|Review: Bits Limited Smart Strip
Limited Smart Strip
Review by Steve
yourself afloat financially while the economy tanks is not easy
to do. Every bit saved, however, does help and the Bits Limited
Smart Strip offers both lower power bills and protection for
your computer and home theater equipment at the same time. This
is not your everyday $10.95 power strip. The Smart Strip supplies
ten outlets, which can work together switching your computer
and associated devices on and off automatically. This saves you
money in the long run as, even though computer peripherals and
other components are shut off, they are still drawing power and
running up the energy costs. For a business or studio, with several
people coming and going, power usage probably adds up to a major
amount of money spent on the electric bill. At the end of the
year, accessories that were never even used have probably taken
up a significant part of those bills.
Of course, despite the money saving
features of the Smart Strip, it is the protection to your equipment
it offers that makes it so necessary.
Most inexpensive strips found in
offices are usually rated to around 900-1000 joules. I own many
of them, and on closer inspection, most do not even list the
level of protection that is offered. In addition, there have
recently been several news reports on broadcast television focusing
on the many bogus and completely ineffective 'surge protectors'
on the market which actually offer no protection and only serve
to provide additional outlets. These lead to a false sense of
security and possible disaster to home and equipment when a surge
or spike occurs. The joule-suppression rating of any power strip
refers to its ability to absorb and dissipate a surge/spike of
AC current as heat (without failing). A higher joule rating means
the power strip can take a higher quantity of more powerful surges
before it finally fails. As with most other quality surge suppressors,
the SmartStrip is designed to sacrifice itself to save your equipment
if it cannot simply absorb and dissipate. To this end, the SmartStrip
is guaranteed for life against any damage caused by power surges.
Also- there is a 2-year full warranty and your connected equipment
is protected with a $30,000 warranty against surge damage. All
are very important points when comparing to other surge protectors.
The Smart Strip protects your equipment
with 2875 joules of surge and spike protection. This protection,
in joules, is divided between its live to neutral, live to ground
and neutral to ground capabilities. The amount of protection
provided is not divided out evenly between the 3 suppression
components. What appear to be different levels of protection
is only a technicality in the required design of any surge suppressor.
The suppression components are arranged to handle a surge or
spike on each electrical rail, ground, neutral, and live/hot,
because a spike can travel between any pair of them. The total
joule rating of the strip is obtained by summing the value of
each of these protections.
The Smart Strip's 84,000 amp capability
provides 3-way 330 volt protection in a similar way to the joules
it can handle with 36,000 amps live- neutral, 24,000amps live-ground
and 24,000 amps neutral-ground. This indicates how many amperes
of current the Smart Strip can handle before failing. A household
circuit is usually only 15 or 20 amps, but the circuit breakers
inside your electric panel take relative ages to respond- at
least in relation to the reaction time of the solid-state protection
inside the Smart Strip. So for a few nanoseconds, the Smart Strip
will easily handle any excessive current caused by a surge or
spike- until your household circuit breaker has time to react
and cut all power and current from the circuit.
The Smart Strip comes with a recessed,
lit power switch accompanied by a status indicator letting you
know that all is well or that you may have a problem within your
wiring. Those who live in older houses should remember that many
of the homes built in the 1950s and 60s had different grounding
techniques than the modern house today.
The Smart Strip unit's ten outlets consist
of one controlling outlet, 6 switched outlets, which will automatically
turn off when not in use, and 3 hot outlets for anything that
must stay on 24/7 like a cable box or digital video recorder.
The spacing of the outlets leaves plenty of room for those nasty
power blocks that prevent you from using all the outlets on so
many strips. Each type of outlets is very clearly marked as to
what type of outlet it is so you shouldn't have to worry about
making a mistake plugging in the wrong device to the wrong outlet.
And this is where your money is saved, as the Bits Smart Strip
uses zero power when the switched outlets are off. And less than
1 watt when fully energized.
In addition to its' 6' heavy duty power
cord, the Smart Strip offers protection outlets for your fax
and phone as well as your cable box, modem and most anything
else you might want to protect. I've made the point before and
will make it again. To be penny wise and pound-foolish is just
that, foolish. We all have a great deal of money invested in
expensive computers and home theaters. The Bits Smart Strip,
for a very reasonable cost, offers excellent protection of your
equipment, cost savings on the energy bill and peace of mind
that you, your home and equipment are protected.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final
Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific
Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004
Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious
2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he
also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater
Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver
on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed
footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions
for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also
feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding
organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available
for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads
both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with
upcoming excursions to Micronesia for the Manta Fest in 9/09,
the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Truk Lagoon and Yap in Micronesia
for July, 2010. Feel free to contact him if you are interested
in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net
and is reprinted here with permission.
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