Review (May 2005)
By Kevin Nakano
Panamax offers a comprehensive line of power protection products including the MAX® line, which is specifically designed for audio and home theater systems. The MAX® product line has been around for more than a decade and continues to provide customers with quality power products at reasonable prices. The latest MAX® 5510-PRO builds on the original MAX® 5500 design, yet offers capabilities geared for custom installers. Featuring an RS232 interface that can work with home automation and control systems, the MAX® 5510-PRO continues to offer users Tri-Power Filtration System that includes transformer isolated or balanced power for digital sources, separate Balanced Double L filtration circuits for reduced EMI/RFI on analog components and two inductorless, high-current outlets for power amplifiers or powered subwoofers. The MAX® 5510-PRO comes with a 10-foot heavy-duty detachable power cord, convenience light and a pair of rack mount ears. A pair of RG-6 patch cables, a telephone cable and an ethernet cable is also included.
Panamax's Isolated Power uses the secondary windings of the internal 750VA toroidal transformer so that the output power is completely isolated from the input power. Balanced Power makes use of a center tap on the secondary windings that is connected to chassis ground. This creates a balanced output with each power signal (hot and neutral) equal yet opposite in polarity with respect to earth ground. This type of power isolation can be beneficial, resulting in lower noise in some components.
The MAX® 5510-PRO has a 15 amp main circuit breaker for the input power. There's also a secondary 6 amp circuit breaker specifically designed to protect the isolation transformer in case of an overload. However, the majority of digital components draw little current, so this should not be a problem. The unit has both 12V input and output triggers allowing it to be easily daisy-chained into a system. We used our Parasound AVC-2500u A/V Controller to drive the trigger input on the MAX® 5510-PRO and it worked perfectly. The Trigger Delay switch allows the unit to insert a delay between the time it receives a trigger and the time it sends out a trigger. The user has the option of selecting zero or 10-seconds. This can be useful when connecting multiple power conditioning units together or as in our case for providing a delayed trigger to our five-channel Parasound (HCA-2205AT) power amplifier.
Something new to this product is the RS232 interface that allows an external controller to command and request status from the unit. The baud rate is a modest 9600 bps with one start bit and one stop bit. The interface uses three wires (TX, RX and Ground) to send and receive data with no flow control. There are ten commands and five status requests that can be sent to the unit.
Two sets of satellite connections and a set of cable connections provide protection from potential voltage spikes. Satellite connections work over a range from 950 MHz to 2.2 GHz with a loss of less than 1dB in signal level. The clamping circuitry for the satellite connections is set at 27V to handle the 13 and 18 volt control voltages used for the LNBs. The cable/antenna connections are designed to operate over a range of 5 to 950 MHz with a clamping threshold set at 0.7V, well above the level of the modulated video signal. All F-connectors used for both are gold-plated to ensure long-term contact reliability. A pair of protected LAN/telephone line (RJ-45) connections is also provided for set-top boxes and media servers, as are protected line level A/V jacks for audio and video signals.
The Panamax MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator® continues to offer their lifetime $5,000,000 Connected Equipment Protection Policy along with a three year parts and labor warranty. This is one of the best warranties we've seen in the industry and provides consumers with the confidence they need to maximize performance while protecting their costly components. The MAX® 5510-PRO is the company's flagship power product that meets the needs of both high-end consumers as well as custom installation professionals.
- Kevin Nakano
Optoma H77 High-Definition HD2+ DLP Projector
Review at a glance
Panamax MAX® 5510-PRO ACRegenerator®
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