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Sky digibox mains lead modifications

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Tim Cooper, May 12, 2003.

  1. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Hi All,
    Time to get rid of that piece of crap mains lead they supply with the digibox, Mark Grant (well known cable specialist who doesn't get out much:devil: ) supplied me with a bare ended mains cable for fitting to my Sky digibox, I have written up the project & put the mods step by step on my webpage HERE I hope i don't come across as too patronising.
    Fanks.
    Tim.:smashin:
     
  2. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Sky+ has figure-8 socket, so i was lucky enough not to have to mod-the-box.

    Mark's Sky mains cable gave the most visible change to display and improvement in sound quality I have ever seen/heard from a cable change; compared to any other cable (mains, interconnect, etc.) from anyone.

    It even passed the wife test, unknown to Mrs StooMonster I replaced the bog-standard cable with Mark's one. She was playing with plasma and Sky with StooMonster Jnr and asked me why sound was much louder and clearer (this is though optical) and picture was dramatically better. She's never commented on anything like this before, and she is right.

    A highly recommended cable, excellent value for money.

    StooMonster
     
  3. redmax

    redmax
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    Very nice guide Tim
    As you know I have been an advocate of quality mains cables to all components in an Av set up having experienced at 1st hand the enormous qualative leap such an upgrade can make to your viewing and listening pleasure.
    My only reservation to what your suggesting is the need to actually remove the cover to the digibox to replace the captive lead.
    Lets start at the beginning for anyone not understanding why you've done this particular upgrade:
    Yes the lead is very sexy looking but that is not the main reason-
    The mains supply to any component is unfortunetley contaminated with "noise" primarily coming from airborne RFI (radio frequency interference) but also from components actually connected to the circuits.
    The aim is to minimise RFI as much as possible. The benefits are exraordinary,giving better colour saturation to pictures, more rythm and timing to music and deeper extended bass.
    As you stated the mains leads that are supplied on most components are about as good as the phono leads that are included with most hi-fi seperates- crap.
    They do their job of supplying voltage but also act as antennae for RFI thus pollutting mains and introducing unwanted signals.
    I have no doubt that Mark's cables are excellent because I've purchased them myself but to obtain the benefits mentioned above I do not agree that you have to dismantle the box.
    If you obtain a replacement mains cable terminated with a male IEC plug (which Mark will do for you upon request) you can then cut off the old mains cable leaving around 75mm of the old to which you then terminate with a female IEC.
    The benefit of this is if you decide to sell any component you only have to supply the buyer with a "kettle" lead to replace your beautifully sexy lead that has just cost you loadsamoney!!!!.
    Yes there is a liklihood that the guarantee will be void but thats the cost of better performance. The main reason is that anyone can upgrade their cable with complete confidence without risk of harming their equipment.
    If your'e wondering whether that last 75mm of cable will carry RFI - it probably does but it is so little that it won't make a difference to your "wow" factor!!!
    I have replaced all of mains in the above manner and have reaped the benefits which add up to a lot of upgrade for relatively little money.
    "More bang for your bucks" as they say
    Hope you find this a worthwhile contribution to the debate
     
  4. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Great stuff mate i might have a crack at uppgrading the lead on my ex ITV nokia DTT box see if i can reduce the break up and popping, one thing you dont mention is how much the "new sexy lead" costs! I would be very interested in some upgraded fig 8 power leads as most of my kit uses them. My amp has a bigger brother fig 8 presumably for higher current flow. How much are Mark Grants bare ended mains cables?
    And can you buy fig 8 connectors for home termination?
     
  5. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Personnally I'd look at popping an IEC socket onto the back panel, so that a normal IEC plugged cable can be used. It would most definately invalidate any warranty though.
     
  6. benmc

    benmc
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    Hello All

    I have one simple question

    How do I get hold of Mark Grant and how much do his cables cost?

    Cheers

    Ben
     
  7. redmax

    redmax
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  8. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Chaps,
    Firstly thanks for the comments it was a royal pain in the rear to do especially trying to update was a nightmare Lycos is POO:laugh: i keep promising to learn how to use frontpage but as with all Microsoft software, it tries to do too much, & for me i lose interest....rapidly.
    I paid £25 complete with gland nut etc, i didn't mind paying because Redmax has converted me to the way of the mains cable:devil: which reminds me Redmax phone me so we can argue;)

    Stoomonster: i agree with you the picture has improved no end the colour is the most improved & also the RFI that used to plague me is all but gone (i had an inkling that the satbox was the culprit)

    Redmax: whilst i do agree in principle with most of what you say (master:devil: ) i believe that keeping a couple of inches of crap original lead is defeating the object you introducing another connection in the chain, i think this was a marketing ploy by RA, it's easier to leave a small piece of original cable than to open the box & possibly electrocute yourself.

    Hornydragon:Mark does figure of 8 (or telefunken) connectors on his mains leads give him a call.

    Cheers.
    Tim
     
  9. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    Tim, in my rave for Mark's Sky cable forgot to say top site mate! :blush: I'll be following your instructions for my old Sony digibox which is now a FTA one, although I may be tempted to try and fit a C7 socket (but probably not).

    Mark also makes bigger IEC leads, as well as this lower voltage Sky one, and they are excellent too.

    As well as redmax posting his email address (above), you can get hold of him by sending a Private Message on this forum to "Mark Grant".

    And for extra performance don't forget to ask for silver plated plugs option either. ;)

    StooMonster
     
  10. Fernsehman

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    I'm rather worried about what you've done.
    No, it's a LARGE ferrite core with one turn of mains cord through it. Call it an "inductor" if you like. They cost about a quid.
    http://www.kcb.co.uk/new/ferrites.htm
    http://www.wavecontrol.com/esp/ferritas.htm

    I can't imagine a manufacturer spending a quid plus shrink-sleeving (plus the labour involved) unless he had a damn good reason.

    I would guess it's there to prevent power supply interference from getting out into the mains supply and affecting other equipment. It probably helps to stop voltage spikes getting into the Digibox, too.

    Put it back, is my advice. You may have signed its death warrant.

    If you *really* want to make an improvement, throw away all your coaxial cable and replace it with some real W100 from satcure. This stuff works for Freeview and Digital satellite AND for piping your pictures round the house. It's a bit more expensive than the Sky stuff but worth it.

    Fman
     
  11. Tim Cooper

    Tim Cooper
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    Hi Fman,
    Iknew i should have removed that shrinkwrap & took a better look:lesson:
    The following are just my observations & i stand corrected if i'm wrong (which is a lot :rotfl: )
    I thought ferrite rings were installed on devices to arrest any RFI from & to the equipment in question.
    I also thought that you can achieve the same RFI arresting qualities by using a well designed cable with a plaited configuration.
    Sky digi boxes are built to a price (cheap as chips) & if a manufacturer has the option of using a £1 ferrite ring or a £25 mains cable.......well i know which he will choose.
    Digiboxes (in my experience) are one of the main sources of RFI, so my guess would be that the rings are there to stop the digibox polluting the rest of your kit. I also read that the EEPROMS inside a digibox are susceptable to RFI, so are the rings there to protect the delicate electronics from it's own (unshielded) power supply?
    With digiboxes being widely avalable in Europe they have to contend with varying & variable voltages so they have to made tough, so IMHO the rings are not there to stop voltage spikes getting to the digibox.
    But then again i could be talking cobblers:D
    Any electricians care to enter the fray?
    Cheers.
    Tim.
     

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