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Author Topic: What gear requires safety grounds ?  (Read 6696 times)

Mark McFarlane

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What gear requires safety grounds ?
« on: March 15, 2015, 03:13:28 pm »

I'm doing a gig next week with a band out of France.  I'm providing synths/backline/drums/FOH and monitor consoles, splitter, speakers,..


They are bringing a box full of IEM systems, pedal boards,... with 'French plugs'.


France uses CEE 7/5 sockets and 7/6 plugs, where the grounding pin actually protrudes from the outlet.  The only outlets and adaptors I can find locally that are even close are the universal euro style outlet.  The building outlets are NEMA 6-20Rs. I have found extension cords that go NEMA to Universal Euro, and Universal Euro power strips. 


This means no ground for any French 7/6 plugs that show up, if any, but I suspect their misc gear will probably have 2 prong plugs anyway,... or not.


Any problems with IEMs and pedal boards not having the safety ground?  If there is, I am probably SOL, or will try to get an order off to the States and shipped here within a week which will be really expensive.


Oh ya, and advancing the gig has been a real struggle over the past 2 months, using an interpreter who doesn't understand anything tech.
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Mark McFarlane
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 03:18:34 pm »

If the original equipment manufacturer built the product with a grounded plug, it needs to plugged into a grounded outlet. When (US) products do not use grounded plugs the primary wiring is double insulated.

If the product is built expecting an equipment safety ground, not using one could (?) expose the customer to danger from a primary system fault.

I do not know for a fact, but do not expect european standards to be less rigorous than US standards.

JR
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 05:04:50 pm »

I'm not an electrician, but check your power supplies for the square-inside-a-square symbol showing double-insulation. It's a fair bet that any power supply encased completely in plastic is likely to be double-insulated.
Presence of a grounding plug is not always proof of non double insulation.
My laptop power supply is double insulated but also has a grounding AC cord.

That being said, I would always use grounded cabling regardless. I held up many a soundcheck in China while creating a ground for the equipment.


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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2015, 05:18:50 pm »

Lots of gear will work without  a ground, even if they were made with a ground pin  (just rewired a house where a guy had used a bunch of those duplex to 6 receptacle adapters-all with ground pins removed because duplexes were 2 wire-a far as I know it was like that for years and never killed anyone).  The problem -IMO- is that as soon as you start making the call as to whether or not you need a ground, the responsibility becomes yours instead of the manufacturer's.

So the question has different answers depending on whether technical is the driving question or legal liability.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 12:17:00 pm »

If the original equipment manufacturer built the product with a grounded plug, it needs to plugged into a grounded outlet. When (US) products do not use grounded plugs the primary wiring is double insulated.

Not necessarily true. If the OEM built a product WITHOUT a grounded plug, it may be old gear that SHOULD have been equipped with a grounded plug. Interestingly, portable lamps in North America typically have only a two-prong ungrounded plug, even if the lamp is made of metal, yet they don't necessarily meet the standard for "double insulated." Table lamps are required to have a polarized plug.

Double-insulated devices won't need a SAFETY ground, but they may require a TECHNICAL ground to abate noise issues and RF emissions. Double insulated devices may or may not have polarized cords.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 12:27:07 pm »

Sure the products with grounded plugs will work without that EGC connected to a safety ground but you are ignoring a level of protection that might be important when human performers are involved. Further if the grounded line cords are plugged into a grounded outlet strip, BUT that strip is not plugged into a grounded outlet, any primary fault in any one of those products will energize the chassis of all of the products plugged into that same outlet strip.

Caveat, I am mainly talking about modern audio equipment with mains line cords.

JR
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Steve M Smith

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 12:28:31 pm »

The building outlets are NEMA 6-20Rs.
Is this a 230v outlet?

I do not know for a fact, but do not expect european standards to be less rigorous than US standards.
Just as stringent I would think, although you are less likely to find someone enforcing it over here.  That's not a reason to break the rules though.

 
Steve.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 12:41:08 pm »

Is this a 230v outlet?
Just as stringent I would think, although you are less likely to find someone enforcing it over here.  That's not a reason to break the rules though.

 
Steve.

Back in the day I designed products for world markets and I recall at least one transformer test (insulation breakdown over time and temperature) that  was more stringent for european markets, than domestic.

JR
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 12:56:51 pm »

Yes. 220 volt. (Actually ive measured up to 242volt).   I'll post all the gear tomorrow after I have time to go through the 80 or so emails I've had with the band and interpreter
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Mark McFarlane
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 10:10:23 am »

OK, here's what the band is bringing in the way of 220V gear (all my backbone and FOH stuff is 110V):
  • KORG M3 (220-230Volts/ PC10 16 A) (synth) (IEC)
  • 1 set de pédales for guitares (220-230Volts/PC10 16 A)
  • 1 set de pédales for guitares (220-230Volts/ PC10 16 A)
  • Amp Simulator pedal AGUILAR TONE HAMMER (220-230Volts/ PC10 16 A) (ungrounded wall wart)
  • IEM Rack
    • 1 Shure PSM600 (220-230Volts/ PC10 16 A) (IEC cord) IEM rack (220-230Volts/ PC10 16 A)
    • 5 Shure PSM600  (IEC Cord) 1 Shure PSM200 (wall wart)
    • 1 Shure Antennae combiner.
and I'm bringing
  • Korg SV1 (IEC)
  • Korg Triton Le 61 (AC->9VAC brick
I have some UK style IEC cords I can bring (that will properly ground) for the synths that take IEC, one synth uses a two-wire (little circular plug at the keyboard side) AC-AC brick. It looks like I will be OK, I can't imagine the pedal boards really needing to be grounded, pedal boards I have worked with use ungrounded power supplies,...
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Mark McFarlane
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Re: What gear requires safety grounds ?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 10:10:23 am »


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