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Post subject: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 02:46
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Just thought i would let everyone here know that after getting tired of the horrible noise/static coming out of my speakers when using my manufacturers original power supply, i tried a universal supply from powerstar.

http://www.powersuppliesonline.co.uk/pr ... efault.htm

All i can say is the noise has completely gone and I am enjoying mixing again!!


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 03:13
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Nice :-)


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 13:28
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I had this problem also and it was the ground causing the problem . you need to convert to a 2 prong adapter.


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 14:15
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dj nova wrote:
I had this problem also and it was the ground causing the problem . you need to convert to a 2 prong adapter.


That's called a ground lift. That was my method of dealing with that, but some people debate the safety of it...


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 15:41
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Yep.... they do. :D ;)

In all honesty, if you have a ground loop issue, replacing the power supply with one that fixes the problem or using a proper ground loop isolator of some kind is the best route to go.


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 19:44
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true 8)


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 20:56
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Lol I just ripped out the third pin that was a ground.

ALL IS WELL


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2010, 23:07
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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2010, 00:40
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Yea after reading alot into the subject i decided not to lift the ground on my original power supply. I had read a lot of forums saying that it was fine, and even more saying that it was incredibly dangerous. With electrical experts on either side of the argument. Naturally i had no idea what i was doing so thought id live with it!

Luckily my power supply broke (well not luckily at the time cos i was in the middle of a gig annd had to borrow a power supply of the birthday boys dad!!!), so i decided to get a replacement original and a universal supply for backup. Funnily enough the new replacement psu makes even more noise through the speakers than my old one. And the universal adapter is perfect!! Good times!


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2010, 06:55
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I've had good luck with cheap replacements on eBay that don't have a ground pin as well as the universal type I picked up from Radio Shack.

As for lifting the ground....

I'll preface the rest of my post with this... People are stupid.

If you specific a solution they assume it works for everything. When you say something is safe, they assume it's always safe when it's not.

Is lifting the ground on a laptop safe? Probably. I've talked about this with an electrical engineer and electrical designer and given the fact most everything to do with the power supply is wrapped in plastic and the type of power supply used for laptops, it's not likely going to kill you. But without reviewing the actual design and worst case scenarios it's hard to know for sure.

But the problem is that saying it's ok people assume it's ok for power amps and everything else. What they fail to realize is that lifting the ground on that stuff can kill you.

Because people read what they want, and do stupid things, I flat out refuse to recommend removing the ground pin or using the adapter. There are inexpensive ways to doing it safely that works for ALL situations. When you add in the amount of liquid and other factors found in bars and other places we play it only adds another reason why you shouldn't life the ground using these methods.

I also fall into the - with the way people cut costs it would make sense to use a 2 prong plug over the 3 prong for cost savings if it wasn't needed.

So... ground loop isolators for RCA connections can be had at Radio Shack for under $20 and they're even cheaper online. For balanced connections there are DI boxes and other methods to lift the ground. If you need to life the ground for a device on the power side, you can use HumX which is a little pricey at about $65 or so, but it does work EXTREMELY well.

Between these methods and a couple others I've never had a ground loop issue I couldn't resolve. As a result, you won't find any 2-3 prong adapters in my tool kit nor will you see the ground pins ripped off any of my equipment. Besides, buying this stuff is a one time purchase. I have ground loop isolators I bought back when I lived in Alaska and was doing karaoke about 7 years ago. Still work wonderfully - and I have about a half dozen of them. ;)


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2010, 04:30
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I recently bought a pressure washer that didn't have a ground wire in the plug. I think "electricity + water = dangerous" and assume they would take every available precaution that they can. But the manual it came with talks about its "double insulated" design that doesn't require grounding. Hell if I know what that means, but I wonder if some of these universal power supplies employ similar designs that simply don't need grounding even if something "bad" happens. Just a thought.

(Now I went to look at my Thinkpad power adapter, no ground wire there and no problems :D )


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2010, 10:08
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Double insulated means there's less chance of the cable becoming worn and shorting to a conductor ie you. I thought America used 2 prong ungrounded connections anyway?


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2010, 10:34
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You can use either/or in North America. Three-prong grounded, two-prong polarized ungrounded or two-prong unpolarized ungrounded.


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Post subject: Re: Laptop Power Supply Ground loop hum/static
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2010, 12:59
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It depends on the application.

Some require (by code) that you use specific types of connections. However, some building don't have the ground plug (3rd plug) on the connector - specifically those that are older. These require the adapters that others have mentioned. But even when I play at the local synagogue I run an extension cord from the grounded outlets rather than rely upon the 2 prong adapters, etc.


If you really want to get into this you can do a search on NEMA plugs and see what's out there. NEMA 5-15 is the 3 prong standard plug that most people are familiar with. But as current requirements and other factors come into play different plugs could be required for different applications.


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