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A commercial-grade standard PC powers your Home Management System (HMS). Typically this gets mounted in a conditioned mechanical space with good accessibility to all parts of the home. (You can never have too much conduit!) Depending upon the subsystems integrated with your HMS, you may have two or more completely separate and independant CPUs within the PC to offload some functions and features from the primary CPU.
 
Standard on most systems is a redundant hard drive system. In the unlikely event of a crash (we borrowed that line from the airlines!) of your primary hard drive, you simply turn a key on the faulty drive, reboot the computer, and you're back up and running off the backup drive.
 
The subsystems integrated with your HMS are all certified by ESC before being included in your home's HMS design. The certification process ensures that all integration issues with a subsystem are known before your HMS design is committed to it. This eliminates costly design changes and surprises when your system is installed and commissioned. When it comes to the home you have to live in and the HMS you have to live with, it truly is better to measure twice, cut once!
 
Protecting your HMS and your subsystems from each other is the main reason optical isolation and surge suppression hardware is standard on all installations. The optical isolation hardware prevents communication failures due to voltage differences between different parts of your home, and almost every home has these voltage differences. The optical isolation also provides our lowest level of surge suppression.
 
Triple-protection surge suppression hardware prevents voltage spikes, i.e. lightning, from traveling between your HMS and the connected subsystems. Your HMS is connected by a wire web to many different subsystems in your home. Each of these subsystems in turn usually have their own wire webs connecting them to their controlled devices. On the outer edges of this multilayered web are devices like air handlers, security cameras (some probably high in trees or on metal poles), gate controllers at the far edge of your property, or simply the Jacuzzi. Most of these devices are just begging for a good lighting strike, and if not these, there is always the power company's transformer on a pole nearby.
 
The reason for surge suppression as a standard feature is lightning's ability to travel into the HMS through any of the attached devices that happens to take a hit. Once inside the HMS, it could travel back out the wire web to all other attached devices in the home. The surge suppression package greatly reduces the possibility of lightning damage spreading through the HMS. For lightning to damage more than the subsystem it hits, it has to breach the surge suppressor on the way in to the HMS and then get past a second surge suppressor on the way out to a different subsystem.
 

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This page was last updated on 10 March 2002.

 
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