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Thread: Electrical system for studio, tips, tricks, advice?

  1. #11
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    Find the longest earth path, for example the furthest power point from the main board or entry point to the room. Make the earth cables to every power point the same length as the furthest one. Coil up the earth cable in the wall if necessary. This will reduce any earth loops associated with mains earthing and multiple power points in the room.

    Alan.

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    Mornin' Dicus. This, http://www.legrand.com/files/fck/Fil...ernational.pdf might help?

    No specific information about Netherland wiring but I would bet a drum of cable you are close to the French system? It is a bit complicated compared to ours. You have primary breakers at 40A and one at 63A. From that subsidiary breakers of 20A feed high current devices such as washing machine.
    Lighting is fed from a 10A circuit and power points from multiple 16A breakers. You are allowed up to 8 sockets on a 16A line if the cable is 2.5mm sqr but just 5 if you have 1.5mm cable.

    For your purposes I can see several solutions (if allowed!) Say there was a socket close to the studio that was one of only 3 or 3? That could simple be extended to put 5 or 6 more in the studio (assuming a 2.5mm feed or, if not maybe the cable could be uprated?)

    Or, if there is space in the Fuse Box for another 16A breaker, a new 2.5m cable could be run out. I would bet there would be spare capacity on the lighting wiring? Ten amps = 2.3kW, LOT of lights! This latter system is to be preferred since it gives you isolation from the rest of the house, i.e. YOU won't be tripped out if someone else does something silly. Personally on that setup I would have a local Consumer unit (FB) so I could re-set things but I bet that is not allowed (find out what people do in garages/outhouses?).

    Cost: Do not have a Scoobie but IF that is your setup it would be cheaper to do than mine since UK would require the installation of another ring (if I wanted a lot of sockets. If just one double, that could be spurred from the closest existing one, but I would want a lot!) Your power feed looks like just a single 2.5mm cable, sockets and a breaker in the FB and you MIGHT be lucky and find a redundant one anyway!

    Illegal to go into a fuse box ??? How then do you reset a trip? I notice in that .pdf that great use is made of RCDs (fault current trips) These can pop off for fairly mild faults and a blown incandescent lamp can take out a breaker. MANY people have cut the flymo cable and tripped an RCD!

    Last point. IF allowed, fit the sockets at waist height. I don't know how old you are but at a creaky 71 I curse skirting board sockets three time a week! In UK I believe this is now mandatory for disabled access. About bloody time!

    Dave.

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    Probably neither affordable or worth it for a home studio, but just for interest sake...

    When we were designing a mains system for video/audio studios professionally, we did completely separate wiring for all technical gear, going back to its own breaker (and, in a building big enough to justify 3 phase, assigning one phase to tech power only).

    All gear was run off this tech power feed and, back at the cabinet all earths (grounds) were connected to a single point--occasionally a earth stake in the ground but, given London's dry clay soil, we usually compromised with a single connection to the power company earth (usually a metal braid around the incoming power lines in the UK but I don't know about the USA. Great care was taken not to let ANYTHING be earthed elsewhere and also to ensure that nothing other than tech gear was used on this circuit. To this end, we standardised on IEC sockets/plugs for everything technical so the cleaning lady couldn't plug in her vacuum cleaner etc.

    Other things (lighting, supplies to offices etc.) were on separate feeds (and, in our case) different phases.

    Of course, we also had UPSs and standby generators in the mix to, but...

    I doubt much of this is worthwhile for a typical home studio--but the most important thing will be a single earth point for everything which might be achievable with something like witzendoz's suggestion.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    Quote Originally Posted by witzendoz View Post
    Find the longest earth path, for example the furthest power point from the main board or entry point to the room. Make the earth cables to every power point the same length as the furthest one. Coil up the earth cable in the wall if necessary. This will reduce any earth loops associated with mains earthing and multiple power points in the room.

    Alan.
    Do you have any research on this Alan? All I can see is that you are just adding extra resistance to earth runs and coiling up earth wires will make them wonderful RF chokes and add RF impedances in the earth paths.

    Apologies upfront if this is peer reviewed in Nature!

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Do you have any research on this Alan? All I can see is that you are just adding extra resistance to earth runs and coiling up earth wires will make them wonderful RF chokes and add RF impedances in the earth paths.

    Apologies upfront if this is peer reviewed in Nature!

    Dave.
    You don't make a tight coil, just put the excess wire out of the way, I meant just loosely roll it up. The idea is to make the earth resistance the same at every power point. It's the earth resistance differential that can cause problems with earth loops. However before I get shot down in flames, there are other causes, this just eliminates one from the start.

    Alan.

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    "To this end, we standardised on IEC sockets/plugs for everything technical so the cleaning lady couldn't plug in her vacuum cleaner etc."
    Heh! In my last but one job I had a big, 2 fan industrial vac and peeps would borrow it (never fekkin' emptied it!) That I did no mind SO much but the lab boy's cable tie tails block vac pipes up disastrously! So I chopped the V long mains lead 500mm from the vac and made up an IEC male to female for it. The 13A to f'male I could lock away!

    I bet that system would not be allowed now Bobs? Non fused mains leads?! I guess the IEC skts were in fused banks?

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witzendoz View Post
    You don't make a tight coil, just put the excess wire out of the way, I meant just loosely roll it up. The idea is to make the earth resistance the same at every power point. It's the earth resistance differential that can cause problems with earth loops. However before I get shot down in flames, there are other causes, this just eliminates one from the start.

    Alan.
    Ok Al', still don't like it but if it works for you!
    Now, there is a school of thought that says that getting the LOWEST possible earth resistance* from any point in the system gives the minimum ground noise? To that end, MULTIPLE earth paths are used going to water pipes and buried stakes and plates around the building. Called 'Mesh Earthing' I seem to recall?

    In big network installations where shielded cables go building to building (and therefore inescapably, power system to power system, often a different phase) there can be large residual earth currents. These are often bypassed by heavy duty earth cables called 'Parallel Earth Cables' or PECs. Maybe not so much now that fibre is king.

    Different problem of course but earth currents cause others a fekking nuisance as well!



    *Obviously if all earth paths had ZERO resistance (and impedance! ) we could never have a problem. Roll on ambient temperature superconductors!
    (actually, said wrongly there. IF a wire had truly zero DC resistance there can be no Z across it? AFAIK? )

    There is also a requirement to bond certain pieces of equipment to local earthed metal. Heaters in bathrooms and this would I think apply to a lot of kit in potentially (no pun intended!) 'wet' environs? What I am saying is that, although the DESIRE might be to have but one earth path, 'regulations' might defeat you!
    Dave.
    Last edited by ecc83; 6 Days Ago at 02:11.

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    The amount of energy needed to follow al this hehe. But thanks a lot guys.

    1 seperate group for audio and gear, and all of the earth cables the same length is something I can do.

    Yesterday I found out that a good friend held a job as electrician for a few months and he's willing to help me so, with your information and his help I hope I'll manage.

    "There is also a requirement to bond certain pieces of equipment to local earthed metal. Heaters in bathrooms and this would I think apply to a lot of kit in potentially (no pun intended!) 'wet' environs? What I am saying is that, although the DESIRE might be to have but one earth path, 'regulations' might defeat you!
    Dave."
    Not sure if this is what you mean, but in the Netherlands is since the arrival of plastic tubing earthing to radiators not allowed anymore.

  9. #19
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    " and all of the earth cables the same length is something I can do. "
    Don't see how mate unless you have all the 8 (allowed) studio sockets in one bunch!

    The earth bonding point: If you have an electrical device in a bathroom made of metal (does not matter about the plastic pipes, H20 will carry enough juice to kill ya!) any other touchable metal must be bonded TO that device so that there can be no net potential between them. ('equipotential bonding)

    I hasten to add once again that I am NOT and never have been an installer electrician and our regulations change every few years. I can only tell you my current thoughts.

    But seriously, I would not worry about 'ground issues' The feed back to the FB HAS to be done in accordance with YOUR legislation. YOU are very unlikely to be allowed to dictate/change the earthing regime! Nor should you do so. We live, for the most part with the electrical systems we are given. If ground noise becomes an issue your energies and monies would be better spent on building a completely BALANCED audio system. (maybe with some shield 'stopped' links).

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Ok Al', still don't like it but if it works for you!


    Dave.
    It works for all studio installs, I think you are getting this the wrong way, it you have a power point with say 12 meters of earth wire and anouther with 20 meters you get a different earth potential which can cause a loop between items plugged into the 2 power points and then connected via audio cables. RF shielding is a whole different ball game.

    There are no regulation problems as long as everything is earthed correctly. Yes all the earthing has to go back to the main swithboard MEN link with then has to be earthed to ground. If the earth is using building water pipes it has to be tested as it is not always safe to assume that the pipes are a good earth, my old studio had that problem so where the earth bond was on the pipe I ran a fat earth with to a ground stake, which made a good safe earth and reduced studio noise. But all earths have to end up wired to the same point.

    Alan.

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