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Just had a "brown out" made me realise I should protect my gear.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #1
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stixstudios's Avatar
Just had a "brown out" made me realise I should protect my gear.

We just had a "brown-out" here. The power went off for about a minute.

It got me thinking that I should have a protection device. Like a power surge protector. I'd hate all my gear to be fried.

My Landlord installed a new (power box) system a few years back that protects the user, that is electrical shorts within the house - it switches off. I'm wondering if that same system protects "me" from power surges? I guess I should ask the Landlord about what the system is.

Just wondering what you guys do to protect your gear from external power surges/issues.

Please advise.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Audeath's Avatar
 

I use 2 APC + 3 furman
Old 22nd May 2020
  #3
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stixstudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audeath View Post
I use 2 APC + 3 furman
Can you please elaborate.
Old 22nd May 2020
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Audeath's Avatar
 

look on amazon or anywhere: APC battery powerbar
and i also got few furman rackmount power conditioning

Only my mac mini and my main visual monitor are on the battery side... so if there is electrical failure i got few minutes to close the computer.. and those pieces make your gear run on cleaner electricity!
Old 22nd May 2020
  #5
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stixstudios's Avatar
Thanks.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #6
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crosscutred's Avatar
There is a whole big bottle of snake oil to open here.

For a start "cleaner electricity" what is it and how does that make any difference to the operation of your studio gear? Everything you use will have power supply regulation which makes any electrical "cleaning" redundant.

Surge protection is cheap and easy, many multi plugs have it built in.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
there are examples of some power boards on this site below.

all cite included surge protection. generally when you see a row of say 3, what look like large disk shaped capacitors next to each other, they may often be blue but are also other colors, they are MOV devices. if you have a significant surge / over voltage for some period and the over voltage exceeds the voltage on the MOV, which could be say 250V for a 230 to 240 situation, then one to all can just fail. I think if they all fail, it's probably good they did. that's what they are supposed to do. but they will fail and need to be replaced, because they probably aren't thermally switching MOV's.

so it seems to me that a simple main extension, well constructed, with not a lot of outputs, but a circuit with the MOV.s, then it's probably not a bad choice. because you might even be able to figure out how to replace those MOV's get a part number and get a bunch for backup. just in case. the smaller white extension in this link below, seemed to be along those lines.

another useful thing might be those tools you can put round a cable and see what kind of voltage and amperage is in the cable. because if you have an over voltage and lets say your plugboard blows the MOV's. now if you replaced the MOV's, or the plugboard because lets say you had a spare, then you don't want to blow that other board, because you still have an over voltage. you need a way to monitor the power until your satisfied the over is no longer there.

if you bypassed a board with the MOV's and you still have an over voltage condition, you may well be entering a land where you are now going to start to fry your gears power supply units. especially the external ones which are still connected when your gear is even off. because an internal power supply usually disconnects the electronics. unlike a wall wart.

anyhow, here's the page

https://learningregistry.org/reviews...ge-protectors/
Old 23rd May 2020
  #8
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crosscutred's Avatar
All the devices in Muser's link above will do the job, although they all look more expensive and "gimicky" than required.

In the U.K. We have these

https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-elec/998...-2m/dp/PL09209

Cheap, cheerful and just as effective.

There must be a US equivalent.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #9
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crosscutred View Post
All the devices in Muser's link above will do the job, although they all look more expensive and "gimicky" than required.

In the U.K. We have these

https://cpc.farnell.com/pro-elec/998...-2m/dp/PL09209

Cheap, cheerful and just as effective.

There must be a US equivalent.
No doubt there ARE..Some around $5.00
The problem I have is they ARE cheap, the connectors are VERY cheap...
A good 20Amp duplex outlet are around $5.00 & up...
Old 23rd May 2020
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Audeath's Avatar
 

I heard electricity is better in europe... that beeing said maybe it doesnt do any differences for you but here for me yes... try an old guitar amp with n without a furman and there is a big differences in background noise/grounds here. if you have no problem its good for you... i once blow a computer hard disk because i had no protection.. never happened with my battery.. I sleep better when i know i got some protection...
Old 23rd May 2020
  #11
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crosscutred's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
No doubt there ARE..Some around $5.00
The problem I have is they ARE cheap, the connectors are VERY cheap...
A good 20Amp duplex outlet are around $5.00 & up...
This is true, it depends what you are using it for.
If you are going to plug it in round the back of a rack and not move it for a couple of years then it's no problem to have some cheap connectors.
Also bearing in mind amp ratings, but most studio gear is very low current draw.

If you are going to be plugging and unplugging often then you may find it worth the money to use a better quality or more "featured" device.

If you spend £5 each and need 30 of them, that's a big saving on a £15 item.....
Old 23rd May 2020
  #12
Gear Head
 
S_mask's Avatar
 

Using a Furman AR-Pro, which has triacs that select one of 25 taps of its toroidal autotransformer, so it will boost or buck the alternating current supplied to the building, as needed, doing so only at 0-crossings of the A.C. waveform (to preclude 'spikes' being generated as it switches taps). The -Pro also breaks the electrical supply to attached equipment when it senses a power-surge, or -sag, that exceeds its ability to regulate the output on-the-fly.

For extra protection from power events, rather than 'leave it on', I actually leave all of the vintage and expensive equipment unplugged when not in use (and build in at least a 1-hour warm-up 'phase' before each session takes off, since thermal stability helps control circuit performance, and it rarely needs more than an hour (of power) for the boon.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #13
Here in California what we used to call "fire season" has been replaced with "generator season" due to all the black outs and our third world power distribution system. Many in the rural areas now have those generators with a quick switching setup. Those in the cities have installed solar panels and Tesla power walls to store that energy. Surviving "off grid" has become a requirement here rather than a lifestyle choice.
Old 24th May 2020
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
this is mainly covering transient over voltages. in a later episode he tears down an industrial three phase unit and it's still mainly constructed with arrays of MOV's. it seems like even industry often opts for destructive protection for the transient based problems. e.g. they rely on particular components which breakdown or destroy themselves, when encountering transients. so they maybe put a few in parallel, to soak up punishment for longer spells, before a unit is considered up for changing. which in industry seems to often be every two or three years. judging by what he says.

my hunch is, that if that's the case with a major distribution board for running your gear, if you have a simple well made plugboard which had three MOV's in parallel as part of the over protection, then you could either change the MOV's every two or three years as well, or just replace that simple board. either that or make a few inline interconnect blocks, which are easily changed out or serviced. the talk about damage caused, is about half way through.

I'd like to see him do something on potential sustained over voltage conditions due to underground or overground
neutral cable line failures. what kinds of damaging effect he thinks might happen under those conditions etc.


Last edited by Muser; 24th May 2020 at 04:29 PM..
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