Ground Loop Isolators Messing Up Club Circuit?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor K.T.I.T.'s Avatar
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    Default Ground Loop Isolators Messing Up Club Circuit?

    I am using 4 ground loop isolators on all my 4 channels going from the Audio8 into the mixer to get rid of the noise which my notebook power supply creates. I only have a very rough idea of how these isolators work so some decent technical insight would be nice here.
    So... last night I had some major incidents with a club's power circuit. It started with a drop-out of sound (for about half a second) when I used the fog machine. Later on, after using the fog machine a few times without any problems, at releasing the pushed button of the machine my soundcard would... stall(?). I had to reconnect it and gladly Traktor continued directly where it left off after a few seconds of silence but this was awkward.
    About 30 minutes later the circuit fuse blew! And this totally came out of nowhere. No fog-machine this time.
    According to another DJ this has happened before but I am not sure if the club owner knows this as he seemed very surprised when I rushed to him.

    So what was going on there? Could my isolators cause any of these problems? Or was this just a classic case of weird fog machines or bad wiring?

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    No , isolators wont cause this in my opinion. Ive used them in a similar way for years.

    Fog machines draw a lot of power as they have a heating element. This sounds like bad wiring probably.

    I would try to find a way of getting all your gear on a different section of the ring to the fogger and use circuit breakers that provide surge protection.

    Im no expert though but experience of playing in shitty UK venues has taught me all i know. Never use the same mains wall adapters as the foggers/lights etc and always use surge protection.

    Like i say im no expert and i dont even know the correct terminology but all the "know how" in the world is no substitute for experience inmho.

    K

  3. #3
    Tech Guru pilmat's Avatar
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    Could the USB cable between the computer and the sound card also cause this? As all the problems seem to be global and not on any one channel, this is what I came up with.

    Phil.
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  4. #4
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    This sounds more like shoddy wiring in the club than problems with your GLI. I've been using mine now for 2 years and never had a problem with it.
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  5. #5
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    Totally agree. Looks like your club has some wiring issues. But using a GLI when it's not needed can sometimes cause you to get a buzz. What you're describing is different than that.

  6. #6
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    so... I know you are a dj, and are technically not suppossed to be up in the sound mans buiness, but........

    How many watts of power does the sound system draw?
    How many/ what type amps does the place have?
    Is the sound system all on one breaker?
    Is the fog machine on the SAME breaker?

    a conventional 15 amp circuit puts out in the range of 1800 watts. Most fog machines are around 1000-1500 watts themselves, and I assume you have about 4k watts of sound or something like that. All of that on the same breaker = saddddd breaker. especially if you were hammering some DnB or something out (sub amps draw a lot more power to make equivalent volume)

  7. #7

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    There is also a much simpler (and cheap) way of isolating your laptops mains power supply.

    To save you using 4 isolators, simply make up a short extension cable using 2 core cable (no earth) and plug your laptop into the extension, and the extension into the mains.
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  8. #8
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    Instead of 4 isolators in your soundcard, why not have just one coming out of the mixer output?

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor K.T.I.T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    No , isolators wont cause this in my opinion. Ive used them in a similar way for years.
    Quote Originally Posted by R-Presley View Post
    This sounds more like shoddy wiring in the club than problems with your GLI. I've been using mine now for 2 years and never had a problem with it.
    I'm really glad to hear this, thanks. I was a little worried that it might have been my fault.

    About the actual connections, I will ask them next time I get there but from what I got yesterday the amp isn't on the same circuit; just the mixer and fog machine and the sound dropped out because the mixer shut down. I am not 100% sure on this, though.

    Instead of 4 isolators in your soundcard, why not have just one coming out of the mixer output?
    The mixer functions as a small amplifier (pre-amp) itself so it already blends in the ground noise into the output signal in a way it cannot really be filtered out. So the noise has to be removed before the signal is processed.

  10. #10
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    If its a particularly beefy fog machine, it could take down a crap 15 amp breaker.

    I assume the club has one, or 2 50 amp breakers for their amp channels (if they are smart).

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