TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Reviews: PowerKey Pro 650

Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: Reviews

PowerKey Pro 650

Surge protection taken further

by Michael R. Harvey

Surge protection is a normal and necessary part of any computer system. From the basic bar you can get from the corner store, to the big power conditioning systems for data centers, it all comes down to one thing, protecting the expensive parts from electrical damage. In other words, defying the old saying, and not letting the $10,000 equipment blow to protect the ten cent fuse.

The folks at Sophisticated Circuits have come up with a protector that, while not a battery backup (although it can be plugged it into an uninterruptible power supply), is far more than just a plug bar. The PowerKey Pro 650 is a surge protector that comes with a few truly spectacular extras.

The hardware

To start with, it is designed to handle six large power adapter plugs, a nice bonus when trying to get everything to fit. It is rectangular in shape, with three side by side power outlets running down each side. Each socket has a slide that covers the outlet when not is use, and provides a snug hold when a plug is inserted, so no loose plugs falling our at a critical moment. Each outlet is individually controlled. You can turn each on or off from a button on the device, or from software. It also has a USB connector in order to hook up to your computer for that control software to work. The cord is somewhat longer than your typical power bar, a nice detail that lets you reach the wall outlet that is always "that much" too far away. Last, pass through phone jacks are part of the device for dial-in control.

The PowerKey software

The control software is what really sets the PowerKey Pro 650 apart. There are several components. The first, and most important, is PowerKey, the main control software. This is where the PowerKey really sets itself apart. In order for the magic to work, though, the USB connector must be hooked into the controlling computer directly. It won't work through a hub. A cable is provided as the connector on the PowerKey hardware is proprietary. This doesn't seem like a very good idea because if anything happens to the custom cable, you're stuck. A standard port on the device would have been a better idea.


Figure 1: PowerKey application Power Saver tab.

It is from within the PowerKey application that you set most of the parameters for the surge protector. You can set which outlet switches on the others, set ones that stay on, as well as name the outlets to make identification easier. You can likewise give the device a unique name to make identifying multiple attached PowerKeys easier. From the other tabs, you can set schedules for turning outlets on and off, or set hotkeys for the same. You can even establish tone sequences that the software will respond to from a phone for controlling the outlets when calling in to the PowerKey (if you've plugged a phone line in, of course). The tab in Figure 1 shows the Power Saver settings. From here, you can tell the PowerKey Pro what to turn on and off in relation to what the Mac does. The controlling computer system is identified by the happy Mac symbol. The lock symbol identifies an outlet you have set to be always on, and not affected by the controlling computer power outlet. On and off at startup worked just fine on our test system. However, trying to turn the outlets off when our test system went to sleep never worked right. The computer would try to go to sleep, but immediately wake up again. The PowerKey Pro would detect this and instantly kick the turned off outlets back on. We could not determine exactly what the problem was, although the system would go to sleep normally when the PowerKey was not installed.

Rebound!

The PowerKey application is not all there is for software control, however. The Admin Version of the PowerKey Pro has an additional application, named Rebound!. With Rebound!, you can monitor and recover from system and application crashes.


Figure 2: Rebound! Systems Crashes tab.

As with the PowerKey application, the surge protector must be plugged into one of the USB ports on the computer for this to work. Through the connection, the PowerKey will monitor your system, and reboot it if necessary, Either because of a crash, or a power failure. In the System Crashes tab of Rebound! (figure 2), you can set various conditions for Rebound! to watch for to trigger a restart. In our tests it worked perfectly. Rebound! detected an induced crash, and restarted the system. While preparing to simulate a power failure, we had a real one occur. The PowerKey brought the computer back up with no problems.

Rebound! likewise lets you recover from application crashes. In order for Rebound! to be able to monitor an application, support must already be built in to the program. A list of programs that have this capability can be found on Sophisticated Circuits web site.


Figure 3: Rebound! Other tab.

The third tab in Rebound! lets you set what events it will record to the system log, how long after a power failure to reboot, and schedule recurring computer restarts (figure 3).

Extras

You are not, however, restricted to using these supplied applications in order to control the PowerKey Pro. Included on the CD are extras to help you incorporate PowerKey control in to your applications, and servers. There are plug-ins that support PowerKey Pro in 4th Dimension, the database development system, and applications that support the WebStar API plug-in architecture. There is information on supporting Rebound! technology with AppleScript. They also include a 30 day, fully functioning demo of iDo Script Scheduler, a program for triggering AppleScripts on a set schedule. Last, an SDK is included to help you incorporate Rebound! support directly into your applications. It includes sample code, a CodeWarrior project document, and various source files for adding Rebound! functionality to your application.

Conclusion

The PowerKey Pro 650 is available in a SOHO configuration and an Admin version. Both come with the hardware, and the PowerKey control software. The Admin version additionally has the Rebound! program, iDo Script Scheduler, and the added files for controlling Rebound! from servers, AppleScript, and within your own programs. The SOHO PowerKey Pro 650 is $199, while the Admin model is $299, direct from Sophisticated Circuits. It may seem a bit pricey, but this device does nearly everything it is designed to do, and does it very well. Ten cent fuses beware.

www.sophisticated.com


Michael R. Harvey

 
AAPL
$100.75
Apple Inc.
+0.64
MSFT
$46.36
Microsoft Corpora
-0.08
GOOG
$577.36
Google Inc.
+1.00

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

QuickBooks 2015 16.0.0.1352 R1 - Financi...
QuickBooks 2015 helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save.... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.1 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
Apple OS X bash Update 1.0 - Fix for sec...
The OS X bash Update fixes a security flaw in the bash UNIX shell on OS X 10.9.5 (also on OS X 10.8 and 10.7 [see Related Links below]). OS X 10.9.5 or later Downloads for OS X 10.8 and OS X 10.7 in... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.0.5 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.7 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
VueScan 9.4.45 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.2.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
calibre 2.4 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.9b1 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more
Beamer 2.0.4 - Stream any movie file fro...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

apeFilter (Music)
apeFilter 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Shred It! Review
Shred It! Review By Jennifer Allen on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GORGEOUS BUT BASICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It might look lovely, but Shred It! is a pretty shallow endless runner/snowboarding game.   | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Angry Birds: Transf...
Anyone afraid that throwing Transformers into the Angry Birds mix would result in a Michael Bay-level of childhood pillaging can rest easy. While Rovio’s famous fowls may be a 21st century staple, Angry Birds: Transformers wears its affection for... | Read more »
Galaxy Trucker Review
Galaxy Trucker Review By Rob Thomas on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: IN FOR THE LONG HAULiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad We got a great big convoy, rockin’ through the night… the endless night of outer space, that is.... | Read more »
Moon and Sun – children’s book Review
Moon and Sun – children’s book Review By Amy Solomon on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: Moon and Sun is a fable-like children’s book with lush illustrations.   Developer: Marcio Monteiro Price: $3.99 Version: 1.0 App Reviewed on... | Read more »
Kairosoft Finally Brings The Pyraplex to...
Kairosoft Finally Brings The Pyraplex to iOS Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Yeti’s Parole Officer Review
Yeti’s Parole Officer Review By Jennifer Allen on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Yeti’s Parole Officer proves that looks aren’t everything in this entertaining, if plain, piece of... | Read more »
Record Keeper and World Wide Words – Two...
Record Keeper and World Wide Words – Two New Final Fantasy Games Arrive on iOS in Japan Posted by Ellis Spice on September 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
iPollute Review
iPollute Review By Nadia Oxford on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: iPOLLUTE, uPOLLUTEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad iPollute is a delightful-looking pollution simulator, though it’s a bit light on “game” content... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 22-26, 2...
Your Source For The Latest App Reviews   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only, in-... Read more
Apple Releases OS X Mavericks bash Update 1.0...
Apple has released a patch update for OS X Mavericks users to address the recently-detected “Shellshock” security bug in BSD UNIX’s bash shell. Apple says only a few Mac users who had manually... Read more
Pivotal Payments Ready for Apple Pay – FlexPo...
Pivotal Payments, a provider of merchant services and global payment processing solutions, has announced its proprietary FlexPoint platform will support credit and debit transactions through Apple’s... Read more
iStabilizer Announces Tabarm — First Friction...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, dollies, mounts, and remotes for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, announced today the iStabilizer tabArm, the first... Read more
IStabilizer Flex Smartphone Tripod Wins Usa T...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, and other products for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, has announced today that its iStabilizer Flex smartphone... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Get Down to Business On Your iPad With Free N...
Utah based Poem LLC has introduced Nexticy 1.0, a full-featured, affordable (Free) forms application for iPad. Nexticy makes it ‘way easy’ to create, store, retrieve and analyze paper-like forms of... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
Best Buy has 13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices are for online orders only, in-... Read more
Reports Outline Claimed 12-Inch Macbook Air D...
Blogger Jack March says that according to information he’s received from an anonymous “source familiar with Apple’s plans,” the next-generation MacBook Air will launch in mid-2015 and be available... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.