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Power Conditioner Requirement for Your Consideration

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  • Power Conditioner Requirement for Your Consideration

    Forum readers, from time-to-time I have posted suggestions that power conditioners should be strongly considered in power abatement problems.

    You may find the following somewhat humorous (in a dark way). When people call with problems and claim that their equipment was "struck by lightning" we always ask how their phone and security systems are functioning. In many ways, the security systems are among the more vulnerable and the patterns of failure can help identify surge paths and magnitudes.

    Frequency drift is improbable in the USA grid. Drift normally less than +/- 0.5 Hz. Very well controlled nationally. Also, if frequency drift presents a problem, use a double conversion (on-line) topology.

    Since ground is but a system reference point (as well as safety) the power conditioners will keep the ref point relatively constant. Then the only other variable is the coax shield ground variation between his home and the cameras. There a person will need signal optical coupling for greatest assurance with the ground shield connected in similar fashion. If the earth as a ground has poor conductivity, it’s really difficult to change that.

    The most accurate and the most time consuming method of ground testing is the fall in potential method and no testing of any kind should be conducted within 72 hours of meaningful rainfall.

    Before we start to discuss grounding, we should begin with the basics. In what part of the world are you located?
    Who supplies your electrical service and to your knowledge how is that power generated?
    What is the condition of your electrical grounding system and is it tested periodically?
    Have you recently opened your circuit breaker box and tightened the neutrals for all your circuits? As a subset, did you find any of them loose and if so how many were loose?
    Do you have circuits broken down into technical loads separated from general purpose loads? Do your computers, CCTV monitors and cameras and other sensitive electronic components separated from other non-technical loads such as sewing machine and other manufacturing machines?
    Do any of sensitive loads share the same circuit with high draw items such as stamping equipment, refrigerators and water coolers?
    What type of electrical switches and receptacles are used within your facility, industrial, commercial or residential?

    I believe a person needs to start a gradual replacement of all residential switches and receptacles with at least high end commercial ones. Herb Goldstein suggested I do for my own home. If wiring techniques were the use of quick wire installation methods, you can bet you will have over time unacceptable electrical noise levels caused by the gradual weakening of the small amount of conductor material holding the quick wire in place. I experienced noise levels that were off the chart. I replaced all of them and noise and trash levels dropped substantially. I know binding post wiring is a pain, but you soon see the results. I never had a device warm to the touch after that.

    At the El Paso Federal Courthouse, Herb’s folks found grounding rods almost totally corroded and had to be replaced before anything worked properly especially the CCTV cameras. Even after grounding was corrected, common and normal noise levels were staggering and power conditioners had to be placed ahead of each of the 75 cameras in the court’s system.

    I believe many electrical problems could be rectified by some good quality low impedance transformer based power conditioners for the camera power and coaxial. But just constitutes a good power conditioner?

    1) Your desire is to obtain a low impedance power conditioner which consists of an input protective network, a unique isolation transformer and an output filter assembly.
    2) The main purpose of the transformer is to allow the bonding of neutral and ground conductors on the output side of the transformer. This effectively eliminates common mode noise allowing the ground reference to be reestablished.
    3) The transformer also provides excellent noise rejection between line and neutral. The output filter assembly ties line and neutral together at high frequencies. This assures that all remaining noise is eliminated or attenuated to a safe level, yet passes the harmless lower frequencies necessary for efficient power transfer.
    4) The power conditioner must not have any bypass feature or features for any reason. Bypass allows raw unfiltered electricity to enter your electronics, thus damaging or destroying it. That would defeat the basic reason you purchased the conditioner in the first place.

    These then are the basic Electrical/Electronic/Communications/Operating Power Requirements of the conditioner. These then are the testing parameters you look for: It must be assumed the facility electrical system may not have been installed or maintained in accordance with the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) or local electrical codes. The unit shall be built to Underwriters Laboratories® (UL®) standards and will conform to the general requirements of American National Standards Institute® (ANSI®) and the institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers® (IEEE®) as specified by UL® 991. Electronic protection devices must be built-into the unit. If not provided as a standard feature, add-on devices shall be built-in and become an integral part of the unit. The conditions of passing the UL® 991 test requirements shall be that the unit must remain fully operational without any operator adjustment during or after being subjected to any or all of the UL® 991 tests as specified and modified as indicated below:

    a) Overvoltage and undervoltage tests, Section 10, UL® 991.

    b) Power supply interruption test, Section 11, UL® 991. Modification: Interruption time need not exceed 100 milliseconds (ms).

    c) Transient overvoltage test, Section 12, UL® 991. Note: Voltage and current levels will be as prescribed by paragraph 12.8. Commercially available surge generators can be substituted for test circuits shown in Figures 12.3 and 12.4.

    d) Ramp voltage tests, Section 13, UL® 991.

    e) Electromagnetic susceptibility tests, Section 14, UL® 991. Modification: Commercially available fast transient (noise) generators that produce equivalent noise, amplitude and frequency characteristics as defined in paragraph 14.4 and shown in Figure 14.3, may be substituted for this test.

    f) Radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI) test, Section 14.8, UL® 991. Hand-held radios, cellular phones and like emitters shall not interfere with detector operation.

    g) Electrostatic discharge (ESD) test, Sections 15.1.2 to 15.3.3, only. Static discharge from any source shall not interfere with unit operation.

    h) The unit shall be immune to the effects of high frequency noise, 3 to 30 megahertz (MHZ); shall be immune to normal mode noise above 10 volts and immune to common mode noise above 0.5 (½) volt.

    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

  • #2
    This is so far over my head, I feel stoopid
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by HotelSecurity
      This is so far over my head, I feel stoopid
      Hotel Security:
      It is only natural you should feel that way. I did so a number of years ago when we were plagued with false alarms everytime there was a thunderstorm and in general computer and security equipment eaten alive.
      I was fortunate in that an assignment to Fort Belvoir's Research and Development Center exposed me in the course of regular security duties to DOD's Project Manager-Power. They were evaluating various standard and emergency electrical systems and electrical power problems on behalf of the other armed services and other organizations under the DOD umbrella. My interest in the problems encountered led from one thing to another. I was given a chance to attend US Navy basic and advanced electronic courses which were to affect further assignments and eventual promotions.
      I tried to share my knowledge and lessons learned within the government and private sectors in so far as possible and have done so in subsequent retirement. Freely given should be freely shared.
      What I posted today is a part of that experience I hope others will find helpful. When something happens in the course of your security duties that may prove of benefit. If in doubt, contact folks like me and hopefully those with richer backgrounds and get the assistance you need. If we don't know, we'll find out.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by HotelSecurity
        This is so far over my head, I feel stoopid
        Ditto. Reminds me of physics class. Start out with a simple formula on the chalkboard, keep adding to it until all but the brainiacs are lost, and then have the instructor say: "See, that's not so complicated, is it??"
        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr. Security
          Ditto. Reminds me of physics class. Start out with a simple formula on the chalkboard, keep adding to it until all but the brainiacs are lost, and then have the instructor say: "See, that's not so complicated, is it??"
          Mr. Security:
          If you are the security person responsible for all electronic security happenings, you must learn or others will take your place or the place remains unsecure.
          In my case, the responsibilty fell on me and only one other at a major US Army Command to insure adequate security was afforded for nuclear and chemical weapons, chemical reactors, arms, ammunition and explosives in storage bunkers or magazines.
          When you write specifications for these systems you are required to defend every word in the bid package except for the boiler plate the procurement officer people add to it. Sometimes you are thwarted by politics. Every manufacturer has two US Senators and US Representatives. Each of his employees is encouraged to write to their appropriate member and hope political winds will favor their company, even those who produce junk. Sometimes, security takes a back seat to politics.
          If we are at the top of our game, we can demonstrate that meaningful security will be compromised if we fail to keep certain items in the bid package. Every manufacturer is capable of doing the job if pushed. It is when they challenge the need for certain items written in the package you must be able to defend each word and why a certain portion is critical. Sometimes you lose because the "fix" is in. No general officer or high ranking civilian of any service or government agency wants to tangle with a Senator or a group of Representatives who depend upon contributions for their survival. Many a good general or senior civilian is severly wounded or killed by a political bullet.
          For the ordinary business man just trying to make a buck, he needs all the help he can get and install the correct equipment in the correct locations the first time. Doing it a second time eats into the company's profit margin.
          In the government, they just raise taxes.
          In a related threat on ammunition plant security, Mall Director has posted some very interesting information that have a similar track.
          Enjoy the day,
          Bill
          Last edited by Bill Warnock; 09-26-2006, 08:35 PM. Reason: Incorrect title

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bill Warnock
            Mr. Security:
            If you are the security person responsible for all electronic security happenings, you must learn or others will take your place or the place remains unsecure.
            In my case, the responsibilty fell on me and only one other at a major US Army Command to insure adequate security was afforded for nuclear and chemical weapons, chemical reactors, arms, ammunition and explosives in storage bunkers or magazines.When you write specifications for these systems you are required to defend every word in the bid package except for the boiler plate the procurement officer people add to it. Sometimes you are thwarted by politics. Every manufacturer has two US Senators and US Representatives. Each of his employees is encouraged to write to their appropriate member and hope political winds will favor their company, even those who produce junk. Sometimes, security takes a back seat to politics.
            If we are at the top of our game, we can demonstrate that meaningful security will be compromised if we fail to keep certain items in the bid package. Every manufacturer is capable of doing the job if pushed. It is when they challenge the need for certain items written in the package you must be able to defend each word and why a certain portion is critical. Sometimes you lose because the "fix" is in. No general officer or high ranking civilian of any service or government agency wants to tangle with a Senator or a group of Representatives who depend upon contributions for their survival. Many a good general or senior civilian is severly wounded or killed by a political bullet.
            For the ordinary business man just trying to make a buck, he needs all the help he can get and install the correct equipment in the correct locations the first time. Doing it a second time eats into the company's profit margin.
            In the government, they just raise taxes.
            In a related threat on ammunition plant security, Mall Director has posted some very interesting information that have a similar track.
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill
            There's no question about the necessity to know this facet of security forward and backwards when you are responsible for safeguarding high profile items such as I highlighted above. No doubt, you were assigned this responsibility because of your meticulous attention to detail, and I mean that as a compliment.

            Personally, I am not one who enjoys studying extremely technical/intricate details anymore. That's one of the reasons I ditched my accounting career. My hat is off to you and others who gravitate to this 'science.' I'll stick with intermediate security and leave the high security assignments to those who love engineering, electronics, and the like.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

            Comment


            • #7
              Amusingly enough, the things Bill is talking about are the realm of security integrators, not security guards. Unless your responsible for overseeing the technical security of your facility (whatever that facility may be), Bill's statements on Power Conditioners is not something the average security worker will ever be called on to consider.

              I'm a definate believe in power conditioning to prevent transient spikes in equipment. I should be able to get Mars on my computer with the amount of antennas that are hanging off of it:

              Power cord, 3 speaker jacks for my 5.1 system, monitor cable, monitor power, parallel cord, some USB cords... All these things are antennas, and rarely are they shielded to prevent EMI from radiating.

              You bring my Nextel near my monitor and my speakers and monitor go nuts. These are all ambient radiation issues. They are transient.

              The one that can be always there, or transient (take your pick, power company...) is the variation in power. I run my stuff on surge suppressors and a UPS. When I have enough to drop, the PC goes on a power load conditioner to prevent the fact that every thing I am typing is modulating the power signal, in a way that others can read.
              Some Kind of Commando Leader

              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

              Comment


              • #8
                That is why when I need specialized technical support I would call in a specialist. LOL

                Thank you for the data Bill. By reading your post and at least getting the general idea of it if anyone is ever involved in any part of trying to figure out system problems they would be not be completely "in the dark".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you for the comments. Since this is a management thread, thus the posting. To expand on what Nathan posted, this is what I suggest to anyone who listens. Remember this is not in the realm of the electrician or and electrical contractor. Therefore: If client’s information has a dollar value or a power value, it’s a target! Human intelligence gathering and electronic eavesdropping are devastating. The freshest, most valuable information is captured. Even more devastating the data can be changed or deleted without a trace or client’s knowledge.

                  Is the client the sole tenant? If not, who are the other tenants? Determine the missions and functions of the other tenants to determine if their interests could be inimical to the best interests of the client. If located in a multi-tenant building, do dedicated or multi-tenant electrical transformers serve the client’s spaces? If the client’s space or spaces are serviced by joint use transformers, It strongly recommended full range power conditioners such as ONEAC or EnergyUPS be used for individual electronic media equipment or that in clusters as determined by the power needs. If the client shares a transformer with another client, all electronically produced media can be obtained by clients serviced by the transformer in a phenomenon called “inductive coupling.” Simply stated, every keystroke on an electric typewriter, word processor, PC or laptop and facsimile or modem transmission is susceptible to interception without the client’s knowledge. But all my traffic is encrypted or ciphered! Specialized computer programs can easily break all but the most complex encryption and cipher systems.
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gee the only thing I know about interference is that I can have great fun standing outside a room & using my walkie-talkie to trip the ground fault circuit breaker on the hair dryer
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's a good one. THere's a car, a Honda or Toyota, that will unlock its doors via the EMI from a GSM cell phone! "Make stealth entry." Ring! "Entry made."
                      Some Kind of Commando Leader

                      "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                      Comment

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