Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:46 pm Post subject: Gear on for 24/7
A customer has recently sent me an e-mail asking me what is my thought about having equipment on 24/7. Reason he asked is because the many fire caused by Christmas light over heat in the past week caused a concern in the back of his mind. So here is some fact and some opinion. I will try to state which is what.
- Fire usually caused by a open flame or at least a spark and those flame spark must contact other material to start a fire. Material such as gas vapor, flameable material.
- Audio gears are build in a metal chassis, ABS and other plastic material. These material doesn't burn. You can put a flame on a piece of metal. It will melt but it won't burn. Same is true with ABS pipe unless the flame is there for a long time but you can't start a fire with ABS pipe.
- Question is if any audio gear malfunction, is there a chance of spark or fire with an open flame long enough to burn something and start a fire? I can only say for BC gear, the answer is no. In the very worst case which I have seen resistors and power transistors burned up. I can see a spark and a little flame but once the resistor is completely burned, the fire stop and never else happen.
- In order to cause the gear to malfunction, there are a lot of reasons. One of the reason and most common is lack of ventilation. OK, if someone put a blanket on top of a power amp, it will over heat the power amp but will it cause a fire? (Opinion), Most likely will not unless the blanket is soaked with gas.
- You really have to try hard to cause a fire when it comes to audio gear.
- So why are so many fire out there. Well, if you don't watch TV news or read newspaper, you wouldn't know there is any fire unless it happen right beside your house. Even than I wouldn't know either because my neighbours are too far away.
Fact is, when those CSA and UL approved Christmas light get over heated on a dry pine tree, the needles are so dry it can start a fire very easily. Yes, I said CSA and UL approved. As long as you can shove enough documents AND MONEY, yeah, MONEY, to them they will give you their stamp of approval. It is the heat and the dry needles that started the fire.
Poor wiring with melted insulation can also cause a fire. When the insulation is melted away when it run too hot, bare metal will contact to outside material. One of the most common is the dry pine needle. Other material can cause fire are thing like carpet, curtain.
If a mouse chewed through a electrical wire and got killed. The body has to get dry enough before it can start a fire.
My opinion is leaving audio gear 24/7 is not a fire concern unless you use under gauge wiring which will warm up the wire then melt the insulation. Wire that has poor or melted insulation or you like to chew your ac power cord and shorted the circuit and create a spark and then pour gas on it. The gas won't start the fire, it is the vapor and the spark that start the fire and the gas just pour in the support.
Anyone want to correct any of the above please feel free to do so. I don't claim I am an expert on fire but I do know having gear 24/7 is not a real concern. Also, if you are going away for more than a couple of days, I will shut down the system anyway to avoid any possible damage from lighting and other thing.
I also leave both the 303 and 206NST on 7/24 unless I'm going away for longer than 24 hours, or in the event of potentially severe weather.
That last "super storm"in August had me scurrying like a rat after cheese to shut down and pull the plug on my stuff.
I have seen one incident of a power amp (which shall go nameless) that went completely Hiroshima. The main power supply caps basically exploded, and took out the entire amp... the result was that the amp was a write off, and the chassis of the amp, was substantially scarred by the resulting internal thermal blow up BUT, it was completely contained, there was no resultant damage to anything outside of the amp itself. Yes, it was a warranty event, and outright replaced by the manufacturer.
Joined: 27 Oct 2003 Posts: 361 Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:37 am Post subject: On the Plus Side...
We should also note, anticipating the question from a newbie or otherwise skeptical soul, that leaving your gear on will enable better sound. It takes a non Class A amp about 30-40 minutes to sound its best, though most will sound acceptable from the get-go. THIS IS IF IT'S ALREADY ON, IN EFFECT, IN STANDBY. If you turn it on from cold, it will take a lot longer. And if it's a piece with lots of caps and such, it can take a few days to sound right from cold. My BC501ob LOC, as I probably said here before, takes 3 days to recover its excellence once it's been off for more than a 5 minutes or so.
The only gear you need to think about whether or not to leave on is Class A gear. It will suck a LOT of electricity if it's on all of the time. My Audio Note gear is Class A, and when I leave it on I can see the results on my electric bill. Lucky for me, it's not high-powered gear. Amp is 8 watts. When I had my BC 2.1's years back, I would turn them on an hour before I wanted to listen to music. Fine if you're a planner by nature. If you're an impulse listener, forget it.
The RCMP Officer mentioned in the article was my boss before I retired.
DO NOT BUY ANYTHING ELECTRICAL FROM A DOLLAR STORE!!!!
- No batteries
- No extension cords
- No power bars
- No surge units
Even UL and CSA holograms are being counterfeited. Only buy from reputable sources.
Quote from the article. This is the very first paragraph.
"RCMP Superintendent Ken Hansen gave his boss a pack of batteries last summer as an example of Chinese counterfeit merchandise arriving at Canadian ports. They made quite an impression months later – when they exploded. "
Buy North America. I know, I know it is not possible but you can try. I am. If you try, you will be surprise how many stuff you can buy which is made in North America. North America includes Canada and USA.
"It is not illegal under Canada's Customs Act to import counterfeit goods. Border officials do not actively search for them, and will only alert RCMP officials if counterfeits are found during searches for other illegal imports."
So I ask, why it is not illegal to import the bad stuff into the country? It hurts our own fellow countrymen.
Last line from the article.
"In May, a report estimated that knock-offs cost the domestic economy $20 billion to $30 billion."
This is enough to prove that hurt us. It's danger our lives.
BTW I said buy North America on my last post. Those counterfeit actually have "Made in USA" and"Made in Canada" mark on the goods. It's scary how good some of them are. Have any one seen phony eggs from China? Phony canned fishes from China? Phony noodles from China? I can only say those I have seen and most of them are from China because my family eat a lot of Chinese food. I usually have cereal for supper and I make sure they are not from China.
I understand the frustrations of the front line workers a.k.a. Law Enforcement Agencies. Those who sat behind their desks making stupid rules and laws never work in the field and expect people to obey their own stupid rules. One of the reason I don't work for a big corporation. I won't last long. I don't take stupid chit from the top well. When the court fail to do justices because of the stupid rules and loop holes of the laws there is always Frontier Justices.
If we encounter counterfeit and raise hell at the consumer level at least we will let people know what kind of chit we are taking into the country and where they come from. I came to this country to escape from those chit and they are infecting the rest of the world. I think you can understand my frustration too.
Thanks for sharing but I rather not read it because I will get peeed off.
I tell you something else, last week Al and I went to a local gun shop. There is a Swiss made $3700 assault rifle chamber for 30 caliber round and that is non restricted rifle. But all of those AR platform rifles which shooting little peed 0.22 rimfire are all classified as restricted rifle. Someone explain that stupid law to me please. They have similar barrel length both semi automatic. In fact, the Swiss made rifle has a slightly shorter barrel. The gun shop peed pol explained to us but we thought it was so stupid we didn't bother to remember.
Actually don't bother, I don't want to get peed off.
Joined: 31 Jan 2009 Posts: 64 Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:56 pm Post subject:
One day I was working with a CSA inspector and he told me how Seimens was trying to figure out how knock off products were being put into their supply chain.
The only plant making the parts was in China (big surprise) and the casings, labelling and boxes were from the same machinery. The plant owner swore all was proper and Seimens put in detectives/workers to verify his claim.
Still no results until one night by chance they saw all these workers entering a building across the street but the building was empty.
Well as it turned out the bad guys had built a tunnel under the street to the Seimens supplier's plant and they had threatened the plant owner and so they were using the same equipment at night BUT with inferior raw materials etc.
The local government did nothing after they were informed so Seimens sent in their 'Special People' to sort things out.
The Wild West is now the Wild East?
This is another reason to avoid the Dollar store (not that they sell Seimens stuff)
I notice Raven said the local government was informed but do nut wing abooot it. Of course they don't. They probly got paid for turning a blind eye. Or worst, the government encourage it. I wouldn't be surprise.
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