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#66860 - 06/20/06 07:00 PM Audio Room  
frankft  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 39
I'm bidding on a new home. The home owner wants "the cleanest power quality" for a audio room. This is not a high end home, and I told him that what he had read on the net about grounding the outlets to their own ground rod was not acceptable. Anybody have any ideas on how to get clean power and still code compliant? I was wondering about having each outlet be a surge surpressor outlet to get clean power.

Thats how we do it up in the woods!

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#66861 - 06/20/06 07:36 PM Re: Audio Room  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
Chicago, Il.
That sounds a little like putting up a barrier at the top of the stairs instead of giving baby a bath. Suppressing out-of-bounds excursions of voltage is all that, by definition, a surge suppressor does. It might well act as a low pass filter but it doesn't necessarily "clean up" power. I can't see those outlets making a difference in audio quality. But if their goal is actually protecting expensive equipment from surges rather than "hearing a difference", secondary surge protection couldn't hurt. I take it you're already bidding a suppressor at the main panel. I don't think I would like secondary suppression within an outlet.

#66862 - 06/20/06 07:41 PM Re: Audio Room  
Dnkldorf  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
nowhere usa
Sell him a $100K whole house power conditioner.


[This message has been edited by Dnkldorf (edited 06-20-2006).]

#66863 - 06/20/06 08:10 PM Re: Audio Room  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Ahhh.. he wants 'pure power,' does he? Well, here's a few ideas.

Dedicated circuits, with their own dedicated, unshared neutrals. Maybe even go up a wire size.
A surge suppressor at the panel.

If he really insists upon spending mucho bucks, you can put in a 1:1 isolation transformer.

Ultimately, all the grounds need to be connected together.

#66864 - 06/20/06 08:26 PM Re: Audio Room  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Hmmm.... How much money does he want to spend? Not kidding....

It would be cheaper to explain away the many variables of therory, and the way that electronics, and thier power supplies operate, which make the point nearly mute! But if he has no sense of reason, and money he wants to give you in abundance.... Take it all!

Might I suggest you break out the catalogs and spec's for Cryogenic oxegen free outlets, and some of the other CRAP LIKE THIS . (Scroll down, and look directly into the prices, feel yor eyes burn with rage....)

Just remember to mark it up 100+% for the insult and trouble of locating and specifying such garbage!

Or go totally custom and dress up a k-rated transformer like this , throw in some surge protection, and some other bells and whistles to really rake in that dough... Perminant installation of an O-scope to monitor it might be fun too. [Linked Image]

BTW, surge protectors don't clean power, they just provide options for the rare high voltage failure. And won't save anything from under-over voltage from any other type of neutral loss, voltage gain or drop.

The only real way to "Clean your power" is to regenerate it, or through the use of a tranformer. OR A UPS UNIT..... (Well some types... The power conditioning type)

Tell this guy you can do the whole house. Right here .

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#66865 - 06/20/06 08:36 PM Re: Audio Room  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
Run a dedicated Romex circuit to his entertainment center. That is as clean as his power will get. Sell him a power conditioner if it doesn't seem like he has spent enough money yet.

He should also be looking at surge protection if this is a multimedia center with TV, data, phone etc. That is another topic that we can put real science on.

Greg Fretwell

#66866 - 06/20/06 09:59 PM Re: Audio Room  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 784
Oradell NJ USA
"BX" cable would be a good choice. The wires are inside an electrostatic shield (the armour and its equipment ground wire) and the wires themselves are twisted together, one twist every 6 or so inches. This twist will cancel any stray magnetic fields from the currents in the wire. These things are routinely done with audio cables to avoid picking up external hum and noise. In this case with the BX cable, you're confining the noise and hum INSIDE the cable to prevent it from getting into the audio equipment and cables. These points are valid and not "snake oil", so have at it with your sales pitch....

To avoid "ground loop" hum problems, be sure to have all the BX grounds come from a single panel and follow a common path for the home runs, and tie all the grounds together at a single metal box in the audio room before branching to other outlets in that room. Avoid the BX touching water pipes or such.

#66867 - 06/21/06 10:12 AM Re: Audio Room  
SolarPowered  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
Palo Alto, CA, USA
How about a motor-generator set? With a big flywheel, that will give really, really good isolation.

#66868 - 06/21/06 10:38 AM Re: Audio Room  
hbiss  Offline
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
Hawthorne, NY USA
Avoid the BX touching water pipes or such.

Isolated ground MC (separate green/yellow) and a IG recptacle will take care of that.

I have actually done just that to eliminate a ground loop between an audio rack and a sat RG-6 grounded braid. I made sure that the sat ground and the IG came from the same place in the panel.


#66869 - 06/21/06 03:12 PM Re: Audio Room  
RODALCO  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 854
Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
I second renosteinke's idea.

Or get a one to one motor generator set for the basement and take the audio supply of the gen / alternator output via good sized cables to his stereo equipment.

All surges / spikes from the mains will be eliminated this way, which partially will go through an isolation transformer as a dampened spike but still visible on an oscilloscope.

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.

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