Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Spotlight On Crestron: Every Product Has A Story Behind It

Not only that, but every solution demands a problem. A perfect example is Crestron's new-ish module, that protects control processors from power surges that travel though the serial control line.

The CSP-RS232I is an accessory designed to protect a Crestron control system's COM ports from lightning surges and other electrical disturances brought through the RS-232* control line. By electrically isolating any distant, outdoor device such as a pool & spa controller or irrigation system, the CSP-RS232I can prevent damage to the control system in the event of a near lightning strike, ground-loop, or short from a high voltage line.

It's actually a valuable solution: when high voltage travels down a low-voltage line, bad things happen. A catastrophic occurrence like that is not unheard of either. I know of one installation here in town where a high-voltage surge struck through the hi-speed cable line and fried both the home's modem and the system's control processor. The entire system was connected to a surge suppressor/UPS, but not one with Ethernet protection. Oops!

The only reason I'm blogging this at all is because knowing the relationship dynamics between integrators and control vendors, I can almost guarantee that this box was engineered in response to at least one loud, angry integrator who experienced just such a scenario as Crestron outlined in their marketing paragraph: an irrigation system or some such getting fried and taking the controller down with it. Closing the barn door after the cow escapes is a crucial part of the engineering process.

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