View Full Version : Dimmers (a story about lighting, not Sun readers)
21-08-2003, 09:08 AM
I'm sure most of us view our home cinemas in the dark, but have any of you noticed just how much dimmer switches 'buzz'?
I came home in the early hours on Sunday morning last weekend, so general ambient noise was about as low as it gets around my way, and noticed a really audible buzz coming from the main room dimmer switch when I turned it on.
God knows what it does to the noise floor and mains if you leave them dimmed (ie, still on) whilst watching or listening to your equipment.
Another quick question related to noise and mains - I already unplug my washing machine from the socket when it's not in use but does anyone know if unplugging a fridge/freezer for, say, the two hours it takes to watch a DVD will lead to the thing defrosting? If I could get away with unplugging that, I think my mains would be about as clear as it's possible to get it from within the house.
21-08-2003, 10:20 AM
I believe dimmer switches are the most persistent and and worst offenders for creating interference, especially to hi-fi. fridges/freezers are normally ok switched off if unopened for some hours but I wouldn't chance it for long in this weather. put a separate hi-fi ring/spur in, I did mine from the live side of the main consumer unit amd used a separate c/unit for the hi-fi spur-the only interference I've had is ch5 sound dropouts from the winter hill transmitter.
EDIT-I am close to four industrial estates and a large computer complex and so have heavily polluted mains, the separate spur, a RA silencer RA and Gordons mains leads have done an excellent job. oh I read the Sun too :lol:
21-08-2003, 10:48 AM
Actually dimmer switches aren't that bad as far as mains noise is concerned. Faulty flourescents, older low voltage lighting circuits, hair dryers and other electric heaters are all far worse.
Anyway, I'll put some thought into the audiophile fuse box and see what I can do. 8)~8-)~:cool:
21-08-2003, 10:56 AM
I currently use RA extension blocks, two silencers and an Isotek Isoplug with The Umbilical powering my DVD player. I'm still toying with the idea of an Isotek Cleanline, which I could in part pay for by selling the two Silencers? Or is a case of you can never have too many mains conditioners?
21-08-2003, 11:17 AM
Very good question.
In principle all you need is one good supply to every unit.
But that doesn't take into account the effect that say a TV or Projector will have on a pre-amp.
TBH I think it's good to get the cleanest supply to every unit, rather than cleaning up a poor supply to each unit in turn.
21-08-2003, 04:31 PM
In my new build I put in a seperate ring for the Hifi equipment and put MSI Filter plugs on the wall.
As for dimmer switchs - if you get a good dimmer switch they do not buzz - but the transformers in the lights do. Good quality transformers are a must to reduce noise.
30-08-2003, 04:29 PM
I was in the same situation as you guys were a few months ago, I came in one night and the dimmer switch was making a noise(awful buzzing).I searched and searched to try and find a dimmer that would not buzz and could control more than 2 circuits AND be remote friendly (a lot to ask).Eventually I found one , the company UK HQ was only 15-20 miles away from me, so I paid them a visit, I fell in love with this piece of kit straight away.
I picked the P400 (weblink below( I hope)) it has all of the above and MORE.It also has 20 USER programmable scenes and for each circuit in that scene, it has security lighting for when you are away and has a sleep function to boot, all user programmble.This is not something that any of the other lighting companys can offer(all pre-programmed)and you dont need to have a separate circuit box to control it either.The added bonus with this is, it can be put into a one-for-all 8 and my cambridge M1+, so I can control the lighting from my chair(I am a lazy -removed-, I must admit).
I hope this may be some help to you.
31-08-2003, 01:40 PM
Sweet - how much did that set you back, if you don't mind my asking? Is there a pricelist somewhere for the other models?
31-08-2003, 02:25 PM
Don't get me wrong here, but these units are not cheap, the P400 cost me £280.But I would not change that for anything.
One thing I would recommend is that if you do eventually purchase one(unless you are a Electrician) you get an electrician install it for you.This is for a few reasons, if you are having it flush mounted, it has to have its own 50MM deep box :o~:-o~:eek: .You need four sets of cables going down to the unit(for a P400) plus return feeds.
As far as prices go, I can't remember how much the rest of the units cost, just give them a ring, the technical guy there is very helpful.I hope this helps.
11-09-2003, 04:33 PM
Talking about sound. My curtains are electric and remote operable, but boy does the transformer make a noise....
Haven't tried clean mains yet, an upgrade yet to be planned. But...at least my PLV-30 is louder so I can't hear it, nor the dimmer switches :o~:-o~:eek:
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