Cheater Plugs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-17-2004, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any risk of electrical hazard by using a cheater plug with an amplifier (to eliminate hum)?

I notice that my receiver (Denon AVR-3805) and power subwoofer have 2-pin plugs (no ground - I wonder why; they too have amplifiers inside); while the external amplifier has a 3-pin plug and creates very loud hum unless I use this cheater plug: http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...720&hp=search. With the cheater plug, the system is dead silent.

Thank you.

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post #2 of 13 Old 05-17-2004, 06:49 PM
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Where can I get these in CANADA. Radio Shack doesn't carry them iN CANADA.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-17-2004, 08:54 PM
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i picked one up at home depot, was like 60 cents or so.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-17-2004, 09:05 PM
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Jamie, those are available at any hardware store. I'm pretty sure they have been for like 40 years. I have seen them since as far back as I can remember
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-17-2004, 09:12 PM
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Do a search at the Tweaks forum for "cheater plug" and you will find a thread or two in the past year which explain why you shouldn't use a cheater plug and why you should properly solve your ground problem by using an isolation transformer like from Jensen, or the Ground Zero from www.graniteaudio.com, or properly grounding the circuits to your home theater system in the first place to eliminate that hum.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:

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post #6 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CCarncross
Jamie, those are available at any hardware store. I'm pretty sure they have been for like 40 years. I have seen them since as far back as I can remember
I THINK that that made it illegal to asell these in canada since they proably don't meet code. Anyone know where to get one in CANADA?
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Do a search at the Tweaks forum for "cheater plug" and...
Thanks, Steve - I searched there and got some useful information as well. I still wonder why my Denon receiver and powered subwoofer have only two-pin plugs (without the third ground pin). They too must have rectifiers and star designs for grounding leakage currents. How do they manage without grounding? Isn't it analogous to using a cheater plug?

Thank you.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 06:43 AM
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I understand the a component with a two prong AC plug is designed safely to be grounded to its chassis and is insulated to avoid shock to the consumer using it. Although a component with a three prong AC plug is likely also insulated, bottom line it is designed to be used with that ground connected and to do otherwise is at least a tiny risk that you shouldn't take.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, Steve. I will try to isolate the cause of the problem and see if any of the Jensen products would help. I thought I was using this isolator anyway; but apparently, it's not enough.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jigesh
I still wonder why my Denon receiver and powered subwoofer have only two-pin plugs (without the third ground pin). They too must have rectifiers and star designs for grounding leakage currents. How do they manage without grounding?
They manage because the safety ground is completely unecessary for proper operation of audio components or any other home appliance. It's for safety only and does not function to relieve any leakage currents or retification. Safety grounds were added at some point in history to devices with vibrating electric motors that had some potential for shorting the hot AC lead to a metal chassis, presenting a shock hazard. I don't understand why they are now being included on a few certain audio components these days. No part of my system came with one, including my Denon 5803 or either of my subwoofers. What's the criteria for including one today? I have been unable to find a good answer that makes good sense.
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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What's the criteria for including one today? I have been unable to find a good answer that makes good sense.
I found the following from this troubleshooting guide:

"Many appliances and consumer electronics are supplied with two-prong AC plugs. Sometimes called "double insulated," these devices are specially designed to meet strict UL and other requirements to remain safe even if their two insulation systems fail. Often there is a "one-shot" thermal cutoff switch inside the power transformer or motor windings to prevent overheating and subsequent insulation breakdown. ONLY equipment originally supplied with two-prong plugs is safe to operate without safety grounding. Equipment originally supplied with three-prong grounding plugs MUST NEVER have the safety grounding defeated."
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 05:57 PM
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I've been using cheaters for years and I'm still here. But seriously, if your equipment comes on remotely and you don't have to touch it, go with it. It will save you money and your sanity, trying to isolate the ground loop. If you have to touch it when powering on or off, then it's probably best not to use one.

As for getting cheaters in Canada, you can't. They don't sell them here. But why not just use a standard 3 way plug. It's sort of like a extension cord, without the cord. It has a notch on it so you can't use it as a cheater but just cut it off. You can get them at any hardware store.


Jeff
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-18-2004, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeff. I have isolated the problem. The hum goes away totally if I disconnect the cable TV. So I ordered today this: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=180-075

I just hope it doesn't affect my cable modem.....
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