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line/power problems

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdD, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    I have a B&K 307 which suddenly refused to turn on about a month ago. I took it in for warrantee repair and was fortunate that it only took 1.5 weeks. The reason I think this is a power problem is that just yesterday, while I was watching TV (not too loud and not very heavy audio content), the lights dimmed, the receiver clicked like a very quick power cycle, and the speakers produced a loud pop. Afterwards, the system didn't listen to any commands either from the remote or front panel. It was pretty obvious that it affected the control board which was what they just replaced. I was pretty freaked out and shut everything down for about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, it shares the same circuit as the fridge which was not my choice but was the only possibility for the location. I honestly don't know if this happened just as the fridge switch on or not. It seems that I have a few options.
    1. run a dedicated circuit
    2. buy a line conditioner
    3. do both
    I don't think a surge suppressor would do much good and I'm not 100% sure that a dedicated circuit will work either because I don't know if the power dip was local to the circuit or from the grid. I don't want to spend a great deal of money at the moment unless I have to but I also don't want to blow the receiver again. What's a good line conditioner to protect against brown outs? Is there an economical one? Also, my primary concern here is protection NOT improving sound quality. All the line conditioners talk about what they can do to improve sound quality but say very little about what protection they provide. Thanks.
    EdD
     
  2. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed, Without a doubt, get your system off the reefer circuit. A refrigerator has a motor(compressor) and when a motor starts,( especially a compressor under pressure ), it can draw many times its rated amperage. This will drag down the available power in that circuit and do just what you describe.
    A dedicated circuit is absolutely the way to go with any sensitive equipment.
    You may not be able to control what goes on with the utility feeding your home, but this is something you can control. So I'd do it without hesitation.
    A line conditioner is a nice to have, but it doesn't protect you from voltage drop, which is what occurs when your refrigerator turns on. A dedicated circuit would help, although, if you live in an older home with a small electrical sevice, you may still have problems when large electrical loads turn on.
    A UPS would give you undervoltage protection.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I thought. I've looked into several products and the Panamax 1500 (and also the 1000+) claims to detect undervoltage and turns off the power. I have a call to an electrician so I'll see how much it will cost.
    I do live in an older home and I'd have to check again but I think we only have a 100amp panel. That should usually be sufficient but when this particular instance happened, I had the stove on also. That's the only reason I suspect that it's not just that one circuit. I actually should check to see if the stove is on the same circuit. I don't think so because that's a lot to put on one circuit.
    You mentioned a UPS. I was wondering if you have tried connecting an audio amp to a UPS and what the results were.
    Thanks.
    EdD
     
  4. Gary Silverman

    Gary Silverman Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed, I haven't tried a UPS with my system, but, if you're considering it, some UPS's output a square wave, and I've read that a square wave output is not ideal for a home theater system.
    With a 100a service, if you're cooking up a storm with an electric stove, that could put a pretty sizable load on your sevice. Add to that, your other electrical demands, and I can see where you could be getting into trouble.
    Anything you can get that would provide undervoltage protection would be a plus. That seems to point to the UPS, as it is the only thing I can think of that has a battery to supplement the undervoltage condition.
     

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