Lets build a POWER CONDITIONER! input needed.
Thanks for reading my post! I'm writing because I need some help with a little project… I think I might have what I need already but I need some assistance with this.
I'm new at this stuff but I'm a quick study, I think…
My Very First Project was a Hearing Aid. "Completely In Canal" or "CIC" in the Hearing Aid field. I know what your thinking, (It's probably a Huge Bluetooth or Behind the Ear style "Super Ear." Well if you are think that, Your Wrong! It's really a Super Small Hearing Aid made from exactly what the Hearing Aid Manufactures use today! It's programmable to your very own audiogram from your Audiologist. But enough about that.
I am here trying to make a Power Conditioner for my Higher, Lower End Denon AVR Receiver, Tivo/DirecTV, DVD Player and Maybe a Big Panasonic 36" tube TV if that will be allowed on the conditioner.
I've found a few schematics online but not to many I like… I am not a Fan of Monster Cable but I do like the bells they have making people believe they are of high quality. OK some stuff they have is nice but still not in my Book "High Quality."
What I like about there power conditioner is the LCD Screen Readout of the Voltage. That's about the only thing. Well I like the Blue Color as well. LOL
I also really like the Panamax M7500-PRO but I won't be buying that because it's about $2K to much.
I've looked at the Furman balanced power conditioners and I think I someone has a schematic of one floating around I snagged up…
What I'm hopping to get from you guys is,
1) Balanced Power Conditioner Schematic, Part's List for the schematic.
2) With the above help adding a Voltage Monitoring to the power conditioner.
3) Help to figure out if I can use any of the Transformers I already Have in the pictures listed here.
Thanks for all the help!!
Well… Not many people responding guess no one knows how to do this.
The first step in beginning any design is to be very specific about what you're trying to accomplish. In this case, who is the enemy you're trying to vanquish? RF noise? Voltage variations? Common mode junk? The guy with the spot welder down the road? Distorted waveforms? Bad building ground? Overvoltage? Undervoltage? Lightening? DC on the mains?
IMO, too many "conditioners" are mostly trying to sell conditioners using FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) and you may be paying for things you don't need, and not getting important things you do need.
Understand what MOVs do. Understand what gas filled surge protectors do. Understand what Tranzorbs do. Don't forget spark gaps. Understand what a Topaz isolator does and what it's extremely low winding to winding capacitance does for you. Understand how a Sola constant voltage transformer works. Look at how a constant operation UPS works. For extra credit research the old General Radio motor driven constant voltage Variacs (my personal favorite for many things, if you can find one and fix it).
With identification of the enemy, and some understanding of the available weaponry, a design path will likely reveal itself. ;)
We have a lot of lightning in the midwest. My previous employer installed Sola constant voltage transformers on the AC input all the computer controlled equipment, not because of brownout they are advertised for, but because they suppress lightning strikes pretty well. The new ishida baggers are not installed on SOLA's, but have ferrite torroids around all the power input lines, as well as lightning suppresors (metal oxide suppressors) on the input of all the DC supplies. They loop the input AC through the torroid once. I have installed S14 MOSupressors salvaged from dead PC power supplies on the AC inputs of several of my audio devices. These show a UL rating for installation on power lines, as well as a voltage spec (in AC volts) If your transformer pictured is a 1:1 device, It can help to suppress lightning strikes. Unless it is a Sola design transformer, it will not suppress brownouts or overvoltages from AC motor shutoffs.
I just lost a 10 amp battery charger at the country property due to shorted out DC diodes burning out the power transformer ($120), which I tend to blame on lightning. My PAS2 exploded a noise suppression cap on the power switch, and the ST120 exploded the neon bulb on the power switch, probably all due to lightning strikes. I also weld here, which puts AC hash into the distribution panel buss. So I don't think my concerns are undue. If you live in rainy, non violent Seattle, or sunny rural Nevada, probably conditioning is not as important.
A few comments:
1. MOVs are not lighting suppressors. They are surge surpressors and are limited to a few joules of energy before the burn out. Spark Gap devices are lighting devices that can handle hundreds to thousands of joules.
2. MOVs are limited use devices. Everytime they trip, they lose absorption capacity and eventually stop working completely.
3. MOVs mosly divert the spike to ground, which can cause more damage than it designed to protect. Rememeber that earth ground is usually about 6 ohms, When a large spike happens it can easily overwhelm the high resistance of earth ground, raising the voltage of ground to hundreds or thousands of voltages. Then the current flows from the ground back into Neutral or Line, shorting out your equipment from the ground. It also can cause the spike on the ground to kill other devices plugged, especially those that are switched off, as the spike travels from ground to neutral in all of the powered off devices.
What you want is a zero-divert surge suppressor that absorbs spike energy into a cap bank that slowly discharges with high value resistors across the caps. You also want three way protection (ie L-N, L-G, G-N). You cannot assume that the surge will always come from Line. Imagine if some on drives a screw gun into a life AC cable shorting ground with hot. Suddenly every device connected to ground goes hot as earth ground has too high resistance to absorb it.
What to Know About Common Mode Surges and Ground Contamination:
What to Know About Common Mode Surges and Ground Contamination
FWIW: I am working on a modest Zero diversion Surge suppressor, since I can't find any non-mil spec units available that don't divert to ground and don't offer three way protection.
Basically is using a three air core inductors (one for Line, Gnd, and Neutral) (since non-air core inductors can easily saturate), a cap bank that is activated using TVSS silicon Avalanche Diodes (in three way configuration), and a three way crowbar that clamps down on all three output lines (Line, neutral, ground) simulatiously so that the device behind the Surge suppressor is cut off completely. The Air core inductors slow the spike by serving a current chokes. When the voltage on the inside side of the inductor exceeds the TVSS breakdown voltage it diverts the energy into the cap bank. When the cap bank reaches capacity, it will trip the crowbar circuit to disconnect the protected devices from the mains.
I am not doing anything fancy with voltage regulation, noise suppression or brownout protection, just a pure surge suppression design.
This is not a hospital here. Obviously if my PAS2 and ST120 survived the strikes with only damage around the input switch, the refrigerator motor, AC/furnace blower, or a neighbor's refrigerator took most of the strike. Probably the actual hit was 600 V or under, since the switch held it off. MOS supressors, for perfect assurance, have to be tested after every storm. The power company is installing some device in the distribution panels around here, that connects the neutral to ground, and they are not offering a daily retest service. If you are running a hospital or an air force air defense site, you need to test that often. If you are playing records on your stereo, a little improvement is a lot better than doing nothing. I was involved in US Army Infantry grounding problems, and while they follow regulations about poles and wires and depth they are pounded in , they don't measure ohms to water table at all. It cost the division a couple of 100kw AC generators when they set up on top of a hill in Midwest august, pounded their ground poles 12' in, and didn't hit water.
However MOS suppressors, salvaged from PC power supplies, are free. If TechGuy's ground is 6 ohms, he needs to work on it. My safety pin to neutral is reading 0 ohms on a craftsman DMM, and the meter will detect 2 ohm resistors, so I know it is below that. My safety pin (green wire) is tied to the gas pipe, which is pretty well bonded to ground in this environment where it rains 140 days a year with a water table of about 24" down. If you live in Nevada, you may need to do something else.
Doing nothing is a good way to buy a lot of new, imported, consumer electronics.
Sola transformers between the wall plug and the music system are a lot better than MOS suppressors, but if you have a couple of dead PC supplies full of parts, they cost about 100,000% more. If Musick7 is sersious, he should buy one. If not, 1 cent of MOS suppressor is a wonderful modern device. The $140000 Ishida packaging machine are withstanding the environment here, and they don't visibly have spark gap devices, sola's, capacitor banks or any other such stuff as TechGuy describes. If the food plant was blowing up a lot of $30000 packaging machine CPU's, they would probably have to buy sola's again. But they didn't.
in the year 1999 i builted a conditioner of relativelly small power to use with my computer at the time P3/800 i think ... well the computer in my office runs from aprox 9.00 in the morning till 21.00 the good days and all night long the bad days ...
Well this computer actually lasted for almost 10 years and only around the 5th year i thought about replacing the psu just in case ...
so power conditioners do things and help a lot ... as about audio i wouldnt bother on how much power if more or less will effect absolutelly nothing or almost nothing since most circuits a re very well regulated except power amplifiers where more power means more power and less power means less power of the total output ...
now for everything else that is left frequency is most of the times no problem since all circuits are going to be rectified and filtered soi any change on frequency will effect the efficiency of the trafo only
the real problems lay in surge and spikes and other dirty things that may be carried inside the power cords there conditioners and filter may come very helpfull ...
When it comes to computers, more lightning strikes come in from the communications line than from the power line. My teacher at the community college said so, and I lost a modem and the connecting PCI buss slot of the main board of the PC due to a hit. So the phone line should have a MOS suppressor to safety ground, too. Old fashioned telephones with the carbon transducers and rotary dial switch, have zero sensitivity to lighting, so the phone company didn't spend any money suppressing lightning on the poles. The high speed internet line may be better protected by the phone company, I don't know.
Techguy says to protect both hot and neutral, I second the motion, for 3 pin devices in the western hemisphere & Korea. Of course in the eastern hemisphere, both sides are hot, so protecting both goes with saying. The ST120, ST70 amps, PAS2 preamp, and RA-88a mixer are all two blade power plug devices, and I'm leaving it like that to leave the safety ground as a star ground instead of a loop. The preamp or mixer, whichever I am using, is grounded to the third pin of the power plug through a separate wire tied to the mag phono ground terminal- the center of the star. In both cases the metal case is tied to the mag phono ground binder post. The ST70 and ST120 have floating case refered to the power plug, but connected to the ring of the RCA input jacks. Both amps get their safety grounds from the preamp or mixer, the center of the star.
DIY edit feature goes away awfully fast. One further quibble on lightning protection. Based on the phlegm of the tube ST70 which sweetly goes powerless and bassless over the years without explosions, and the purchase of two tube based H182 Hammond organs manf. 1968 and 1969 that both mostly worked, tube equipment does not need power conditioning or lightning protection. One organ was from Jefferson County, In, and the other from Hamiton County, Ohio, both lightning hot spots like here. So, bring on the tube based PC, they are impervious to anything but time and coffee spills!
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