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Old 7th May 2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default Why is my mains like this? Is this normal?

Take a look at this picture:

This is the shape of my mains measured at the live pin of a socket in my garage. Is it normally as non-sine wave like as this?

The supply to the garage is a spur off the downstairs ring main which is wired direct to the consumer unit. I am running a multi-way socket via a coiled extension lead and the only devices live at the time were a single incandescent bulb, a fluorescent strip light and the scope itself.

Any clues?
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:25 PM   #2
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Location: K-town
Many devices take power from the line at the peak voltage of the signal. Rectified DC supplies with filter caps do this as well, only charging at the peaks. Also the fluorescent light balasts are very noisy if not properly filtered. If you measure mains signal with the scope on the bus bar at the breaker box you may see less distortion. It depends on your location with respect to the power distrubution system. BTW, I've seen worse mains distortion than that.
All the trouble I've ever been in started out as fun......
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Location: Oakmont PA
A bit worse than normal. Keep in mind the flat top gives the capacitors in the power supply more time to charge!
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