Quote One Horse Town:
I can see the advantage of not having power-strips on the floor but are these rack mount units worth the money? I've also read comments saying that in the uk it's rare to encounter the 'spikes' that manufacturers would have us all in fear of - true or false? Any thoughts?
As a PDU, the rack-mounted strips are very useful, but for protecting you against brown-outs and spikes, no, they're uncommon enough for you not to worry about.
However, I run a UPS in my rack, albeit quite a small one, and that does protect me from people pulling the power out (which does happen regularly), or if the circuit trips on stage due to over-load (which definitely happens once or twice a year). My UPS gives me 2-3 minutes, which is enough for the power to come back on, or enough for me to safely turn the kit off.
I put a fused IEC chassis in my flight case, that's wired to the UPS, and then in turn the UPS runs 2 * PDU's (into which all of the rack kit is connected). I also have a IEC chassis in the flight case that can run external items, i.e. a gang socket, and that powers my laptop and keyboard rig too.
The whole setup was about £150, including the UPS and IEC chassis', and to be honest it has been worth every penny. Whilst the UK doesn't have power surges like most countries, every stage/club/venue has an idiot that'll pull out/trip over the power socket! :-)