POLL: leaving your electronics ON

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by eddieZEN, May 18, 2005.

  1. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    1. How many of you leave your amplifiers/receivers on all the time?

    I read somewhere that this prolongs the life of your gear. I take it that if there's any advantage to doing this, it doesn't apply to other components like your cd player, tape deck, etc.

    Funny, I always thought it was the other way around, but then I'm technically clueless.

    I noticed that my sub goes into standby automatically if there's no signal for 10 minutes, so maybe "standby" is not the same as "off?"

    2. Is there any advantage to unplugging (or switching off the power strip) electronics while not in use, other than additonal surge protection?

    3. On a related note: how many of you leave your desktop PCs on all the time? What are the pros and cons of this?
     
  2. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    The only componenets I leave on while not is use are my Earthquake 3 channel amp and Panamax 5300. As for my computer, I usually shut it off at night.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My dad has an old Pioneer recevier around that is 30+ years old and he never left it on all the time. I would say it doesn't make a lot of difference, but that also may depend on the particular piece of gear in question too. I would tend to lean towards turning stuff off unless it has a "standby" mode.

    Stand-by and off are definitely not the same thing. A lot of gear (receivers, DVD, etc...) that I can think of goes into standby too, not off.

    I leave my PC at work on all week, turn it off on the weekend. Home PC is off unless I'm using it.
     
  4. Ron T

    Ron T Stunt Coordinator

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    Leave all my gear on all the time.
     
  5. skip marr

    skip marr Stunt Coordinator

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    It is the reoccuring on and off that takes more wear and tear on equipment than just leaving it on all the time. Your only exception would be video, where you probably want to turn off the monitor each evening.

    Ditto for computers.

    Finally, be sure you have all equipment tied in to brand name surge protectors.

    Good luck!!
     
  6. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    John,

    Well my Marantz has a red light that stays on after I turn it off, does that mean it's actually in "standby" mode? It always makes a slight "chirp" sound whenever I turn it on or off, I wonder if this is normal.

    Electronically, what's the difference between "off" and "standby" anyhow?
     
  7. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    skip,

    Would you say me turning the receiver and PC off and on say 3-4 times every day is too much?

    Would I be better off turning these things on in the morning, then off when I go to bed at night?
     
  8. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

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    I work in a semiconductor fab...our electronics ar on 24-7. We seldom have electronic failures...epsecially with pc's. Then again. I always turn off my home equipement (except dish tuner) and never have any issues either!

    comming from a person with a degree in electronics...it makes no beans a diff wich way you go- especially with todays electronics.

    Now only reason I could see leaving amps on...would be if they were tube. I have heard it takes them a while to really warm up and get too there "natural" sounding state! Read this on a few sites...even those with transistors and utilize large capaciotrs... takes a while for a full charge.

    my 2cents.
     
  9. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I have a 12v trigger that turns off the amps for my HT room. But the amps for my music room and kitchen stay on all the time. (they are used more than the HT room). My Marantz monoblocks do sound slightly better when they are warmed up.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Its not a car. There's no real wear and tear turning things on and off (or at least very, very little). Have you ever read any manual for electronics that states that you should leave them on all the time? I haven't. Leaving them on means they sit there generating more heat more of the time and heat is much more likely to kill your electronics than turning them on and off. The reality is, I don't think it matters too much one way or the other.


    It's the relay turning off. It's normal. I leave my receiver, integrated and amps all in stand-by.
     
  11. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Turn on when I wake up, turn off before I got to bed.

    When I got to work, I shut them off (gone for, 8, 9 hours) as to keep the heat down.

    I don't stress out over it.
     
  12. skip marr

    skip marr Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    First, it is the switching that has the wear and tear.

    Secondly, the power up and power down impact electronics rather than letting it idle. Ask any electronics shop and they will tell you to leave it on rather than on and off, on and off.
    Finally, an excellent example is a light bulb - they have a longer lifespan left on rather than on and off, on and off.
     
  13. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I had an interesting thing happen with my Anthem AVM-20. It used to blow the internal 1A fuse all the time (like every 2 months or so) and would only blow out upon initial startup. Seeing as I had my unit in a rack and had to take it out, unconnect everything, pop the top and replace the fuse, you can see why it was more than annoying. So what did I do? After trying a bunch of solutions (including every variation of 1A fuse on the market), I simply decided to keep the unit on 24/7. That was over a year ago and I haven't blown a fuse since. The unit's worked perfect ever since as well.

    Not sure I will go this route when I replace it with another pre/pro, but I leave my home PC on 24/7 as well. I guess the only thing it costs you in the long run is electricity charges. But how much energy is my pre/pro costing me when it's not in use anyways? It's not an amp. (which in my case has an auto shut down feature).
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    In 30 odd years of owning lots of gear, I have always turned everything off when I'm done for the day.

    If a product is well-designed, on/off cycles will not "age" a component. However, heat is the enemy of semiconductor devices and circuits, and over time, will cause more damage than power cycles.

    I work in the semiconductor industry. Know how we do accelerated life (reliability) testing? Heat.
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Kevin,

    so what you're saying is that you basically leave your gear on during waking hours even when you're not in the room listening to it?

    This sounds like a sensible compromise to turning it on and off several times a day.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Off because it wastes electricity. Like Kevin said, there's no evidence that well designed electronics benefit from being left on all the time.
    That's an interesting observation Evan with your Anthem. Did you ever bring it to their attention to get it serviced? Myself, although knowing better, I'd probably have considered a slo-blo fuse or gone up a 1/4 of an amp on the rating. Switching, as in a mechanical switch, is another thing. Switches have duty cycles and failure can be mechanical or simply from a bounce effect that causes minute arcing to occur that results in carbonization or oxidation. Light bulbs last longer when on for other reasons. Each turn on/turn off cycle cause a small, minute movement of the filament which is supported at the ends. Here, you're talking about metal fatigue like when you take a coat hanger and flex it a few times.

    Even if the equipment is not being used, but left on, the power consumption is still a sizeable fraction of what it is in use. If your manual has information about what the power consumption is on standby, get out a pencil and paper and calculate how many kilowatts you use in a month and multiply it by your local utility rate.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I've thought of this issue and struggled with it for a few years. Do a search and you'll see I asked a similar question a few years back when I had a proprietary switched power amp that didn't match the preamp switched outlet.

    I've come to the following conclusion over the years:

    It is a reprehensible unconcionable and atrocious waste of energy to leave your stuff on all the time. Especially a power-hungry PC. One must either really hate the Earth or be completely ignorant about energy to do such a terrible thing. I couldn't even imagine it, it actually literally makes me sick to think about it. [​IMG]

    If you're offended by my rant I'm not sorry.
     
  18. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    Philip, setting a PC to go into sleep/standby mode after, say, 15 minutes causes it to then use very little electricity, much less than powering up every time you use it. Not only that, but it saves time waiting to power up & down.

    Doug
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Setting a PC to go into sleep/standby mode is roughly equivalent to turning it off. It's just a smarter way to turn it off. Many people leave their PC on in full power 24/7 to use as a web server or whatever.
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The difference between off and stand-by is that some basic, minimum circuitry remains powered such as memory for settings, maybe some other things (though I couldn't tell you what). I'm sure it means different things to different gear too, such as an amp or sub vs a DVD player, stand-by means something different. I don't really know, that's just my thought, but they are definitely different because OFF to me, means no power to anything, basically as if you had unplugged it.
     

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