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Thread: Mains Distribution Unit

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,100
    I'm Ken.

    Default Mains Distribution Unit

    I've been considering the pros and cons for my audio systems power needs for a while.
    Like all things relating to HiFi there are polar opinions regarding mains filters, some swear by them and say they improved the sound of their system, others say they suck the life out of their power amps and wouldn't recommend them.
    Ideally, I would go with a big transformer and a balanced output. (+120/0/-120V secondaries) 240v total across the output.
    As I don't have the space for this, I will keep it simple, my main need is just a tidy way of distributing power to my gear and a 10amp unit should be enough to power my whole system.

    I purchased one of these Furman M-10x E power distribution units from a Pro Audio (DJ) supplier.



    The unit has a basic noise filter and spike protection, with a 10amp resettable trip on the back.
    There is a single IEC c14 input socket on the back and x10 IEC c13 outlets.
    The front has an additional outlet, an on/off switch and a Green LED to indicate it is functioning.
    The on/off switch is 2 pole and the internal wiring is a decent 2.5mm sq.
    Pretty basic, but at £80, in a well built 1U x 19" case, I'm not complaining.
    Being the tweaker that I am, I decided to give it some additional functionality.



    I got one of these Chinese AC Volt/Amp meters off the Bay (£7 delivered).
    This will allow me to monitor the current draw, so I don't overload the distribution unit and keep an eye on the voltage available.



    That's the meter wired in, I put a small switch on it's supply, so I can disable it if the constant display gets annoying.
    I also changed the units "On" LED from Green to Blue to match the meter back-light and the rest of my kit.
    The small board in the centre is the filter/spike protection, which seems nothing more advanced than you would find in a filtered multi way extension block. But that might be a good thing......



    It looks smart when set into the panel and I'm pleased with myself for making the changes without scratching the front of the unit.



    This is the reading when I plugged my kettle in to the back. There are adjustment pots inside the meter and I calibrated it so the readings match my multi meters at 240V and 9A settings.

    This unit will do the job for me.
    Last edited by Qwin; 01-01-2017 at 11:01.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Denon DL-301 mkII / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / Yamaha NS1000M / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Maidstone

    Posts: 999
    I'm James.

    Default

    Nice voltage, mine normally come in at 247v
    Source: Heavily modified DDDAC using MacBook Pro.
    Amplification: Pre amp-Stereo Coffee pre amp on steroids.
    Power amp- Rather large Colin Wonfor Class A power Amp
    Speakers: Lampizator P17 Open Baffles
    Accessories: Klotz 500 DIY Interconnects & DIY speaker cable sounding better than anything commercial.
    All powered from a Mother Trucker BPS with a dedicated consumer unit with 10mm armoured radial back to the house tails after the meter.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 28,926
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Nice job that. Be a few tweakers having a go soon i bet
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    IMUTO TAURUS X4 BATTERY SUPPLY. - RPI2B & AUDIOPHONICS DAC running MOODE 3.1- CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE - JBE SERIES 3 SLATEDECK & EMOTIVA XPS-1 PHONO - PIONEER DV717 & HEAVILY MODDED MF X10v3. - PROART AMP/BERESFORD TC-7240 SWITCHBOX. - WIN10 JRIVER21, SPOTIFY - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 HEADPHONES, KINPS CABLES, SMSL M6 MINIDAC, CHROMECAST AUDIO DONGLE POWERED BY BATTERY PSU - FULL RANGE TWIN & SINGLE TELEFUNKEN's - CARTS.. AT95S, SHURE M55E, JVC MD1029. - RCA CABLES BY BRIAN SPKR CABLES BY MOI HAIR BY MARCO FEET BY ELECTRICBEACH - MAINS REGENERATED BY POWERINSPIRED AND FILTERED BY BELKIN PURAV.

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Maidstone

    Posts: 999
    I'm James.

    Default

    The best thing I like about this approach is that you know longer have to use fuses anymore
    Source: Heavily modified DDDAC using MacBook Pro.
    Amplification: Pre amp-Stereo Coffee pre amp on steroids.
    Power amp- Rather large Colin Wonfor Class A power Amp
    Speakers: Lampizator P17 Open Baffles
    Accessories: Klotz 500 DIY Interconnects & DIY speaker cable sounding better than anything commercial.
    All powered from a Mother Trucker BPS with a dedicated consumer unit with 10mm armoured radial back to the house tails after the meter.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Newcastle UK

    Posts: 3,500
    I'm Rich.

    Default

    A mate who's a guitar player has one of these in his rig. His version already has the display. Biggest problem we found in rehearsal rooms was if the voltage dipped too low, the Marshall rackmount amps he used would cut out.

    May be fine for effects and preamps but he ended up not plugging his power amps into it and running them directly to a socket instead.
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit... It's the only way to be sure.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,100
    I'm Ken.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sovereign View Post
    The best thing I like about this approach is that you know longer have to use fuses anymore
    Yes, one of the reasons I moved to IEC sockets.

    My voltage usually runs a max of 3V either side of 240v depending on the time of day, most of the day being pretty close to 240v, it dropped to the illustrated 233v at tea time (peak) when I pulled 8.5amps with the kettle. The wiring in the house is ancient and the consumer unit runs fuse wire!

    Rich - not sure if their is anything in the unit that would cause the voltage to dip so low as to cause the amps to trip. The internal wiring is 2.5mm sq (24amp), maybe the extension lead from the wall socket wasn't as beefy? I don't know enough about these things, to say whether there is anything on the small filter/spike board that would cause this. At least I can monitor the voltage now and if need be, run my power amp to a separate socket on its own, but it may not be a problem. The Furman units with a display cost many times more than this basic unit and have much more filter circuitry in them, which maybe could also have some effect on the amps? I'm guessing about that though.
    Last edited by Qwin; 02-01-2017 at 11:39.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Denon DL-301 mkII / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / Yamaha NS1000M / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,100
    I'm Ken.

    Default Update



    I finished the job with a decent mains lead, I will make up a short one for my living room, this one is 10m long for bake offs etc. It has pleanty of Copper, I used 2.5mm sq and its a flexible rubber jacket, I hate PVC, especially in cold weather. I put an IEC Locking connector on one end so it doesn't pull out of the unit under the weight of the cable, and a heavy duty IP66 (Weatherproof) UK 3 pin plug on the other (Clipsal # 56P313). I need a rear entry plug as some of my mains outlets are close to the floor and the thick cable wouldn't take the tight turn, plus these are very well made and a joy to wire up, even with the thick jacket and 2.5mm sq copper wire.

    These Clipsal Series 56 plugs are difficult to get hold of in the UK, they are popular in Australia etc.
    I got mine from an "Audio" seller on the bay, more snake oil than I could stomach, Cryogenic treated, slow buffed pins, Deoxit and a Silver plated fuse. Plain, as it comes, would have done for me.
    I bought it because it was available in the UK and at £20 plus delivery was the cheapest rear entry plug I could find, they are usually HiFi plugs and £70+.

    Strangely enough, there is an Italian seller on the Bay selling a Russ Andrews version of the Clipsal plug for £50 (Used). I would hate to think what he paid for it new, but hey, it had Silver plated pins. The #56P313 plugs can be bought direct, min qty 100 from China FOB price $7.01 USD each and for $6.00 if the qty is higher. I hate being ripped off and that is just taking the proverbial. There are a couple of UK, Trade only, electrical wholesalers that stock them, but you need an account to see the prices. These will be the plain plugs without any added serpent lubricant, so google the part number if you have a friendly electrical trader that will purchase them for you. They also come in Grey with a clear middle, which is the most popular version with the Audio outlets.

    That just about winds up this exercise.

    Edit: Tried the lead out on the unit last night, at 4:00pm the voltage at mine showed exactly 240v
    Last edited by Qwin; 10-01-2017 at 10:44. Reason: Added note
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Denon DL-301 mkII / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / Yamaha NS1000M / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Durham - UK

    Posts: 1,100
    I'm Ken.

    Default Update

    I tried the Furman unit in my system last night as a dry run for a couple of bake off's that are coming up.

    Aauughhhhh!

    Sounds bleedin awful. I had to double check I had everything connected correctly.
    The midrange sounds clean and transparent, but I have lost all the dynamic range.
    The description, that these things just suck the life out of the music seems appropriate.
    Left it running for 24hrs, in case something needed burning in, but it made no difference.

    I am now in the process of bypassing the filter circuit board so the box will then be just a straightforward distribution unit, which is all I needed in the first place. My advice would be to buy a case, a switch and some IEC outlet strips and make a basic distribution unit yourself. A proper balanced supply is a different prospect, but I certainly would not recommend these filtering units.

    Oh well, nothing ventured and all that.
    Ken

    http://www.jkwynn.co.uk/
    DIY Technics/ProJect based Turntable + Terminator linear tracker + Denon DL-301 mkII / Pro-Ject Phono box & Pre Box RS / KMTech Active X-Over / Nakamichi AVP1 Power / Yamaha NS1000M / Stello CDT100 Transport / DAC Magic.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 11,919
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Probably still worth having just for the neat box Ken, would cost more to buy all the bits to make your own I guess.
    There are times when you canít do the sensible thing, when you canít act like a responsible adult at all; you just have to do whatever insane thing comes into your head. When bad people do it they end up murderers, when good people do it they end up heroes, and when the rest of us do it we end up looking like total idiots. But whenís that ever stopped us?

  10. #10
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 28,926
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Interesting... ive got the belkin purav unit and didnt find that with it. Not tried system without it for a long time of course, must try that sometime actually
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    IMUTO TAURUS X4 BATTERY SUPPLY. - RPI2B & AUDIOPHONICS DAC running MOODE 3.1- CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE - JBE SERIES 3 SLATEDECK & EMOTIVA XPS-1 PHONO - PIONEER DV717 & HEAVILY MODDED MF X10v3. - PROART AMP/BERESFORD TC-7240 SWITCHBOX. - WIN10 JRIVER21, SPOTIFY - AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 HEADPHONES, KINPS CABLES, SMSL M6 MINIDAC, CHROMECAST AUDIO DONGLE POWERED BY BATTERY PSU - FULL RANGE TWIN & SINGLE TELEFUNKEN's - CARTS.. AT95S, SHURE M55E, JVC MD1029. - RCA CABLES BY BRIAN SPKR CABLES BY MOI HAIR BY MARCO FEET BY ELECTRICBEACH - MAINS REGENERATED BY POWERINSPIRED AND FILTERED BY BELKIN PURAV.

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