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Neat-O: Power Protection Saves System During 150-volt Surge

Thanks to meticulous design, wiring and power protection, all cylinders are firing smoothly on massive system featuring 50 zones of distributed audio, 26 video zones, 1,200 lighting loads and 16 HVAC zones.


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Click here to view full-size image. Images credit: Rick Marder

This New Jersey client’s dream home was three years in the making, two trips to CEDIA Expos in the technology planning and nearly one electrical surge from potential disaster.

Thanks to the project’s meticulous design, wiring and power protection planning from integrator Home Theater of Long Island (HTOLI) of Manhasset, N.Y., all cylinders are still firing smoothly. And there are tons of cylinders firing in this massive integration success.

The residence features 50 zones of distributed audio, which covers three buildings and a custom outdoor integrated speaker solution covering a pergola, English garden, pool and terrace, notes Kaloma Smith, one of three HTOLI managing directors along with Nick Tzortzatos and Anthony Chrisostomo (who did most of the wiring). There are also 26 video zones, and each incorporates a Savant OSD and is run on a fiber backbone from a central headend.

Among the subsystems under command are 1,200 lighting loads, 16 HVAC zones with temperature and humidity, security, pool control, gate control, and a camera surveillance system.

As you can see, the wiring is nicely color coded to provide a manageable roadmap for the many zones and systems. But beyond that, HTOLI took care in guarding the client’s electronics with multiple pieces of power protection. Systems designer Gregg Bilotta (who owns Advanced Electronic Systems) and Brian Farley, both formerly of HTOLI, were heavily involved in the project.

“One of the unique aspects of the system is the level of power protection we have designed into the system to protect the client’s extensive investment. We have full Eaton battery backup for the residence and integration rack. In addition, there is TPS surge suppression on every electrical panel and any copper line coming into the house. Also each rack has local surge suppression and line conditioning,” Smith explains. “This saved the system when a 150-volt surge ripped through the house because of a utility mistake - no equipment was lost.”

imageHTOLI managed to connect and flow all of the wiring in this New Jersey home in a tidy manner thanks to meticulous pre-planning. (Click image to enlarge.)
The impressive equipment list that’s connected through the thousands of feet of wiring includes a Kaleidescape system; more than 30 bookshelf and in-wall Meridian speakers; 22 custom Leon speakers for the outdoor audio; 16 Aprilaire thermostats; 14 flat-panel TVs from NuVision, Runco and Pioneer; eight Lutron lighting panels; and 10 Middle Atlantic Slim 5 and Axis racks.

As far as the customization of this A/V and automation project goes, we’ll let Smith outline one example: “The clients have an autistic nephew who lives close by and is over often. They wanted a way to set up the house so they could assure his safety and give him access to the functions he would use.

"When he is over, they select "John" on the OSD, and the system activates a special mode that monitors the doors so he doesn’t go outside. If he does go outside, the client is automatically alerted as to which door he went out. Every OSD turns on and displays the door he went out … which gives peace of mind.”

Congratulations to Kaloma Smith for a Neat-O! installation. We’re looking for over-the-top projects. Cool, unique, tidy or meticulous, share your best work with our readers. E-mail your submissions, with high-resolution images, to managing editor Arlen Schweiger at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Article Topics

News · Audio · Distributed Audio · Speakers · Video · Multiroom Video · Home Automation and Control · Control Systems · Lighting · Security · Energy Management · Power Protection · Savant · Neato · Installation · Eaton · East · All topics

About the Author

Arlen Schweiger
Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro and Commercial Integrator magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews.

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Dan C - Audioplus  on  03/01  at  12:59 PM

Power protection and conditioning units, personally love them, good add on, in the back woods and metropolitan areas of North Idaho BUT . . . .
Whatever happened to user access friendly fuses? You know, the kind you don’t violate the manufacturer’s warranty when the fuse blows?
I’m not talking about $5,000 - $20,000 video projector’s, but affordable Amps, speakers, flat panel TV’s should all have it, they used to.

Posted by Hagai Feiner / Access Networks  on  03/02  at  02:20 PM

Wow that looks clean! Love the ASA5510 firewall. What switches did you use?

Very clean. Congrats!

Posted by pcompton  on  03/02  at  02:44 PM

Some of the best work I’ve ever seen…And all DanC wants to talk about is $3.99 fuses. 

Show a little love Dan, this article isn’t about $3.00 fuses.  It’s about one helluva’ impressive installation.

Posted by Dan C - Audioplus  on  03/02  at  04:39 PM

Nothing personal, yes an extremely nice installation, well designed and thought out. Home Theater of Long Island ‘Nice Job!’
Had a bad day yesterday, whatever happened to .99 cent user friendly fuses?

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