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on August 27, 2013
We researched several similar products prior to buying this "Take Charge Smart Power Strip- UTC8MS". This seemed like a great fit for us.

Upon setting it up, it worked beautifully. It could actually be heard cycling the peripherals off and on accordingly. We liked it so much, we bought a second unit for a different part of the house.

A few weeks later the trouble started. The original unit simply stopped working. We went to the instructions, utilized the reset button, however the "switched" outlets were simply dead. We tried this in other parts of the house, however despite the "always on" outlets working, this is not a very useful tool when it's not working as advertised. We now see many other folks with similar challenges. On that note, since our situation is far from isolated, we'd highly recommend avoiding this product until the issue has been resolved.

Amazon has been great in trying to accommodate for the service shortcomings of the company. Currently their ("Take Charge") website is not working. They don't offer a phone number (even Amazon customer service couldn't locate one). They offer an e-mail address support@takechargeproducts.com , however thus far have not responded.

It's a great concept, however after investing much more time than I would have dreamed, we're going to give up. We're going to try a different model with another company. Amazon sells a similar product for 1/2 the price: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YH9DWC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Presently, it has better reviews, and we hope to contribute more accordingly.

We hope this helps anyone on the fence in buying this.

8-27-13 9pm Update:

Amazon has provided the following updated contact information:

Here is the manufacturer details:

Contact us link: [...]
Phone: (563) 206-8510, (563) 340-6627.
9-13-13 10:24pm Update:

Well, despite following Amazon's lead in contacting this company
at the above "contact-us" link, and their phone number, I have received zero response
from the merchant. Something to consider.
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on July 9, 2012
I figured out that this will pay for itself in less than two months just based on the idle draw of my set top box and AVR. If you have a killowatt hook it up to some of your A/V equipment and be prepared to be unpleasantly surprised- my stuff drew at least 20W a box and the STB drew the same power whether it was on or off! Suffice to say, this thing works great. You can still use your remote to turn on whatever is the controlling appliance- I picked a pre-amp which drew less power at idle than the rest of the stuff.

The strip seems well made- the plugs work easily and grip well, the on/off mechanism seems well dampened so there's not turn on or turnoff "pop" nor does it seem to create any stray power noise or crackling like the last device of this type I tried. I've got an AVR, a TV, set top box, PVR and internet radio hooked up and haven't had any issues with the strip heating up or giving any problems. I'll probably get some more once this one has shown it's metal for a few months.
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on September 10, 2012
Works great as described. 'Always On' plugs remain on at all times. The 'Control' plug also remains on at all times and it also controls the 'switched' plugs. So this is basically how it works, for example. I plugged my tv into the Control port and I plugged my PS3 into the Switched port. When I turn the tv on, the PS3 is powered up and goes into standby mode. When I turn the tv off, the PS3 is completely powered off and is no longer in standby mode. Please note that the tv will remain in standby mode even if it is off because it is plugged into the Control port.
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on January 12, 2013
I wanted to use a couple of old amps with my Yamaha 7.2 AVR but I could not turn the amps ON & OFF with the AVR because these old amps don't have the 12VDC trigger input to use with the receiver's trigger out. I was looking at the triggered AC outlets like the Russound ACT-1 and the Xantech AC1 but they're expensive (at least $80-$90 shipped). I was glad I found this UTC8MS on Amazon while searching for the alternatives to the ACT-1 and AC1. I ordered it from Amazon for under 30 bucks shipped and it worked perfectly for what I needed. It has a 2ft power cord, a Control (Master) outlet, two Always ON outlets and five Switched outlets that would switch ON and OFF with the component connected to the Control outlet. I plugged its power cord to the wall outlet, the power cord of the AVR to the Control outlet and the power cords of the amps to the Switched outlets. I then set the power switches on the amps to the ON position and pressed the small reset button on the side of the smart strip a couple of times just in case. I was very pleased after that the two amps could turn ON & OFF when I turned the AVR ON/OFF via its remote control. This smart strip actually gives me a high-power switched AC power strip (15A/1800W) for the receiver. It worked perfectly with nothing to adjust and it's less expensive than other smart strips available on Amazon that would do the same thing and have the same features. I am going to order a couple more because I like it so much. BTW, it's much smaller than I thought it'd be from the picture on the Amazon product page.
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on December 21, 2012
I've got loads of electronic gear. I hooked up the first TakeCharge and the the Control plug was my DirecTv receiver. No dice -- the Switched plugs would not turn off. Tried turning off & on several times to make sure if could detect the difference -- still no go. Switched the control plug to my receiver which has a much more distinct on/off variation. Nope. The "Always On" plugs worked, but the Switched plugs would not turn off. Tried the second unit with just a couple simple lamps and it was even worse. The Switched ports would not "turn on" to provide power, even though a lamp was drawing power through the Control port. I read another review that said a problem unit eventually worked after hitting the reset button several times. I've hit that reset button and tried several more variations and no change. Most reviews talk about a "click" noise when the control plus is signally the switched plugs to turn off. My units definitely don't make any click sounds. I know I have these units hooked up properly, so either they only work with really big drawing devices or there are some quality control problems. Two units and both fail in completely different ways?? I'll try another brand.
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on November 14, 2014
I recently purchased a Kill-a-Watt power meter to find out how much electricity I was wasting. Even you're not the kind of person who cares about thinking green you'd be shocked to discover how much electricity (and therefore $s) is wasted on useless stuff that is very easily and cheaply remedied. One of the things I found was that my television setup (including the dvr plus the dvd player plus a receiver plus a bunch of set top boxes) was drawing 45 watts while it was turned off. Ouch! That's about $5 of electricity per month to power something that nobody is watching and that achieves absolutely nothing. I went ahead and purchased this little wonder to help out. I plugged my TV into the 'control' plug, my DVR into the 'always on' plug, and everything else into the 'switched' plugs. It works perfectly. When I turn my TV on everything else switches on immediately. When I turn it off, everything else gets it's power cut off. One thing to keep in mind - if you have a DVR you'll want to keep that powered all the time otherwise it will not automatically record programs for you. My vampire power went from 45 watts down to about 15 watts. I could have done far better were it not for the DVR, but it's still a huge improvement. Also I highly recommend the kill-a-watt or similair meter, it's a real eye opener. Another item I recommend is a "conserv socket" -- you push the button to turn the switch on and it automatically switches off 3 or 6 hours later so you don't forget. Great for appliances you rarely use like printers, coffee makers, chargers, etc.
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on January 4, 2015
It probably works well is some applications, but it failed for me. I tried to use it to control the components of my home theater system, but it did not shut down the other components when the receiver that was used as the master was shut off. I am guessing that the receiver draws to much current when in standby mode.

To be fair, I followed this with another "master-slave" unit that had a sensitivity control. It failed as well.
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on February 11, 2015
Works as advertised. I have my computer rig plugged in, so when I turn it on or off, all my peripherals (two monitors and speakers) do likewise. Couldn't be more simple! My machine's fairly powerful, but I've had no problems with this strip's output. I tend to use the always-on sockets for items that live on my desk, like my 3DS's charging cradle.

For my uses, the cable was a bit short. It's not the product's fault, but consider getting an extension cord.
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on January 8, 2015
When your computer is off, you don't need the printer, the monitor, the external drive, etc, all still on and sucking power. Genious solution! One plug is the trigger - in my case, the CPU. When I turn that on, all the peripherals now get power. But when the CPU shuts down, so does all the other stuff. The power strip also has a couple of "always on" plugs, too.
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on February 13, 2012
Bought this surge protector so far you can hear it work. When you turn off the device in the control plug, you will hear a click which signals all other devices in the switched ports to turn off.
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