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Dirty mains = Bad Picture?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Sammy Jankis, May 23, 2002.

  1. Sammy Jankis

    Sammy Jankis
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    Hello

    I'm thinking of buying a mains supply cleaner in the form of a plug board. It costs £85. I was wondering if it is worth the money. Will I see an improvement in the picture? Would some people say this sort of thing is essential?
    Thanks for your input.


    Sammy
     
  2. NickBull

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    I got a cheap filter and surge protector and it certainly helps with my PC, not tried it on the projector yet.

    I have HTPC, amp and LD player plugged in and It has cleaned up a percentage of the noise I was getting using the PC TV card and DSCALER to scale the LD player.

    I got mine from ARGOS, it was £35 for the 8 gang version.

    Nick
     
  3. stevenwilliams

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    A power cleaner made a big difference to my Barco CRT.


    I didn't go for a normal cleaner as they normally only clean the spikes.. I went for a Full Uninteruptable power supply. The benefit of this is that you get both spikes and drops filtered out and if there is a power cut the projector will be properly shut down (Especially important with CRT's)


    You can pick up second hand UPS's for about a £20 at computer shops & Business auctions..

    I recomend APC UPS's as they last forever.. but don't go for anything less than 1000va.

    I use an APC 3300va unit with my Barco Graphics 801 (Cost me £50 and was new & Boxed) but a 1000va unit will last for about 30 mins on my CRT.. Plenty of time to cool the unit down.. If you do purchase a bigger unit like mine you can even condition the power going to the AMP & DVD etc..


    The cost can be easily justified.. Better picture is one thing but protection against lightening is a better reason.
     
  4. Chip

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    Sorry Steven, I will take your sweeping statement with more than a pinch of salt. The vast majority of quality electronics on the market today has adequate mains filtering already built in making these devices (and most of Russ Andrews range) totaly useless.

    Chip
     
  5. stevenwilliams

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    I have to disagree chip.

    I have tested the supply coming into my house and the voltage coming in is not constant.. (I don't live in an industrial area.)

    The number of spikes or drops (Over 25v difference) is about 2-5 an hour. This has a negative effect on the electronics.

    The filtering in most modern electronics is only adequate to filter basic RF interference. Spikes and drops cannot be handled by these filters. The filtering is very basic.

    I noticed that when a spike is received the colour and picture quality degrades.. I must admit I haven’t heard a great deal of difference in the sound apart from the occasional crackle disappearing completely.

    Also I have noticed that after I placed my NTL digital cable box on the UPS I haven’t received a single artefact.


    The best type of UPS to get is one that converts the incoming signal from AC to DC and then back to AC. This way a perfect sign wave can be achieved and maintained.

    As far a Russ Andrews products are concerned I respect them but I do disagree with the price they charge.



    You are welcome to disagree with what I am saying but I have seen the benefits and recommend it to all. Even if you don't agree with the filtering having a proper uninterruptible supply coming into the electronics cannot ever be considered a bad thing. Being able to properly turn off items in a power cut and allowing a projector to cool down properly is justification alone.

    Also surely you cannot disagree that spikes and drops are not a good thing even for modern electronic devices.
     
  6. Chip

    Chip
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    Steven,
    Ok, I will try one of these for myself and see what happens. Can you point me to somewhere on the net that sell them?
    I'll get back to you after I blow myself up.

    Chip
     
  7. stevenwilliams

    stevenwilliams
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    If you just want a power conditioner that will cover you for spikes most electrical shops sell them.


    If you want a UPS that will cover you for spikes, drops and power outages keeping a regulated power supply any computer store should sell them or you could purchase one second hand on eBay or a local business/computer auction..

    If you are going to purchase one second hand make sure the batteries are OK and have a full runtime. They do age over time but one less than 4 years old should be fine. I have had them upto 8 years old with perfect batteries.

    You don't need to spend huge amounts of money..


    At the very least you wil have the security that your electrical items will be covered against lightning strikes and receive a proper conditioned voltage that should prolonge the use of your eletrical items.

    cheers
     
  8. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    I is extreemly rare for a Barco to need these fitting but it does no harm. They are far more prone to signal induced noise from RF in proximity than from mains fluctuations.

    Probably worth checking all the earthing points too, often there are hugh differnces when DVD players and scallers etc are not earthed and the rest of the difference goes down your video wires.
     
  9. stevenwilliams

    stevenwilliams
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    The earthing on my barco is fine (I think)..

    The problem I had was due to the amount of fluctuations on the mains..

    I sometimes have a drop of up to 100v for a second..

    Not enough to turn things off but enough to effect the projector.



    Even if you don't have these problems it's a good idea to place something in between the projector and the mains as if something does go wrong I would rather replace a cheap item than a projector..
     
  10. Chip

    Chip
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    Steven,
    Just an update. As I have an open mind, I bought one of these devices. I'm sorry to say it made didly squat difference.

    Now I'm just waiting for a lightning strike to confirm the second part of your story. What a waste of 80 quid.

    Chip
     
  11. stevenwilliams

    stevenwilliams
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    What type of device did you get?
     
  12. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    I'm still not convinced these are necessary with a big CRT even the cheap PJs have sufficient protection to prevent damage.

    In all the years of working with CRT projectors I have never experienced an installation where one of these has been necessary.

    But if it works for yours.
     
  13. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I have never seen any difference with other power cables or line conditioning in the image quality of my Mitsubishi VS-1281E 7" CRT. But I still use an APC UPS of 1250VA on the projector, just to protect it (my deflection/conv board has once been destroyed, probably by a power spike).
     
  14. stevenwilliams

    stevenwilliams
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    The problem I had with my projector was due to the terrible voltage comming into my flat.

    If you have online UPS you will only clean out surges and spikes.. An off-line UPS will convert the AC-DC and back to AC giving a perfect sine wave. These are the types that audiophiles use and this is what the monster company use on there power conditioners..


    But to be quite honest everyone should have one just for the security that a lightning strike won't kill your expensive equipment..

    Chip, Surely you must agree spending £80 now is better than £1,000's later.. so its not a waste..
     
  15. Chip

    Chip
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    Like I said. I'm waiting for a lightning strike.

    Chip
     
  16. garmtz

    garmtz
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    The problem with lightning strikes, is that if it's not a direct hit, they can still destroy your equipment, even if every component has unplugged from the wall outlets. This is due to an effect called "induction". Around the lightning bolt, there is a high power magnetic field, which can induce a fairly high current in your equipment when the lightning strikes close enough to your home. This can be too much for some equipment.
     
  17. Chip

    Chip
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    Garments, I'm sorry I don't agree with that. Lightning will only kill electronics with a huge power/magnetic surge. If the gear is unplugged and its not a direct hit. The gear is safe.

    Chip
     
  18. BliarOut

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    If you're plugged into a UPS your kit stands a much better chance of survival. I had one sat in my office that I intended to use on my PC, but due to the demise of my plasma at the weekend...... thanks to a lightning strike!!!!!..... I will now be using it for my AV kit instead. The £80 is good insurance if you have decent kit.

    Just out of interest, if anyone uses APC ups's, you can replace the batteries reasonably cheaply.
    http://www.apcc.com/tools/upgrade_selector/index.cfm
     
  19. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Hi Chip, simply not true, induction is just as dangerous... It WILL induce a power surge, not through the mains, but through induction from the lightning bolt into the equipment. A lightning bolt is very high voltage. A very high voltage creates a magnetic field, which in turn can induce a current in your equipment. I have heard from several people who unplugged their equipment and were still impacted.
     
  20. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    If Thor ever taps into this forum on a quite day, I'm sure he will settle this mains filtering issue.
     
  21. Boy Lex

    Boy Lex
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    I never leave the house... you know... just in case!

    Crickey - surely adequate home contents insurance is the best way to protect your kit from lightening strikes / floods / tornados / plagues of insects / nuclear holocaust.
     
  22. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    Why are you guys restarting a 3 year old argument?
     
  23. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I wish I knew... :confused:
     
  24. Roland @ B4

    Roland @ B4
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    You've obvoiusly not been struck by lightning recently ;)

    3 years is nothing, 24 years ago I called my wife by her best friend's name. :oops:
     
  25. Vince M

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    I did that once as well!! :) ...not your wife Roland..mine.. :D

    ..thought I better clear that up..
     
  26. rajiveaggarwal

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    I have no experience of UPS or spike management for mains, however I am a firm believer in mains filters.

    I use a DeZorel mains filter for all my audio and video kit, and picture and sound are both improved. [No connection with the company, just a customer!]

    I originally plugged in my CRT and HTPC, and colours were more saturated and blacks were more prominent. The change was significant, I had to re-do my contrast and grey scale.

    I recently also plugged in my Sky receiver, and again, the improvement in colour saturation and ghosting is significant. For me, there's no turning back...
     
  27. benwillcox

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    I find this subject quite interesting. I plan to convert my basement room by dividing into two, and have a cinema room in one half, and a games room in the other.
    With my Barco 801s running in it's proposed position, when my pinball machines are all being played in the 'next room', the width of the picture on the PJ keeps jumping in and out slightly.
    Now I had assumed that it was mains spikes generated by the coils on the pinball machines, but could it be transmitted RFI instead? If it's the latter then I wonder how I can stop the problem, other than lead-lined walls on the cinema room?! :eek:

    I've not really looked into it in more detail yet, but I suppose 'scoping the mains whilst this is happening would give me a clue...

    Cheers,
    Ben
     
  28. crteaman

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    Hi all,(how's thing's Garmt) thought i might add my experiences to this interesting thread,
    the ultimate way to handle the mains is to use a regenerator, problem is they are both large and very expensive indeed, as usual my experiences are based only around crt units.
    A good few years ago I was running a Barco 600, playing around with the mains etc I came across a local chap who built custom mains purifiers to order,as ever I have alway's had a very open mind regarding all things Hi-fi and home cinema so invited him over with one of his units in hand, actually in both hands this thing was big!

    We are talking of what's basically a very large one to one transformer, nothing super advanced such as the regen units and it weighed around 60 pounds.
    The crt was running so we turned it off, plugged his unit into the mains then the crt into his unit and powered the crt up again, even considering it had been off for a few minutes, and also considering a Barco 600 is not a very open window on the source (and has very poor power supply) the results were very notable, within seconds.
    As Rajiveaggarwal noted, the colours were slightly improved but most notable were the blacks and a cleaner picture, even my mother in law at the time noticed!!

    I for one would however be a little weary of UPS units, although I am determined to keep open minded but £85 to power 600-900 watts plus a percentage for headroom seems well..........hmmm.
    The units this guy made were around £350 at the time if we could find a minimum of 20 orders, as he pointed out a critical thing was the quality of the transformer and its windings and he only found two company's in the UK whom he felt were worthy.

    Having said all of this the power supplies in most mid 90's crt's onwards are very good indeed and a far cry from the likes of the old 600, but believe me my friends, when done correctly they do make a difference.

    If you require deeper and more insightfull explanations I will be glad to give them, do consider that this type of upgrade depends on how bad or good your mains supply is, and that we are not talking about quantum leaps ahead in performance, its just worth putting on the upgrade list....at some point.
    So Garmt, whats new and what have you been up too lately??

    james
     
  29. Vince M

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    Yeah..MONSTER do a lot of products for cleaning up Video power as well as audio.
    Dedicated mains spur + power conditioner+ own power station..thats the way to go!! :D :D

    **P.S. dont move to the Isle of Man renowned for evening power fluctuations and disturbed pictures.. :smashin:
     

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