The Panamax MAX 8 Surge Protector
suppressors are nothing new. We all have them protecting our most valuable
electronic equipment, right? Right? If not, then we should, because you never
know when disaster can strike. Merely think of what would happen if all you
computer and audio/video gear was lost in a split second. Could you afford
to replace it? Would priceless data be corrupted?
and SOHO workers know of the typical suppressors, the models you can purchase
for $19.99, but what do they really protect? Will they perform when needed
and how can we tell? Panamax was not a manufacturer I was familiar with, rather
I am used to products by Belkin and TrippLite (they market the ISOBar models).
Let's scrutinize the Panamax MAX 8, their flagship SOHO surge protector. Thanks
goes out to Panamax for providing the review sample.
- RJ-45 Protection:
T1, LAN, LL, ISDN
- Energy Dissipation:
- Peak Impulse
Current 52,000 Amps
- UL 1449 Suppression
- EMI/RFI Noise
Filtration: 50dB (100KHz - 1MHz)
$5 Million Equipment Replacement, Lifetime Product Replacement
- List Price:
When is a
surge protector more than just a voltage squasher? When at some predetermined
voltage, it actually shuts off. The MAX 8 has the unique feature
that most UPS units don't possess: overvoltage shutoff.
is this: if your 110-120Vac line spikes to 330V or higher, then the surge
protection metal oxide varistors (MOV's), kick in and save the day. What if
the high voltage condition doesn't reach 300V? If a voltage between 121-329Vac
is sustained, most suppressors have little to no effect at all. Not so with
the MAX 8 as it contains a functional relay that physically disconnects the
voltage until safe conditions are present once again. Frankly, this is one
unbelievably cool feature.
Have a CAT3/CAT5
network? I manage a medium sized one (about 100 boxes) and network spikes
produce hub lock-ups about once every two weeks. The MAX 8 has 6 pairs of
RJ-45 connectors for various uses. One pair is labeled LAN, and the others
are labeled TEL1 through TEL4 and lastly T1/LL for incoming ISP connections.
The TEL connections fit either the small RJ-11 or RJ-45 connector. All connections
are surge protected at different voltage levels.
leftmost AC plugs are "always on" for gear that never needs to be
turned off, like severs and fax machines. The rightmost AC bank is "switched"
via a button on the bottom right (that barely can be seen in the picture).
Notice that all plugs are separated to ease the normally frustrating task
of squeezing in large wall warts, such as those included with speakers, scanners
and the like. At the very bottom, four LEDs indicate line faults, grounding
problems, unsafe voltage conditions and general power status. Very informative
and thorough I must say.
I lack a VARIAC, I wasn't able to test all the Panamax claims the MAX 8 can
do. BUT, I could open the unit and peer inside. Doing a little research and
nosing around in my vast array of electronic parts catalogs like DigiKey,
Mouser, Newark and the grand daddy of them all Allied, I found all the specs
necessary to come to many conclusions.
a standard set of six Z131-20UL suppressors, provide the UL 330V spec although
technically, clamping begins at 130Vac rms. Please remember that these models
are "one time use" models. After a hit, if the protection OK light
is dark, the entire MAX 8 must be replaced. The replacement is free.