Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Zap Cap

I knew that moving to the lightning capital of the country, FL, would be interesting on many levels. First, I am very afraid of lightning. Having grown up in West Texas, where the storms can be pretty bad, left me with a great respect for Mother Nature. Second, I was very worried about my expensive studio equipment. Should we be hit by lightning, or affected by a bad power surge- I could lose a lot!

We initially invested in very good surge protectors for my studio. This made me feel a little better. Then, my neighbor told me about something interesting. It turns out our local electric company offers a contraption known as a Zap Cap. I had never heard of such a thing, so I looked it up.

It's a meter based system that offers protection from high-voltage surges. Is it foolproof? No. But I figure it's better than nothing! For about $7 a month we rent the unit that attaches to our meter. For about $12-$50 per strip we buy the plug in protectors that we plug all our electronics and appliances into.

Our Zap Cap was installed yesterday, and I am in the process of converting all of my electronics to the approved power strips. It will be interesting to see how it works, but hopefully we'll never have to!

Every section of the country has their own 'natural disasters' to consider, and as voice actors and producers we have to take every step we can to protect our equipment and file archives. If you have a special system you use, I'd love to hear about it!

Kara Edwards Voice Over

6 comments:

Bob Souer said...

Kara,

Good stuff. I've never heard of a Zap Cap before, but I'm glad I have now. Keep safe!

Be well,
Bob

Kara Edwards said...

Thanks for stopping by Bob! I had never heard of it either, and I'm not sure if it's available everywhere. However, having seen just a small sample of FL lightning- I'm glad it's here!!

Kara

Josh Rouse said...

From what I've seen, the surge protectors really work well. I hope this Zap Cap thing works out for you. You might also consider investing in a lightning rod. Lightning will always hit the highest point so if it hit the rod it should protect your equipment. Or you could just unplug everything haha. :P

Kara Edwards said...

Josh-

Good suggestion about the lightning rod...I'll have to look into it! We had our first test last night when a big storm hit. Even with the Zap Cap in place, I shut everything down.

Better safe than sorry! :)

Greg Houser said...

Kara,

a good UPS in addition to whatever kind of strip you're using is worth its weight in gold. I'm not familiar with the Zap Cap, but I do know that I'd have a fried computer or two if it weren't for the APC units I had in the computer lab. I've moved up to better units now (the lightning strike killed one of the two units, but no damage to the equipment it was connected to), and they're not cheap, but I swear by them now.

-Greg

Kara Edwards said...

Great advice Greg- thank you!! I have to admit, all the protection in the world isn't going to stop me from stressing every time I see a big electrical storm :).