The Spike Albrechts of the Automation World

Lesser-known superstars of home automation


He may be small, but Spike Albrecht was a mighty force on the University of Michigan basketball team during the NCAA finals last night. The freshman bencher took the court by surprise, sinking floater after floater, giving U of M a nice edge in the first half. Just as in basketball and other sports, there are many small pieces of technology that go largely unnoticed … until they do something incredibly fantastic. Here are some of the lesser-known devices that that’ll shock you with their amazing abilities: Don’t ignore them; they can make a big difference in your automation game plan.

Power conditioners: This black box, which is hardly touched or seen, keeps all the electronic devices safe from harm and ensures that they’re operating at maximum capacity. They protect against electrical disturbances that can fry your expensive gear.

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Ventilation systems: Certain audio and video components can generate a lot of heat, and that can lead to damage. Ventilation systems, which can be automated to activate when the inside of a cabinet reaches a certain temperature, can keep your entertainment system running cool and smooth.

Equipment racks: Where you stow the electronic processors, amplifiers and other equipment may not seem like big deal, but organization and proper installation is critical to the livelihood of your home’s technology. Imagine trying to add a new component to your system when the wiring is disorganized or you can’t reach the input/output connections. An equipment rack lets you add, modify and adjust with ease.

WAPs: With so many devices talking Wi-Fi, a solid, reliable wireless network is essential in your house. Wireless access points (WAPs) can help ensure that signals reach their intended destinations without any glitches or holdups.

Switchers: Few people have just one entertainment system in their homes anymore. TVs and speakers are peppered all over they place, and switchers enable them all to access the same Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, media server and more. A switcher transmits what you want where you want it, and does so with technology to ensure that the picture is clear, bright and vivid.


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