Home theater power

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by BlakeN, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in the begining stages of mapping out my HT. I'm droping a sub panelinto my basement to power it and my office. I just have a few questions.

    1) Should I use isolated ground outlets for my equipment? All the equipment will of course be located in the same are but I didn't know if isolated grounds would be necessary

    2) 20 amp vs 15 amp outlets/breakers. I was thinking of using 20 amp just as a fail safe but is there any reason why I shouldn't use 20s.

    3) Power conditioners/surge protectors. I live in a new townhouse in a new development but I assume its still a good idea. Any suggestions. I would like to keep it on the lower end of the money scale. Under 200 if possible or even lower if I can get the job done.

    Just to clarify I'm planning on a projector, svs sub, a new tuner something like the Denon 2805, htpc, dvd player, and just to plan ahead satellite. Those should be the major power requirements.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    1. Those are only useful in commercial applications. Regular outlets will do fine, but it never hurts to upgrade to industrial devices, which have a more robust construction and grip plugs tighter.

    2. 20 amp breakers are fine, as long as your wiring is 12ga. That’s code requirements.

    3. If you have problems with the power in your area I’d definitely get one: A conditioner for “dirty” or noisy power, a surge protector for – well, you know. However, if you’ve never had an equipment failure that you could attribute to surges or other supply problems I wouldn’t be inclined to rush out and get one. But some people like the piece of mind. That said, I wouldn’t waste any money on anything below your $200 threshold. And don’t expect anything to protect you from a direct lightening hit.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    A few more tips:
    • Keep your HT equipment on a separate circuit from everything else in the room.
    • Keep the HT equipment on the opposite electrical phase (service leg) from the other HT circuits for lighting, auxiliary outlets, etc.
    • Have both an electrical outlet and signal feed dropped at the sub location – that’ll keep you from having cables draped across the floor.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. BlakeN

    BlakeN Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the tips Wayne.

    Ive never had any problems associated with power so Ill probably pass on the conditioner untill I can justify a good one. Ill just make sure my home insurance covers my equipment [​IMG].

    I asked about the isolated grounds just because I bought the black and decker complete home wiring book and it suggested using them for computer equipment.

    I was thinking having 4 seprate circuits for the HT. 1 for lighting 1 for a few regular outlets and the PJ, one for the HT equipment outlets and possibly a seprate one for the sub. If I put the sub on a seprate circuit then the other HT equipment is there a possibility that I could get a ground loop 60Hz tone on my sub? Or is it even necessary to put the sub on a seprate circuit.

    I guess I just want to err on the side of too many then too few.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    As long as all the equipment circuits are on the same phase, and the lighting on the other, you won’t have any ground loop problems – unless it comes from cable TV service or a poor mini sat installation.

    There’s no reason to put the sub on a different circuit unless it’s really high powered, or if the sub and HT amps combined exceed about 1200 watts. Above that point you may experience some voltage sag (although it’s still low enough not to trip a breaker), so you might want to split the sub off.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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