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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a New York City resident, I am becoming obsessed with clean power (actually, as my wife will tell you, I am obsessed with cleanliness in general :) ). I have read everything that I could find here, on Audio Asylum, and lord knows how many other places, for about 6 months now (not including archive searches).


I have a Brickwall unit to protect against power surges, but since brownouts are a regular "feature" (at no extra charge!) of our power service, I have come to conclude that a voltage regulator is in order.


Based on my extensive education, here is my thinking:


(1) I considered options like the ExactPower EP15A (which costs a king's ransom) and the Monster AVS2000 (which can be had for a more reasonable price, but it would take over our whole living room).


Then I looked at APC's Line-R voltage regulators and, equivalently, Tripp Lite's line conditioners. These are much, much less expensive and take up much less room than the Monster or the ExactPower.


Some folks claim that the power put out by such devices as the APC and the Tripp Lite is noisy--good enough for a computer, but not good enough for an A/V system. Given that my computer system has a CD/DVD drive, a hard disk drive (a la Tivo), an LCD monitor, and all sorts of integrated circuit boards, it sure as heck looks to me like an A/V system. So I don't understand why the Tripp Lite's of the world won't work with home theater.


(2) Assuming that the criticisms are true and the output from the APC and Tripp Lite units is noisy, couldn't I plug a balanced power transformer (such as an Equitech, Monster HTPS 7000, or the ExactPower SP15) into the voltage regulator to clean it up? My total cost, depending on which specific units I get, would still be considerably less than the ExactPower EP15A, would take up less space than the AVS2000, and I'd get the combination of stable + clean power (technically, I would have to add the SP15 to the EP15A, though most folks seem to agree that the EP15A by itself does a first class job)--at least, until the lights go out altogether!


I would appreciate your comments.


Thanks

Mike
 

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I think your idea should work. Monster states that the AVS2000 is designed to be used with a power conditioner, not instead of one. So, assuming the cheaper voltage regulators are as effective as the AVS2000, but just a bit "dirtier", following them with a power conditioner/filter should work well. Please let us know if you try this; it could be an economical power solutiuon for a lot of people.


Also, try to buy these items from retailers that have good return policies, so if you're not happy, you can try something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Bondmanp
Also, try to buy these items from retailers that have good return policies, so if you're not happy, you can try something else.
This is an excellent observation. Thanks for your thoughts, Bondman.

Mike
 

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Quote:
but since brownouts are a regular "feature" (at no extra charge!) of our power service, I have come to conclude that a voltage regulator is in order.
A voltage regulator maintains the voltage at a set level. If it disappears (brownout) then it disappears, the regulator cannot make power from nothing, nor is it an energy storage device.

Maybe you're thinking of a UPS?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
tvtech1,

I'm thinking of a voltage sag, which I thought was the definition of a brownout. A complete loss of power would be a blackout, no? We experience voltage sags (i.e. a brief dimming of the lights) maybe a couple of times a month. Weather doesn't seem to matter. I don't have a projection TV, so I'm not concerned about a sudden, total loss of power. In any case, we only seem to get total blackouts once every 20 years or so. :D (At least I hope so. Last summer was no fun.)


The Tripp Lite is spec'd to maintain 120 volts for incoming power dips to 87 volts and surges up to 140 volts. If the power dips below 87 volts, the voltage regulator won't keep the equipment running, but presumably it's designed for a more orderly shutdown.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tvtech1
A voltage regulator maintains the voltage at a set level. If it disappears (brownout) then it disappears, the regulator cannot make power from nothing, nor is it an energy storage device.

Maybe you're thinking of a UPS?
A line conditioner based on a ferro-resonant transformer will regulate the line voltage and keep its output stable when the input drops as much as 30% below nominal. A ferro-resonant transformer can even store enough energy in the tank circuit to provide power during one or two cycle dropouts.


Newer solid state "transformer less" line conditioner are basically a UPS without batteries. These designs can do the same for low input voltage because they rectify the input and oscillate it at 60Hz. Think of it a a big 60Hz amplifier, if the output is low you just turn up the volume. as long as there is enough input power there, (lower input volts it will just draw more current) then the output will remain stable.


I do not think the transformer less designs will ride out one or two cycle dropouts like the old ferro based designed ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by 11001011
A line conditioner based on a ferro-resonant transformer will regulate the line voltage and keep its output stable when the input drops as much as 30% below nominal. A ferro-resonant transformer can even store enough energy in the tank circuit to provide power during one or two cycle dropouts.


Newer solid state "transformer less" line conditioner are basically a UPS without batteries. These designs can do the same for low input voltage because they rectify the input and oscillate it at 60Hz. Think of it a a big 60Hz amplifier, if the output is low you just turn up the volume. as long as there is enough input power there, (lower input volts it will just draw more current) then the output will remain stable.


I do not think the transformer less designs will ride out one or two cycle dropouts like the old ferro based designed ones.
Interesting comment, because my original thinking was to just get something like the Equitech, which has a big ol' transformer at its heart, and that would be sufficient protection for power dips (not to mention giving me balanced power for the DVD player). However, when I spoke to the good people at Equitech about my hypothesis, they assured me I was off base, and that the power put out by the Equitech unit would dip along with the incoming power. Hence, my idea to add an inexpensive voltage regulator in front of the Equitech or equivalent unit.


I did want to clarify, with your last statement about the transformer-less designs, are you referring to a modern unit designed as a voltage regulator, like the Tripp Lite, being inadequate to the task, or do you mean just relying on a device like the Equitech would be insufficient?


Thanks for the suggestions so far!


Mike
 

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If you wanna go on the cheap for Balanced Power, Equitech is selling these 2Q 20 amp Isolation Transformers (balanced power) for $499 (MSRP is $1200). Installation is relatively quick but ideally should be done by an electrician. Probably 2 hours of labor. I bought four of these. You cannot get 'cleaner' power!


This is the same thing as the 2Q rack mounted unit that Equitech sells for over $2000.

http://www.winglake.com/images/compo...t/100_0044.jpg



More photos are in the Balanced power thread in the $20K forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thebland,

Thanks for the info. I did see your other posting, including the accompanying photos. The problem is that I live in an apartment, and the junction box is in a fairly important hallway between the kitchen and bedroom (as opposed to a basement or garage, where it would be out of view). Even if the building allowed me to install something like that, my wife certainly would not!


Now, if I could get our building to install those bad boys and deliver clean power to all apartments....:D


Better still, if Con-Ed could get their head out from up their ass and actually, you know, upgrade their plant and equipment from the Middle Ages, then we'd really be onto something!


On the plus side, mine is a new building, so I do not get power sags when major appliances like the refrigerator or the air conditioner cycles on (well, let me put it this way: the lights don't dim).


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mdubrow
As a New York City resident, I am becoming obsessed with clean power (actually, as my wife will tell you, I am obsessed with cleanliness in general :) ). I have read everything that I could find here, on Audio Asylum, and lord knows how many other places, for about 6 months now (not including archive searches).


I have a Brickwall unit to protect against power surges, but since brownouts are a regular "feature" (at no extra charge!) of our power service, I have come to conclude that a voltage regulator is in order.


Based on my extensive education, here is my thinking:


(1) I considered options like the ExactPower EP15A (which costs a king's ransom) and the Monster AVS2000 (which can be had for a more reasonable price, but it would take over our whole living room).


Then I looked at APC's Line-R voltage regulators and, equivalently, Tripp Lite's line conditioners. These are much, much less expensive and take up much less room than the Monster or the ExactPower.


Some folks claim that the power put out by such devices as the APC and the Tripp Lite is noisy--good enough for a computer, but not good enough for an A/V system. Given that my computer system has a CD/DVD drive, a hard disk drive (a la Tivo), an LCD monitor, and all sorts of integrated circuit boards, it sure as heck looks to me like an A/V system. So I don't understand why the Tripp Lite's of the world won't work with home theater.


(2) Assuming that the criticisms are true and the output from the APC and Tripp Lite units is noisy, couldn't I plug a balanced power transformer (such as an Equitech, Monster HTPS 7000, or the ExactPower SP15) into the voltage regulator to clean it up? My total cost, depending on which specific units I get, would still be considerably less than the ExactPower EP15A, would take up less space than the AVS2000, and I'd get the combination of stable + clean power (technically, I would have to add the SP15 to the EP15A, though most folks seem to agree that the EP15A by itself does a first class job)--at least, until the lights go out altogether!


I would appreciate your comments.


Thanks

Mike
From part two off your question I'm kinda curious why you would want to take something thats noisey and may introduce that noise into your setup and plug it into something that removes the noise, just so you can get voltage regulation? It seems like a short cut to save money. If your going to do it, do it right. Just make sure you goto a local BM audio shop so you can negotiate a price your comfortable with. If you were to look into a combo or the Monster HTPT7000 and AVS2000 your dealer should give you a great price. I have both in my setup.

http://gallery.avsforum.com/data/503/16325HT_003.jpg


Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Kevin,

First off, that's a really nice looking setup you have there!


Second, and I should have highlighted this earlier, I have two constraints in my quest to attain clean power. (1) Cost and (2) Space.


Let's leave #1 out for the moment. I have looked over the specs of the Monster AVS2000, and it's just too large to incorporate into my system, let alone to add the HTPS 7000 as well.


Does anyone have any experience with Running Springs Audio products? Here is a review of their Haley unit on 6Moons. I wonder if this could be the all-in-one-box solution I'm looking for (and at a fairly reasonable price, to boot).


Mike
 

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Not only do you have a killer HT and great AC power, you also have the kind of a/c unit I dream about! Dammit!!!!;) I assume this is some sort of ductless a/c or heat pump system. Can you tell us how quiet or noisy this system is, and what brand/model you have? TIA


Looks great.:)
 

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Kevin, I have the 2000 and 7000 as well. I have the 2000 plugged into the 7000, and most of my equipment plugged into the 7000. I leave the 7000 on all of the time (as is suggested in the Monster FAQ). Do you know if it is OK to leave the 7000 on all of the time? Do you get different voltage readings from the 2 units? Nice setup!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bondmanp
Not only do you have a killer HT and great AC power, you also have the kind of a/c unit I dream about! Dammit!!!!;) I assume this is some sort of ductless a/c or heat pump system. Can you tell us how quiet or noisy this system is, and what brand/model you have? TIA


Looks great.:)
Hi!


It is the Environair model. It is ductless mino-split system. It is very quiet and cools my many amps and extremely hot projector nicely. It is a 1 ton (10,000 BTU unit). IT had the lowest db rating my HVAC guy could find.


My system certainkly suggests I am certifiable:D!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
Hi!


It is the Environair model. It is ductless mino-split system. It is very quiet and cools my many amps and extremely hot projector nicely. It is a 1 ton (10,000 BTU unit). IT had the lowest db rating my HVAC guy could find.


My system certainkly suggests I am certifiable:D!
And here I thought I was doing well using a Radio Shack fan to keep my AV cabinet cool. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As an update, I decided to be a guinea pig (hopefully not a canary in a coal mine) and order a Running Springs Audio power conditioner (the Haley) from Dedicated Audio. The folks at Dedicated Audio were quite helpful, and when I mentioned that I was also considering the BPT units, they said that they would give me a 30-day satisfaction guarantee for the Haley, just like BPT does for their products.


On paper, the Haley appears to have a few advantages (for me) over the BPT and equivalent power conditioners:

(1) The Haley includes voltage regulation as part of the package, instead of me having to add a Tripp Lite or other equivalent device to my setup.

(2) The Haley weighs a whole lot less, because it doesn't use a transformer at its heart. This gives me more placement options, since only one shelf (the bottom) is reinforced for heavy equipment. It would also make the return shipping a lot cheaper in case I don't like the effects on my system.


I'll report what I hear after I have the Haley set up, which should be toward the end of next week.


Mike
 

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Also,. repsectfully, I think you are runnning some issues together.


1. Brownouts: you want a voltage regulator. The basic one kicks in different transformer winding to susutain the output voltage. Noisy power in, noisy power out.


2. Blackouts. you want a UPS. The convert DC from a battery into AC. The AC may be noisy. you need an oscilloscope to see. Or beleive the specs (if they cover this).


3. Voltage OK, but noisy: you need a filter.


Considering the situation in NYC (where I used to live, next to the exploding manholes) I think you might want a voltage regulator first, then maybe a filter. You do'nt seriouusly want to run your stuff in a blackout (& I experienced the big 1975 (6?) one) do you? (Except for emergency radio).



As you for ferrite solution noise in, noise out. The issue was whether it would maintain voltage oveer one or twocylces. That's not to say that there would be no harmonics generated when the input cut off.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hilbert1862
Kevin. W -- nice rack. What brand? Where sold?
Its a Techcraft rack that I believe has been discontinued. I'll hunt down the model number let you know. The shape of the shelfs on the rack allow me to push the rack right up next to the tv.


Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hilbert,

Yes, I am running several issues together, but I see clean power as a multi-facted problem. Specifically, I'm interested in stabilizing and cleaning up the power coming out of the wall. (And to emphasize, I'm not concerned about situations where there is no power coming out of the wall, so strike the UPS ideas.)


I agree that my primary concern is voltage stabilization first. But Kevin W. makes a good point about not installing a component that solves one problem while introducing several others. I'm hopeful that the Haley will provide the benefits I am looking for without introducing negative side effects.


Mike
 
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