P20 Always Safe?

I am not being a troll, I love this thing and pretty much everything PSA ever made. Let’s be honest. It has a software driven front end. Sometimes there will be some corruption ETC. I was just wondering if it has some sort of protection electrically, should the software for instance instruct it to send 500 Volts to the receptacles or some odd thing like that. I just think something could theoretically happen with the software sometimes acting up if there were no fool proof hardware safety in place? Don’t get me wrong just cycle the power. It is the best regenerator I have ever heard at any price. All of this era of stuff with LCD displays running software can occasionally hiccup. I am fine with that just would like to be reassured it does not blow up! Thanks -Todd

Your question caught my interest so I went and checked in with engineering here at PS HQ.

You’re right that software can (very rarely) become corrupted, but we have hardware failsafes in place to make sure nothing goes wrong if it does.

MOVs ensure that voltage spikes before the unit get stopped dead in their tracks, so we can rule out electrical problems before the unit damaging your gear.

On top of that, the output stage of the P20 (and the other power plants as well) is limited on its output voltage voltage. For a 120V P20, the voltage can swing up to ~140V. The unit physically cannot deliver higher voltages than that. While your gear might not like getting 140V in, it won’t damage anything.

So even if the code somehow told the unit to put out 500V, the unit itself does not have that capability.

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A really interesting topic while discussing SW bugs generally here elsewhere. But here they could have more impact, so good you cared for that on HW side!

Thanks. I pretty much figured that was the case. Since code can become corrupt just as it did in my new DS. It is not PSA just the very nature of the hardware that stores/processes it. I figured you must have hardware failsafe in place and glad I was correct! See, if the DS goes haywire nothing shall result. Unless your amp was wide open and it screamed lol. The P20 could do some real bad stuff if it was unleashed. So different story there. I was almost positive that is how they would design it though or it would have been irresponsible. There are in fact, even US companies that made stuff that blew up and they are also no longer in business. Rightfully so. You Guy’s kind of know what you are doing by now :blush:

Wrong. Uncommand Vol+ happened to my DS. Disintegrated a ceramic Accuton mid-driver in my speaker. Had to be sent to Germany for repair. Expensive. I then sold the DS. Lesson learned.

p.s. they since added a volume limiter function.

This is not the DS per Se. It is the technology. Anything that is all software driven can have these issues. Good old analog may reign supreme in this regard. Your turntable shall never do this! However it is not PSA’s fault. It is just the implementation and others use it. A Krell or Classe are known to also do what you have mentioned. Heck just a URC remote sitting around can cause a disaster and it is not even the component fault but a command that was erroneously sent to it! Only way to avoid this is to have some real old school stuff, certainly not cutting edge. It was not the DS fault I maintain, but rather the implementation of it’s control set. Which is via software. Other brands have done this plenty as well. You could just have locked the volume. Although that may not be a given either. Not sure. It is this method of technology, including even remotes as I mentioned. It is not that the DS is faulty. You will find instances of such anomalies with every brand that uses such an control interface. IE, touch screen. My Classe goes nuts all the time. At least the DS when it swiftly quit did not do so in a catastrophic manner here. I am sorry for your misfortune. Although personally that would not have made me sell the DS. If I had reservations of that scenario I simply would have elected to not purchase one in the first place! Software driven systems of any type carry inherent risk. Then again, analog can go haywire as well but less likely and not in the same manner.

I was wondering what speakers those are/were? Ceramic Accuton is nice stuff. It must have been wide open for some time to kill that as they handle high heat well.

My speakers have their Aluminum honeycomb bass driver and the SEAS Diamond Tweeter. People expect them to be very harsh but they are not. The resolution is incredible. These little speakers throw sound 16’ in all directions. Yes, the soundstage is amazing too. They are DIY. Since if some company actually made them they might cost more than a small home. Alas, no one makes anything like them anyhow. Still interested as to what you have/had?

It was, because they then tweaked the software to fix it.

All of these devices are dependent on the possible error of Humans, plus data corruption. Digital volume is always taking a remote gamble. Even in Windows or IOS. I do not think software driven front end implementations are inherently dangerous. Just bad luck. Still, if the P20 had a catastrophic malfunction it would be worse than a blown driver! Luckily as I thought it still has mechanical means of safeguarding in place. That is kind of a given with that.

And for the 230V EX version?

I was just revisiting this and noticed something. So, there are MOV’s in the P20? Congratulations! Goes right back to why PSA is the best. Honesty! I think I read somewhere that you cannot build a safe surge suppression device without catastrophic protection. I will bet that is the way they are implemented too. Mention MOV’s, companies hide, change the subject etc. Why? Because they are sacrificial.

The way I imagine they are used in the likes of the P20 is as a last line of defense. So, your home gets struck by lightening and PSA will probably repair it for you. Is that worse than the alternative? My understanding is there is simply no other failsafe technology.

I am glad it is there. Let the other companies go and hide. I hang with the big boys. In case it does not implement MOV’s I am simply quoting Scott Schroeder above. In which case he just made me look like an idiot lol. Seriously, I like to see MOV’s and all this other BS well… it is your house.

However, just for the record I would like to know if indeed it implement’s MOV’s. I am not going to cry as I think it is a good thing. Knowing little about it perhaps you really do have something better? Not to say that MOV’s are bad IMO. I have no clue but if it is true I was in fact rather happy to see honesty! Few companies will admit that. If it is not true, Oh well.