Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home Entertainment & Automation Services in Matthews, NC.
Home audio and Video Services in Matthews, NC.  TV installation, Surround Sound, Home Entertainment Systems
Review: Panamax MX5102 UPS

panamax_mx5102MX5102, a great addition to any theater, offers battery backup and voltage monitoring.

The Panamax MX5102 delivers exactly what it claims — battery backup and voltage monitoring. While there are other choices out there, the Panamax has its own feature set that may make it perfect for your application.

On looks alone, the Panamax MX5102 is a winner. The black brushed aluminum case just begs to be shown off.

The Panamax MX5102 ($649.95) would make a great addition to any home theater.

Build, Features
It isn’t hard to know that the Panamax MX5102 UPS is a quality piece of equipment. You just have to pick it up. At 27 pounds, its diminutive case belies its weight. The MX5102 comes with a number of cables. Short coax and Ethernet jumpers are included as well as telephone cords (does anyone use these anymore?) and a pair of adapters for rack mounting.

The back of the unit includes 10 outlets in four different banks. Each of the banks is isolated from the others so that any noise from one component can’t contaminate the power going to the other banks. The most important in this case is Bank 4 with the 2 UPS outlets. These two outlets receive power from the batteries (at a 10ms delay when the power goes out).

Bank 1 is always on which is good for gear that you never want to power down (aside from power outages). Bank 2 is the switched bank that provides a shutdown delay. Bank 3 is for high current devices like amps and subwoofers and includes a startup delay. This means that your amps turn on last and off first. Both of these delays are designed to reduce speaker “thumps” that occur when the amplifier amplifies another piece of gear that is turning on.

The front of the unit includes a rather large readout, two buttons, and a few lights. The button to the left is the power On/Off. The button to the right is the Meter Dimmer/UPS Test button. With a quick press, the display will cycle through various levels of brightness until you find the one you like. If you press and hold the button, the UPS will run a test cycle.

Putting it to the Test
The first test of the MX5102 came barely 30 minutes after turning it on for the first time. We had just finished installing a projector and screen and were taking a break after preliminary setup when the power went out.

We saw the lights go out and ran to the home theater. The Panamax MX5102 was beeping (as it was supposed to) and the projector was still on. We switched the projector off and noted the amount of time left on the battery. According to the manual, the MX5102 should be able to maintain full power for 3 minutes at full load. While to the uninitiated that doesn’t sound like very much, most of the competition is in the same camp (similar APC models can run up to 6 minutes at full load).

We had an SMS-1 plugged into the second UPS outlet. According to the readout, we could have run the SMS for another 60 minutes. Obviously, with most gear you’re going to have plenty of time to shut everything down before the batteries die. We’ve had the power go out a number of times since then and the unit has never failed to maintain power to our projector so that we could cool down the bulb properly.

Needs Removable Power Cord, More UPS Protection
We really have only two complaints about the MX5102. We’d really like to see a removable power cord rather than a fixed one. Secondly, we feel a little confused that only two of the outlets are UPS protected.

The Panamax M5102 does has LAN protection and IR control. In our application, our power rarely varied much off of 120 (as low as 116 rarely above 120) so voltage regulation was not as needed as the additional LAN protection. The fact is that if you have one unprotected inlet for a surge, your entire system is compromised. With the MX5102, we are completely protected.

Read the entire review at Audioholics.com.


Product: Panamax MX5102 UPS

Performance: 5 out of 5

Value: 3.5 out of 5

MSRP: $649.95


IR control
Battery backup works flawlessly
Fantastic aesthetics
Easy to read display

No detachable power cord
Only two outlets are backed up by the battery

 By: Audioholics.com


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Entertainment Audio and Video services in North Carolina.

Posted in Automation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

13 Classic Rookie DIY Mistakes to Avoid

diy-tips-framingIf you’re just getting started or planning your home theater and AV projects, here are some pointers from our custom electronics pros friends.

We asked custom electronics (CE) pros about the blunders they encounter when DIYers or inexperienced pros can’t get their systems to work.

Here are some of the rookie mistakes you should avoid:
Buying the least expensive gear and finding out it doesn’t have the features you need, like discrete control codes (on and off, for example) or enough inputs and outputs.

Hooking up equipment using substandard cables, connectors and adapters, leading to poor performance and, eventually, no performance.

Underutilizing gear that you already have. For example, connecting the DVD player using composite cable when it has component or HDMI outputs, and not setting the TV to the maximum resolution.

Never realizing you could be watching HD channels you’re paying for: “You mean Channel 4 is standard but 404 is HD?!  I never knew!” 

Compromising setups that you learn to live with, like having to leave a cabinet door open, or moving cables from one device to another.

Forgetting to install Ethernet jacks at the A/V locations.

Skimping on power protection. 

Mounting video devices in poor locations: displays too high and projectors not centered correctly when there’s no lens shift available.

Failing to wire distributed audio speaker locations for stereo.

Forgetting to put power where it’s needed: racks, TVs, projectors, powered seats.

Trying to use “rules of thumb” for speaker locations in unusual rooms, such as those with missing walls or angled seating.

Wiring low-voltage cabling parallel with the electrical, often done in retrofit situations when the installer or DIYer simply uses the same holes used by the electrical wires.

Inadequate ventilation for equipment, resulting in burned-out gear (and calls to the manufacturer for their “faulty” products).

 by EH Staff


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Entertainment Audio and Video services in North Carolina.

Posted in Home Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News, Bad News for Electronics Recycling

recycle-drop300E-cycling awareness increases, but how do you get rid of your stuff?

There’s good news and bad news about electronics recycling, or e-cycling, in a recent survey of more than 1,000 Americans published by Pike Research.

The good news is that consumer awareness of the e-waste threat is increasing, and 76 percent of respondents stated that recycling is the most appropriate way to handle unused, broken, or obsolete electronics equipment. That’s good.

And the bad news? Consumers have few incentives to reuse or recycle their used electronics equipment. It is still too easy and inexpensive to throw e-waste in the trash. An optimistic estimate of average recycle rates is only about 15 percent.

That’s not so good.

According to Pike’s report, e-waste is the fastest-growing segment of municipal solid waste; it accounts for between 3 percent and 5 percent of incoming materials. And approximately 75 percent to 85 percent of electrical and electronic equipment is sent directly to landfill burial or incineration.

Projections for e-waste are increasing, on average, by 3 percent to 5 percent per year. Pike Research estimates there will be over 60 million tons of e-waste at the decision point for reuse/recycle or landfill in 2013.

Even many “recycled” electronics are merely shipped overseas and dissembled by third-world country workers dangerously exposing themselves to the toxins contained within our electronics. Many of the plastics are burned in pits, emitting noxious and harmful fumes. Several states have adopted electronic recycling laws, but no regulations exist for responsibly dissembling and disposing of e-waste, though many electronics recyclers take the Basel Action Network (BAN) pledge to only use responsible vendors and not to ship the products they collect overseas.

The silver lining?
The recycle rate could go as high as 50 percent or more by 2013, the Pike report says, depending on government intervention and economic incentives provided to consumers. “Assuming a recovery rate of valuable materials at 45 percent of the gross quantity of e-waste available, approximately 14 million tons of raw materials could be available for new product manufacturing during 2013,” the report states.

“Consumer behavior needs to be modified via a combination of awareness, incentives, and constraints to begin to change ingrained habits. Surveys by OEMs and advocacy groups indicate a majority of consumers do not know what their options are when a piece of equipment reaches the end of its useful life.”

Despite the widespread ignorance that exists about electronics recycling, consumers have several options, including free manufacturer and retailer take-back programs, electronics recycling sites, low-cost professional e-cycling companies, buy-back programs and occasional collection programs by municipalities.

Other findings by Pike Research:

* 37 percent of consumers felt that electronics recycling should be free, and an additional 35 percent stated that electronics should be collected and processed as part of a curbside recycling program.
* Only 14 percent felt that the cost of electronics recycling should be borne by consumers at the points of purchase or recycling.  Some 10 percent supported the concept of “producer responsibility” where the manufacturer pays, an approach increasingly being adopted by many OEMs.
* The average consumer has 2.8 pieces of unused, broken, or obsolete electronics equipment in their home or storage area.
* The average consumer surveyed estimated that the cost of collecting, hauling, demanufacturing, and recycling a single piece of used electronics equipment is $12, however Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the true cost is more than $20.

by Steven Castle


Custom Installation Services, LLC – Home Entertainment Audio and Video services in North Carolina.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Custom Installation Services, LLC | P.O. Box 132 Matthews, NC 28106 | 704-400-8701 | dmiller@cis-nc.com
Visit Our Partners: DV Wise Custom Homes | CleanX Corp






Website Hosting and Website Design by McBryde Web Site Design
For technical issues e-mail webmaster@mcbryde.com