57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
We have used LC-1800s since the early 1990's and have only one complaint: if one of the mechanical relays that maintain the 110-120 VAC output fails, the associated indicator light on the front of the unit will still function as usual, and the user will thus not be aware of the failure. The result is that the equipment connected to the LC-1800 will be subjected to brown-out or over-voltage conditions.
The only way we have found to monitor the proper operation of the relays is to periodically plug our LC-1800s into a 140 VAC autotransformer, attach a VOM to one of the output duplexes, and slowly turn the autotransformer voltage down from 140 to 87, watching the VOM to see that the relays engage the various secondaries on the LC-1800's transformer and thus keep the output voltage in the 110-120 VAC range.
Before we began this monitoring, the main power switch on two different LC-1800s failed due to overheating. On each unit, one of the internal relays had failed, allowing low input voltage to flow through to the load and create an over-amperage draw that exceeded the rating on the power switches.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First, let me say that I've been buying Tripp Lite products for nearly 20 years, in fact I have another LC-1800 that I bought new in 1995 - 17 years ago. Though the model number was the same, the design was very different then.
The problem with any sort of power protection device is that unless you have the right equipment to measure what it actually does, and you have the time to perform such tests, you don't REALLY know how well protected you are. Many people sing the praises of this or that line conditioner, this or that UPS, etc. - but until something happens with their power, they don't really know.
Having said that, I recently bought a very high end HDTV and was interested in protecting it mostly from brownouts that we sometimes have here, usually during severe storm season (U.S. Midwest). The candidates for this included the LC-1800 and an APC UPS (model BR1500G). There were other candidates but I'll leave those out since I dropped them off the list for completely unrelated reasons, and never did test them.
Before buying anything, I contacted the tech support departments of both Tripp Lite and APC in order to find out how much voltage correction these units were capable of providing. Frankly the contact with Tripp Lite was what I had come to expect: a human being, speaking English, based in the U.S., and willing to at least try to answer every question I had. The contact with APC turned out to be an e-mail from India, and it took two tries before any meaningful information came forth from them.
So the LC-1800 and the APC UPS both arrived. I do want to say that my test results are based on the assumption that I did not get a defective unit. It's always possible that mine was defective, but I'm not interested in spending any more time messing with this.
Tripp Lite had told me that during a brownout condition, the LC-1800 should boost output voltage up to nearly 120V if input dropped to as low as around 90V. MOST IMPORTANTLY, they said that if input voltage dropped to the point where the unit couldn't boost the voltage back to useable levels, it would instantly and cleanly shut off output completely, so as to not subject the connected equipment to a severe undervoltage condition.
I connected the LC-1800 to a variac, a device which allows you to control the amount of AC voltage supplied. I used a Fluke DVM to monitor the voltage supplied by the variac, so that I could be sure of the points at which the LC-1800's behavior changed. I'll point out that in one of my calls with Tripp Lite, they suggested that I use a variac if I wanted to be certain about the unit's performance.
Starting at 120V from the variac and slowly dropping the voltage, the LC-1800 reported the line voltage as "Low" when the voltage dropped to 113V, and it boosted the output from the LC-1800 to 123V. Very nice. It reported the line voltage as "Very low" when the voltage got down to 103V, and output from the LC-1800 remained at 122V. Again, this is just what I'd expect.
The problem lies in the fact that as line voltage continued to drop (as it easily could during a brownout), the LC-1800 NEVER DID SHUT OFF THE OUTPUT. As line voltage dropped to 50V, the LC-1800 was still outputting 60V. As I continued to drop the line voltage, the output from the LC-1800 simply continued to drop, all the way down to less than 10V. That was all I needed to see on the LC-1800 and it's in the process of being returned.
I went through the same process with the APC UPS. It's not a magic bullet either; its automatic voltage regulation function (similar, at least in concept, to what the LC-1800 uses) will allow the connected equipment to see voltage as low as about 100V during a brownout, and as high as 128V during an overvoltage condition, before it switches to battery - which then provides 115V for as long as the battery can hold out. The difference is, it HAS a battery to switch to, and doesn't attempt to keep boosting (or trimming) voltage no matter how low (or high) the line voltage goes.
Don't get me wrong - a line conditioner and a UPS are two completely different animals intended for different applications. The reason I'm comparing them is that they both provide (and their advertising makes a big point of) automatic voltage regulation in order to protect connected equipment from undervoltages and overvoltages. My new TV doesn't "need" to stay on during a storm, therefore I have no need for a UPS per se - but I do want it protected from wild variations in voltage, and it seems that in order to get this, I need the additional functionality of a UPS. You might need it too, if you're considering the purchase of a line conditioner.
I'm laying out the data here so that you can make a more informed decision. I may buy another LC-1800 in the future, but it won't be to protect anything from brownouts. If you aren't concerned with brownouts, and only want to stabilize your line voltage which is already assumed to be within a reasonable range, the LC-1800 can do a fine job. But, the one I received does not perform as Tripp Lite's tech support department said it would, and it's a LONG way from performing to the level implied by their advertising in my opinion.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Andrew D. Pitonyak
- Published on Amazon.com
Clean, regulated power is important for a computers, stereos, and high end video equipment. Surge protectors and UPS units do not clean the power well, they simply clip surges and spikes. High end surge protectors units filter some harmonics (harmonics are usually introduced by motors, furnaces, Air Conditioners, freezers, etc).
A Line Conditioner corrects for high and low voltage, and cleans the voltage.
I own a few LC1800s to solve pesky problems.
A friend's computer, which was connected to a UPS, would turn off after 6 to 48 hours. The computer did not have this problem when it was at a different location. I took the computer and ran stress tests for four days with no problems. He took it home and it turned off within two days. I loaned him home an LC1800 and he has not had a problem in two weeks.
A computer at The Ohio State University failed every six months. We added an LC1800 and the computer ran continuously for more than three years with no problems.
I have a dedicated line from my breaker box to my computer and I still use an LC1800, which feeds my UPS. I rarely turn off or reboot my computer (unlike Windows, you can update a Linux computer without a reboot). I use one just to be safe. I still use my first LC1800 from more than ten years ago.
Although most people, including myself, probably do not require this level of power protection, it is safer. If you experiences difficult to explain behavior, be certain to try one of these units.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I assume this model does the job it is intended to do, but when I hooked it up to my desktop computer and peripherals, I found it also emits a hum that is annoying (to me, at any rate) and is louder than the fan noise from my computer. I was informed by a company rep that this hum is normal. It's unacceptable to me, so I returned the unit.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I purchased the Tripp Lite LC1800 line conditioner because I wanted the ability to provide clean AC power for household electronic items (e.g., a microwave) during power outages. I have a portable, non-inverter equipped gasoline generator. An inverter filters the power output of the generator so that a true sinewave, or computer-grade power, is available. Said electronic items require computer-grade power to function correctly. I needed a proxy for the inverter, so I decided to invest in the LC1800 based on the content of the Amazon listing, and the Tripp Lite website.
After receiving the LC1800, I read the Owner's Manual. Noted on p. 2 is the following Line Conditioner Connection Warning: "If you are connecting your Line Conditioner to a motor-powered AC generator, the generator must provide clean, filtered computer-grade output."
It's my considered opinion that the aforementioned connection warning is really at odds with the ostensible mission of a line conditioner. This is particularly true when reading the ad copy evident on Amazon and especially the manufacturer's own website. The connection warning noted above should be advertised/disclosed in advance, wherever possible, so that potential consumers can make fully informed purchase decisions. That is the point of this review.
Prior to writing this review, I did contact Tripp Lite to confirm the line conditioner's incompatibility with AC gas generators. Tripp Lite replied in the affirmative. They advised me that "using this unit in an application that it was not designed for/supports (means that) you run the risk of it not working or significantly altering the performance of your equipment."
Again, the requirement that a line conditioner be powered exclusively by clean power is not something that the average consumer would know through intuition alone.
I've no doubt that these line conditioners do serve to protect sensitive electronic equipment, within the relatively narrow scope of their operational abilities. My rating and review should be viewed as a critique that is focused on and limited to the current non-disclosure of a material operating limitation of Tripp Lite line conditioners. I have returned the LC1800 to Amazon for a refund.