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Are there any non-mounting power conditioners?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Unregistered, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and KRK Rokit 6's. I want to power them off when not in use. The monitors have a switch on back, but would be much easier to flip one switch on a power conditioner. Also the interface doesn't have a power button. Somewhere I read to safely power it off, I should first shut down the computer, then unplug. Well that is a bit of a hassle and would like to just have a power conditioner to switch it on or off.

    I don't have a rack, so are there compact non-mounting power conditioners? Or can I use a rack- mountable one just fine? Do they need to be elevated off a surface to keep them cool or not?
    Also if there are any, how would I hook it up (what cables)?

    I know some people leave them on all the time, and I would have too, but I felt my monitors and they were a bit warm, so I am deciding to rather power them off when not in use for safety.
     
  2. McMurphy

    McMurphy Guest

    For small studio operations, a decent computer UPS, that can sit on the floor, not in a rack, is where you should start. All this computer stuff needs to be on a UPS. They all have master switches. So when you shut down the UPS, you are turning on and off everything.

    Instructions for turning on and turning off equipment varies. So here are some suggestions: We'll first begin, of course, with the turn on procedure.

    This is where things can be a bit touchy. It's touchy because when you first switch something on, it frequently sends a big surge, through all devices. This can create a huge pop or blast coming out of your monitors. And it can damage monitors and has. So those monitors should perhaps be plugged into an extra outlet strip that contains its own on-off switch. This will then be plugged into the UPS. And it will remain off until the rest of the equipment has been turned on, booted up and settled in. Then you switch on the monitors. You will still likely hear a small pop but only a small pop that's not damaging.

    When switching off everything, just reverse the order. The speakers are the first to get switched off. You don't want to amplify any power down transients from capacitors discharging. No small control room on a home level needs to power up the control room equipment for more than a single electrical outlet on the wall. In fact I don't recommend doing that. You could end up on different sides of the 220 V coming into an American house and you don't want to do that. That's where shock hazards that can kill people happen. And that's mostly because in-home studio setups, proper grounding schemes don't really exist that make everything work well together. So you will be using some of those 3 into 2 AC plug adapters with some pieces of equipment but not all.

    Hum from ground loop problems is always an issue especially on the home level with all of your electrical ground plugs are connected to ground. And then when you plug audio equipment into other pieces of equipment you set up a ground loop which causes hum. Because you have all of your electrical plugs with the grounds all connected to your AC mains. Then you have all of your equipment patched together which creates a ground loop. The proffered method then is to lift audio grounds. A good rule is to always ground at the source. Where your source might be the mixer, not the computer. Which means the output from the mixer would have a ground wire connected. But the input to the computer audio device would not have the ground connected. The grounds are connected through the electrical outlets. But with many Taiwanese premade, molded connectors, lifting that ground on that connector is not possible. That's where you have to lift the electrical ground. The ground is then carried through the audio wiring. Which is the way most home studios are set up and patched in. This is not the way a professional studio would do it. Most connections and professional studios are all three pin XLR's, where you can lift pin one on the XLR that you are plugging into whatever device is downstream. But that's not practical for most home studios that use premade one quarter inch patch cords.

    So you really only need a remote on-off switch for those monitor speakers. A decent UPS and a couple of AC outlet strips and 3 into 2 AC adapters to get this right. Every manufacturer has their own recommendations which is not 100% valid if you're not using only their equipment.

    In my control room, I turned everything on and off with a single master breaker. Yup, you can hear the pop come through the monitor speakers and they've been doing that now for 20 years. No failure. And that's with an amplifier that if it goes south, has no problem blowing up your speakers LOL. And it's an old amplifier without any kind of time to turn on/turn off circuitry that a lot of amplifiers and compact powered monitors have built-in. The relay doesn't latch to apply the power until the power supply is fully charged. But generally not old amplifiers that just sends a surge through.

    Most UPS supplies offers surge suppression but no voltage regulation or other conditioning. For power regulation and improved conditioning, you need a specialized unit starting at over $300 not including the UPS which you still want to have. So regulation is not as important a factor of conditioning when dealing with modern day electrical wiring. AC mains should deliver 110 V on average. Dropping below 104 V will start to cause problems. Over 120 V will start to cause problems. And that can come if you are on the same circuit as air conditioners and refrigerators that cycle compressors on and off. You might even hear your UPS click, each time that happens? And that's because the voltage drops below 104 V for a split second. Usually not much of a problem but can mess with your computer if you're not on that UPS to begin with. It's like having to wear a seatbelt in your car. Most the time we don't crash but when we do... we all know what happens to folks that don't have their seat belts on.

    Conversely, rich folks frequently demand Liebert Computer Power Systems. Fine if you have $4000/$5000 to drop or more. Installing a faroh resonant power transformer offers its own regulation. I've worked for a couple of studios that had those installed at the back of the building as some of those transformers actually make audible noise. Those create a steady output voltage with varying input voltages. Also not cheap. You can expect to spend a couple of thousand dollars for those and the electricians you'll need to install it.

    Fuhrman and a couple of other manufacturers make some lovely power oriented studio devices for only a few hundred dollars. Some of those are just heavier filtering and conditioning while others offer actual toroid transformers and regulation circuitry for a greater element of clean and consistent power.

    McMurphy
     
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    or you could go buy a 5 dollar power bench with an on off switch for your monitors. :rolleyes:

    pACE3-7262141t181.jpg
    Ace Home Appliance Power
    Strip 15 Amp 125 V...

    $4.99
     
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks for the long and detailed answer McMurphy!
    haha and thanks to you to Kurt.
     

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