Mains distribution - what are the inexpensive options?

chemphysics

Novice Member
I am soon going to be departing from my good quality mains and will be having to rely upon something altogether less satisfactory. To make myself feel better about this, I am looking to find a sensibly priced mains distribution board.

Some background - I have never really seen or heard vast differences with 'good' mains cables. However, I have seen degredation with bad ones. Hence I want middle ground, solidly engineered with grounding in physics and not snake oil! I guess I will be looking for something with 6 or more sockets which will power the plasma/amps/dvd etc (not the hairdryer!). The other key is that I do not want to go spending more than £100 on it.

I of course know of Russ Andrews, but most of the products are more than I would be willing to spend. I do see I could get a 6-way powerlink, but does anyone know if it is any good? I look around and I see piles of other options, but they frequently seem rather expensive and thus way beyond my budget.

A further question is whether I should worry at all. One can buy a Belkin multi distribution board for £20/30, now at this price it is not good but I imagine it is not that bad, is that fair or is that money paying for cheap tat with a brand name?

Oh- I would be happier buying 2nd hand if possible, no point my taking the depreciation if someone else can do it for me!

Many thanks
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I use one of the better Belkin mains distribution blocks, the F9G823UK3M, that is not too expensive but does seem to vary a fair bit in price (even from the same suppliers :rolleyes: ) from week to week. I got mine a couple of years ago from Amazon for £35 each, but have seen them sold for a lot more than that and think I just got a good deal at the time (currently £63 from Amazon). Of course they will only improve the sound/picture if you have noisy mains supply to start with, but do offer peace of mind with an unlimited replacement warrenty for anything plugged into them :thumbsup:
There was a long thread on this a while back that can be found Here.

Mark.
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
Is making one up yourself an option?

Three MK twin metalclad sockets coupled together and wired up with 4 sq mm cable will be far better that anything RA has to offer, at a fraction of the price.
 

chemphysics

Novice Member
Thanks guys.

Making one would indeed be an option. I had thought of it but I thought that the sockets were expensive and the conduit into which one would fit them was likewise....
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
Thanks guys.

Making one would indeed be an option. I had thought of it but I thought that the sockets were expensive and the conduit into which one would fit them was likewise....

Good quality electrical wiring accessories are remarkably inexpensive even from the DIY sheds.

Got to laugh at al the Russ Andrews customers plugging their signature powerkords into the crappy socket outlets supplying their equipment :)
 

gerbilly

Active Member
Good quality electrical wiring accessories are remarkably inexpensive even from the DIY sheds.

Got to laugh at al the Russ Andrews customers plugging their signature powerkords into the crappy socket outlets supplying their equipment :)

I will stay quiet on this the last time I commented on the merits of Russ Andrews cables I got a wee rap on the knuckles from the moderators.
 

chemphysics

Novice Member
I do appreciate there are real benefits to RA cables, but I figure these are simple and should be able to be done for less than what RA charges!

As for the DIY option: I have found the sockets inexpensively, internal cabling is inexpensive, but what about rest? I had a look for bench trunking in which to mount it but that is serious money (£80 for 3m seemed typical). Also what about filtering and the cable to connect to the wall? Whilst I am happy enough building electrical components myself, I wish to keep away from getting too complicated because of insurance reasons!
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
I will stay quiet on this the last time I commented on the merits of Russ Andrews cables I got a wee rap on the knuckles from the moderators.

Need to choose your language carefully :)

I used to have a good laugh at RA and even sometimes wished I'd thought of the idea myself, but the utter nonsense that he has started spouting recently makes me think that he should be stopped :mad:.
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
I do appreciate there are real benefits to RA cables, but I figure these are simple and should be able to be done for less than what RA charges!

As for the DIY option: I have found the sockets inexpensively, internal cabling is inexpensive, but what about rest? I had a look for bench trunking in which to mount it but that is serious money (£80 for 3m seemed typical). Also what about filtering and the cable to connect to the wall? Whilst I am happy enough building electrical components myself, I wish to keep away from getting too complicated because of insurance reasons!

If you want a good quality neat distribution block have a look at these.

Surge arrestors / filter units can be bought from RS components and the like and wired in.

Personally I use a series of metalclad MK fused connection units with IEC leads hard wired into them, and fed from a dedicated 6 sq mm SWA radial circuit back to the main distribution board.

It's not exactly pretty but as it lives behind the equipment rack - what the eye doesn't see .... etc.
 

amcluesent

Well-known Member
>have a look at these. <

Hmm, the Wife Acceptance Factor may be a challenge :D

 

Mr Incredible

Distinguished Member
Sort of on topic, but wavering a little, is there any mileage in considering the UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) route as a source of clean AC? Do these units recreate a clean and filtered 240V AC off the batteries which are continually in the supply loop? Or is my thinking way off beam?
 

chemphysics

Novice Member
My understand is that a UPS is grand, but inexpensive ones typically produce a square wave output and are thus unsuitable.
 

Mr Incredible

Distinguished Member
... and I've just be reading that the majority of the smaller UPS' for home use are known as "standby" UPS where the electrical item is powered by the source electric not the DC-AC converted electric, until such time the source is compromised and the batteries auto kick in. So not what I thought!
 

amcluesent

Well-known Member
For your digital & analogue sources/pre-amp could consider a balanced power conditioner using isolation transformers - like Felicia

 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Sort of on topic, but wavering a little, is there any mileage in considering the UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) route as a source of clean AC? Do these units recreate a clean and filtered 240V AC off the batteries which are continually in the supply loop? Or is my thinking way off beam?

The bulk of the cheap ones are also very noisy electrically(and sometimes mechanically also),from the inverter etc inside the box....I have one for my PC and if for any reason it cuts in,the interference is quite noticeable at some distance.

Unfortunately of course,the other end of the market in the form of PS Audio,Accuphase and other regenerative PSUs are very expensive,even on the used market.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Need to choose your language carefully :)

I used to have a good laugh at RA and even sometimes wished I'd thought of the idea myself, but the utter nonsense that he has started spouting recently makes me think that he should be stopped :mad:.

Personal opinions are fine,as long as pitched in such a way as not to cause offence,or to be libellous.
 

pwood

Well-known Member
At the Scottish HiFi Show the ISOTEK room had a RA Powerblock opened and it seemed fairly poor quality compared to the ISOTEK block of similar price. I did not A/B them but I must say the RA product seemed well overpriced given the ingredients.

I have YEllow power cables and vouch for them but I agree that recently the stuff RA have been selling baffle me. Why you would want to spend a fortune upgrading the mains to a Tivoli Radio is beyond me. As for the USB stuff.....
 

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