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TheUncannyValley
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Home Studio Power Question - Extension Cords

Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:08 pm

What is a good extension cord to use to connect a Furman power conditioner to an outlet in my home studio? I bought a 16 gauge extension cord from Lowe’s, the same kind I use to power my weed wacker when I’m working on the lawn. Will this suffice, or should I be using something more robust?
"There are no 'things', only processes." Lee Smolin

Logic Pro X 10.4.4 & 10.2.4 - Mojave 10.14.6 - Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core w/ 32GB RAM
Pro Tools, Studio One, Live ... Melodyne 5, RX 8, Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor
Late-2013 iMac i7 | Late-2009 iMac Core2Duo
iPad Pro 10.5" 2nd Gen w/ Duet Pro & TouchOSC | Windows 7 Laptop
Synths, guitars, basses, drum machines, a sitar and a tabla.
 
MikeRobinson
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Location: Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.

Re: Home Studio Power Question - Extension Cords

Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:05 pm

What does the label on the device say? It should give you the voltage and the amp-draw of the equipment, and this would tell you the wire-gauge required to drive it as per the Uniform Electrical Code tables.

To run the 15-amp load that I see on most online catalog entries for "Furman power conditioners," a 14-gauge extension cord is probably minimum (for runs of less than 50 feet), but, y'know, I'd just splurge and go on up to 12. (The difference in cost is negligible. But also, 16-gauge is not listed as code-adequate for 15 amps.)

But of course, the amount of power that it actually will draw should be determined by the total of what you attach to it. Check the specs of each attached device.

Also, make sure that the associated socket is connected to a breaker of the proper capacity (considering what else is also on the same line), and that the ground connection is actually attached to anything (heh ...), and attached to a good earth ground. Meters which can tell you the actual quality and characteristics of any plug are well worth the money – can explain many "mysterious" problems – and any electrician can quickly help you add a high-quality ground if necessary.

I know that some musicians have had electricians install separate dedicated circuits for their studio, with their own separate earth grounding-stake, to avoid "cross-talk" and noise in the ground connection, e.g. when a dishwasher or a clothes dryer kicks in or out.

High-quality, clean electrical power is vital. I've also had several people tell me that they ran one circuit for "digital" and an entirely separate one for "analog." May have used two grounding-stakes, too.
Mike Robinson
"I wanna quit being a computer consultant and become a composer and arranger at age fifty-nevermind."
Logic Pro X, MacBook Pro, 88-key MIDI controller.
Just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
 
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TheUncannyValley
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Re: Home Studio Power Question - Extension Cords

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:06 am

MikeRobinson wrote:
What does the label on the device say? It should give you the voltage and the amp-draw of the equipment, and this would tell you the wire-gauge required to drive it as per the Uniform Electrical Code tables.

To run the 15-amp load that I see on most online catalog entries for "Furman power conditioners," a 14-gauge extension cord is probably minimum (for runs of less than 50 feet), but, y'know, I'd just splurge and go on up to 12. (The difference in cost is negligible. But also, 16-gauge is not listed as code-adequate for 15 amps.)

But of course, the amount of power that it actually will draw should be determined by the total of what you attach to it. Check the specs of each attached device... <snip>


Thank you Mike. Lots of great information in your reply.

I’m electrically-ignorant and just assumed that 12 gauge cords were for washing machines and big, live sound rigs, but what you’ve said makes a lot of sense.

This is simply an unused bedroom in our house, and I suspect I’m pushing things to the maximum with what I’ve got running in there. Now I know what I’ll be doing with my Saturday!

Thanks again.
"There are no 'things', only processes." Lee Smolin

Logic Pro X 10.4.4 & 10.2.4 - Mojave 10.14.6 - Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core w/ 32GB RAM
Pro Tools, Studio One, Live ... Melodyne 5, RX 8, Audiofile Engineering Wave Editor
Late-2013 iMac i7 | Late-2009 iMac Core2Duo
iPad Pro 10.5" 2nd Gen w/ Duet Pro & TouchOSC | Windows 7 Laptop
Synths, guitars, basses, drum machines, a sitar and a tabla.
 
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Orbeck
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Re: Home Studio Power Question - Extension Cords

Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:47 am

Ideally, it would be best if you had your computer plugged into a UPS. You can also buy UPS units that offer clean, stable power, but they too are expensive. On the Furman website, the m8x is listed as being able to filter noise. FurmanSound.com - Pro A/V Product - M-8x, and this unit are anywhere from $50-75. At first, I was worried, but I asked my friend, who works here https://gordonpowers.com.au/suburb/elec ... rthbridge/, and he explained to me that as long as the extension cord is of sufficient wire gauge to minimize any losses, then it's okay. I buy one of those flat gray air conditioner extension cords at least 14ga, often 12ga wire.