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Join Date: Jul 1999
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I have not used a step down transformer for a whole house distributed system. However, given adequate capacity, everything in the rack, the projector, and amps for the primary room will be on the 240V system. A lot of potential issues are eliminated this way. Typically, non-dedicated spaces will not have a low enough noise floor to see a benefit; however, other issues such as having the sources on the main equipment power and the family room display on a different leg with a different path to ground could develop...but that is rare (60hz "hum bars" for example). I do suggest a TVSS for the whole house, and that all low voltage items external to the house (phone lines, cable, gate intercoms, etc.) be brought into the house via a grounded surge supression system.
In general, the only items placed on battery backup systems would be things like the network switch in the rack, the control processor (Control4, Crestron, etc.) and perhaps a DVR. Where power is unreliable with frequent outages or brown outs, there are 10 and 15 kva battery back up units available from several sources. When used, I plan on 15 minutes of power for the system, upon power failure detection, the control processor goes into a 5 minute delay before shutting down the entire system. The primary purpose is to provide an orderly shutdown of digital equipment and a proper cooling cycle for the projector. We do see an inordinate amount of component failures in areas where power failures are relatively frequent and the home has a back up generator. Those can be really nasty from time to time.
The EquiTech in this installation has surge and GFCI in the box.
In the end, your best protection is a good homeowner's policy.
Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
Subject Matter Expert
Certified Home Theater Designer
CEDIA Board of Directors