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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know absolutely NOTHING about power management. In 30 years I've never really ended up with enough stuff in one spot that it was ever an issue.


It is now, though, as I've set up distributed AV and a small Crestron system in a closet downstairs. But now I'm not sure where to begin.


The electricians put in 2 dedicated 20amp circuits, each of which has two plugs. I haven't gotten my rack yet, but here's what is going to go inside it:


- 8x100 4 zone power amp

- 12x30 6 zone power amp

- 5x100 integrated amp

- [as yet undetermined 5 or 7 ch amp]

- Pre-amp

- Comcast (Motorola) Cable Box

- Motorola Cable Box 2

- Last gen AppleTV (this bastard runs HOT)

- BluRay player

- Runco projector scaler

- Gefen video distribution matrix

- Crestron AMFMXM

- Crestron PMC2


Right now all but a few of those are plugged into crappy little surge protectors that are obviously not good enough.


Also nearby, but on a different circuit:


- security system

- cable modem

- wireless router


And in another room on the hallway circuit:


- Projector


In addition to just plain needing enough proper holes to plug everything into, I have a ground loop issue that is giving me the hum in one speaker via the Integrated Amp if any analog inputs in the chain contact the cable, as well as affecting the quality of the projector picture (faint rolling bars, etc).


Being stupid and not knowing volts from amps from my ass from a hole in the ground, I don't know where to start. I'm told that a good power conditioner will solve the ground loop issue (having Comcast actually ground it and trying an Isolation Transformer on one end didn't - in fact the latter just compromised the signal strength), so I hope that's the case. I assume I also want some sort of one-outlet conditioner for the projector as well.


[The final consideration is that I'd love it if I was able to power the amps on and off without having to go back there, as right now they just run all the time and my meter is spinning like a top.]


I know the Furman and Panamax stuff is good, but I can't tell one from the other (5300v 5400, etc) or even if that's going to do what I need it to.


I suppose a battery backup is also desirable?


Can anyone have pity on my poor power-dumb soul and recommend the product that I need? Or at least an applicable electricity explained to dummies website?
 

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This is a power conditioner basics write-up, from a salesman.

http://www.practical-home-theater-gu...nditioner.html


I'd skip Monster, Belkin, and Richard Gray. I think Panamax and Furman are the same company, like Toyota and Lexus.


If you get a unit with a UPS, some of them fix undervoltage/sags. You'll pay more for a front outlet, and pretty lights. And a true/pure sine wave output.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19621969


I know absolutely NOTHING about power management. In 30 years I've never really ended up with enough stuff in one spot that it was ever an issue.


It is now, though, as I've set up distributed AV and a small Crestron system in a closet downstairs. But now I'm not sure where to begin.


The electricians put in 2 dedicated 20amp circuits, each of which has two plugs. I haven't gotten my rack yet, but here's what is going to go inside it:


- 8x100 4 zone power amp

- 12x30 6 zone power amp

- 5x100 integrated amp

- [as yet undetermined 5 or 7 ch amp]

- Pre-amp

- Comcast (Motorola) Cable Box

- Motorola Cable Box 2

- Last gen AppleTV (this bastard runs HOT)

- BluRay player

- Runco projector scaler

- Gefen video distribution matrix

- Crestron AMFMXM

- Crestron PMC2

Nice pile of toys.



Where do you live?


Why do you believe that you need power conditioning? Do you have regular brownouts or outages?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Neurorad.


I don't need any of that fancy stuff. I've actually never understood why there's a front plug on any of them. All my gear has plugs in the rear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie /forum/post/19622381


Where do you live?


Why do you believe that you need power conditioning? Do you have regular brownouts or outages?

Just down the road from you in Chicago.


Not really. But I assume it helps with the ground loop issue and protects me against surges and whatnot. And I need to do something to plug all this crap in anyway. If there's something that lets me do the last bit while also giving me insurance against the other worst case stuff and also gives me a minor performance boost, I'm willing to do it. Priced within reason, of course.


I shut off the amps and noticed no discernable slowing of our meter (which spins fully 4 times faster than either of the two units above us). Perhaps it has more to do with all the 300w fish tank heaters keeping my Discus at 86 degrees...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad
I'd skip Monster, Belkin, and Richard Gray. I think Panamax and Furman are the same company, like Toyota and Lexus.
Yep on Panamax/Furman. The Richard Gray stuff is interesting, I've seen them do live demos that had some very interesting results, but couldn't tell you how much of the 'before and after' was exaggerated on purpose (not cheating, more worst-case scenarios). But IMO, spend that money on speakers first...


The story I repeat every time I meet the Panamax/Furman guys is from my own house. I had a Panamax 1000+ a long time ago. One nice spring day, with the windows open (all the neighbors are running their A/C already...), I'm sitting there reading a book, the A/V system is all powered off. I hear a loud 'click' and look up, see that the LEDs on the Panamax have all turned off, and think "WTF?". Half second later "BOOM" from outside as some transformer nearby gives up the ghost. 2 seconds later - 'click' the Panamax unclamps itself and the LEDs are back on... Nice.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19622596


Just down the road from you in Chicago.

Hey neighbor...

Quote:
Not really. But I assume it helps with the ground loop issue and protects me against surges and whatnot. And I need to do something to plug all this crap in anyway. If there's something that lets me do the last bit while also giving me insurance against the other worst case stuff and also gives me a minor performance boost, I'm willing to do it. Priced within reason, of course.

Chicagoland is blessed with a decent power system compared with other parts of the country. A 'conditioner' will not guarantee a fix for ground loop problems and may actually cause them.

My recommendation is to simply protect your electronics from overvoltages with some sort of suppression unit at the main or subpanels. You will probably never notice any difference in AV quality due to power 'conditioning' unless your electrical service is poor. If the service is poor, I would then contact the Utility to remedy the situation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19621969



In addition to just plain needing enough proper holes to plug everything into, I have a ground loop issue that is giving me the hum in one speaker via the Integrated Amp if any analog inputs in the chain contact the cable, as well as affecting the quality of the projector picture (faint rolling bars, etc).

Is the equipment with the hum all plugged into the same outlets or different outlets from different breakers?


If you were to unplug audio and or video cables one at a time, you can probably determine which components are not playing nice. You need to do only one cable at a time and only the audio side or one cable at a time and only the video side. When the hum or rolling bars disappear, you have found the 'loop'.
 

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Check out this pdf http://www.jensen-transformers.com/a...%20seminar.pdf it contains information for tracking down the ground loop. Throwing money at it usually wont solve the problem until you know the target. I would completely remove the cable box from the system (take it out to the garage and cover it with a tarp and put a big rock on it to keep it secure) and see if the ground loop is gone. Cable is a usual suspect.


For protecting your gear.... i like Crestron or APC for UPS. Crestron's UPS is built by APC. http://www.apc.com/products/apcav/pr...n=model&id=310


And MA for power distribution/surge protection. I like these because they are rack mountable and because i like horizontal power distribution because it makes wiring the racks easier imo.
http://middleatlantic.com/power/rps.htm


I use the UPS for processors/cable & satellite boxes/lan gear and anything else that suffers from lock-up. Adding a UPS has almost completely eliminated service calls that require a power cycle (unplug/plug back up).


As AV Doogie ( will you teach me how to doogie? ) mentioned... Chicagos grid is pretty good. I haven't lost anything and i play pretty fast and loose with my electronics
.
 

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How do you guys feel about 'electronic rust', repeated sags and overvoltages reducing the life of equipment? Magical thinking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie /forum/post/19625673


Is the equipment with the hum all plugged into the same outlets or different outlets from different breakers?

Same right now. Probably the same in all past instances too.

Quote:
If you were to unplug audio and or video cables one at a time, you can probably determine which components are not playing nice. You need to do only one cable at a time and only the audio side or one cable at a time and only the video side. When the hum or rolling bars disappear, you have found the 'loop'.

I'm certain it's the cable box, at least with the speaker hum. If any analog component anywhere in the chain (via switchers, other amps, etc all plugged into each other) has analog in from the Cable, the Nakamichi integrated amp produces the 60hz hum in one speaker. If I plug the cable box into it just via optical digital, I can get surround and no hum, though. But I also need to make use of the analog outs on it for the multi room distribution.


I'll have to repeat all the testing with the projector and the rolling bars. That scaler is only connected to a source and the projector itself though, so I would think the only thing to try is just plugging the bluray into it as the source instead, which I've done without success. I think that now that I've gotten more stuff into the closet though it's getting worse... now I'm seeing a bit more ghosting on text than I remember before.


IIRC I disconnected the entire cable line coming into the house and switched to the bluray player and still had the lines in the picture. But I'll have to try that again. (With the box unplugged and out in the garage under a rock this time.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/19625932


For protecting your gear.... i like Crestron or APC for UPS. Crestron's UPS is built by APC. http://www.apc.com/products/apcav/pr...n=model&id=310


And MA for power distribution/surge protection. I like these because they are rack mountable and because i like horizontal power distribution because it makes wiring the racks easier imo.
http://middleatlantic.com/power/rps.htm


I use the UPS for processors/cable & satellite boxes/lan gear and anything else that suffers from lock-up. Adding a UPS has almost completely eliminated service calls that require a power cycle (unplug/plug back up).


As AV Doogie ( will you teach me how to doogie? ) mentioned... Chicagos grid is pretty good. I haven't lost anything and i play pretty fast and loose with my electronics
.

Well I was probably going to get a MA rack for all this, so I do like the idea of using their RM power strips. So you'd recommend maybe getting two of those, one of which I plug into the UPS and the other of which goes... straight into its own 20amp circuit? Or into a conditioner in between there?


I have always played fast and loose with my power too, which is why I have all these stupid questions now. I've never had a problem. But as I sink more and more money into this stuff, the consequences of a problem go way way up. I'm not the "throw money at it" type of guy but in this case I recognize that safety does require a bit of money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad /forum/post/19626238


How do you guys feel about 'electronic rust', repeated sags and overvoltages reducing the life of equipment? Magical thinking?

Equipment can be stressed by voltage irregularities...no magic there. I don't know about electronic rust but let me describe a situation to you here.


I am sometimes involved in assisting customers with insurance claims where lightning strikes have damaged business equipment. We generally find that equipment is affected and can be parsed into three categories .


1) Equipment which was initially damaged by the event and no longer operates. We find it easy to identify this equipment


2) Equipment which operates normally, shortly after the event, but begins to operate intermittently or fails thereafter. This is the stuff we have to wait days or sometimes weeks to witness.

3) Equipment which operates normally, shortly after the event, and continues to operate normally.


#2 above may be indicative of your 'electronic rust'
 

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Willy,

Quote:
I'll have to repeat all the testing with the projector and the rolling bars. That scaler is only connected to a source and the projector itself though, so I would think the only thing to try is just plugging the bluray into it as the source instead, which I've done without success. I think that now that I've gotten more stuff into the closet though it's getting worse... now I'm seeing a bit more ghosting on text than I remember before.

Are you connected to the projector with component or HDMI cabling
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Component. I was quick to give up with all the HDMI distribution headaches and just go component. (I now do 4x4 distribution via an ultrareliable Gefen matrix that cost me $300 shipped. Suck it, HDMI!) The projector is 720p anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19627850


Component. I was quick to give up with all the HDMI distribution headaches and just go component. (I now do 4x4 distribution via an ultrareliable Gefen matrix that cost me $300 shipped. Suck it, HDMI!) The projector is 720p anyway.

...that is funny



I must be lucky, I have had zero problems with Cat6 HDMI distribution, 25' HDMI cables and numerous AV connections to sources.



Getting back to the question at hand.... at one time, I had problems with my component cabling causing a distortion on my Runco front projector, going to DVI and subsequently HDMI has solved that problem. I suspect you have a ground loop somewhere between the source and projector through the component video cabling.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer
The electricians put in 2 dedicated 20amp circuits, each of which has two plugs. I haven't gotten my rack yet, but here's what is going to go inside it:


- 8x100 4 zone power amp

- 12x30 6 zone power amp

- 5x100 integrated amp

- [as yet undetermined 5 or 7 ch amp]

- Pre-amp

- Comcast (Motorola) Cable Box

- Motorola Cable Box 2

- Last gen AppleTV (this bastard runs HOT)

- BluRay player

- Runco projector scaler

- Gefen video distribution matrix

- Crestron AMFMXM

- Crestron PMC2


Right now all but a few of those are plugged into crappy little surge protectors that are obviously not good enough.
WOW! For all that equipment you should have atleast 4 to 5 seperate dedicated circuits on all seperate circuit breakers on the same phase. I made the mistake of hiring a ignorant electrician and he put my HT circuit on the same circuit as my recessed ceiling lights that are on a dimmer and hallway light, the circuit breaker kept tripping, I was overloading the circuit. I didn't have much of a HT either, a Pioneer 60 inch plasma, Comcast HD cable box and bluray player. For amps depending on how powerful they are they should have their own circuit too. AVS member G-Rex has a very good HT and has 5 dedicated 20 amp circuits in his HT, it also helps lower the noise floor, less stress on the circuit and your electronics perform better and sound better.


You should have a licensed electrician by the state come to your house and calculate the total watts all those electronics put out and evenly connect them to each dedicated circuit so that no one circuit is being stressed too much.


SurgeX makes the best downstream surge eliminators on the market, they are professional and made in the U.S., Stay away from the Monster/APC/Panamax mickey mouse junk made in China in undisclosed factory locations.

http://surgex.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie
...that is funny



I must be lucky, I have had zero problems with Cat6 HDMI distribution, 25' HDMI cables and numerous AV connections to sources.
Really... what switcher? And wanna come over and terminate my CAT6? I suck at it. No issues whatsoever with CAT5, and I laughed whenever I read someone complaining about CAT6 being difficult, but I'm doing something wrong, in that on my longest run I've yet to get a full signal through on any of the three cables.


Anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie
Getting back to the question at hand.... at one time, I had problems with my component cabling causing a distortion on my Runco front projector, going to DVI and subsequently HDMI has solved that problem. I suspect you have a ground loop somewhere between the source and projector through the component video cabling.
Damn. I have it on one of those RGBHV out to RS232, then a long RS232 run, then the RS232 to RGBHV. I'll be sure to remove the long run from it to test that as well.


So that'd be two separate GL issues? (The 60hz hum existed before I even got the projector)

Quote:
Originally Posted by oppopioneer
WOW! For all that equipment you should have atleast 4 to 5 seperate dedicated circuits on all seperate circuit breakers on the same phase.
Interesting. The electrician wasn't ignorant, though. He just did what I asked. I had a few sources tell me 2x20 was enough, and several people even thought it was overkill.


He's coming back for some more stuff (more TV outlets and to get me some Romex to some wall keypad locations) so I can easily get more added if necessary, so that's not a real concern. And again I'll point out that this issue with the hum happens even if the amp and cable box are the only things plugged in. Regardless of other equipment, space, power, etc, if there's an analog connection to the integrated amp, there's the hum.


On the topic of tripping circuits, when I was first setting up the projector to test it, if I put it on one of the outlets on the 15amp circuit for the bedroom, it would trip it every time. Even with nothing else plugged in. That always puzzled me. I couldn't even test it out til I set up a shelf to set it on (the permanent plug location I had installed is on a different circuit.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19634042


Really... what switcher? And wanna come over and terminate my CAT6? I suck at it. No issues whatsoever with CAT5, and I laughed whenever I read someone complaining about CAT6 being difficult, but I'm doing something wrong, in that on my longest run I've yet to get a full signal through on any of the three cables.


Anyway...




Damn. I have it on one of those RGBHV out to RS232, then a long RS232 run, then the RS232 to RGBHV. I'll be sure to remove the long run from it to test that as well.


So that'd be two separate GL issues? (The 60hz hum existed before I even got the projector)




Interesting. The electrician wasn't ignorant, though. He just did what I asked. I had a few sources tell me 2x20 was enough, and several people even thought it was overkill.


He's coming back for some more stuff (more TV outlets and to get me some Romex to some wall keypad locations) so I can easily get more added if necessary, so that's not a real concern. And again I'll point out that this issue with the hum happens even if the amp and cable box are the only things plugged in. Regardless of other equipment, space, power, etc, if there's an analog connection to the integrated amp, there's the hum.


On the topic of tripping circuits, when I was first setting up the projector to test it, if I put it on one of the outlets on the 15amp circuit for the bedroom, it would trip it every time. Even with nothing else plugged in. That always puzzled me. I couldn't even test it out til I set up a shelf to set it on (the permanent plug location I had installed is on a different circuit.)

Seems to me that you need someone else in the mix here, between you and the electrician. A pro AV/LV integrator, for consultation, install, or both, may be a consideration. Lose the frustration, and get instant success.


Electricians are great for some things, but it's hard enough to find a quality electrician, let alone one who is also an AV/LV expert. Large electrical contracting companies have a LV guy on staff, they usually don't cross-train.


Romex to keypad? For lighting?


TV 'outlet'? If you're running new cables to a TV/display location, then run a couple ethernet cables with the coax (same cable pull) while you're at it. Same amount of work. The LV integrator will set you straight.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19634042


Interesting. The electrician wasn't ignorant, though. He just did what I asked. I had a few sources tell me 2x20 was enough, and several people even thought it was overkill.

I think he and many electricians are often ignorant or a more polite term "not knowledgable" on how to set up and wire a "home theater" properly, most aren't in the business for home theater setups. If you can get a electrician who is knowledgable on wiring home theaters that would be the best and "Safest" thing to do. Ask around on these boards and other forum websites and they can direct you to quality electricians in your state. You don't want a fire hazard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19634042


He's coming back for some more stuff (more TV outlets and to get me some Romex to some wall keypad locations) so I can easily get more added if necessary, so that's not a real concern. And again I'll point out that this issue with the hum happens even if the amp and cable box are the only things plugged in. Regardless of other equipment, space, power, etc, if there's an analog connection to the integrated amp, there's the hum.

Just make sure to tell him to put them on dedicated 20 amp circuits on 12 gauge wire. 15 amp on 14 gauge wire is more for bathroom and hallway lights, lamps etc and not for powerful electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillyDuer /forum/post/19634042


On the topic of tripping circuits, when I was first setting up the projector to test it, if I put it on one of the outlets on the 15amp circuit for the bedroom, it would trip it every time. Even with nothing else plugged in. That always puzzled me. I couldn't even test it out til I set up a shelf to set it on (the permanent plug location I had installed is on a different circuit.)

Your bedroom circuits might be all connected together on 15 amp AFCI circuit, AFCI's are notorious for tripping and are only meant for bedrooms, and 15 amp ciruits on 14 gauge wire will trip breakers often by stressing them with too much load, my 15 amp circuit kept tripping. Projectors and amps should have their own dedicated 20 amp circuit on 12 gauge wire. You should NOT plug powerful amps and projectors into bedroom outlets, they're not there to handle that power, just lamps and clocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad /forum/post/19634943


Seems to me that you need someone else in the mix here, between you and the electrician. A pro AV/LV integrator, for consultation, install, or both, may be a consideration. Lose the frustration, and get instant success.

I do have an integrator advising me and doing my Crestron work. He's not on-site though. I didn't get someone else local for two reasons: Aside from the programming (and electrical, obviously) I can handle DIY on just about everything else, and more to the point, I doubt anyone'll take the job when I've already got another programmer and they wouldn't get income from programming or gear.

Quote:
Romex to keypad? For lighting?

Multi-purpose wireless keypads. Can do lights, audio source, whatever I want, kind of like a dumbed-down touchpanel. Has to be powered for the wireless signal. Not 100% necessary but I had to buy a four pack to just get the one in one location where it's actually necessary. I'll just get creative with the other ones.

Quote:
TV 'outlet'? If you're running new cables to a TV/display location, then run a couple ethernet cables with the coax (same cable pull) while you're at it. Same amount of work. The LV integrator will set you straight.

What I meant was that I'm wall mounting two plasmas in places (bedroom, master bath) that don't have power outlets. I've already got all my cat5 and 6 run to those locations. (No coax though, actually. Didn't see a need since the catX is doing the distribution of the signal. But I can get coax there easily enough if I want it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oppopioneer /forum/post/0


Your bedroom circuits might be all connected together on 15 amp AFCI circuit, AFCI's are notorious for tripping and are only meant for bedrooms, and 15 amp ciruits on 14 gauge wire will trip breakers often by stressing them with too much load, my 15 amp circuit kept tripping. Projectors and amps should have their own dedicated 20 amp circuit on 12 gauge wire. You should NOT plug powerful amps and projectors into bedroom outlets, they're not there to handle that power, just lamps and clocks.

Yeah I think that's the case. The amps are on the dedicated 20a that are in the closet, but those were added after the fact... seems that all the rest are exactly that, one single 15a that is for clocks and stuff. Interesting, though (at least to novice me) that simply plugging in the projector that time, without even powering it on, immediately shut the whole thing down even though nothing else was plugged in.


Sounds like I got lucky, though, that the circuit the ceiling outlet got added to is a 20 instead of a 15, because I didn't think to specify and they didn't add a new one for that. (It shares it with unused hallway outlets, which you'd think would also be on 15, not 20.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by oppopioneer /forum/post/19636088


Projectors and amps should have their own dedicated 20 amp circuit on 12 gauge wire. You should NOT plug powerful amps and projectors into bedroom outlets, they're not there to handle that power, just lamps and clocks.

baloney...


many many many many people run all of their equipment on plain jane, 15A circuits....


the number of those with dedicated runs of 20A pales in comparison to that group... PALES....


"bedroom outlets"... lol... do you have any idea what you are talking about?
 
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