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New Power Adapter Fixes Space Issues 97

Tributaries has just announced a solution to all or your oversized power adapter woes. The new T12 power strip features 12 different outlets and eight of them are located on the edge and can be rotated by as much as 90 degrees. The adapter also provides surge protection for RJ-11, RJ-45, and Coax if you so desire.
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New Power Adapter Fixes Space Issues

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  • Why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZoneManSPW ( 126640 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:54PM (#22603156)
    Why is a press release "stuff that matters?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by inviolet ( 797804 )

      Why is a press release "stuff that matters?"

      Slashdot ad revenues are down, perhaps?

      Among geeks like us, product placements in a 'sacred' forum like Slashdot are a Big Deal. I recently bought a very nice smart battery charger from Thompson based on the (modded +5) recommendation of another poster. And I'm so thrilled with it, I bought more of them to give as Christmas gifts. At least for now, my brain assigns Slashdot items an automatic above-average level of trust.

      Hence the pressure to grab the headli

  • Price (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:56PM (#22603188)
    For $120, I'd rather buy a couple regular power strips that would fit just as many, if not more power bricks, and have a bunch of money left over.
    • Re:Price (Score:5, Informative)

      by orclevegam ( 940336 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:44PM (#22603964) Journal
      Or even better, buy a PowerSquid [thinkgeek.com].
      • The squid certainly accomplishes its mission, but there's just something disorderly about a bunch of bricks hanging from tentacles that puts me off.
        • And you think it will be any better on this 12-port beast? The brick for my speakers is stupidly 3"x4" and well over a pound. In the configuration of this thing, the only way it would fit is on the top of the surge protector -- it would block off the handle, or take up 4 ports. Or, it would cover 2 or 3 of the side ports, and kinda flop off the side, and probably come unplugged on a regular basis. No thanks, I go with the squid.
      • I guess you did like the clutter of the squid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 )
      You can buy six regular strength surge protectors for the price of this. You'd have to be hit directly with lightning for the products plugged in to the 6th strip to get zapped. I always chain at least two anyways (Dallas area is prone to lightning 2-3 times a month year round, 1-2 times a week in late summer).
      • by 666999 ( 999666 )
        Sounds like a good idea, I haven't tried it before - but isn't that against most local fire laws?
    • Or just get a few of these [cyberguys.com] to add to your existing power strip/UPS
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Amouth ( 879122 )
        and make sure you hide them.. we had some of thses (not these exactly but the same concept) and when the fire marshal came through for the yearly inspection he saw them and gave us a citation for having an extention cord pluged into a power strip and also gave us a citation for having a power strip pluged into an extetion cord.

        apprently you are allowed to doit temporaily (liek using a drill or something) but you can't doit and have it sit

        nor can you have a power strip pluged into another strip.. OR have a p
    • * (Wild guesses follow)

      Outlet circuitry: $12
      Design: $8
      Pending patents: $100
      Getting a press release onto spam-resistant Slashdot: priceless.
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      Even if this thing were $20 (and thus cost competitive with other outlet strips), I'd still be cautious about it. Any time you have something that hinges, you have a high risk point of failure from either wires breaking or contacts degrading. For $120, I'd rather add ten more wall outlets. Yikes. My average price for power strips is about $7, for 6 outlets. There's simply no way to justify spending 6 times as much per outlet unless they're attached to a UPS....

  • Slashdotvertisement. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Brought to you buy Slashdot.
  • by effigiate ( 1057610 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @01:58PM (#22603222)
    You can just buy one foot sections of "extension" cable that allow you to use all the outlets on your strip...plus they're cheap.
    • by tenton ( 181778 )
      You can just buy one foot sections of "extension" cable that allow you to use all the outlets on your strip...plus they're cheap.

      I was just thinking about that before I clicked to see how much they were selling this. The price ($120) doesn't make me think any different.
    • Or you could get a power adapter with the extension cables [pricebat.ca] built in.
  • I'm not impressed by a power bar. I am impressed by a mini-box.com pico psu! Now THAT is space saving ;)
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:00PM (#22603252)
    What we really need is standardized low voltage supplies, target devices and connectors. Then the "outlet" strip could have a single, high efficiency converter with multiple outputs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Detritus ( 11846 )
      Why? Low voltages are inefficient for power transmission. To provide well-regulated power to modern circuits, you need a voltage regulator that is physically close to the circuit. Pick up a modern motherboard and you will see one or more DC-DC converters used to power the CPU and other circuits.
      • by lexarius ( 560925 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @03:29PM (#22604620)
        It's not necessarily for everything. When I look at my powerstrip jungle, I see that the only AC cables running into a device belong to the workstations and monitors. Everything else (which is most of it) is a mess of bricks and giant plugs. If those devices were standardized, one brick could service all of them. Or have a couple categories with different plug shapes for 5, 12, or other voltages. These devices don't have their converters physically close to their circuitry to begin with, so it shouldn't be a problem.
        • Heck, just standardize on USB sockets / plugs with 5V power, and build that into power strips. I've seen a number of devices, mainly phones, which already use USB ports for charging.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Applekid ( 993327 )
        Who's using their home wiring to transmit power across any relevant distances? I don't think GP is referring to replacing AC with DC, just separating the two without a collection of bulky black boxes. I've got more than just a handful of wall warts on my various power strips. 70% of mine deliver 5 volts down cablinb 6 feet or less to a proprietary adapter for my phone or router or cable box or fax machine etc etc etc.

        It's pretty inefficient to have the same type of circuitry replicated time and time again w
        • by Amouth ( 879122 )
          i like your dream idea.. i would have jsut suggested 12-24-48v and let the device step it down or use a VERY small incable step down.. and having the bulk power conversion done by the strip - then we spend money buying the most effecient strip for our devices..
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by immcintosh ( 1089551 )
        I don't know about you, but when I count the number of wall warts I have sticking out all over the place, most of them are for little things like desk lamps and power chargers (laptop, phone, PSP, etc...). These would all work perfectly well on a standardized low voltage supply as far as I'm aware, and I for one think it's a great idea. Not every cable is powering a motherboard...
    • chargepod is what u r looking for...a bit expensive but upgrades with ur devices. callpod.com
    • What we really need is standardized low voltage supplies, target devices and connectors. Then the "outlet" strip could have a single, high efficiency converter with multiple outputs.
      It's a great idea and was tried before in the audio industry [rane.com]. Not everyone wants to participate. I don't think it would go over any better than it did for Rane.
    • Like USB?

      Combine an efficient PC-power supply in a box with (say) 12 USB sockets, and that could in theory take care of many things.
  • WAY too expensive (Score:5, Informative)

    by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:01PM (#22603254)
    Ok, 12 rotating power outlets and surge protection for $120.00 US....

    Or I could just get 3 of these: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/81f6/ [thinkgeek.com]

    for less than that, still have surge protection, and get 3 MORE outlets to work with.

    How the hell does this garbage rate Slashdot front page status?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plague3106 ( 71849 )
      Not really. 540J vs. 4320J. The squid is a neat idea, but its eight times LESS effective than this one.
    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      Squids are the only way to go. Once you have used them a traditional power strip just seems silly.
  • Power Squid = Better (Score:4, Informative)

    by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:01PM (#22603256) Homepage Journal
    The Power Squid [thinkgeek.com] or PowerSquid Surge [thinkgeek.com] are better, since you can get the same amount of outlets for cheaper, and they can be plugged into larger wall-warts easier. Even better is that you can often get the Power Squid for free from ThinkGeek through the geekpoints program.

    This /. advertisement is just silly, this isn't news, and is barely stuff that matters.
    • Agreed... for $120 you could get a whole bunch of power squids, even at retail price. I bought several in pairs for only $4 each... that seems a much better option for wall warts.
  • Currently in my home theater, I have a 65" mitsuibishi dlp tv -- Wii, ps3, and a 360 w/hd drive - sony reciever/amp then on the sides, on top of each speaker, I have a set up for my dell w/linux on it, and the otherside is plugged up to bring my hp laptop into it.. all the while.. having to unplug certain things quite often on a night when entertaining.. moving from one system to the next, displaying the laptops on the tv -- also connected in the back is a wireless router, a 4 port usb2 hub that plugs i
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Where's the '-1 show-off' moderation option when I need it?
  • I was a little skeptical about the price and capabilities of this thing, but a PDF from the manufacturer's website makes it look like a good deal, even at the price. The problem that I usually run into when looking for a surge strip/UPS with a lot of outlets is the total power the strip can handle. Many of the cheaper ones cap out around 1000VA or less, but it looks like this one will handle whatever you can draw without popping a standard residental 15A breaker:

    Electrically, the T12 is rated at 1875 Watt

    • ...of course, I hadn't come across the PowerSquid Surge that another poster pointed to at ThinkGeek. That looks like it does the same thing better and cheaper so you can pretty much forget my previous comment.
    • I would bet good money too that the "warranties" are worded in such a way as to make it effectively impossible to ever collect anything. Just a hunch...
    • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

      1000VA... so about 9 amps each.

      Let's see... you have two outlets in the wall.

      Your house is rated for 15 amps.

      9 * 2 > 15

      Where's the limitation again? Oh, I forgot, you have a quarter in place of the breaker in the utility closet.... :-D

  • They rotate, but along the wrong axis.

    This design doesn't help accommodate more transformers at all.

    I must be missing something major.
    • I wouldn't say they rotate along the wrong axis, but that they have the rotating outlets in a suboptimal configuration. All of the grounds should be facing inward because most bricks have more sticking below the prongs than above it.

      But then they would suck when on the same plane as the middle strip. So basically, this power strip has outlets that are going to be extremely annoying in that they keep moving.

      What they needed were outlets that would spin on two axes of rotation.
    • Seems to me that if you stagger the rotated ones you could probably have enough room for a mid-sized wall wort on each one. One on the top, next one on the side, next one on the top, etc... effectively doubles the space between any consecutive two on a side.
  • I don't like it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:15PM (#22603484) Homepage Journal
    The thing is overpriced and it won't work as advertised. Look at your big wall wart, it is considerably wider than the plug and usually hangs out below the ground plug on the bottom. Look how close together those side plugs are. You would think the operative mode would be to alternate between top and side to plug in the most, but if you have them turned all the way down to the side then the wall wart will smack on the floor (causing the whole strip to rest at an angle).

    From what I see this strip won't be able to handle more than 5 oversized wall warts (two on each side, one on the top) without interfering with other plugs, which is not something I'd spend $120 on.

    Frankly, the plugs look rather jammed together on there. I have some power strips like that were even regular three prong plugs occasionally have problems (some manufacturers go crazy on the plastic around the plugs).

    For the next version of this strip, I suggest a few changes:
    1. Forget this rotating stuff, just space the plugs out on the top and put two of them on each side.
    2. Spread the plugs out a bit more
    3. Drop the price by half, or let Monster rebrand your equipment
  • Now that's what I call innovation! An oversized power strip which will, eh, save space! I mean, the thing is so huge that it needs a handle! Imagine it with 12 adapters plugged in.
  • Gee, and all for the low, low price of $120.

    Or, for $29.99 [amazon.com][Not a paid/sponsored link, I have no connection to Amazon except as a normal customer], you could get a real power strip, suitable for mounting along the back or side edge of your desk (keeping the plugs off the floor where fallen drinks tend to go).

    Hmm, decisions decisions...
  • ThinkGeek has the PowerSquid, which has 5 outlets and costs $15. Much better than this thing.
  • I always wonder why companies make wall warts which won't play with others. Who gains from this? How?
    • by swm ( 171547 ) <swmcd@world.std.com> on Friday February 29, 2008 @03:13PM (#22604396) Homepage
      Wall warts are driven by the fact that UL ignores anything under 30 volts.

      If your product plugs directly into the wall, then it's a 120V device, and you have to get it UL approved, which costs $$$.

      Instead, you buy a wall wart.
      The wall wart is 120V, but the wall wart vendor already got it UL approved.
      Now your device is low voltage, and you don't need UL approval.

      This is a true, global economic saving, because the single UL approval for the wall wart saves the cost of UL approval for every product that uses it.

      Wall warts inconvenience consumers, because they block adjacent outlets on power strips, but few consumers make purchase decisions based on wall wart form factor, so there isn't much market pressure on vendors to deal with this problem.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Wall warts also allow product designers to accommodate regional variations in voltage/frequency/receptacle format by simply shipping the appropriate wallwart for the destination country. Avoids the problems with different power transformers, fuses, and cordsets for different countries.
    • "I always wonder why companies make wall warts which won't play with others. Who gains from this? How?"

      Apparently, the makers of the above slashvertised product do.
  • Chain these things together

            http://media.doitbest.com/products/543268.gif [doitbest.com]

    They cost less than $5 and each one in the chain gives you 2 usable outlets.

    That's $2.50 per outlet, which is less than a PowerSquid,
    and you can expand the chain incrementally.
    • until your house burns down from an electrical fire in the middle of the night. honestly, i balk at the idea of using power strips (surge protecting or not). Its all extra load on one breaker, and if you live in a older house (as I, and many others do) then its a good bet that there are 4 breakers in your breaker box, one for the stove, one for the dryer, one for lights and one for plugs, and thats the whole house. throw in a chance at aluminum wiring, and the idea of daisy-chaining three-way plugs gets sca
  • Nothing New (Score:3, Informative)

    by forceofyoda ( 855030 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:52PM (#22604090)
    I bought one of these [amazon.com] about 8 months ago. What's so great about this new one?
    • by iksbob ( 947407 )
      I picked up a 2-pack of those things from costco maybe 6 months ago for around $25. The outlets are at a right angle compared to the featured strip and pivot 180 degrees, so you can stagger devices on the top, left and right sides of the strip. Why would I want a strip that's bulkier, less functional and 10x the price?
  • Cheapest alternative (Score:3, Informative)

    by pauljlucas ( 529435 ) on Friday February 29, 2008 @02:54PM (#22604124) Homepage Journal
    These 6-inch extension cords [radioshack.com], while they not have grounded outlets, are just the right thing for all those gadget power bricks that have the plug coming right out of the brick (and most of those are non-grounded anyway).
  • Oh....right....nobody would care if the headline was accurate.

    I got excited thinking someone presented a new form factor for powerbricks. I wish I could rate stories -5 lame.

  • I bought two of these Fellowes Mighty 8 Outlet surge protectors [google.com] for about 6 bucks each at a Big Lots. It is sort of triangle and it is pretty compact, but with the outlets arranged in such a way that you can pack quite a few wall warts into it. One of mine has 3 wall warts plugged into the outlets on top, and one in one of the lone side sockets. You could probably squeeze 7 clunky adapters into it and only block one outlet.

    It was definately the best 6 dollars I've ever spent on a surge protector. I th

  • While a lot of people are complaining about the price and pointing out Power Squids, it seems to me that with this item it's a matter of getting what you pay for. It provides SUBSTANTIALLY more surge protection than the Squid, and seems to also cover all your common cables (Coax, CAT-5) and not just power. I'm inclined to say that if you're in a position where any of that would be important, this might be a solid piece of engineering to suit your needs. You just pay for it.

    (Not that I've actually test
    • In fact, these type of devices can often provide a false sense of security for the user.

      In order for a surge protector to function effectively, it needs a short. low impedance path to the building's main electrical service ground. Devices that plug in at the receptacle are connected to ground only through the branch circuit wiring, which may be a hundreds feet of more in length before it gets back to the main electrical panel. All that wire length adds resistance and inductance, which can completely negate
      • As I understand it, neither the main service panel surge suppressor nor the power bar are sufficient alone. In other words, you're certainly right that you want one on your main service panel, but for smaller surges and as a backup on larger ones (Or hell, maybe the surge originates between the service panel and your appliance? Lightning striking your house? I know it's a stretch, but hey), you'll want one at the point of use too.

        At least, that's the way I understand it.
        • First off, NOTHING is going to prevent serious damage in the case of a direct lightning strike onto the electrical wires feeding your house. The energy levels involved are far beyond what any type of household surge suppressor is going to handle.

          The problem with installing surge suppression at the outlet is that the surge current being dumped into the far end of a grounded wire will simply cause the voltage on that end of the conductor to spike upwards, due to the conductor's resistance, and more importantl
  • It's an interesting design, however, with that many plugs, I'd be afraid of all the "less intelligent" amongst us that will plug everything and its sister into this strip. Each circuit in a home is rated for so many amps, and with the huge TV's, power sucking computers, game consoles, lights, etc, etc that get plugged into these, I'd just be afraid it'd start a fire, or at the very least keep blowing a breaker (leading to the moron taping the breaker so it can't trip...)

  • Why don't we just make power adapters with a pass-through, like a string-light plug, so we can just plug on right into the other?
    • by Tzarius ( 688342 )
      I would say it's because of electrical safety regulations - there is a very low limit on the number of splitters / adapters you can have on a single outlet (no matter which configuration) which doesn't allow for overloading of the master feed circuit.

      If you have a house which can safely power an arc welder in every room simultaneously, then sure, go for it, but in the majority of cases, having multiple power adapters with active connected appliances will burn your house to the ground.
  • I can't imagine anyone who would pay $120 for this. Bricks are un-sightly problem, but you can buy 20 $6 power strips at the meglo-mart for this and string them along.
  • I recently saw a few strips with this "rotation" feature at Fry's and I can't figure out if I'm missing something. The outer outlets all have the ground pole on the outer edge, which makes sense when not rotated, because the large plugs will have their cords facing outwards.

    However, when they are rotated, the ground poles are on the bottom, meaning the plug cords will be against the ground or whatever surface you have it mounted on. How is this an advantage? You wouldn't be able to mount it on a wall or eve
  • I purchased a 3' long 12 outlet strip from wal-mart for $25. Outlets are spaced about 2" apart. It handles everything except for the massive wallwarts without blocking the next outlet.
  • 5 pack of 12 inch extension cords (3 prong) [cyberguys.com]

    5 pack of 12 inch extension cords (2 prong) [cyberguys.com]

    What you do with the $100+ savings is your business.

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