Frequently Asked Questions

Real questions from you, real answers from us.

Technology

How is Bantam Clean Power different from the competition?

Bantams filter unwanted energy on all the wires that supply power and ground to your equipment.  Bantams filter both voltage and current on each wire, lowering the levels of unwanted energy to well below the “harmful” range.  Bantams can do this indefinitely because its core components cannot fail.  All of this is protected and described under three U.S. patents.

What is an "inductor" and how can it stop a surge?

Simply, an electrical component called an “inductor” abhors, or resists, a change in current passing through its wire winding, with a strength and capacity that filters a range of electrical frequencies.  The strength, capacity and frequency range of an inductor are all among the design variables available to the circuit designer.  In other words, an engineer designs inductors by choosing the core material, size and wire windings to suit the needs of the application.  In the case of the Bantam, its inductors are a proprietary design, specifically to mitigate the harmful energies of surge and transients, all while maintaining safety and repeatability.  An inductor is a series component, meaning it is in the direct current path, and cannot typically fail in the Bantam application.

What's the big deal with an inductor on the grounding path?

The grounding path of an AC circuit, identified by the green wire in a cord-set or seen as the long, round prong of a three-prong outlet is there to protect humans from an electrical short-circuit failure of a device.  It was not foreseen as a path to divert other types of energies, like surge and transients, nor was it intended to become a reference plane for digital signals in computers.  Yet, the ground is used for that now.  In order to establish the integrity of the ground path in devices as the path of least resistance, no series components are typically allowed by safety regulators to be part of a product’s design.  The Bantam, however, employs such a unique design in the ground inductor that it maintains (and we might argue – enforces) the integrity of the ground path and at the same time prevents surge and transit energy from traveling up the ground path to your protected devices.

How is this technology different from the usual Electronics Super Store surge protectors?

Inexpensive “surge protector” strips use the least amount of technology and parts possible to meet a price point that a non-discerning or unknowing consumer will accept.  Our market knowledge, which covers over 15 years in this industry, has identified that the Metal Oxide Varistor, or MOV, is the prevalent component used to provide so-called surge protection.  On it’s own, the MOV is a poor suppressor of anything; it diverts energy from one path to another, but only for an instant, not for the entirety of the event.  And it will fail if it is called upon after only a second or two.  The Bantam uses non-failing, in series inductors to block unwanted current, and uses MOV’s to work with the inductors, not the surge, to keep the magnetic resistance in place to absorb the surge energy for its entirety.  This is an important point; Bantam’s put a substantially stronger component in the path of the surge that can more than handle the energy, not some weak MOV that is incapable of stopping anything and can become a flammable component in just a second or two.  Lastly, the Bantam filters even on ground, which is also a source of surge energy.

 

My surge protector has a 1800 Joules rating, what is Bantam’s Joules rating?

We advertise that the Bantams have an infinite joule value, only because we will not play the “joules” game with the other inexpensive surge protectors.  A joule in this application relates to the energy-withstand capability of the component subjected to the surge energy, but only for the time that this component is in use.  Every MOV has a joule value from the manufacturer.  So-called surge protectors with joule ratings are simply adding up the values of each MOV in the device and multiplying it by the time that the MOV can operate before failure.  And there is the rub.  During a surge, a Bantam does not fail, so our joule rating is at least the joule rating of the line or source circuit supply power to the Bantam. 

Aren’t all surge protectors sacrificial when hit by a lightning strike?

Not the Bantam.  MOV’s, silicon-avalanche diodes, gas-discharge tubes and other parallel-connected components that cannot handle large current for an extended period of time are “sacrificial,” which really means that they are also sacrificing your devices that you wish to protect.  See, all of this sacrificing in weaker designs happens in a split-second during a surge or transient.  Many times, the surge event is still in effect long after the sacrificial component has failed, so the next component is your device. 

Isn’t a surge diverted to ground, is that bad? Isn’t that what a ground is for?

Surge protectors that only use parallel components which respond to an over voltage and then cause a current flow to an alternate path (like MOV’s and silicon-avalanche diodes) divert the energy to ground or to other paths (e.g. like a neutral wire.)  This is bad because during a surge event, the direction that current will flow on the grounding path cannot be guaranteed, and in fact will flow away from the protected device and then towards and through the device, all within milliseconds.  The reasons are worthy of a white paper on the subject.  Ground is not intended for surge energy; it is intended to be the alternate path for current when a short-circuit failure occurs within a product or device.

How can you claim a Bantam won’t fail, what about 100 lightning strikes?

We can claim that the Bantam won’t fail under surge conditions in this way; 1) we have had third parties audit our own tests or conduct their own extended surge testing of our Bantam, always with a computer powered up and protected by a Bantam and then repeatedly, continuously surged to the highest level for hours and hours, with one such test by a third party going an entire 24 hours (over 1800 surges), with zero degradation to the Bantam and no failure or hiccup of the protected device; 2) we have demonstrated the strength of our product versus numerous competitors’ devices in the presence of future customers.  Each time we have done that, we have gained life-long customers and believers, and 3) we have over 15 years of history with Bantams installed all over the world and no reports of failure due to a surge event from our customers.

Why is a protected and filtered ground important? The line and neutral effect electronics, the ground is for safety.

During a surge event, all the wires bundled in a cord-set, or conduit, are so close together that the magnetic field generated by a surge on one wire is imposed on the adjacent wires.  This is called inductive couplance and is the principle that makes radio broadcasting possible.  In electronic devices, many sensitive electronic components are connected to ground via the metal chassis.  Without filtering protection on ground these components are vulnerable to the surge energy traveling on ground and the other wires.

Why would I need a device that is both a surge suppressor and a filter?

Most importantly, you and I need a device that is a protector (notice the product type is focussed on what you actually want.)  The market has made you and I have to choose products as filters, surge suppressors, or conditioners, which loosely implies “protection” if I understand everything else they tell me.  The Bantam is the only solution that combines the features of filtration of energy at all levels, which encompasses the energy found during surges as well.  To a Bantam, all unwanted energy is filtered, regardless of size or frequency, so surge suppression is included in our complete filtration.  We need a device that protects our electronics, and if that means surge suppression and filtering, or whatever, it should be in there and the manufacturer should be able to claim that I am protected.

What is the warranty?

We offer a lifetime warranty on the workmanship of any Bantam product to the original owner.  Period.  If something on the unit breaks, like an outlet, or the LED light stops working, we will repair or replace it.  And yes, we can repair a Bantam; it doesn’t need to go into a landfill.

Why do you call it a power conditioner?

Power conditioning is the broadest term used to describe the various energy-shaping or grooming that a product can do to a power source.  The Bantam is a power conditioner because it grooms the power source by correcting power factor, filtering voltage and current harmonics, filtering transient energy, filtering/suppressing harmful surge energy and filter high-frequency noise.

Performance

Why is a Bantam better? What does "better" even mean?

Beyond products, the Bantam is the better technology for these reasons.  First, its performance in minimizing and blocking surge energy (voltage, current and frequency) is both advertised and repeatable.  Second, it is not passive, but an active, series based technology.  Third, it does not fail in the presence of surge and noise. Lastly, it is better because it works with both voltage and current, on all three wires, which no other product can do.  To us, “better” means better for the customer.

 

Isn't surge just a voltage event?

Electricity always has three properties present – voltage, current, and frequency.  Frequency can be zero (that is called DC) but voltage and current can never be zero in a closed circuit.  And that is the key to understanding why voltage-only protection is not enough.  When you are using a computer plugged into a surge suppressor, voltage and current are both present because a circuit is closed.  Bantam technology actually acts upon the surge’s three properties of voltage, current and frequency.

I read that surge suppressors fail all the time and they are just junk. How can you reassure me that the Bantam isn't like all the rest?

Over the past 15 years, we have purchased and tested almost every surge suppressor and power conditioner available in the US and some foreign markets.  We have the ability to perform surge testing and long-term life cycle testing.  We have seen all of the other products fail in one form or another when surged under load.  We assure you that ours is the best solution for you by offering the Lifetime Warranty of the Bantam to the original owner.  After more than 10,000 surges injected into our products by us in our labs over the years, we know what they will do under most conditions and we know that they will last when installed and used according to the instructions.  Also, the primary circuit has not changed nor has it needed to change over these past 15 years because it works – it has stood the test of both time and diverse applications. The best way to convince yourself is to buy one and use it and then call us 10 years from now to let us know that we might be telling the truth after all.

 

I don't understand how a surge suppressor can say it stops a gizzilion volts from a lightning strike, but it has a little 3 to 15 amp circuit breaker? Why doesn't a circuit breaker stop a surge?

We get this one a lot, and to best answer let’s try a  little “Electricity 101.”  First about the breakers: the safety circuit breakers found in most plug-in devices like power strips and our Bantams are there to protect the device from becoming overheated in the event that more electric current is demanded from the device than it is designed and rated to carry.  The breaker is a temperature-sensitive device and will break the circuit when it reaches a fixed temperature.  That’s it.  Secondly, the thing about surge energy is that it comes and goes so quickly, that a thermal-sensing breaker like this doesn’t get warm when a surge occurs.  If you don’t believe me, consider that when a surge travels from the outside through your electrical service into your home, there are several panel circuit breakers upstream that didn’t trip either prior to arriving at your surge suppressor.  So that is why circuit breakers cannot sense or stop surges.  

The Bantam is more expensive than the surge protectors at the local electronics store. How do you justify the expense?

Disassemble any big-box store’s surge suppressor for which you paid $7.99 to $199.00 and you will ask yourself “Why did I pay this much for nothing?”  These consumer-grade devices are long on offering features and functionality that have nothing to do with surge suppression and short on technology that actually protects something, other than itself.  See, we all have a challenge selling these products in this market; it is like buying insurance.  Unless a surge happens, you don’t think you need the device.  Many people never will experience a surge so they don’t care what grade of device they buy.  Also, there is no standard for measuring the performance of a surge suppressor; no grading system, no independent comparisons, etc. for the consumer to make a sound judgement.  (Bantam Clean Power is developing a solution to that performance problem, however, so stay tuned.)  And with the price ranges so wide with all the products making similar claims, why not buy just the least-expensive version?  The Bantam came to market quite a while after the inexpensive surge suppressors because we noticed that they didn’t work during an actual surge, period.  One device caught fire, and so did the computer attached to it, others sparked, jumped or became electrically unsafe.  The Bantam contains custom components that we designed and manufacture that contain metal for sustaining large magnetic fields and superior, brand name parts.  We do not skimp and we do not believe in a race to the bottom in terms of pricing.  We do our best to build Bantams very economically so we can price them affordably and we can earn a small profit doing it so that we can continue our passion of delivering this great solution to you.  As it turns out, we price our products very, very competitively to many of the inferior products; we are often more affordable, so please consider us the next time you are looking to buy a power conditioner.

Your literature talks about a load on the circuit, what is this and why does it matter?

The term “load” in the context of power conditioning devices simply means the device or devices you already own that you wish to protect with the power conditioner.  Load refers to the fact that these devices draw a certain amount of current to do their work.  Circuits can only support a certain load before overloading protections come into play to prevent electrical fires.  Whenever you see the term “load” used on anything electrical, you know it is in reference to a downstream device that is drawing electricity to produce work.

Can a Bantam that filters and protects the ground replace a designated or isolated ground I need to run to my server rack?

Yes.  Isolated grounds are installed in an effort to guarantee that there is a direct path to ground via a wire and not just via the metal conduit (EMT) that is typically used to provide a grounding path.  The hope is that this will also be a cleaner ground.  Guess what?  Inductive couplance comes back in play and the isolated ground becomes as polluted as the regular ground once you power up all your devices.  Money wasted.  The Bantam, however, filters ground just inches before the loads or device you are protecting, giving you the best clean ground available.  

Bantam Clean Power™

by Digilant.net

This is Power Conditioning and Surge Suppression for today’s and tomorrow’s advanced electronics.  Patented, proven, affordable and energy-efficient.

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