[RFI] What is a MOV

D C _Mac_ Macdonald k2gkk at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 11 16:20:18 EST 2019

Hi, Jim.

I'm convinced.  Can you recommend a specific Surge-X whole house protector to acquire for one's own house for 125-0-125 Volt 200 Amp service?

73 de Mac, K2GKK/5​
Since 30 Nov 1953​
Oklahoma City, OK​
USAF, Retired ('61-'81)​
FAA, Retired ('94-'10)​

From: RFI <rfi-bounces at contesting.com> on behalf of Jim Brown <jim at audiosystemsgroup.com>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2019 14:47
To: rfi at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] What is a MOV

On 1/11/2019 8:22 AM, Ken Winterling wrote:
> The Metal Oxide Varistor or*MOV*  is a voltage dependent, nonlinear
> device that provides excellent transient voltage suppression.

Delete the word "excellent" from this sentence. They are, indeed,
ubiquitous, but they can also create more problems than they solve. They
should NEVER by used on branch circuits -- inside equipment or in outlet
strips when there is any interconnection between equipment plugged into
different outlets, or which is grounded at points in addition to the
green wire. This is because MOVs conduct any power line spike onto the
green wire, raising the potential of the "ground" in the equipment. The
increased potential will be different at each piece of equipment
(different induced current from the strike, different length of green
wire), and the potential difference fries the interconnected equipment.

We learned this the hard way in the world of pro audio, where equipment
for large installed sound systems is spread out over a wide area. And
I've heard many reports of computers linked by wired Ethernet getting
fried by a nearby strike.

The ONLY good place for an MOV is at the power entry panel (a so-called
"whole house protector) where it is bonded directly to the ground system.

The only good (and safe) surge suppressors for branch circuits are
"series mode" types, which store the energy from a strike in a large
inductor, then discharge it slowly after the strike. The pro audio world
uses products made by Surge-X. Brick Wall is another mfr.

73, Jim K9YC

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