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Automatic Power Switching
Smart Power Control for Peripherals
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$15 ZuniDigital smart power strip

$30 Belkin smart power strip

 

March 2014    Apple Reviews   Better Pictures   All Reviews

 

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I use a $30 Belkin smart power strip to control the power to an audio system I use along with a TV.

I use a $15 ZuniDigital smart power strip to control the power to my desktop audio system as I turn my Mac Pro (late 2013) ON or OFF. In fact, I have it set up so my desktop audio system turns ON or OFF as my monitor turns on or off, so if I walk away as the Mac Pro is working on something without me, the audio system knows to shut off automatically since I'm obviously not there.

A smart power strip is one that turns its outlets on or off depending on whether or not the main item, like a computer or a TV, is on or off.

You plug the strip into the wall (I plug it into my system's UPS), and plug the main item into its marked "control" plug. A processor in the strip flicks a relay to turn the rest of the strip's outlets ON or OFF depending on whether or not the main item is ON or OFF. Easy!

This way you can have an entire system turn on and off along with the main device instead of having to move a bunch of switches — or even a power strip — manually.

Different strips have different time delays after which they turn off. The ZuniDigital waits 90 seconds after the main item turns off, which is perfect because if I forget something and turn the main item back on again, the audio system doesn't have its power turned on and off as well.

The $15 ZuniDigital power strip is perfectly calibrated so that it's ON when the Mac Pro (late 2013) is ON, and turns OFF the rest of the system when the Mac Pro is off or sleeping.

I prefer my desktop audio system to turn off when the monitor goes to sleep, and using my 30" Cinema display as the main item instead works perfectly with the ZuniDigital: when my display sleeps, my huge desktop audio system turns off, too.

If you want all the peripherals to stay on when the Mac Pro sleeps, and have them only turn off when the Mac Pro is off, then the Belkin smart strip does that. The difference is how little power defines the turning point above of below which the rest of the strip turns on or off. The ZuniDigital turns on and off at about 14 watts, while the Belkin seems to turn on and off at about 3 watts of power use by the main device.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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