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georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 951
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 5:06 am:   Edit Post

I've just become concerned about something on my DS5 that never bothered me before, but now......
I notice that on mine (a 240 volt option for the UK) there is no Earth(ground) wire!!
Should there be one???
Am I in danger of being electrocuted here??

I'm now very concerned!
If this is the "normal" procedure, why is there no Earth lead???
Some of you will no doubt notice, that I know Jack S. about electronics.

George
john_judge
Intermediate Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 178
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 8:02 am:   Edit Post

I don't like giving this advice but I am afraid that your curiosity might push you forward to touch something you are not aware of so I will start off with DANGER DANGER DANGER First I say take it to a service tech or call the company, but if you are wanting to know more, proceed to read on,
There can be other means of grounding, such as a grounding plate or you might see a bare copper wire or green wire, can be Red, Black White and copper or you might just see Red, Black and White with a grounding plate installed, But use extreme caution, if you decide to go poking around in there, be sure to KEEP ONE HAND IN YOUR POCKET, preferable back pocket at all times so your body doesn't complete a circuit.

Basically everything electrical is wired for 240, we here in America just half stepped off the transformer thus we get 120 volts, on 240 you can touch the red, touch the black, even the red and black together and basically nothing, but if you hold the WHITE NEUTRAL(DANGER) wire and touch any other color you will face severe electrical shock or even death so stay away from it is the best advice I can give you, but if you must look around to clear your uncertain feelings, do it unplugged and see if you see there's wires passing through a plated surface first and look for a green or plain copper in the area, just remember keep one hand in your pocket , I mean don't even touch the chassis or you could become the ground wire, even while it is unplugged because unless you have a way to discharge a Capacitor it can hold charge for days and ZAPP! YOU CAN STILL GET SHOCKED even unplugged. look first at the actual cable coming in from the plug and see how many wires there are then trace from there to the transformer and follow with your eyes to see where they go, Please USE EXTREME CAUTION I can't express this enough and have a friend present with you, it's a great learning experience but you have to respect the power you are dealing with at all times, you can email direct if you need further assistance regarding your findings,
good luck and always remember when dealing with electricity anything with 240 transformers and tube circuits will take you from this world fast if you touch the wrong things in there and we don't want to start wondering where Georgie boy is that we haven't seen him post in a while stuff!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 1:18 pm:   Edit Post

It may be double insulated.. you will find that power tools are.
When you say there is no earth georgie, if you are looking for a yellow/green it may be different for the US, if there is only a two core cable going to the mains then it must be double insulated, if there is three then trace it back to the power unit.
Note that lights in the UK only require the brown and blue although new regs indicate that even if it is a plastic fitting it must have an earth lug.
I very much doubt Alembic would not miss out on this..if you want to be safe I would use a RCB unit..these are a vital addition to your gig bag.
If you want to earth the power unit then you would have to replace the flex with correct rated wire and attach the earth to a washer lug which is then bolted to the chassis.
I always use my own RCB when playing gigs..many years ago I did get the mic to guitar shock.
In retrospect, Alembics don't have the bridge with an earth wire as passives do so you would be safe anyway.
John..oh capacitors, I was repairing a mate's amp..an old one and forgot to discharge the smoothing caps..give me a fair old tingle although modern amps now have an 'auto discharge' system.
john_judge
Intermediate Member
Username: john_judge

Post Number: 179
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 2:37 pm:   Edit Post

Yeah Terry back in the day the Harry Joyce hand wired DR203 (200 watt) Hiwatt about lived up to it's name and slung my arm about around to my back! thus was my first dealing with living Capacitor's Lol!
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 952
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 4:41 am:   Edit Post

Hell!
Now I'm really worried!
A couple of years ago...well about 5 actually, my ex accidently (or on purpose! bitch!) jammed the couch against the 5 pin lead on the DS5, and dislodged the female connector.
I sent it to probably the best Alembic tech in the UK.... Chris Ward at the Bass Centre in London,(where I bought the bass 9 years ago) and he fixed it up a treat!
He even put a thermal cutout in the unit just in case, as he said the newer ones had this.he did it FOC.
He NEVER mentioned anything about a ground system....there are just 2 wires from the plug!.so I would assume that he knows exactly what he is doing.....so much so, that I asked him to make me a stereo to mono 1/4 " lead as a stand by.
When I checked this a couple of years ago......he had even fiitted the 2 X 20k resistors to it!!
He knows his stuff!
I've used the bass and the power supply on many occassins, but now................I'm getting a bit scared!
Mica........any ideas????

John J. Many many thanks for your help .and you Terry.........but, as I stated at the start, I know JS about electricity.
I'll try to call Chris Ward, but I know he only works part time now.

Thanks again guys.........all help and advice welcome here.....I'm too young to die!!

George

(Message edited by georgie_boy on September 21, 2009)
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 953
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5:09 am:   Edit Post

Well......
Just phoned Chris Ward at the Bass Centre.
He said..........as long as the amplifier is earthed, then no problem. It seems that the 5 pin cable has an earth, and the leads from the output of the DS5 are also earthed. He also said, that I could add an earth wire if I wanted, but that might induce an "earth loop" and cause hum........all double Dutch to me (need Adriaan or FC here).
I'd just like some total reassurance here from anyone eg the Mothership although I've total faith in Chris Ward!
Having faith, (and ending up stuck to the ceiling.........or worse) is all well and good, but I just want to be sure!!!

george
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 954
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5:16 am:   Edit Post

Terry...what's a RCB??
Where can I get one???
How would I fit it to my DS5??
Sorry for being a pain in the ass guys, but I'm a worrier!
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2308
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5:28 am:   Edit Post

George - I can only add some triple Dutch into the mixture. But as you know I can't help myself, so here I go ...

RCB probably stands for Residual Current Breaker aka Device. It immediately cuts off the current if you're touching a live wire whilst connected to the ground, to prevent you from getting executed.
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 955
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5:48 am:   Edit Post

Well......
Just phoned Chris Ward at the Bass Centre.
He said..........as long as the amplifier is earthed, then no problem. It seems that the 5 pin cable has an earth, and the leads from the output of the DS5 are also earthed. He also said, that I could add an earth wire if I wanted, but that might induce an "earth loop" and cause hum........all double Dutch to me (need Adriaan or FC here).
I'd just like some total reassurance here from anyone eg the Mothership although I've total faith in Chris Ward!
Having faith, (and ending up stuck to the ceiling.........or worse) is all well and good, but I just want to be sure!!!

george
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 956
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 5:53 am:   Edit Post

OOOPSS!!
Double post
Sorry
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 957
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 6:05 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Adriaan!!
So nice to know that we all help each other !
I'm still scared!!........No gigs for the S1 until I get to the bottom of this!..Yet.I've gigged her for nearly 9 years!!??
So.....Where can I buy this device??
Will it prevent my little fat body from becoming carbon??
Used to be the case, a lot of years ago, when a Carbon style "fuse" was installed in the line
PLEASE help.........I'm so scared of electricity/glass/heights.
Some Psychologist eh????

George

George
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2309
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 6:15 am:   Edit Post

George, just read the Wikipedia link and chill out.
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 958
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 6:27 am:   Edit Post

I'll do my best Adriaan
I'm just such a wimp!!
pacificshine
Junior
Username: pacificshine

Post Number: 31
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 9:43 pm:   Edit Post

The DS5 schematic (1989) shows a 2 wire circuit on the AC side (going to the wall) but the unit I have has a third (ground) wire and I can't tell if it's the original power cord. This box recently came back from Australia so maybe they changed its power cord there. I think either way is OK since the box is grounded through the 5 pin plug. I also have a newer rack mount power supply which is grounded and both units don't cause a ground loop, so if it makes you feel better you can have the cord changed without adding any new problems.
essenceman
Member
Username: essenceman

Post Number: 66
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 2:15 am:   Edit Post

Hi George,

No problem, mate. You ought to be able to buy one at B&Q or Maplins - this would be one to plug into the wall and then plug your 4-way block (or whatever you use) into that. Alternatively, following this link will show you where you can buy a RCD to replace the plug on your 4-way block.

Cheers
Rob
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 960
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 4:48 am:   Edit Post

Alan and Rob
Thanks for your help here!!!
Could I just plug in the DS5 into the unit, and then plug it into the plug rack??
I'm really green as to the workings of these things, and don't want to die yet!
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1681
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

Hi George, you can do that. I have one installed on my rig which is just plugged into my pre-amp. Mainly because, the ELCB came moulded in-line with my "kettle lead" mains cable. Since the pre-amp is where my first contact with the rig is. I felt that was the best place for it.

I also have a plug in one, ( from B&Q), that I plug my guitar amp into. I too have been the victim of an electric shock on-stage.

Fortunately it was in the USA, (110v), and happened when the singer put his arm on my shoulder whilst holding the mike. We only felt a bit of a tingle, but it did make me think.

I used to be an electrician many moons ago in my early 20's and fortunately have only had one electric shock in the UK that was 240v DC and believe me that hurts big time.

if you are playing anything above a tiny venue in the UK you are likely to find that the building has a 3 phase supply at 415v which gives you 3 different circuits at 240v ac.

This can often result in the PA being plugged into one circuit and the stage backline is plugged into another circuit. If my electrical theory memory is correct, if the earth is lifted on either the stage or pa due to fault or a deliberate act, and you were holding your guitar and a microphone, you would complete the circuit and become crisp..

My electrical theory teacher used to say... Volts Jolts, Current Kills.
Basically, an elcb is designed to cut the circuit before enough current flows to cause injury. They also have a test button on it which it is recommended you check before use.

if you are still worried get a local sparky to check over your rig. You could also get your stuff PAT Tested which should find any problems to do with earthing etc. I got my band stuff done for 30 which includes 20 items tested and a certificate.

Jazzyvee

(Message edited by Jazzyvee on September 22, 2009)
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2424
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 4:42 am:   Edit Post

here you go george. Plug it into the wall and run your multiplug from it. 8 quid to save your life sometime.

Graeme
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1055
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 6:50 am:   Edit Post

In addition to jacko at al..you can get them from B&Q, Argos, Screwfix...a great addition to you gig bag.
You have every right to be scared..electricity kills and every precaustion is a good one.
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 962
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 8:32 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys!!
I now know that there is nothing wrong with the DS5!
One of those units seems a great idea!
Just plug the DS5 into it, and, as I run directly into the PA......no worries. I could even use it at home!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8764
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 2:48 pm:   Edit Post

Further reading; the wiki on RCDs.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1058
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 2:58 am:   Edit Post

I love Wiki..I donated last year when they needed funds to operate
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 963
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 7:10 am:   Edit Post

Well, I spoke to my buddy, and he has TWO of them in his garage.so he says I can have them, as he doesn't need them
Both for nothing!!.....even better when you're unemployed.

George
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 965
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

So......If I plug my power amp, Eden Navigator and effects units into 1 5 block plug system......then attach the RCB unit before plugging in to the wall.....will this do the job, or do I need a separate unit for each??

G
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1684
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 8:46 am:   Edit Post

Yes, thats fine, just make sure the power rating of the stuff you plug into it doesn't go over the power rating of the RCD.
Jazzyvee
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 966
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 8:51 am:   Edit Post

Thanks eveyone!!

G

Jazzy.I assume you mean that it doesn't all go over 13 amps??
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1685
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 2:26 am:   Edit Post

Effectively yes that is correct, though often it's easier to find the wattage written on the back of kit than the current it draws.
Here is the info sheet from mine.



Jazzyvee

(Message edited by davehouck on September 25, 2009)
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2429
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 2:42 am:   Edit Post

George.
When we play, we plug RCDs into every wall socket we're using and run extensions from those (usually 4 in total). Our lead guitarist is a fully qualified electrical engineer and is more than happy with the way we set up.

Graeme

p.s. back in Falkirk saturday december 19th and Coatbridge November 20th, and if you're interested in joining mike and me at Bass day on Nov 22nd let me know;-)
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 967
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 4:54 am:   Edit Post

jJust got my 2 brand new RCD units..still in the plastic!
Says the trip speed is less than 30ms.sounds good.
Slightly different looking to your one Jazzy.....but all in all.the same thing.

Thanks again everyone!!

George
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 968
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 5:12 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the WIKI link David
Interesting reading!!
This unit is a MUST for all gigging musicians!!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8775
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post

Interestingly, they don't seem to be common in the US.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 405
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 1:15 pm:   Edit Post

In the USA we have a similar device know as a GFCI , Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter ; mandated by the National Electrical Code
You can buy a portable non hardwired plugable unit and put it your gig bag.
http://www.ecmag.com/?fa=article&articleID=6133

(Message edited by sonicus on September 25, 2009)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8778
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 1:31 pm:   Edit Post

I visited the web site of a major hardware store chain here in the US and could not find a portable non hardwired plugable unit; that's why I suggested that they don't seem to be common. However, visiting just one site is not a thorough search, so it may indeed be the case that I am wrong in my assumption.
lmiwa
Advanced Member
Username: lmiwa

Post Number: 264
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 1:40 pm:   Edit Post

Try a search for "inline GFCI" and you should find sources.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 406
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post

That's it Imiwa you got it ______ 'inline GFCI"

Dave, I should have used the correct terminology in my post #405

I just check and they are in abundance under the search words that
Imiwa suggested.

(Message edited by sonicus on September 25, 2009)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8779
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 2:14 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Loch; I did indeed!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8780
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 2:45 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Wolf; I just spent a half hour looking at these things and now know a lot more than I did.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1071
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

Is it because in the USA you only get 55V out of each pin so less likley to get electrocuted??
As you know the live wire(brown coloured)on the cable in the UK has a lovely defibrillating 240V at 50Hz emitting from it!!!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 414
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 2:23 pm:   Edit Post

In the USA 110 VOLTS AC 60HZ ; Black=HOT
White= NEUTRAL
GREEN= GROUND
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 415
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

In the USA 110 volts 15 or 20 amps AC 6Ohz HURTS!!!!!

REMEMBER If your source of power can yield a HIGH AMPERE use it is really bad . I used to get ZAPPED from high voltage 'FLY BACK" transformers when working working on live CRT displays @ 30 ,000 volts but at low amps . Once I really got A really BAD ZAP from a NEON SIGN transformer at 20,000 volts and that completely knocked the wind out of my sails , I felt my eye balls projecting forward. That was at more amps then the fly back transformer incidents. What more can I say but I was lucky that i did not fry my self during one of my tinkering experiments 30 years ago.! All of these high voltages that I was working with were all at milliamps . I would would venture to speculate that if the amperage ratings were higher on those devices that I would not be writing this now .

(Message edited by sonicus on September 27, 2009)

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