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Complicated power situation!

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Complicated power situation!

Postby siderealxxx » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:45 pm

Hi folks.

I'm setting up a new studio now where my partner lives here in the Netherlands. I have all my kit here which is all on UK plugs. You can see how I have it set up here:

Image

Four banks, with two flanks; one to the left and one to the right (for synths/pedals etc).

The room I have is a brand new apartment with 2x double wall sockets (one to the left one to the right) and 1x single wall socket (to the rear). These are obviously EU plug sockets.

I was assuming it's best to run each bank from individual sockets but read some forum advice from Hugh that this could create ground loops. Maybe it's better to install from one side only? Either way there's a few issues...

First, the double wall sockets are one on top of the other rather than side by side. Given that UK plug cables protrude from the bottom of the plug, it means I can't install with a travel adapter because one would have to be turned upside down which would reverse the phase.

I also read that travel adapters shouldn't be used long term (though these are very good ones)?

An alternative option would be to wire EU plugs directly on to my multiway boards, but then there's no fuse.

Equally I could change the IEC devices to EU plugs but that only accounts for less than half of my gear.

So I'm struggling to know what would be most sensible under the circumstances. I had similar questions a while back whilst playing live here but this is quite different now as a permanent installation.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Happy to clarify anything!

Thanks!
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:03 pm

You buy a good quality UK plug board (which has a fuse in it!)

You buy a good quality Type F (Schuko or Euro) mains plug WITH AN EARTH CONTACT...

Eg: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/mains-plugs-sockets/8245560?cm_mmc=UK-PLA-DS3A-_-google-_-PLA_UK_EN_Connectors_Whoop-_-Mains+Plugs+%26+Sockets_Whoop+(2)-_-8245560&matchtype=&pla-441863452064&gclsrc=ds&gclsrc=ds

...and you wire that in place of the 13A plug on the UK plug-board.

All your gear plugs into the plug-board, and the plug-board plugs into the Dutch wall socket.

If you don't fancy re-wiring plugs and plug-boards, the alternative is to buy a UK mains plugboard that terminates in a C13 IEC plug, and then buy a Schuko (type-f) to C14 IEC cable (or use the spare one that came with some mains powered equipment!)
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby MOF » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:10 pm

Given that UK plug cables protrude from the bottom of the plug, it means I can't install with a travel adapter because one would have to be turned upside down which would reverse the phase.
I don’t think you have to worry about ‘mains’ phase (the exception is three phase wiring and that’s usually in large commercial installations), AC is converted to DC by each device’s power supply, it’s the audio signals that can be problematic regarding phase.
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby siderealxxx » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:40 pm

Ok great thanks. Happy to just wire on an (earthed) EU plug if that's the simplest thing. Can't tell if these boards have a fuse in them beyond the plug though, they are surge protected so I would assume they do...
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:45 pm

siderealxxx wrote:Can't tell if these boards have a fuse in them beyond the plug though, they are surge protected so I would assume they do...

If they do, it will be easily accessible behind a removable cover marked 'Fuse' !

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A fused plug-board isn't essential in your application, though, as European mains distribution is all via overcurrent/RCD trips anyway.
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby siderealxxx » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:25 pm

Yep just checked with the company and they don't have fuses beyond the plug. Doesn't sound like a big problem though from what you're saying, plus each device has a fuse anyway. Off to get some Schuko plugs! I hate wiring EU plugs, the British plug is SO much better in many respects!
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby siderealxxx » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:26 pm

And thanks :thumbup:
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Re: Complicated power situation!

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:51 pm

You can buy Schuko plugs that have fuses and you can get multiway Schuko extension leads with circuit breakers and even RCDs onboard - pretty much anything really! Wattage meters - whatever you want.

https://www.schalter-steckdosen-shop24. ... teckdosen/

The Schuko market is many times the size of the UK-plug market so the choices are far greater.
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