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Rosewill Six Outlet Individually Switched Power Strip RPS-200

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It’s monumentally difficult to get excited over a power strip. For the most part, they only ever do two things, to wit, provide power to whatever is plugged into them or emit blue smoke and subsequently catch fire if you bought one of the really cheap ones.

The Rosewill RPS-200 power strip is noteworthy in that it addresses a frequently-encountered power management issue… and it actually exists, which was distinctly surprising.

A lot of technology consumes what is referred to as “phantom power” in some quarters… and “vampire power” in others, which I confess to enjoying the sound of, even if it can be a bit troublesome. It’s very much like real vampires in this respect. The technology in question sucks back power, even when it’s off.

Pretty much any device that can be powered up through a remote control or an electronically-operated switch consumes at least some phantom power. The electronic circuitry that waits for a signal from a remote or drives an electronic switch must be powered all the time. In practice, the phantom power draw for many devices is surprisingly high, because the same power supply that runs the technology has to keep its lights on to run the minimal circuitry that remains active when the box it resides in purports to be sleeping.

Devices that consume phantom power can place a heavy thumb on your monthly electric bill, for while they may not draw all that many watts while they’re snoozing, they draw them all day, every day.

There’s an extensive discussion of the evils of phantom power, and the extent to which you can prune your local electric utility’s monthly cash grab by shutting them down, at the Winning the Power Wars posting elsewhere at this blog.

The easiest way to prevent your technology from inhaling watts when it’s supposed to be quiescent is to plug your toys into switchable power bars, and turn them off with the resulting mechanical switchs when they’re not required. Applied to things like game consoles, computers and entertainment toys… all of which are power vampires of truly gothic proportions… you can make a serious dent in your power consumption, and have more cash left at the end of the month to spend on something useful.

We’d suggest spending it on Alchemy Mindworks software, of course, but we’re hardly objective in this regard.

The drawback to using conventional power bars to control individual devices is that you’ll probably need a lot of power bars. The cost of the power bars will to some extent offset the savings resulting from your decreased electric consumption, and a ragged herd of power bars is an untidy room decoration.

Thus it was that we went looking for a somewhat more specialized power bar – something with a switch for every outlet on the bar, rather than just one switch for all the plugs. Remarkably, such a device exists… no prizes will be awarded for guessing that it’s the power strip depicted at the beginning of this post.

The Rosewill RPS-200 power strip consists of six outlets, each with its own lighted mechanical switch. It has a fifteen-amp circuit breaker included in its circuitry, should any of its attendant technology overload itself. It’s built like a tank, and unlike all the other comparable devices we encountered while we were searching for something to resolve this issue, it’s UL listed.

We’re still reluctant to describe ourselves as excited over this thing, but it was cool to actually find a device that did exactly what we were looking for.

The Rosewill RPS-200 power strip hails from Newegg, which admittedly charged us more to ship it than they did for the power bar itself. None the less, it easily was worth the price.