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 Forum index » How-tos » Production - engineering/mixing
voltage and overload
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old bailey



Joined: Dec 20, 2009
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Location: certainly not bavaria

PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:28 am    Post subject: voltage and overload
Subject description: how do i know if i've plugged in too many things?
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hello all,
i hope this is the right room for my question..
as my bedroom-studio keeps growing and growing, so are my concerns about possible overload. as of now, all my machines are getting their power from one outlet. i'm getting a little worried if i'm already taking more power than my outlet can handle properly. is there something like a formula that i can use to calculate my over-all powerconsumption? and how do i know how much my outlets can handle?
hope you can help, thanks already!
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Depends a bit on where you live, but it will have to start by adding up the power consumed by the devices. When they have rating specified in Watts or VA (Volt Ampere) just add those numbers up and when it it has a specification in A multiply that number by the mains voltage and then add it.

Depending on you whereabouts outlets may have a fuse, or there may be a common one for a couple of outlets and lights and such. That fuse will probably be specified in Amperes, multiply that number by the mains voltage to know how many Watts you have available.

In any case the outlet should be designed and installed in such a way as to withstand the power allowed for by the fuse, so worry about the fuse, not about the outlet. When the outlet is a DIY thing the wiring used will hqave to be involved, it's not a good idea probably to let 10 A flow through 0.75 mm2 multi strand wires.

Anyway, this are mostly some hints as regulations and common practice are different in different parts of the world.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I recall something my parents once said: you ought to be able to vacuum the floor and iron a shirt at the same time without the fuse going. Looking at my own specimens of those two domestic items I see that they total some 2600 Watt, which I think would mean 11 Ampere through one of my 230 Volt outlets.

Looking at my synths most go below 1 A.

Maybe you have some idea about your use of other domestic appliances, and can do a rough comparison? Or just try turning the vacuum on in a controlled fashion, er, somehow? Laughing

I don't know if the wattage specs on an iron has the same kind of headroom as the amp specs on a synth.

Regionally, I think this should work the same in Bavaria, but I see now that's of no use to you. Wink

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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It can also be argued that powering your entire studio from one outlet is actually not a bad thing anyway, as it limits where your equipment is getting earth from to one place.

European outlets generally are rated higher than American outlets, though. 13 amps at 230V (2990VA) vs 20 amps at 115V (2300VA) so about 23% less. It's still quite a lot and few home studios will actually exceed this.

Case in point, my studio is actually fairly extensive and takes its own room, I have (just counted) 48 separate devices on a single supply (there is an extensive power distribution system in here). Actual power draw when the studio is fully up is surprisingly low, despite the snake's den of mains cables back behind everything. I mean, by surprisingly low, fully on is around 6 amps (1440VA) despite the nameplates adding up to more like 12 (2880VA). The reason being is "Max Ratings" on some of the equipment is rather high (switching power supplies have a start up surge). But the vast majority of the equipment is between 25VA and 60VA consumption, so it takes a while to add up to anything of concern.

If you're really concerned, get one of those plug-in power meters that provide a display of current drawn on a single socket. They're pretty useful for a lot of things.

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