That's the sound I am listening to right now... CRAAAaash, BOOOOmmmm I am sitting here typing this, listening to the worst thunderstorm we've had so far this year. If you doubt it... Query "The Weather Channel's" online service for Elmira, New York, May 19 1998 at about 4pm. It's hot, the windows are open, the thunder is rattling the dishes in the cupboard, and I am on my computer, online, on the Internet, typing away. BOOM there's another close one. We live in Rural Upstate New York, very near the top of a mountain. When a storm rolls in we used to scurry to unplug our Computers, TV sets etc, cause we get hit by lighting and power surges A LOT! (Boom, another one). I say "USED to" cause we don't have to unplug them any more.
About a month ago I received a nice, professional letter from John Carpenter with Newpoint, asking if we would review his company's line of surge protectors. Well, I hesitated a few minutes on this one, We get lots of stuff to review along the lines of food, radios, survival supplies etc. but I have never been (Boom) asked to review a surge protector. But the letter went on to explain that the Survival and Patriot community's "online presence" has grown tremendously within the past year alone (this was an understatement). Where else can you get all this FREE survival information and news? The Internet... that's it. To access the Internet you need a computer and a modem, and both of these devices are VERY susceptible to power fluctuations!
John has guts, people don't send us a product to review unless they are SURE of it, cause you all know we will say a product is crap if it is crap, we don't pull punches. To say the least I am impressed! Impressed enough to write this review in a thunderstorm, for free, to prove it to you.
You all know by now that I am an Electrical Engineer (BOOM) by training. To be very honest, I have no faith in "run of the mill" surge protectors. Most of them filter only ONE wire coming into your appliance, the "hot wire". If you look at the plug-in to your computer wire you will see there are THREE wires. Why aren't they filtering the other two?!?!?!?! Cause they don't "usually" have an incoming (BOOM) source of voltage, they go to "ground". Well, let's think a second... where does lightening usually strike? Give the man a cigar!!! The ground! And if it hits close to your house it will run right back up those ground wires and the next few circuits it hits are burnt toast (it doesnt matter AT ALL if the appliance is turned off)... and in some (BOOM) circumstances the appliance catches fire and your house, your life, goes up in rain covered smoke. It happens EVERY day. Also, look at what may be happening to our Country's power Grid due to the Y2K (year 2000) Bug. Power spikes may well saturate the grid as power systems fail and other systems kick on and off trying to compensate!
So, (you say) lets run to "Wally world" (Wal-Mart) and buy a 20 dollar surge-protector... back up to the beginning of the last paragraph, they don't usually work. You've seen em, the little square plug-in types, or the power strips with the little flickering light attached, usually with a brand name like "yu-flung-dung". Take it from me, they don't offer you FULL protection of your equipment by a long shot. How much did you pay for that computer and monitor, modem, printer, zip-drive, soundcard etc? How much did your house and furnishings cost?
The Newpoint units protect not only all THREE lines to your computer; they protect the phone line coming into you computer also! Newpoint units are North American made... I did not see one single shortcut in the craftsmanship... These units offer a MASSIVE warranty, You won't believe it.
OK, I didn't mean to make this a novel but it IS important. John sent me (BOOOM) two Newpoint units to test. This is the letter I sent back to him:
Received the two surge protection devices this week... I promptly put them on the workbench and dismantled both of them. I am VERY impressed with the craftsmanship inside, it is superb quality.
I am impressed with the materials used also, instead of the cheaper 10% tolerance resistors (which have become a standard of sorts) you use 5% tolerance resistors, and all of the capacitors are oversized. This unit was over engineered from the ground up and it shows, as I will describe below.
The circuit Board is well isolated and well protected. I really liked the fact that EACH of the three pathways is protected. Many times I see ground strikes come in on the grounded lines of equipment and cause havoc, this should not happen to a computer protected by one of your units.
In the lab I induced several spikes on the input side of the surge units and watched the outputs on an O'scope. Smooth as silk. I also injected a range of frequencies and harmonics into the unit, as well as broadcasting "white noise" (which happens sometimes as a result of computer cooling fan going bad, or from other computer related sources). The damping was actually OVER the results of 20 to 1 EMI/RFI filtration you advertised, on many of the spectrums. Again, VERY impressive.
We live in a remote rural area, so surge protection is a very real concern to us. Falling limbs, squirrels, Lightening, etc... Are constantly damaging our lines and living on top of a mountain as we do, we get a LOT of lightening ground strikes. I hooked the 2000 plus unit to my primary computer and the S100T to my friend's computer (Who is a web designer of some note I might add). We shall see what happens when the next line of thunderstorms roll through, as we replace several modems a year due to phone line strikes.
Anyway, I am writing up a VERY favorable review for the Electronics section of the Alpha Group's page, and it will be cross-posted to the product reviews page as well as a few other sites.
So you see, as (boom) promised, I waited for a thunderstorm so that YOU could review the units with me. You didn't have to purchase anything, and you got to "test drive" these two fine surge protectors... I would say this is proof that these units work! They also have protectors designed for satellite receivers and other applications. Want more info? Take a minute to go to their page (see below).
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