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carol m

Overload Power Boards & Surge Protectors - any difference?

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I'm a bit confused about what I should use. I'm going to buy a high end power board with max surge protection for things like my computers, TV, printer, sound system - I know that's what I should get for them, but I need to also plug and protect my RP150 which connects my guitar to the RP unit which connects to the computer.

My questions are:

1. Is it safe to use a power board which I already have, but which only has a 'reset' button for overloads for that? Or do I need to get another board with good surge protection for the guitar/RP150/computer link as well? (I'd need another board because I plug the RP150 into a wall plug closer to where I play guitar on the other side of the room from the tv etc. Unless......

2. Is it safe to use an ordinary extension cord from the new surge protected board to the guitar/RP150/computer so I won't have to buy two high end surge protection boards? Or.....

3. Is it advisable, or any point, in plugging the board with only the reset button technology into the new high end surge protector board which combined would just about reach where I use the RP150. ie the extra metre required is done with the second power board instead of an extension cable.

That would also give me a few spare outlets near where I play guitar but, that arrangement sounds a bit dodgy to me, which is why I'm asking all you clever people for you advice. Thanks in advance. :)

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Hi Carol,

I looked into this stuff recently when I found that our digital set-top boxes kept dying.

Apparently the cheap powerboards with surge protection that can be reset only have a certain number of times that they work and then they are ineffective. AFAIK they then fail without warning.

As a rule of thumb, it's never recommended to piggy back powerboards and double adpaters. If you're just going to have one thing plugged into the second power board you're really just using it as an extension cord, so no excessive current draw there. If that was plugged into the new you-beaut one, then you're relying on the new one's inbuilt protection. Just don't plug in four things into your old one.

I found what I needed for our house is a power conditioner, which are worth about $4000, so I decided to buy the best surge protected boards (with RFI protetcion built in too) I could afford and they've done OK by me. I still get noisy, messy power, but things don't break anymore. We have bad power.

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Thanks Dave. So it's ok to use an extension cord or a cheap power board into the new fancy one as long as I only plug one device into that second one at any one time?

I didn't know what RFI was and found a link that explaines it:

RFI protection Definition | Business Dictionaries from AllBusiness.com

The one I plan to get has the EMI/RFI protection to 40 dB - that should do it!

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I'm by no means electrically qualified, but this has been working for me for years....I plug my electronics into two different power strips, which are fed from the furman power conditioner which gets it's power from the house current....actually my audio/studio stuff is plugged into one strip, the pc, printer etc the other...haven't caught fire yet :eek:


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I like your belt and braces approach Kenny - up to now I've been more 'seat of the pants' in regard to power boards. But....

here's the best power board (specs and price amazingly) I could find in case any Aussies are looking for a good board (the Aussie national grid has different specs to the States).

8 Socket Av Power Board With Surge Protection Black: Cable Chick

Interestingly they have a white 7 plug version with equipment insurance which is $30 more but has much less surge protection - I'm going for the better protection, no insurance but still the 5 year warranty.

Also the Belkin, which many people here regard as the 'best' is $200 (instead of $69 plus postage) for only a 7 way board, has half the max spike current and slightly less Total Energy Absorption. A no-brainer, as we say here - and I don't even have to go to the store to get it (always a credit card risk ;) ).

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