Review of TrickleStar Smart PowerTap

The other day we were talking about slaying vampires with the TrickleStar TV TrickleStrip. Today I’ve got another way to slay them from TrickleStar, it’s the Smart PowerTap. This product isn’t exactly a power strip, but more of a power box, it’s square and it features not only Coax protectors but RJ11 and RJ45 surge protectors as well. This one is more for your computer, but it can be used anywhere you might need it though of course.  Let’s just jump right into this…

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Smart PowerTap

Model:175SS-US-4CD

Provides premium surge protection for a PC or TV setup. It plugs into a standard power, receptacle and reduces vampire power of peripheral devices. The Product senses when a Control Device (typically a TV or PC) is On or Off / Standby and then switches On / Off selected Outlets. Easy to install and requires no software or configuration. Ideal for small TV or PC setups.

Plugs into a standard power receptacle
-4 Outlets / 1 Control Outlet / 1 Always On Outlet / 2 Switched Outlets
-Selectable switching thresholds 18W / 35W / All On
-144,000 amps / 2160 Joules Fireproof, Ceramic Surge Protection
-LED Status Indication (Ground, Surge Status, Control, Always On Outlet, Switched Outlets)
-<48 dB noise filtering
-RJ11/45 Computer / Telephone / Fax Surge Protection
-F-Type Cable / DSS Surge Protection <48 dB noise filtering

X3 MOV Surge Protection
Traditional surge suppression products use standard MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor components). The Product incorporates advanced fireproof, surge protection technology. X3 MOV technology is encased in a ceramic casing and is capable of suppressing more energy and dissipating heat faster than traditional MOV’s. More importantly the ceramic casing is fireproof and is capable of preventing fire during abnormal surge conditions.

Product Warranty
2 year warranty against defective manufacturing and components
$50,000 connected equipment warranty

Price: $31.95

The box is filled with information about the product inside as you might expect.

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Inside you’ll find the PowerTap, user manual, screw and velcro ties.

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The Powertap essentially fits right over an existing outlet so the screw is for securing the PowerTap right to the outlet. You’ll probably have to remove the outlet cover, but you could just remove the existing screw and go right through it if you wanted to.

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The PowerTap itself is fairly heavy product for its size, yes it’s plastic but I’m sure all the circuits inside are what make it hefty.

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On the top is the TrickleStar log and three LED indicators for Surge, Ground and Switched.

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Below the LEDs you’ll find two outlets, yes there are two outlets on the front only. They are labeled Switched and Always On, there is an LED indicator for the Always On outlet as well.

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On each side you’ll see one more outlet per side., one is the Control and the other is another Switched outlet. So the PowerTap has four outlets only, one Control, one Always on and two Switched.

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On the bottom edge you’ll find the RJ and Coax connections with labels for In and Out.

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Like the TV TrickleStrip this one does have a sensitivity switch on the bottom, but I just realized I didn’t take a picture of that.

My wife has her own computer in our bedroom so that’s where the PowerTap is getting installed. My entire house is a work in progress, I need more time and money to get things done, but it will happen. Anyway the outlet we’ve been using for her computer setup is in the baseboard, I didn’t put it there and at this point it’s just easier to leave it there, but it’s mounted horizontally so it was sort of a tight fit to get the PowerTap in there.  Her setup consists of the PC, two monitors, and two printers, powered speakers and a little desk lamp. One printer is an Epson Wokforce all in one with fax, scanner etc, and the other is a big Epson business class printer, she used it a lot of school. Obviously four outlets aren’t going to be enough. We’ve also got a TV and DVD player in there as well and a radio/alarm clock. The TV and DVD player are plugged into anotehr outlet in the room altogether but the radio/alarm clock is plugged into the outlet with the computer.

I plugged the PowerTap into only one plug in the outlet, leaving the other for the extension cord with radio/alarm clock hooked to that. I did not use the included screw, you’re supposed to install it over your outlet covering both plugs, but depending on your situation things might differ. I found that the power cables on the monitors wouldn’t reach the PowerTap so I used an extensions for those and the speakers and plugged that into one of the switch outlets.  I then used another extension cord for the lamp, and printer which went to the Always On outlet. I then plugged the Epson all in one into the other Switched outlet.

It’s a bit dusty back there, the outlet is under a shelf, behind and off to the side of the computer desk, so excuse the dust bunnies please. I did actually clean it up a bit before I took picture but I may have missed a couple.

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I didn’t use the Velcro ties as it all needs rearranged, and I’ve already got zip ties on many of the wires to keep things clean and tidy.

Here’s a shot with no flash to show the LEDs:

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So as of now when my wife turns off the computer the two monitors, speakers and the printer will turn off as well, no more standby mode wasting power.There is a slight delay in powering off and on when using the PowerTap, but it’s like that with all of their products, no big deal, it still does what it supposed to do.

It’s $32 and it would be a one time investment that will certainly save you money in the long run by fully cutting the power to those devices that go into standby mode. For the most you don’t even need standby mode for something like a monitor, it doesn’t take long to turn on really so I get the point of it. Printers have an on/off switch but after you don’t use them for a certain amount of time they go into low power mode or standby mode which still draws power. If you don’t hit the actual power switch then you’re still using power 24/7 and that’s just a waste of both money and resources.

I think it’s worth, I like their products a lot, they’re very well made and they work as they should. At the moment I’ve got four of their products in my house working to keep my utility bills and my eco-footprint down. It’s something easy to do, one time really, just install it and forget about it and it will work to save you some money over time.

I can highly recommend them, if you’re interested in saving money and reducing your impact on the planet then this is a quick and easy and inexpensive way to do that.

Start the year off right and get one, or two or three and do your part.

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