Powering on my subwoofer

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Donald_S, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    My subwoofer has an 'auto' setting but frankly it doesn't work very well. I decided it would be smarter to just turn on the sub when I'm watching movies and turn it off afterwards. I'm trying to figure out a way to turn the sub off and on without having to do it manually. My receiver has only a 100 Watt switched output.

    Any ideas about how to automate this so I don't forget and leave the power on?

    Two ways that occurred to me: 1) a remote power switch that works from my universal remote or 2) a power supply that will kick in when it gets a signal from the switched output on my receiver. So far I can't find such a switch, nor an on/off switch that works from a regular TV type remote.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Donald
     
  2. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    DO NOT plug your subwoofer's power cord into your receiver's accessory outlet. That outlet is made for things like powered antennas/EQs/CD changer.

    That said, your sub isnt' turning on most probably b/c your sub level line out isn't cranked on your receiver high enough. The sub turns on when a signal is sensed on it's Line In. Turn up the level on your sub pre out +1 or +2. Should be fine.

    If you are calibrated to DD reference levels, this will throw off your sub's balance a bit, but thats' OK as most folks (me included) like the sub up a little more anyway.
     
  3. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I had no intention of plugging the sub into the receiver, but thanks for the warning anyway. Even at +10db the sub doesn't always kick in when it should. Like I said, it doesn't work very well.

    Maybe I should have worded the question differently, I'm *not* trying to get help fixing my subwoofer and I'm afraid that's going to hang people up. How about something more like...

    I want to turn off and on some nameless device at the same time my receiver goes on either with my *same* receiver universal learning remote, or by having the receiver power on condition power on another device. How can I accomplish this?

    Thanks.

    Donald
     
  4. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hmm. Short of building a switching box with a 120v relay inside, I'm not sure how you could do that.

    Back in my poorer days (as opposed to my just "poor" days now :p) I was using a homemade sub with a car audio amp powered by a 15-amp,12v power supply.

    If I wanted bass, I switched on the 12v PS which powered up the amp. Inconvenient, but it worked.

    What sub are you using? Sounds like a premade, powered box jobbie. Which one?
     
  5. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    I had the same issue with my SVS. Ron and Tom suggested just leaving it on. So, that's what I do.
     
  6. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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    A few ways to go have been suggested above, if you don't want to build a switching box, then there are a couple other solutions:

    1) if your receiver has a 12V trigger, then use it and a power bar that has a 12V trigger input - Panamax has a few - they start at a couple of hundred bucks
    http://www.panamax.com/store/showpro...ion=CategoryID

    2) if your receiver has no trigger, then you can plug a 12V Wall Wart into the Switched outlet of your receiver, then use the same kind of switched power bar to accomplish the same thing.

    I'm sure there are other sources of the power bars with 12V switching. You may be able to source one for less than 200 bucks.
     
  7. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    What you're looking for is call the Smart Strip. It's made mainly for computers but they say you can use it fot home entertainment systems. What you have is one sensing out that turns the other outlets on and off. For example, the computer is plugged into the sensing outlet. Your printer, monitor, scanner, external stuff goes in the other outlets. When you turn on your computer it senses a current draw and power up the other outlets. When you turn off your computer the other outlets shuts off. Now all you got to do is subsitute receiver for computer and plug your sub in one of the other outlet. And the best part, it's only $29.99.

    Search for smart strip in Yahoo, look for bitsltd.net

    Hope this helps

    Sorry the forum wouldn't let me post a link.
     
  8. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    ----------------------------------
    What you're looking for is call the Smart Strip. . When you turn on your computer it senses a current draw and power up the other outlets. When you turn off your computer the other outlets shuts off.
    ----------------------------------
    That may be the answer David. However, unlike with a computer, HT components are always drawing a little power. The receiver, DVD, TV etc. are never really off completely. Would it work in those cases? Or would that slight current draw keep them on.

    I came up with a kind of Kludgy idea. They make an X-10 IR to RF controller. I could put that controller box with my other components and use that as a switch for an X-10 power switch from my universal remote.

    Michael, it's the Dayton 10" which I have read here has many issues related to auto on. In fact Parts Express doesn't list the sub on the site. It's possible they are discontinuing it.

    Thanks guys.

    Donald

    Thanks guys for all your input.
     
  9. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, forgive me for this, but...

    Back to the subwoofer plate amp. Does it have a left and a right RCA input, or only one RCA input? If it has two, try using a "Y" cable from your subwoofer cable into the plate amp.
     
  10. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    -------------------------
    Back to the subwoofer plate amp. Does it have a left and a right RCA input, or only one RCA input? If it has two, try using a "Y" cable from your subwoofer cable into the plate amp.
    -------------------------

    No joy Chris. I've come up with a test that works pretty well. On Gettysburg when you enter the scene menu there are four cannon blasts. The sub kicks in on the last two (louder ones) in 'auto' but on all four in the 'on' position. It's no different with a 'Y' cable, but thanks for the suggestion it was something to try.

    Donald
     
  11. Mike*Williams

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  12. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    --------------------------
    I'm anxious to hear about other issues with the auto-on. Personally, if I run into any problems with auto-on, I'm just going to leave it on all the time. Does anyone know of any issues with doing this?
    --------------------------
    Mike,
    It may be that it's an old problem reoccurring, but here is a thread about it from earlier this year:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...light=dls+auto

    I've written to the Smart Strip people to ask. I hope that it will work, it sounds like the perfect solution. As for the sub staying on, no it won't. If there are loud sounds constantly, yes. But a quiet dialog passage will shut it down again.

    Frankly I don't know why this isn't more of a problem for everyone. I've got a friend who has a $20k home theater, but his sub clicks when 'auto on' engages. Drives him nuts. Now the Smart Strip won't help him since he has a Monster power conditioner, but I would think that people like him would want *something* to deal with it.

    Donald
     
  13. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Instead of spending the money and the headaches, why not just leave it on? If it's not under load, it doesn't draw much more current than when in standby mode (IMO)
     
  14. Mike*Williams

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    Here's the reply I got from the Smart Strip people:

    [rant]Dear Mike Williams,
    The standard LCG1/2 models work with most receivers as the control device but not all. The following are known products that it does not work with because they do not draw enough power when they are on:

    Shuttle PC computer
    Imac flat screen computers
    Sony STR-K840P Amplifier
    HDTV tuners

    They will work with a modified version of the Smart Strip LDG1/2 which can be ordered only through our toll free number 877-424-8758. We have an unconditional money back guarantee. I suggest ordering the standard model, if it does not work properly, we will add your product to the above list & exchange your power strip including shipping for the LDG1/2 models. We can also refund your money including shipping at either stage. Thank you for your interest in the Smart Strip. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

    Sincerely,
    Russell Barton
    BITS Limited
    [email protected]
    631-261-8764[/rant]

    Funny that there are devices, that when powered on, DON'T pull enough power to trigger the other ports. LOL


     
  15. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    --------------------------
    What you're looking for is call the Smart Strip. It's made mainly for computers but they say you can use it fot home entertainment systems. What you have is one sensing out that turns the other outlets on and off. For example, the computer is plugged into the sensing outlet. Your printer, monitor, scanner, external stuff goes in the other outlets. When you turn on your computer it senses a current draw and power up the other outlets. When you turn off your computer the other outlets shuts off. Now all you got to do is subsitute receiver for computer and plug your sub in one of the other outlet. And the best part, it's only $29.99.
    --------------------------

    David, I emailed the company and it sounds like *exactly* what I'm looking for. Apparently you can set the threshold for power off at anywhere from 5 to 100 Watts, so the slight draw from a TV or receiver would be problem. I'm going to write a review when I get the strip, it sounds like it might be a very cool alternative for just about everyone except for the power conditioner crowd.

    Mike, I've learned there is a whole world of X-10 IR controllers out there. That also sounds like it might be a pretty cool thing. You could dim the lights, close the curtains, turn on and off your components on your HT all with your TV remote. You can find out a lot more at:
    www.remotecentral.com

    That's apparently the remote control equivalent of this forum.

    'nuff said

    Take care,

    Donald
     
  16. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, looks like we were posting cross posts about the same subject at the same time.

    Donald
     

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