The WAudio W-3900 Power Conditioner is a well-made PDU/power strip, with a couple of bucks worth of filtering components inside. If it were sold in the $50 price range, I’d definitely recommend it for its solid build quality, decent quality components, and retro looks. But at $180, the amount of power “conditioning” (it’s really just filtering certain frequencies of noise at low levels) doesn’t justify the price, IMHO. To be fair, the product can be found on AliExpress for $137 at the time of this writing. Though the marketing materials promise “the highest level of surge & spike protection”, in reality it is not what I would call a surge or spike protector. One weak PTC thermistor is presumably the … Continue reading
OK, So I’m Being a Bit Facetious Obviously I and most everyone else knows that the vast majority of American household stuff is powered at 120V. Almost all receptacles and (nearly) all lights in a home are indeed supplied at 120V. But! It’s not as simple as that. So maybe the video title is a tiny bit of clickbait, but it’s also more or less true. Most Americans do indeed have 240V supplied to their home, and that is the line-to-line voltage. The transformer is rated for 240 Volts with a center tap that happens to be referenced to ground/earth, and it just so happens that the potential difference between the center tap (ground) and either of the two lines … Continue reading
Welp, they’ve done it again. Any by “they”, I mean people that make poor quality electrical devices. Specifically Yellow Jacket, which is a Woods brand, which is a Coleman Cable brand, which is probably somehow owned by either Warren Buffet or the Koch Brothers.
I got this for $16.22 during an Amazon lighting deal, and even though that’s not a terrible price, the poor quality construction and the basic lie about the materials is what really angers me.
Join me as I disassemble and then curse at this poor excuse for a power strip, in my newest installment of first world problems.
Oshkoshbegosh!? Another long ramble about power distribution thingies for the home and/or office?!
Well it’s true. Hopefully my next video will not be about this subject.
This compares the relatively-generically-branded Belkin Advanced Surge Protector (which actually bears the handy model number of BE112230-08, like it came out of some kind of dystopian nightmare) to the easily-spoken Furman SS-6B (which itself sounds shockingly dystopian anyway).
I was searching for an “affordable” power distribution unit for some video-related equipment in a rack. The Technical Pro PS9U looked very appealing with its multiple light-up switches on the front, because they made me all sentimental and wistful for the days of switched under-monitor PDUs.
It took a dark turn when I looked at the negative reviews on Amazon, wherein one person uploaded pictures of a melted-down unit. I still bought the PDU, not because I wanted to use it, but purely because I wanted to take it apart for YouTube.
And indeed the Amazon review turned out to be accurate. I would not feel comfortable using the Technical Pro PDU in my house. In my opinion as a random guy on the internet, it is a fire hazard, is poorly made, and shouldn’t even be on the market.
For my actual use, I also bought a Cyberpower CPS-1220RMS PDU. It’s a bit different than the Technical Pro in that it doesn’t have independently-switched outputs, offers surge protection, and is rated at 20A rather than 15A (though “rated” is a strong word in the case of the PS9U). That’s just on the surface, though. Inside, the Cyberpower shows every mark of quality and clearly supports its 20A rating.
In the video I open up the Cyberpower, just to show you what a quality PDU should look like. The comparison between the two products is day and night, even though I got the Cyberpower unit for a mere $15 more (on sale). It’s absolutely worth the higher price (even when not on sale).
The bottom line here is that when it comes to power distribution — be it rack-mounted or a typical power strip style — you should spend the extra money to get the higher-quality unit. Your fire insurance provider will thank you, as might your family (if it comes to that).
I got a Volt/Amp/Watt/Wh Meter from Banggood and wanted to put it to some use. So I decided to stick it in the back of a receptacle box, making some kind of metered extension cord.
This video shows the process of doing that, but is also a test of the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K vs. the Atomos Shogun for a review I’m working on. It’s a literal side-by-side comparison of the two. Though there’s no difference in quality (there shouldn’t be — they were both recording in ProRes HQ via SDI), I recorded about an hour of footage and neither one showed dropped frames or sync issues during that time. So far so good.
I recently got a good deal on a 120V 3000VA APC SURTA3000XL, a 120 pound beast of a double conversion online UPS which boasts over 30 mins of runtime at half load (and that’s still over 1000 Watts)! It didn’t come with batteries, so this video shows the process of “refurbishing” a couple of old modules with new batteries, and testing out the UPS.
The reason I was hunting down reasonably priced DCO UPS wasn’t because I’m especially concerned about poor-quality power from my wall, but because I needed a UPS that would play nice with generator power.
I’d love to be able to afford a couple of ~7500 Watt inverter style generators (one primary and one backup) to run the whole house during a power failure, but the best I can do is a pair of contractor style gensets. They’re noisy and output a mess of voltages and frequencies, but they work. Well, they didn’t work with line interactive UPSes, but they’ll work fine with something like this APC.
The Rejected Review I know that I tend to be harsh in my criticisms, but this is the most recent review that I tried to post to Home Depot’s site regarding their HDX 150-Watt Incandescent Clamp Light CE-300PDQ: Very rarely do I wish I could give a product a negative number of stars, but this is one of them. I know that for under ten bucks I shouldn’t expect an extremely high-quality, durable item. I know that at this price the light could fall apart completely after a bit of use and it wouldn’t be a huge deal. But what it absolutely shouldn’t do is cause a fire, which is what TWO out of the SIX of these I own … Continue reading
My wife and I recently brought home a brand new Chevy Volt (named “Sparky“), the plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) from Chevrolet. It’s a really cool car, and you can read about our first experiences with it here. Of course, the whole point point behind a PHEV is the actual plugging in. The Volt comes with a 120V charger that plugs into your average 15A receptacle, and can fully charge the car in about 10 hours. Chevrolet’s charging station partner, SPX, sells a variety of Level 2 charging stations compatible with the Volt (and most plug-in electric vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf). The Level 2 charging stations use 240V, and can charge the Volt in about 4 hours. We’re going to be … Continue reading
I'm a computer guy with a new house and a love of DIY projects. I like ranting, and long drives on your lawn.
I don't post everything I do, but when I do, I post it here. Maybe.