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Author Topic: Merge box polarity angst  (Read 3623 times)

stonepoem

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Merge box polarity angst
« on: August 18, 2009, 01:18:37 PM »

Hello all from the UK. 

I'm now a contented and proud owner of an LT which I bagged on ebay and had shipped over!     

The bad news is that I havn't used it yet. 

Got myself a step-down transformer for the merge box and then,   then I realised that the US plug/transformer could be inserted either up or down. By this I mean, the left / right prongs could be swapped over according how the thing was plugged in.

I really, really don't want to fry the thing before I've even used it!

In the US, when the transforneris  plugged in, is the power lead at the bottom or top?  How can I tell which prong is live, which is neutral?  Pretty dumb questions I guess, but hey - I'm a drummer. :D

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

Stone.

   

   
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jeff sanders

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009, 04:30:14 PM »

welcome to the forums. i understand you wanna play that baby asap but id wait until you hear from the zen master on this one. maybe theres another uk/us power savvy forum mate that already knows about that and may chime in.

cheers

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Zendrumdude

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2009, 06:20:31 PM »

Cheers mate!

I have no idea if this helps you, and when in doubt CHECK WITH DAVID FIRST...

but it may be useful to note that here in the US, you can plug the adaptor in EITHER WAY and it will work... polarity is not necessarily aligned.  However, some adaptors have one spade (the left one) wider than the right so they only fit one way.

Maybe that's helpful, and maybe not...?

Jer
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stonepoem

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 10:03:15 AM »

That's great chaps and thanks very much. Your friendly responses have just re-inforced to me how keen I am to get into this Zendrum way of things!

Forgive my ignorance who is David?  I shalll follow your advice ZDM

-Stone

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Zendrumdude

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 12:50:23 PM »

David Haney is the "head" of Zendrum Co.  Also known as "The Big Bald One" and "Inspector 109".  He is someone you should definitely get to know!

Jer
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 01:05:36 PM »

Stone,

I just thought of something... do you have a multimeter around?  Test the outlet before you plug in!  I'm sure online you can figure out which slot is supposed to be hot (my guess is it will be the left slot as you're looking at the outlet with the ground pin at bottom).  Or, easier yet, but maybe hard to find overseas... there's a handy little outlet tester available at any hardware store (here stateside, anyway) that you plug into your outlet.  It has lights that light up and tell you if everything is OK or if the polarity is reversed, ground faults, etc.

In fact, EVERY MUSICIAN should carry one of these!!!

I have a blood-curdling story to tell to prove it:

Remember when the TD-10 came out?  It was the biggest, baddest unit to be had ($$$$$$!!!) and I pre-ordered one so I could get it as early as possible.  It came in at the store, I got it home, and plugged it into the wall, and ran an RCA line to my home stereo as my sound source.  I turned both units on, heard a nasty pop, smelled electrical smoke, and so I turned everything off.  Neither my stereo receiver nor my TD-10 would work.  The TD was DEAD and the stereo only worked on "Tape" input, which had previously never been used.

Since my stereo had worked for years, and the TD had NEVER worked even once, I naturally assumed it was a faulty TD-10 that had just fried my fantastic Denon amplifier.  I returned it for warranty coverage, and later got a new one.  Meanwhile, the Denon repair guy said it looked like my amp had been struck by lightning... the traces were VAPORIZED; the printed circuitboard was largely BLANK. Incredible damage.  I started to suspect something...

Here is what had happened:  some idiot had DIY'ed the electrical work in my basement before I rented it.  He had done two things wrong, with disastrous results.  First, he had used 3-wire outlets (grounded) with TWO-CONDUCTOR wire.  They LOOKED like grounded outlets, but weren't (this is extremely dangerous!).  Secondly, he had wired some of the outlets backward, so hot and common were reversed.  Any AC device would work properly when plugged in, but here's the catch:  in a 2-wire device (with no ground pin) the chassis ground is wired to the "common" side of the AC.  Since at least one of my outlets (the one my stereo was in) was wired backward, when I plugged in the RCA cable between the 2 units, THE RCA CABLE WAS CARRYING AC!!!!  As soon as I powered them on, AC was running through the AUDIO connections.  No wonder the catastrophic damage ensued.

Long story moral: TEST YOUR OUTLETS, even at the gig.  Power condition everything too... I use a Monster 2500.  Expensive, yes... but peace of mind is worth it!

Jer
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Inspector 109

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2009, 05:49:06 AM »

Hey Stone,
I just saw this posting. Welcome to the Tribe!

Does the Zendrum power supply have a screw-on locking connector included at the box end?
Is the Zendrum power supply in a metal OR a plastic box?

You can write to me directly if need be at Zendrum@mindspring.com
Stay patient and be safe!

David Haney
inventor and co-founder
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MustangMick

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2009, 02:03:11 PM »

Hello all from the UK. 

I'm now a contented and proud owner of an LT which I bagged on ebay and had shipped over!     

The bad news is that I havn't used it yet. 

Got myself a step-down transformer for the merge box and then,   then I realised that the US plug/transformer could be inserted either up or down. By this I mean, the left / right prongs could be swapped over according how the thing was plugged in.

I really, really don't want to fry the thing before I've even used it!

In the US, when the transforneris  plugged in, is the power lead at the bottom or top?  How can I tell which prong is live, which is neutral?  Pretty dumb questions I guess, but hey - I'm a drummer. :D

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

Stone.

   

   

You will be ok with the pins in either direction. You can get  a European 220/240v Merge Box from Zendrum.

Cheers
Mick

stonepoem

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2009, 01:18:41 PM »

Thanks everyone, really appreciate the advice.  Just back from an extended camping trip so forgive the delayed response.  This Zen itch is getting serious!  However, I'll play it safe and have mailed David directly.   BtW it's a blueflame ZX - not an LT as first thought.

Agin, thanks guys - I can't wait!  Actually I can and will ...
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jeff sanders

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2009, 01:27:18 PM »

everytime someone posts a large pic, the pics load up fine but the pics dont fit in forum box and i have use the slider on the bottom to view them

kind of annoying
any help?

is it browser settings on your end? maybe try posting in the forum help area, too.  good luck
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Geosphere

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2009, 08:07:36 AM »

everytime someone posts a large pic, the pics load up fine but the pics dont fit in forum box and i have use the slider on the bottom to view them

kind of annoying
any help?

This would be dependent upon your monitor resolution.  The forum adds scrollbars automatically if your resolution cannot fit the picture.

Asking people to post smaller pics is about the only way, but then the people with hi res widescreens will complain the pics are too small.
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Play nice.

Slavedave

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 09:13:37 AM »

I bought an LT off of Ebay a year or so ago complete with US adapter plug.  Bought one of the Maplins tiny US to UK transformer plugs and all was well - then decided to rationalise things a little by locating a suitable specced UK 3 pin adapter and then replacing the US one with the UK one.  It needed an email to David to confirm the polarity of the cabling into the black plastic box (VERY important) but once that was clarified it was just a case of stripping 4 wires, matching up the polarity and then soldering +heatshrinking the joins and an additional heat shrink over the whole lot.  Works fine and don't have to lug around the transformer either.
All the best
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Inspector 109

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2009, 09:34:33 AM »

Hey Dave,
Glad that worked out well for you!
Ask anytime you need help with anything.
David
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bambamvdrummer

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 12:43:48 AM »

I saw this post and it reminded of a potentially very expensive rain out.

My band and I (at the time) set up all our stage gear in my parents pool house to do a live show.

These guys all maxed out their credit cards on "Carvin" P.A. equipment. (Personally, for what they got, I think they got taken,......BADLY!!)

Anyway, I also had my VS-1680 right there behind me on stage recording everything....

Suddenly,....

a Florida Downpour hit us out of nowhere....


Everything got SOAKED,....I took the TD-10 and the VS-1680 home, and layed them face-down on towels on top of pillows for a week.

then said a quiet prayer,.......and they both came back.

I had to replace the display on the TD-10, but other than that,...even the VS-1680 came back, and is my hardest working hard disc recorders here. (I have 4)

So I guess you could say their also "Waterproof".....

But I wouldn't do that again on purpose!!!


Bambam.







Stone,

I just thought of something... do you have a multimeter around?  Test the outlet before you plug in!  I'm sure online you can figure out which slot is supposed to be hot (my guess is it will be the left slot as you're looking at the outlet with the ground pin at bottom).  Or, easier yet, but maybe hard to find overseas... there's a handy little outlet tester available at any hardware store (here stateside, anyway) that you plug into your outlet.  It has lights that light up and tell you if everything is OK or if the polarity is reversed, ground faults, etc.

In fact, EVERY MUSICIAN should carry one of these!!!

I have a blood-curdling story to tell to prove it:

Remember when the TD-10 came out?  It was the biggest, baddest unit to be had ($$$$$$!!!) and I pre-ordered one so I could get it as early as possible.  It came in at the store, I got it home, and plugged it into the wall, and ran an RCA line to my home stereo as my sound source.  I turned both units on, heard a nasty pop, smelled electrical smoke, and so I turned everything off.  Neither my stereo receiver nor my TD-10 would work.  The TD was DEAD and the stereo only worked on "Tape" input, which had previously never been used.

Since my stereo had worked for years, and the TD had NEVER worked even once, I naturally assumed it was a faulty TD-10 that had just fried my fantastic Denon amplifier.  I returned it for warranty coverage, and later got a new one.  Meanwhile, the Denon repair guy said it looked like my amp had been struck by lightning... the traces were VAPORIZED; the printed circuitboard was largely BLANK. Incredible damage.  I started to suspect something...

Here is what had happened:  some idiot had DIY'ed the electrical work in my basement before I rented it.  He had done two things wrong, with disastrous results.  First, he had used 3-wire outlets (grounded) with TWO-CONDUCTOR wire.  They LOOKED like grounded outlets, but weren't (this is extremely dangerous!).  Secondly, he had wired some of the outlets backward, so hot and common were reversed.  Any AC device would work properly when plugged in, but here's the catch:  in a 2-wire device (with no ground pin) the chassis ground is wired to the "common" side of the AC.  Since at least one of my outlets (the one my stereo was in) was wired backward, when I plugged in the RCA cable between the 2 units, THE RCA CABLE WAS CARRYING AC!!!!  As soon as I powered them on, AC was running through the AUDIO connections.  No wonder the catastrophic damage ensued.

Long story moral: TEST YOUR OUTLETS, even at the gig.  Power condition everything too... I use a Monster 2500.  Expensive, yes... but peace of mind is worth it!

Jer
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 12:59:09 AM by bambamvdrummer »
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bambamvdrummer

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Re: Merge box polarity angst
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 01:00:28 AM »

I saw this post and it reminded of a potentially very expensive rain out.

My band and I (at the time) set up all our stage gear in my parents pool house to do a live show.

These guys all maxed out their credit cards on "Carvin" P.A. equipment. (Personally, for what they got, I think they got taken,......BADLY!!)

Anyway, I also had my VS-1680 right there behind me on stage recording everything....along with my brand new TD-10 kit.

Suddenly,....

a Florida Downpour hit us out of nowhere....


Everything got SOAKED,....I took the TD-10 and the VS-1680 home, and layed them face-down on towels on top of pillows for a week.

then said a quiet prayer,.......and they both came back.

I had to replace the display on the TD-10, but other than that,...even the VS-1680 came back, and is my hardest working hard disc recorders here. (I have 4)

So I guess you could say their also "Waterproof".....

But I wouldn't do that again on purpose!!!


Bambam.







Stone,

I just thought of something... do you have a multimeter around?  Test the outlet before you plug in!  I'm sure online you can figure out which slot is supposed to be hot (my guess is it will be the left slot as you're looking at the outlet with the ground pin at bottom).  Or, easier yet, but maybe hard to find overseas... there's a handy little outlet tester available at any hardware store (here stateside, anyway) that you plug into your outlet.  It has lights that light up and tell you if everything is OK or if the polarity is reversed, ground faults, etc.

In fact, EVERY MUSICIAN should carry one of these!!!

I have a blood-curdling story to tell to prove it:

Remember when the TD-10 came out?  It was the biggest, baddest unit to be had ($$$$$$!!!) and I pre-ordered one so I could get it as early as possible.  It came in at the store, I got it home, and plugged it into the wall, and ran an RCA line to my home stereo as my sound source.  I turned both units on, heard a nasty pop, smelled electrical smoke, and so I turned everything off.  Neither my stereo receiver nor my TD-10 would work.  The TD was DEAD and the stereo only worked on "Tape" input, which had previously never been used.

Since my stereo had worked for years, and the TD had NEVER worked even once, I naturally assumed it was a faulty TD-10 that had just fried my fantastic Denon amplifier.  I returned it for warranty coverage, and later got a new one.  Meanwhile, the Denon repair guy said it looked like my amp had been struck by lightning... the traces were VAPORIZED; the printed circuitboard was largely BLANK. Incredible damage.  I started to suspect something...

Here is what had happened:  some idiot had DIY'ed the electrical work in my basement before I rented it.  He had done two things wrong, with disastrous results.  First, he had used 3-wire outlets (grounded) with TWO-CONDUCTOR wire.  They LOOKED like grounded outlets, but weren't (this is extremely dangerous!).  Secondly, he had wired some of the outlets backward, so hot and common were reversed.  Any AC device would work properly when plugged in, but here's the catch:  in a 2-wire device (with no ground pin) the chassis ground is wired to the "common" side of the AC.  Since at least one of my outlets (the one my stereo was in) was wired backward, when I plugged in the RCA cable between the 2 units, THE RCA CABLE WAS CARRYING AC!!!!  As soon as I powered them on, AC was running through the AUDIO connections.  No wonder the catastrophic damage ensued.

Long story moral: TEST YOUR OUTLETS, even at the gig.  Power condition everything too... I use a Monster 2500.  Expensive, yes... but peace of mind is worth it!

Jer
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