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Old 2nd June 2009, 03:02 PM   #1
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Default Which line filter is best?

Hi,

I am not a DIYer, so unfortunately cannot take advantage of any cheap home brew solutions that might exist, but would appreciate some advice on what I could purchase that might solve the following situation (given the amount of snakeskin marketing around the subject and my lack of technical expertise to separate the chaff from the...). I am in Australia (shipping of heavy products from the US is usually $100's so would prefer to buy locally if possible):


I think there is an underlying power problem with the house electricity supply I'm using. This manifests itself as clicks and pops through the speakers eg. quite a loud thump when a particular light is turned off (thump is loudest in my new speakers, but the underlying problem is independent of cables, amplifier, speakers). The problem is greatly diminished without any inputs into the speakers, but this does not elimintate it. I have tried a couple of available power outlets to no avail.

I've researched line conditioners, but the problem is which one might actually work? I'm prepared to spend a few hundred dollars to fix this if required. What brands/models should I consider?

For what it's worth, current equipment (no pun intended) is Event Opal speakers. Specs available here http://www.event1.com/index.php Click skip to avoid the marketing BS and then the link to "The specs"

Summary -- Need a power conditioner that:

* operates on 240V

* will work with high powered amp / speakers (i.e. will improve the sound not make it worse)

* ideally would have some outlets to plug in other components such as computer (though priority is the speakers)

* I can use for years to come... to that extent something like the Belkin products such as http://www.belkin.com/au/IWCatSectio...tion_Id=207102 with lifetime warranty and insurance appeal, but I am not sure they are the best solution eg. I can't find any meaningful specs on them

* ideally, is portable -- so I can take it with me if/when I move.

Thanks in advance for any advice

Stuart
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Old 2nd June 2009, 04:46 PM   #2
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Default Re: Which line filter is best?

Quote:
Originally posted by Stu_M

I think there is an underlying power problem with the house electricity supply I'm using. This manifests itself as clicks and pops through the speakers eg. quite a loud thump when a particular light is turned off
Hi Stuart

It's best to find the source/s of interference and atack the problem there. It maybe transmitted by RF over the air since you changed outlets/ but maybe not... if you didn't really change the circuit ie controlled from a diff breaker. If this is the case no line conditioning after the fact can help.
1) It may be best and cheapest to simply replace the lamp?
2) Snubbers ( a capacitor and small resistor) can be installed to solve most switched related problems if you are inclined more towards DIY.
3) Best to use a dedicated circuit... but maybe not an option for you.
4) IMO more troubleshooting is needed to really recommend a useful solution.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 05:12 AM   #3
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Default Re: Re: Which line filter is best?

Thanks Infinia,

Further troubleshooting may be problematic (eg. I don't even know which things are on which circuit) but i'll give it a go. It's not just that lamp that causes the noises (but it is by far the worst offender).

What is a "dedicated circuit" and how would I go about buying one?

Many thanks

Stuart
Quote:
Originally posted by infinia


Hi Stuart

It's best to find the source/s of interference and atack the problem there. It maybe transmitted by RF over the air since you changed outlets/ but maybe not... if you didn't really change the circuit ie controlled from a diff breaker. If this is the case no line conditioning after the fact can help.
1) It may be best and cheapest to simply replace the lamp?
2) Snubbers ( a capacitor and small resistor) can be installed to solve most switched related problems if you are inclined more towards DIY.
3) Best to use a dedicated circuit... but maybe not an option for you.
4) IMO more troubleshooting is needed to really recommend a useful solution.
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Old 3rd June 2009, 06:24 AM   #4
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor-input_filter is a start
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Old 3rd June 2009, 06:41 AM   #5
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Stu some trouble shooting tips
you can turn off individual breakers at the panel to see what the various circuits are powering ie which outlets. Then try to get the lamp and audio on seperate breakers or circuits. When you get them on seperate circuits and the problem remains the same, then it's probably RF transmitted.
RF is transmitted by a spark usually at the switch. Fix is to add a snubber across the switch.

A dedicated circuit is just that... one breaker or circuit that is dedicated for your audio. An electrician could install one.
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Old 4th June 2009, 11:04 AM   #6
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Re trouble shooting:I don't really have a choice of which power outlets I can use, so I'm stuck with stuff on the same circuit (even just unplugging a heater that is switched off and plugged in on a separate power board produces the noise). I can replace the light, which is the worst offender but that won't completely eliminate the problem.

Also, the dedicated circuit is not practical because it sounds too expensive for a non-portable fix (when it's not my house and I will be moving sooner than later).

Are there are possible solutions I could look at? The ones that seem to come up time and again on the Internet are UPS or isolation transformers, but I wouldn't know what to look for in either and perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree anyway. (Seems like there's quite a bit of used hospital equipment that may do the trick but again I have no idea what to get).

FWIW -- just tried a $33 powerboard EMI/RFI filter which did nothing to help.

Cheers
Stuart



Quote:
Originally posted by infinia
Stu some trouble shooting tips
you can turn off individual breakers at the panel to see what the various circuits are powering ie which outlets. Then try to get the lamp and audio on seperate breakers or circuits. When you get them on seperate circuits and the problem remains the same, then it's probably RF transmitted.
RF is transmitted by a spark usually at the switch. Fix is to add a snubber across the switch.

A dedicated circuit is just that... one breaker or circuit that is dedicated for your audio. An electrician could install one.
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Old 5th June 2009, 01:37 AM   #7
star882 is offline star882  United States
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Check for ground loops. They pick up noise very well.

You may want to go with pure digital amplifiers which are very immune to EMI.
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Old 5th June 2009, 01:57 AM   #8
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stu_M

FWIW -- just tried a $33 powerboard EMI/RFI filter which did nothing to help.
What do you mean tried it on what... the lamp?
Sounds like you have a piece of gear that's really sensitive. Find out what which one... by more trouble shooting even borrowing another amp. Really still cannot recommend anything without more symptoms.

FWIW Good iso transformers are expensive to power big amps and maybe not sure to solve all your problems. Fix and/or replace the noise sources as you find them.
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Old 8th June 2009, 03:34 AM   #9
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Have tried different amp and speakers. The problem is still present, but not nearly as bad. The speaker manufacturer says this is because the (new) speakers are high gain.

Is there any other troubleshooting I should try?

Cheers
Stuart

Quote:
Originally posted by infinia


What do you mean tried it on what... the lamp?
Sounds like you have a piece of gear that's really sensitive. Find out what which one... by more trouble shooting even borrowing another amp. Really still cannot recommend anything without more symptoms.

FWIW Good iso transformers are expensive to power big amps and maybe not sure to solve all your problems. Fix and/or replace the noise sources as you find them.
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Old 8th June 2009, 04:15 AM   #10
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stu_M

(when it's not my house and I will be moving sooner than later).

Quote:
Originally posted by Stu_M
Have tried different amp and speakers. The problem is still present, but not nearly as bad. The speaker manufacturer says this is because the (new) speakers are high gain.
With a new system your listening is mostably at a higher gain state rather than the speakers.
Since your problem seems to be when switching lamps and heaters, other than adding snubbers or not turning them on/off, you'll probably just have to put up with it, untill you move to a place with at least two circuits/ breakers. You could buy a extreme iso transformer at the risk of not much improvement either.
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