I just acquired an “APC AV H15 Home Theater 1500VA Power Filter and Power Conditioner”, which is usually just called the APC H15. It’s a pretty popular device basically to smooth out the AC power for home theatre type systems, and also protect your equipment from any kind of bad power juju. Some people buy these kinds of things to make their speakers sound better, but my system probably isn’t good enough to notice at this point. My concern was that my apartment has bad power, and I’ve been having random computer shutdowns, blown lightbulbs, and even weird lines in my new LCD TV. Fortunately I got this silver H15 less than half price because they’re moving from silver case to black case.

To me the most impressive thing about this kit is that it’s HEAVY. 25 pounds as a matter of fact. So naturally I wanted to crack it open to see what the hell was inside.

Here’s the front and back. Click on any of these pictures and on flickr click “All Sizes” to see 5 megapixel full resolution versions (ID parts to your heart’s delight).

APC H15 frontAPC H15 back

Three easy screws gets the top off. NB If you’ve been using it there might be “hot” components inside (electrically speaking) even if it’s unplugged. This one was fresh out of the box. Don’t touch anything unless you know what you’re doing.

APC H15 open - top

So, not just an empty case then. What the hell is that huge thing in the middle?

APC H15 inside #13

Looks like a massive toroidal core transformer operating as a constant-voltage transformer if you ask me. Provides voltage regulation and surge protection at the same time.

APC H15 inside #27

Some ceramic capacitors. Don’t know what they do, beyond storing power.

APC H15 inside #17

The yellow/green toroidal things are Common Mode Chokes and reduce line noise. The red box is a surge cube relay (surge protection) and the blue boxes are Interference Suppression Film Capacitors for EM noise. I googled it.

And finally, here’s the back panel.

APC H15 back panel

If you must have more, you can visit my flickr photoset with 37 detailed images