. And the surge suppressor will protect within limits whatever is plugged into it.

A poorly designed switch mode power supply could benefit from an EMI filter.

And the filter will at least help said poorly designed power supply from putting noise back on the power line.

Short answer, this unit in fact conditions power as advertised. For about the same price as a half-decent power strip, you get more outlets & it looks cool on the shelf. BUY IT.

Long answer, in terms of helping most home-use A/V applications, an Iso transformer really does not do too much heavy lifting–and certainly does not define a power conditioner. In fact they are usually not much help to most modern devices. That’s why the vast majority of conditioners do not use them.

Oversimplifying here…an iso transformer really needs “earth” connections on both input & output sides, meaning all your plugs need 3 prong power cords to work. However, you will find the vast majority of electronics & AV equipment use switch mode supplies (SMPS) & only have 2 prongs…

But about this unit–It has an EMI filter because it helps differential EMI–which is noise that SMPS create. That noise circulates through your house & translates to higher background noise in the A/V signals. The EMI filter simply, well, filters them out.

The unit also contains a few other components, which help tame the spikes that come in off the line & can damage equipment. (BTW–an Iso transformer just passed the most common type through…)

So better signals on audio & video? Protected against most common power spikes? Viola, power “conditioned”!

/just a guy trying to help.

Not being an EE I always struggle to understand this stuff with regards to what actually matters. But to me, if something is a power CONDITIONER it should filter all noise and keep the voltage at a steady 120. What components in this make that possible?

Just curious if this is a refurb like most of the stuff on woot? Considering what it is, I would hope it’s a close-out item instead.

I believe that you are referring to a voltage regulator. Check on the Furman parts at somewhere like B&H photo.

You can see the condition near the price on the detail page. It’s NEW.

The term “Power Conditioner” is very subjective (it also depends on what product types you are “conditioning”). Under this category of device, it usually means just smoothing out the waveform & offering some sort of protection from the most common types of AC transients / surges.

To add to this, it’s not really necessary to keep the AC voltage at any constant–120, 110, 118, it all works the same. MUCH more important to have a clean signal.

I just thought of a way to explain this. Cars need shocks to ride smoothly on a bumpy road. Without them, the car would eventually rattle apart. It’s not the size of the hill you climb, it’s the jarring bumps in the road that do the damage. A power conditioner is literally the shock-absorber for your electronics.

Most switching power supplies can go on many different sized “hills” in voltage–usually 100V-240V or more. So keeping a steady 120V is not important at all. But the transients–the “jarring bumps” in the electrical signal–are what kill electronics.

So, for the annoying but undamaging “rumble strips” that you go over in your car–the EMI filter takes out the electrical version of these. Then there are other components inside that are built handle the larger bumps…

Yep, power conditioning is a broad term. It includes the following issues:

Steady state voltage control (buck/boost)
Surge or sag (voltage swings ocuring over a number of cycles)
Voltage spike (A voltage fluctuation less than a cycle)
Voltage drop out less than a cycle
Momentarty power outage couple cycles to a few seconds
Noise (wave distortion including harmonic distortion)
Frequency variation (uncommon on large grids but possible on emergency generator or is landed grid)

The only thing that will protect against all this is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This essentially turns AC into DC, then “makes” a high quality output AC completely isolated from your utility power supply. And it would require a high end “pure sine wave” on the DC to AC inverter. The DC battery bank can be sized to a designed “ride through” time ranging from minutes to hours.

This device only does a couple of the above functions but would still be considered a “power conditioner”. Are it’s capabilities worth it to you? Depends on the value and sensitivity of your loads and frequency and type of “dirty power” you experience at your location.

And, for me, just having that many outlets on one strip can help reduce the wire clutter behind the entertainment center.

+1

I would only add most UPS systems are designed so they don’t actually make the conversion from AC -> DC -> back to AC unless the power goes way down/out. Under normal everyday use, it bypasses/trickle charges the battery & acts more or less the same as this unit.

Does that front panel display show current and/or power? Or just line voltage. There doesn’t seem to be a useful manual on the mfg site pointed to here. Also, I can’t see if it has some sort of mounting brackets or screw keyholes for attaching the thing to a wall or something solid. Anyone actually have one of these to give their opinions about it?

Ok, so if you include controlling voltage into the definition of conditioning, that’s what I thought, but most conditioners are not UPSs so that’s why it is confusing. When I think of having a clean electrical signal it is easy to think of that as having a steady voltage because we usually think of bad power in terms of voltage surges. I don’t generally think of plain electricity as having a frequency, but I assume it must as that is what must be being filtered/conditioned?

Does this have UL certification? Been through a fire at the outlet a former computer power strip was plugged into and the power strip did nothing. Learned that it needs to be UL approved.

I have one, I like it. I bought it on sale for $80.

There are no brackets for rack mounting, I think I remember screw hole mounts on the bottom but the design is definitely to sit on a shelf with the rest of your equipment. I used command strips and mounted it on the side of a cabinet.

The display shows just the voltage.