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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: Thomas W. Bethel on December 05, 2006, 08:23:09 am

Title: A bit of a scare...
Post by: Thomas W. Bethel on December 05, 2006, 08:23:09 am
Yesterday I walked into my studio and started to do some mastering but there was something wrong with my monitoring setup. Every time a bass note hit the monitors sounded like they were dying and instead of a nice big fat bass note I got a sound that was more like a PHSSST. And the midrange and treble sounded grainy.  I checked the whole system out and finally discovered that the plug that goes into the wall from the outlet strip for the amplifier (moulded on plug) was warm and even though I was getting 120 volts to the amplifier I could not light up a 100 watt light bulb. Off came the plug and a new hospital grade plug was put on and I am back in business. I took the old plug apart with my Dremmel tool and found that instead of a nice solid soldered on wire it was crimped on and the crimp had loosened over time and the whole power was going though only a couple of strands of wire. Scary to say the least. I wonder how long it would have been before a fire started in the plug from the current draw. The system sounds GREAT and I checked all the other plugs for warmth before the day was over.

We take so much for granted when it comes to AC power but we worry about things like the proper DA settings or the wiring used for the audio.

I guess we should all pay more attention to the AC power coming into our equipment. I know I will from now on.

This happened yesterday. On Friday of last week in the middle of a really bad windstorm my Maple tree in the back of my yard started to catch on fire from a 4400 volt AC line that had lost its insulation and was rubbing against the tree and causing an arc. I had to call 911 and the fire department and the local electrical utility came out and put a rubber hose over the wire so it would stop arcing. They have not decided on a permanent fix.

Funny that both events had to do with AC power....and within 72 hours of each other.

FWIW and MTCW
Title: Re: A bit of a scare...
Post by: TotalSonic on December 05, 2006, 09:18:42 am
What is a lot scarier to me is that a lot of the pieces of our electric grid rely on relay stations and cabling dating from circa 1936!!  The North East blackout of 2003 was a big warning post that we need to make a massive effort to update our infrastructure but very little real action has happened then.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: A bit of a scare...
Post by: Bob Olhsson on December 08, 2006, 11:17:06 pm
My favorite audiophile tweak is having the whole AC system tightened up all the way back past the service entrance. In many buildings most of the connections have never been touched since the building was constructed which often means 50+ years.
Title: Re: A bit of a scare...
Post by: Thomas W. Bethel on December 09, 2006, 08:00:51 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Fri, 08 December 2006 23:17

My favorite audiophile tweak is having the whole AC system tightened up all the way back past the service entrance. In many buildings most of the connections have never been touched since the building was constructed which often means 50+ years.



I had a electrician do that exact thing two years ago. He found a couple of problems and in one case a wire had come loose to the point that it was making intermittent contact. Everything is nice and tight now. Most of the screws on the circuit breakers were in good condition but in an older fuse box every one of the screws needed tightening and the screws on the incoming 220 volt power needed almost a full turn to make them tight. I am glad I had him do it.