This 16-outlet (120V 15A)(12A UL) Rack Mount PDU delivers a cost-effective power distribution solution for your server rack/cabinet, making it ideal for smaller AV setups, but powerful enough for business applications. Convenient Compatibility The business-grade 1U power strip can be mounted...
This review is for the StarTech '19IN 1U Rackmount 16 Outlet Pdu Power Distribution Unit 125V 15A (12A Ul)'.I experienced a significant electrical problem when using this StarTech PDU. The summary of the problem is that there was a sudden loss of 120V power to 14 of the 16 outlets on the unit.Here is a description of the situation that probably describes much more than you care to know:I bought this power distribution unit to distribute 120V power to multiple items that are are mostly low to moderate in power consumption. The lower power items were just a pair of phone chargers (basic phones, not even higher amperage smart phones), a pair of 18650 lithium battery chargers, and a pair of Ni-MH AAA / AA battery chargers. These are all small battery chargers that are low current and use the common and familiar wall outlet style adapter to convert to low current DC for each device. I also had an LED light plugged into this Startech, and it's power consumption varies but maxes out at about 170 Watts. I also had a set of studio monitor speakers plugged into this unit as well as some other audio equipment such as a line mixer and a digital to analog audio interface.A majority of the equipment I have plugged in to this StarTech power distribution unit have UL Listed wall outlet style power switches connected in-line with 6 inch extension cables coming out of the StarTech unit so that the connected equipment can be turned off when not being used and so that the power adapters needed for some of the items can all have room to connect. In addition, being able to turn off individual also helps to eliminate that personally annoying glow / illumination of a room at night due to all of the back-lighting and LED indicator lights that are part of so much equipment these days. It also helps reduce power consumption through inefficient wall adapters when the items aren't being used, such as the battery chargers. What I am getting at here is that the combined total power draw of the items I had connected to this StarTech PDU was nowhere near it's rated current, and that is in addition to the fact that most of the connected equipment was not even turned on at the time. The title for this product indicates 15 Amps, which implies 1800 Watts of power handling, and interestingly also says only certified by the UL Listing for up to 12A based on the title for this product, which still implies 1440 Watts of power, which is still fine for me.After owning this StarTech unit for about 2 months and running the battery chargers intermittently as well as running the LED light regularly, I finally got a large flat screen monitor to go with the rest of the audio equipment. I had the new monitor (Samsung commercial display / TV) plugged into the StarTech unit and was trying to check the TV for the first time to understand it's functions. I then hooked a laptop to the TV through an HDMI cable to check the functioning of the TV as an external display. Things were fine and after a short time of testing things out, I needed to plug my Lenovo laptop in using it's supplied charger since the battery was getting low. I plugged the laptop's charging adapter in and plugged the cord into the laptop, and then proceeded to flip the switch to actually turn the charger on, and at that instant of flipping the switch, power cut out to to my connected equipment.At first I thought maybe there was something wrong with a ground loop or improper hot connection through the laptop charging system and going out through the HDMI cable into the large screen display and then back to the Startech power distribution unit. I pulled out a multimeter and found that I only now have voltage on 2 of the 16 outlets. I tried toggling the StarTech PDU power switch on and off to see if anything would reset on it's own, but the situation remained the same. I check my TV and laptop and a few other pieces of equipment and things seem to be working properly and I have yet to see any burned connection points anywhere on my equipment and cords, but I still have not checked some of the remaining expensive equipment. Well that was the end of using any of my equipment for a few weeks until I had time today to take a closer look at what might have happened.I opened up the StarTech 16 Outlet PDU and continued checking for electrical continuity and narrowed down where there break in continuity was and could tell by the way it was assembled internally that it was almost certainly a basic failure in the way the outlets were getting power. 14 of the 16 outlets are essentially what you could call daisy-chained together, and I see nothing wring with that. The 2 other outlets that I did still have continuity and and normal 120V power on after the failure of the PDU, they were connected to the 120V power through the unit's internal circuit board which was mounted directly behind that outlet pair and so they were not daisy-chained like the other outlets. During the process of checking for continuity and looking things over, I could see one of the hot wire connections going into the circuit bored had insulation that looked slightly melted. Having done too much soldering myself, it didn't look burned from an electrical short but just melted insulation due to being improperly soldered during assembly. I took the screw out that was holding in that outlet pair so that I could get a better look at the internal circuit board that is mounted to their back side. When I was able to better get at the circuit board, I gave a very light tug on that wire with the melted insulation and in popped right out of the circuit board.Well that was the point of loss of continuity for the the string of outlets. Examining the now free wire that was going into the circuit board, the through hole solder connection looked like some of the insulation might have gotten into the solder connection during assembly and the melted plastic getting into the molten solder made for a weak connection. Maybe throwing the switch for the laptop charger just finally shook the unit enough that the power solder connection finally created a gap and continuity was lost.If a product simply fails to work, and completely fails to work, I don't think it deserves a good rating. To be fair I'll say that people are more likely to post a negative review due to failure versus not posting any review when everything works as expected. The reason I'm giving it at least two stars here is that I don't in general see anything wrong with the design of the unit. I like the layout of the outlets on the unit and the large number of outlets on it, it fit the situation I needed it to serve when I was searching for a power distribution unit. By looking at the circuit board, I doubt this unit really offers any sophisticated protection to connected equipment in terms of over-current detection. It may have some surge protection ability but I am not educated enough on some of those aspects to identify the purposes served by the few components that are mounted on the circuit board. The title of being a power distribution unit is fair and adequate I feel, as long as the unit can at least do that without failure, but in this case it did.My confidence is shaken in this unit. I had equipment worth, around $6,000 in total connected to it. With the failure that I experience, had this been a failure of the neutral wire and not the hot wire, as was in this case here, and I then proceeded to plug another piece of equipment to a completely different wall outlet, there is a chance of getting 240V across all this very expensive equipment and frying them, which can and does happen in buildings and is a serious problem. The chance of that happening is related to items being fed from different branch circuits in a residence.Hopefully StarTech can respond to this in a positive way and I can update my review based on their response.
Takes up 1U in your rack and provides enough spade for most of your networking needs, depending on your setup. Since the outlets are sideways and most router/modem male connections are now wide, this works out perfectly to be able to plug in multiple things right next to each other. It also provides for a cleaner set-up as the plugs are in the back as opposed to the front. The power cord that plugs into the wall is also in the back. I had originally tried to put this in a smaller rack that wasn't as deep as traditional racks, but unfortunately it didn't fit due to the power cord and any plugs that I tried to get in the back didn't have enough clearance.That said, this was super easy to install and looks clean. Will update in a year or so.
Finally I found a PDU that has a 6 ft. cord and wasn't too deep for my patch-depth cabinet. Works great!
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