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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23295635


Are you asking what the wiring package should be for a typical theater and what the goals/considerations are for theater HVAC?

sure that would be a good start.


HVAC - I've read a lot about how much volume of air you should exchange and what it takes to make that happen noiselessly but all of it has been back and forth conversation in forums here and I feel like I'm missing more general principles.


Electricity - I know how to wire an outlet if the box is already there but everything beyond that I just have no clue.
 

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Want to post up some pics or diagrams so we can see what you are talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Basement Layout is first, joists run up and down so I can't run the HVAC through the ceiling


the bottom pic is a top down concept of a finished plan (without any HVAC or elec (or a projector for that matter))


this project will take places in phases but obviously you have to nail the elec and HVAC first - it would be unnecessarily difficult to come back and do that later.


I would like to have electric outlets in and around both rows of seats and the snack bar. Furthermore I will probably want a VGA and/or HDMI cable at the snack bar for custom one-off stuff.






not sure what's going on with these images...try this instead

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1467218/shermer-theater-looking-for-hvac-electric-soffit-advice/150#post_23281921
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23296704


For basic electricity / installation - Home Depot has a whole series of DIY books on the various trades - their Electrical book is very good with lots of useful pictures and diagrams...

http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-3-Books-Wiring-1-2-3-Book-2nd-Edition-0696222469/100491809#.UYvlr7VwpC0


(objoke: the cover photo says "Canadian version" - does that mean they added "eh?" to the end of every paragraph?
)

Thanks. Very helpful
 

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Take a look at my power guide and the specific one on home theater power .


For me the key things are:

1) whole house surge protector

2) all copper lines into the theater protected

3) everything AV on one dedicated circuit fed directly from the main panel. Lighting, HVAC, anything non AV etc should be on separate circuits.

4) use a point of use power conditioner with all AV loads except perhaps bulb based projectors (see below) running off that unit

4) if you have a bulb based projector then use a UPS
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23298371


Warren Peterson's Home Theater Book has a lot of information on these topics. http://TheHomeTheaterBook.com

fairly pricey at $97 even though the content package is a pretty extreme value proposition. I'll have to consider it when the budget loosens up a bit. We're getting slammed right now as we are prepping our house hopefully to be sold this year.


Thanks for the recommendation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23298085


For me the key things are:

1) whole house surge protector

2) all copper lines into the theater protected

3) everything AV on one dedicated circuit fed directly from the main panel. Lighting, HVAC, anything non AV etc should be on separate circuits.

I had a couple of questions on #2 and #3..... What do you mean by all copper lines protected? If you have a whole-house surge suppressor and circuit breakers for each dedicated high voltage line running to the theater, is there something else additional that you are recommending before power reaches rack-mounted surge-protection and power conditioning equipment?


For #3 I agree that HVAC, lighting, motorized seating, theater receptacles, etc. should all be on dedicated circuits completely separate from the AV equipment. However, I would challenge the thought that all AV equipment can easily be put on one circuit, even if it is 20 amps. For simple systems, yes, one circuit will do. But if you look at the current draws from powered subs, a projector and a decent 5-channel amp alone, I could see situations where there are insufficient wattages to handle peak scenes at reference levels. Until the Richard Gray Powerhouse and PS Audio P10 came along, many manufacturers recommended that the big amplifiers, including subwoofer amplifiers, be offloaded to dedicated circuits of their own. To generate my own electrical specification I will dedicate one circuit for each major amplifier and powered subwoofer. The projector and all other source equipment, preamp, router, etc. get put on another dedicated circuit and plugged into a combo surge / conditioner / UPS that is IP addressable and running off that dedicated circuit. Protection and power filtration for each amplifier would come from a dedicated surge suppressor. Not to derail the thread, but your thoughts?



EDIT: I realize one 20a circuit for all AV equipment is probably sufficient for normal use. However, I am talking about peak current draws at reference levels without power sag or insufficient voltages being drawn by the equipment despite capacitors built into voltage stabilization devices and the amps themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23298085


Take a look at my power guide and the specific one on home theater power .


For me the key things are:

1) whole house surge protector

2) all copper lines into the theater protected

3) everything AV on one dedicated circuit fed directly from the main panel. Lighting, HVAC, anything non AV etc should be on separate circuits.

4) use a point of use power conditioner with all AV loads except perhaps bulb based projectors (see below) running off that unit

4) if you have a bulb based projector then use a UPS

This website seems to jump straight to the "best in class" solutions for each use case. I tend to favor best value performance.


Thanks for the info. Still reading...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMcG  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23299173


I had a couple of questions on #2 and #3..... What do you mean by all copper lines protected? If you have a whole-house surge suppressor and circuit breakers for each dedicated high voltage line running to the theater, is there something else additional that you are recommending before power reaches rack-mounted surge-protection and power conditioning equipment?


For #3 I agree that HVAC, lighting, motorized seating, theater receptacles, etc. should all be on dedicated circuits completely separate from the AV equipment. However, I would challenge the thought that all AV equipment can easily be put on one circuit, even if it is 20 amps. For simple systems, yes, one circuit will do. But if you look at the current draws from powered subs, a projector and a decent 5-channel amp alone, I could see situations where there are insufficient wattages to handle peak scenes at reference levels. Until the Richard Gray Powerhouse and PS Audio P10 came along, many manufacturers recommended that the big amplifiers, including subwoofer amplifiers, be offloaded to dedicated circuits of their own. To generate my own electrical specification I will dedicate one circuit for each major amplifier and powered subwoofer. The projector and all other source equipment, preamp, router, etc. get put on another dedicated circuit and plugged into a combo surge / conditioner / UPS that is IP addressable and running off that dedicated circuit. Protection and power filtration for each amplifier would come from a dedicated surge suppressor. Not to derail the thread, but your thoughts?



EDIT: I realize one 20a circuit for all AV equipment is probably sufficient for normal use. However, I am talking about peak current draws at reference levels without power sag or insufficient voltages being drawn by the equipment despite capacitors built into voltage stabilization devices and the amps themselves.

#2 Only to ensure things like satellite and cable are protected. Normally this is done at the house boundary, but if not then do it at the theater.


#3 If the load is >20A then you just run a bigger circuit, like a 30A, 45A or 60A. A key part of my approach is use of an isolation transformer and all AV loads running off that one transformer. All the AV loads then share the same ground reference point that is isolated from the rest of the house.


The issue with running multiple dedicated lines with separate surge protectors on each one is that each surge protector can clamp at a different voltage. If they are shunt mode types that direct the surge to ground then it is quite possible, depending on wiring, for the surge to flow over signal cables to interconnected equipment and fry the IO stages. Plus you have the added expense of multiple surge protectors.


The only conceptual situation that makes sense for multiple dedicated lines is what I've called a 'whole room approach ' which is what I actually do in reality most times and that is to run de-energized circuits for amps, projectors, etc back to an isolation transformer rather than to an energized sub panel.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23299254


This website seems to jump straight to the "best in class" solutions for each use case. I tend to favor best value performance.


Thanks for the info. Still reading...

Best in class is what we're about so in terms of the specific products you'll find recommended I don't disagree. However the first page will give you the conceptual basis for choosing power conditioners whatever budget you have.


And the basic approach should remain the same regardless of budget. Cheapest to get a decent power infrastructure that I could live with and would not hinder performance would be something like:


1) whole house protector (you can get cheaper ones at home depot, under $200 plus an hours of an electrician's time to fit it)

2) surge protectors on copper lines (cable, satellite, etc) entering / exiting the house ($20-100)

3) single dedicated circuit run straight back to a main panel (maybe $500 for an electrician depending on where you live)

4) point of use power conditioner. I would not use anything less than a SurgeX, or other device incorporating series mode surge protection. You can get a 10 outlet, 15A capacity unit for $449.

5) UPS for bulb based projector - use a computer grade UPS, like an APC, $75
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23300130



#3 If the load is >20A then you just run a bigger circuit, like a 30A, 45A or 60A. A key part of my approach is use of an isolation transformer and all AV loads running off that one transformer. All the AV loads then share the same ground reference point that is isolated from the rest of the house.


The issue with running multiple dedicated lines with separate surge protectors on each one is that each surge protector can clamp at a different voltage. If they are shunt mode types that direct the surge to ground then it is quite possible, depending on wiring, for the surge to flow over signal cables to interconnected equipment and fry the IO stages. Plus you have the added expense of multiple surge protectors.


The only conceptual situation that makes sense for multiple dedicated lines is what I've called a 'whole room approach ' which is what I actually do in reality most times and that is to run de-energized circuits for amps, projectors, etc back to an isolation transformer rather than to an energized sub panel.

But the ground on an isolation transformer must not be truly isolated. It must not only be bonded back to the primary side ground, the neutral on the secondary must be re-bonded to the ground. This is critical for safety as that's the whole reason for the third wire ground in the worlds electrical systems. Without that neutral bond a ground fault will not trip the breaker or blow a fuse. But an isolation transformer is still a great power conditioner even with the minor safety compromise.


I know it doesn't make sense from a strict audio system point of view, but "ground islands" are not allowed and not at all safe. You need to look at the entire system including the electrical system as a whole and it becomes much more clear.


Another popular audiophile myth is to install an independent Earth ground rod for your AV equipment. Not only is this a very dangerous lightning hazard due to the resistance of the soil, it does absolutely nothing for noise abatement. Think about it, commercial jets, space craft both have very sophisticated electronics systems aboard, right? So where's the Earth ground rod?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23300232


But the ground on an isolation transformer must not be truly isolated. It must not only be bonded back to the primary side ground, the neutral on the secondary must be re-bonded to the ground. This is critical for safety as that's the whole reason for the third wire ground in the worlds electrical systems. Without that neutral bond a ground fault will not trip the breaker or blow a fuse. But an isolation transformer is still a great power conditioner even with the minor safety compromise.


I know it doesn't make sense from a strict audio system point of view, but "ground islands" are not allowed and not at all safe. You need to look at the entire system including the electrical system as a whole and it becomes much more clear.


Another popular audiophile myth is to install an independent Earth ground rod for your AV equipment. Not only is this a very dangerous lightning hazard due to the resistance of the soil, it does absolutely nothing for noise abatement. Think about it, commercial jets, space craft both have very sophisticated electronics systems aboard, right? So where's the Earth ground rod?

Sorry I have caused some confusion. I did not mean that the ground is isolated and independent from the rest of the house. I agree with everything you say.


The sentence should have read:


All the AV loads then share the same ground reference point and are isolated from the rest of the house. By isolated I mean the hot and neutral are isolated via the transformer windings. The ground is still a direct electrical connection.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23300437


Sorry I have caused some confusion. I did not mean that the ground is isolated and independent from the rest of the house. I agree with everything you say.


The sentence should have read:


....neutral are isolated via the transformer windings.....

But not really, if the transformer is "wired in" the secondary neutral must be bonded to the ground at the transformer, which is in turn grounded to the service ground. "Plug in" versions such as bench top isolation transformers are exempt as that would be a hazard on a test bench - like repairing in switching power supplies.


Now there may be an exception if GFCIs are used on the secondary such as is with legal balanced (60-0-60)power installations. But those exceptions are generally not allowed in residential installations.


Just making sure nobody get's hurt here.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor  /t/1471996/looking-for-electricity-hvac-primer#post_23300130


#2 Only to ensure things like satellite and cable are protected. Normally this is done at the house boundary, but if not then do it at the theater.


#3 If the load is >20A then you just run a bigger circuit, like a 30A, 45A or 60A. A key part of my approach is use of an isolation transformer and all AV loads running off that one transformer. All the AV loads then share the same ground reference point that is isolated from the rest of the house.


The issue with running multiple dedicated lines with separate surge protectors on each one is that each surge protector can clamp at a different voltage. If they are shunt mode types that direct the surge to ground then it is quite possible, depending on wiring, for the surge to flow over signal cables to interconnected equipment and fry the IO stages. Plus you have the added expense of multiple surge protectors.


The only conceptual situation that makes sense for multiple dedicated lines is what I've called a 'whole room approach ' which is what I actually do in reality most times and that is to run de-energized circuits for amps, projectors, etc back to an isolation transformer rather than to an energized sub panel.

I totally agree that an isolation transformer is the ideal way to provide clean, filtered and virtually limitless power to an AV system....but at a substantially high price for the product and for professional installation. I was personally looking at a similar product from Equitech ( http://www.equitech.com/index.html ) until I found that even the smallest of these systems was in the $9000 range for the product itself, not to mention shipping a 450+ pound pallet to my house for installation by a licensed electrician.


There is nothing worse than differences in ground potential manifest themselves as audible and visible effects in a system's performance. Plus consolidating all of the circuits makes pulling multiple loads into a system simple and easy and allows a common ground reference as you noted.


However.....I can't (i.e. don't want to spend) $10k+ on getting one of these in my system. So, I have to ask....what are the best alternatives, in your opinion, for >20a system where multiple circuits are needed? Most of us are in the price vs. performance "value" realm, so how is this accomplished without spending $5k minimum on power protection, conditioning and filtration?


I used to have (7 years ago) a Monster Power Signature AVS-2000 voltage stabilizer and a matching Signature HTPS-7000 power protection / filtration device to run my entire system. Projector, powered subs, etc. were all powerbridged back to the rack and EVERYTHING was on one 20a circuit. But even at low volumes the HTPS-7000 couldn't handle it and blew fuses. I then moved the heavy loads directly to the AVS 2000, including the single load of the HTPS-7000 which had the bulk of equipment connected to it. That worked better, but it still tripped occasionally. Only when I offloaded the most demanding components onto separate dedicated circuits did things start work without tripping. The Richard Gray Powerhouse rivals what Turos and Equitech are doing, but in a component-level device. The PS Audio does the same but to an even lesser extent.


Interested to hear your thoughts....
 
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