I need some protection!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by justmund, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    Played a gig on the weekend and had some serious power issues, we were supplied with a 3-phase to single-phase circuit breaker box, most likely with RCD protection. This box takes 415V 3-phase and gets a line voltage of 240V by taking power from one phase and neutral. There were 3 separate "circuits" between each of the 3-phases and neutral.

    I took one of those circuits to power the front of house/keys (logistically easier), one for the power amps that feed the foldback, and one for the backline.

    A few minutes after powering up, one of the FOH speakers died in spectacular fashion, loud pop and smoke. Cue me running to trip the main 3-phase breaker. It also blew the keyboard (Nord Stage II...), and also blew a fuse in one of the guitar amps, and a fuse on my MIDI foot controller (separate circuit to the FOH/keys).

    I'm thinking there was a problem between a couple of the phases, maybe insulation breakdown and we got a tad (OK lots) more than the 240V we were supposed to have. Worth noting we did a separate gig a few days ago with a similar setup with the 3-phase to single, and no issues.

    Anyway I think I need some kind of power protection, for serious over-voltage/current events like this, something that will either condition the power of just trip so I can reset it. I use a Kemper with a power amp, plus a wireless system and the foot controller. Would be also nice be able to use it at home on my valve amps.

    It needs to be portable (I'll put it in a rack with the Kemper and wireless) and robust, and 240V.

    Any suggestions??? Thank :)
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Maybe Furman can offer a solution, though I don't know exactly how Australian power works, so I'm obviously ignorant.
     
  3. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    I've been checking out their products, they do offer 240V products.

    The electricity we have here is 240V/50Hz, as opposed to your 110V/60Hz(?)

    Us using 3-phase to single-phase is not the norm for us, but I'd still like some portable protection.

    Which model do you have again? The one with the power reserve?
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Yes, that's the one I have. But for this kind of thing you might be better off with voltage regulation.
     
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    I'd look at APC's offering. You need something to isolate your band gear from the venue source power, plain and simple. You can get big rack mount models but I rely on a pair of 1500VA stand alones that cover our small PA and the guitar rigs. The bassist is on his own. ;)
     
  6. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    Yeah, I'd follow up on what Kerry and Les prescribe. They're way smarter than I am when it comes to these things, but I'd think you'd want some sort of an uninterruptible power supply.
     
  7. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    Aren't UPSs heavy as all heck?
    I've heard they can introduce noise into the system as well, but maybe that's not true?
     
  8. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    I just know that every pic I see of Justmund playing live is like, on a patio, bow of a ship, or some outdoor gig with a pile of crazy-goodlookin' blonde chicks in uniform that they obviously have a surplus of over there. :rolleyes:
     
  9. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    I have no idea what you're talking about ;)

    Funnily enough, our last few gigs have literally been on the back of a truck. Not the cool AC/DC styles, but enclosed so the drums bounce around like an 8 year old after a bag full of lollies/sweets/candy/whatever you guys call them. Pretty sure I've still got more ringing in my ears than normal...

    Back OT, thanks guys I'll check them out. I'm probably going to trade my Kemper in too (on another Kemper, will get a rackmount version) so will change it all up in one hit.
     
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  10. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    Yes, and no. Sealed gel cell batteries = lead = mass. Big batteries mean long uptime and considerable weight. I'm waiting for Tesla's battery technology to trickle (thats a battery pun) down to the power protection industry. My big UPSes weigh less than 40 lbs. and are well worth the trouble.

    No, a good UPS does not inject noise into an environment, they filter it out. Yes, there are transformers and other electronic and electrical components that can create emitted RMI/EMI but they use compliance countermeasures to fight that. The good ones (like APC's SmartUPS series and higher) do an excellent job of filtration/conditioning/regulation. They carry a big warranty protecting your gear, so they have to be right. I protect some pretty big server facilities with this gear and have never been disappointed.
     
  11. Michael_DK

    Michael_DK New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Is it true, however, that you (generally) have to get to a certain price point in order to avoid UPS-induced noise?
     
  12. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    I can't speak for all offerings by all makes, but generally, the task of a UPS is to improve the power to the protected equipment. All that I've seen have surge protection and basic filtration, at the least. Otherwise, it would be counterproductive. YMMV.
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Kerry's got great experience with UPSes of course, and his advice is always good. My only problem with a UPS is that if what you you want is protection, you can get that without having to pay for a heavy battery and all of its recharging circuitry, and lug it around to gigs. A robust protection circuit like Furman's that has the built-in safety stuff, is in a single rack space that weighs about 15 pounds.

    An overvoltage on my unit immediately shuts it down and powers everything off, and I didn't even get the one with the voltage regulator.

    The only difference is that you won't have battery power, so the question is whether you would or even could run your amps on battery power at a gig? If you need the battery backup power, then that's the one to get. If not, then it's just dead weight to carry around.

    I'd talk to customer service at Furman, tell them your issue, and see what they recommend. They're very helpful. I'd do the same with APC; they might be very helpful, too!
     
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  14. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    It's not necessarily about running gear on battery backup. Most power "events" are momentary or, at the least, short lived. It totally sucks when there's a power sag and it shuts everything down and interrupts a show. Even worse, there's a slight surge THEN a sag, which causes some power supplies to spike and over-voltage the device it feeds and blows a fuse. Sure, you have spares, but you also have an hour down time fixing everything. You probably won't get paid for that gig. Battery backup (as long as you've sized the UPS appropriately for the load) you sail thru those episodes with no downtime or damage. It's not just protection, but also uptime.

    Again, depends upon your concerns and your goals.
     
  15. justmund

    justmund Plank Spanker

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    I'm waiting for that Tesla tech too Kerry, In really want to convert my motorbike to electric...

    Thanks again guys, I'll do some contacting and see what best fits. I'm in the unique situation of getting paid for a gig no matter what happens so it may be more about protecting my gear for the lowest weight/cost.

    Cheers
     
  16. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    If this is any indicator...
    [​IMG]
    (I have no idea what's up with the spontaneous flipping of photo orientation)
    I keep 3x 750VA models available for gigs. One is plenty enough for my rig, including a 50W guitar amp and pedalboard. The 1500VA can run a reasonable small band's PA, my rig AND the other guitarist's rig. We were on generator power when I used them last and it was a flawless night. Yes, you're mitigating damage to your equipment more than anything. And considering how heavy a speaker cab or Boogie combo or PA rack can be, these are nothing.
     

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