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Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

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Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:02 pm

Hi everyone, I have been trying to solve problems created by the power supply in my studio. (My recording gear is basically a windows laptop and a scarlett 18i8)
I have been getting random pop-sounds while recording or using any DAW live...
Sometimes the interface even disconnects on its own (which then freezes the DAW...)

I know for sure that this is due to pops and spikes in the power, because I have done extensive testing for a year and a half...
evidence include...
1. my entire recording system works perfectly at home
2. other USB bus powered interface works perfectly in the studio
3. i used a cheap voltage regulator before, and it detected sharp random voltage changes (but it didn't solve the power problem and its fuse was blown for unknown reasons....)


Would you think that a Furman power conditioner like AC215 can solve the problem I mentioned? Can it filter out sudden pops and spikes in the power supply??

Any kind of help will be appreciated!!
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:11 pm

jszy wrote:Hi everyone, I have been trying to solve problems created by the power supply in my studio. (My recording gear is basically a windows laptop and a scarlett 18i8)
I have been getting random pop-sounds while recording or using any DAW live...
Sometimes the interface even disconnects on its own (which then freezes the DAW...)

This sounds more like a laptop issue to me.

In which part of the world are you based?

I know for sure that this is due to pops and spikes in the power, because I have done extensive testing for a year and a half... evidence include...
1. my entire recording system works perfectly at home

What is it about your studio location that makes it's mains power supply so much noisier than the same supply at your home?

2. other USB bus powered interface works perfectly in the studio

This opens the door to the problem being ground-loop related, rather than noisy mains. What other equipment is connected to the interface, is the laptop PSU a grounded type, and are you using balanced or unbalanced audio cables?

3. i used a cheap voltage regulator before, and it detected sharp random voltage changes (but it didn't solve the power problem and its fuse was blown for unknown reasons....)

In this case, it would be much better to synthesise a new stable mains supply, rather than try and filter out HF glitches from an unstable supply. And the way to do that is to power the sensitive audio equipment from an online UPS -- the type that continually synthesises a pure sine-wave mains supply.

Would you think that a Furman power conditioner like AC215 can solve the problem I mentioned? Can it filter out sudden pops and spikes in the power supply??

No and no.

...but before running to the expense of an online UPS I'd want to investigate the possibility of ground-loops in the studio...

H
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:22 am

First of all, thank you so much for the response!!!


Hugh Robjohns wrote:This sounds more like a laptop issue to me.

In which part of the world are you based?

I am in Hong Kong and I'm using a samsung laptop with windows 10...
Well... I did borrow a macbook for a test and everything seemed to work fine....

What is it about your studio location that makes it's mains power supply so much noisier than the same supply at your home?

it's an old commercial building and it's next to a power transforming station (step down station?)
plus.... the voltage regulator behaved weirdly, so it made me think that it's a power problem..... (come to think about it, the regulator might be faulty too...)


This opens the door to the problem being ground-loop related, rather than noisy mains. What other equipment is connected to the interface, is the laptop PSU a grounded type, and are you using balanced or unbalanced audio cables?

balanced XLR in most cases...
i'm not sure about the PSU.... it's the standard one that came with the laptop


In this case, it would be much better to synthesise a new stable mains supply, rather than try and filter out HF glitches from an unstable supply. And the way to do that is to power the sensitive audio equipment from an online UPS -- the type that continually synthesises a pure sine-wave mains supply.

I agree!!! I looked into UPS a few months ago
seems to be a reliable way to solve the problem (if the problem really is the mains...)



No and no.

...but before running to the expense of an online UPS I'd want to investigate the possibility of ground-loops in the studio...

How do I find out what is casuing ground loops?
if i unplug the laptop PSU and let it run on battery.... that should remove a ground loop... right?....




once again, thank you so much for helping me investigating this problem, Mr. Robjohns!!!!
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:46 am

jszy wrote:I looked into UPS a few months ago
seems to be a reliable way to solve the problem (if the problem really is the mains...)

...but before running to the expense of an online UPS I'd want to investigate the possibility of ground-loops in the studio...

How do I find out what is casuing ground loops?
if i unplug the laptop PSU and let it run on battery.... that should remove a ground loop... right?....

Hi jszy!

You need to be systematic to track down ground loop problems, so have a read of this step-by-step guide I wrote way back in SOS May 2005, when someone else was considering buying a UPS, but wanted to rule out ground loops before going to this expense (sometimes the problems and their solution remain the same for ages ;) )

http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advic ... -my-studio

Hope it helps!


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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:00 am

Martin Walker wrote:Hi jszy!

You need to be systematic to track down ground loop problems, so have a read of this step-by-step guide I wrote way back in SOS May 2005, when someone else was considering buying a UPS, but wanted to rule out ground loops before going to this expense (sometimes the problems and their solution remain the same for ages ;) )

http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advic ... -my-studio

Hope it helps!


Martin


Thanks Martin!! Will go through your guide when I have the time!!

I have just tried unplugging the laptop PSU, connected the 18i8, and it still freezes the DAW after 5 minutes of use lol
This way the only ground should be the AC adapter of the interface, right? (if it even has a ground...)
I wasn't even recording, no instruments or speakers or headphones were plugged in. I was just looping some clips in the DAW...
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:57 pm

jszy wrote:I have just tried unplugging the laptop PSU, connected the 18i8, and it still freezes the DAW after 5 minutes of use

Hmmm... This, and your earlier comment about the system working with a different type of laptop, reinforces my first thought that it's a laptop issue, rather than a mains power problem.

Martin will be able to advise better than me, but I would suspect background services causing problems -- something poling the Internet, perhaps (eg, auto-email checking), antivirus checking, or that kind of thing.

H
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:18 am

yea, I agree that it might be a software problem...

I have done some further testings these days and came to the conclusion that...
Ableton Live 9 does not work properly in my studio... (it works at home...same computer...)

Live Lite 8 and Live 10 work in my studio without crashing so far.... although I still hear occasional pop sounds when using any DAW (even if i increased the buffer size in 18i8)

not sure if the 8 feet long usb cable has anything to do with that but....
right now, at least I have a DAW that doesnt crash!!

Thanks H and Martin for all the help!
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:27 am

jszy wrote:not sure if the 8 feet long usb cable has anything to do with that but....

It would be a strong candidate, and an inexpensive part to replace with a high-quality cable.

H
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:31 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
jszy wrote:not sure if the 8 feet long usb cable has anything to do with that but....

It would be a strong candidate, and an inexpensive part to replace with a high-quality cable

Agreed - I've had a few really weird problems over the year that turned out to be due to a dodgy USB cable, so avoid the freebies and spend a few pounds getting a decent one if you suspect that could be a cause :headbang:


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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:45 am

well that 8-foot usb cable was not free, but i guess it's not good enough!!

does the length matter though? does it increase latency or something?
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby CS70 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:57 am

jszy wrote:well that 8-foot usb cable was not free, but i guess it's not good enough!!

does the length matter though? does it increase latency or something?

A USB 3 cable should be max 3 meters (around10ft) so you're near the limit. Trying with a shorter cable might definitely worth it.
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Re: Can a Furman AC215 power conditioner remove pops and spike i

Postby jszy » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:54 am

Hello everyone, I don't think the problem is with any hardware...

It's just the fact the 18i8 1st generation does not work well with Windows 10... (at least the version of win10 on my samsung laptop...)

(some) other interfaces work well on win10
18i8 1st gen works well on windows 7

Thanks everyone for all the help and hope my findings help other people!

Cheers~
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