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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Important Considerations
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Important Considerations

There are several important points that should be taken into account when connecting power to equipment.

In an audio system, all devices should be connected to the same ground at the same point. This helps eliminate ground loops, a problem caused by different ground levels on different circuits. The problem usually manifests itself as hum in the audio system, but can cause several other problems, some of which can cause people to receive shocks in some cases. For this reason, the amplifiers, sound board, and all other audio equipment need to be grounded at the same point. Ideally, all audio devices are run off of a dedicated distro, solving power ground loop problems. This often means that a long extension cord will have to be run to the remote sound board and equipment, but this is a small price to pay for a clean sounding audio system. Additionally, never connect audio equipment to the same circuit as lighting equipment. Disregarding this recommendation can result in a lot of spurious noise in the audio system, and also can potentially damage sensitive audio equipment.

With lighting systems, it is very important not to plug lighting boards into the same circuit that the dimmers are connected to. Dimmers emit a lot of electrical noise back onto the power line that they are connected to, which can cause lighting boards and other sensitive equipment to have all kinds of problems. A separate circuit should be used for the lighting board. This circuit need not be on the same ground as the dimmers, but it never hurts to go out of the way to make it on the same ground.

next up previous contents index
Next: Special Effects Up: Power Previous: Power Protection   Contents   Index
Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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