ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down

Author Topic: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?  (Read 638 times)

dave briar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 259
  • Helena Montana

Rest assured I have no interest in beating this same old dead horse needlessly. I’ve spent much of this morning reading old posts going back to the early 2000’s on the subject including Tom Cornish’s paper on Power Distribution as well as numerous posts by Mike Sokol. I’m aware of the “measure voltage then apply load and measure which receptacles show lower voltage” method as well as “circuit tracing” appliances (plug RF transmitter into receptacle and sniff the breaker at the panel) but it seems numerous forum members have gotten spurious results even when used as intended let alone trying to use the receiver not on the panel but on other receptacles (when the panel is not accessible).

My question: shouldn’t it in theory be possible to build a two-unit tool comprised of a similar transmitter (to plug into one receptacle) and sort of an enhanced receptacle tester that had an additional test/light to show whether the RF signal is present or not when plugged into another receptacle?  I’m assuming, possibly incorrectly, that having both units in direct contact with the circuit would potentially allow more robust detection of the RF than the non-contact “circuit tracing at the panel” tools.  Yes/no?  If yes, is our use case just too limited to warrant manufacturers investing in the solution, or, does this product already exist and I’ve just wasted a lot of my Sunday being ignorant of it?
Logged
..db

John Roberts {JR}

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16394
  • Hickory, Mississippi, USA
    • Resotune
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 04:36:09 pm »

I am pretty sure they already exist, but you can probably search the internet too...

JR
Logged
Don't tune your drums half-ass. Listen to what a properly "cleared" drum sounds like.   http://circularscience.com/

Philip Roberts

  • Church and H.O.W. Forums
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 164
  • South West MI
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 11:37:53 pm »

How does your proposed tester identify the difference between another outlet On the same breaker but not combined til it hits the panel vs another outlet that’s on a different breaker but on the same phase .....

:/

Philip
Logged

Jean-Pierre Coetzee

  • Classic LAB
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 770
  • Gauteng, South Africa
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2019, 08:03:38 am »

Quick diagram demonstrating what Philip said:

If you connect anything transmitting a signal into receptacle 1 and you plug another device listening for that signal into receptacle 2 the listening device will pickup the sending device even though these are on two different circuit breakers. Here in South Africa the same would be true for something transmitting on the neutral or the ground line as well, where you are it might be different.

The only solution would be to turn off all the breakers and then do the test with a battery powered device but at that point wouldn't it take as much work as just killing a breaker and measuring each outlet for voltage?
Logged
Audio Technician
Word & Life Church

"If you want "loud", then run a piece of sheet metal through a table saw------

If you want "watts"-then plug in a toaster"
- Ivan Beaver

Tim Weaver

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2297
  • College Station, Texas
    • Daniela Weaver Photography
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2019, 01:49:29 pm »

How does your proposed tester identify the difference between another outlet On the same breaker but not combined til it hits the panel vs another outlet that’s on a different breaker but on the same phase .....

:/

Philip

I know it's not the answer that would work for us, but you could turn all the breakers off. Then it would work. Unless you have some ground/neutral swaps somewhere. Maybe you could have a devise that's smart enough to determine that too. Say one freq on ground, another freq on neutral. Then the common would be the Line. The receiver could tell you which freq it was getting, and light up some appropriate lights.
Logged
Bullwinkle: This is the amplifier, which amplifies the sound. This is the Preamplifier which, of course, amplifies the pree's.

dave briar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 259
  • Helena Montana
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019, 02:26:25 pm »

Quick diagram demonstrating what Philip said:

If you connect anything transmitting a signal into receptacle 1 and you plug another device listening for that signal into receptacle 2 the listening device will pickup the sending device even though these are on two different circuit breakers. Here in South Africa the same would be true for something transmitting on the neutral or the ground line as well, where you are it might be different.

The only solution would be to turn off all the breakers and then do the test with a battery powered device but at that point wouldn't it take as much work as just killing a breaker and measuring each outlet for voltage?
Thank you Jean-Pierre. I did sort of infer that from Phillip’s post but yours makes it much more clear and does make sense given all circuits/breakers on one side of the service are directly connected at the panel. This certainly explains why my extensive web searches before posting turned up nothing. So functionally the commercially available detectors require proximity to the other leg of the service to compare with in identifying the signal.  Sounds like some very interesting processing logic going on in the detector.  Oh well, back to running 12/3s to the farthest apart receptacles I can reach without creating a trip hazard in the hopes that they are on separate circuits :-\
Logged
..db

dave briar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 259
  • Helena Montana
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 03:17:42 pm »

I know it's not the answer that would work for us, but you could turn all the breakers off. Then it would work. Unless you have some ground/neutral swaps somewhere. Maybe you could have a devise that's smart enough to determine that too. Say one freq on ground, another freq on neutral. Then the common would be the Line. The receiver could tell you which freq it was getting, and light up some appropriate lights.
Yea, full access to the panel would allow several possibilities but my experience is that getting even the most basic advance information out of a wedding planner is hard enough. Asking permission to start flipping breakers would likely cause them to melt down on the spot. ...and that’s assuming the venue staff even knows where the panel is located.
Logged
..db

Stephen Swaffer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2244
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2019, 11:04:03 pm »

I know it's not the answer that would work for us, but you could turn all the breakers off. Then it would work. Unless you have some ground/neutral swaps somewhere. Maybe you could have a devise that's smart enough to determine that too. Say one freq on ground, another freq on neutral. Then the common would be the Line. The receiver could tell you which freq it was getting, and light up some appropriate lights.

The ground and the neutral are connected at the panel, though.  That's the crux of this whole problem.  From load standpoint we have a bunch of circuits-but when you consider the entire circuit it's all one big circuit in most buildings.
Logged
Steve Swaffer

Jonathan Johnson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2998
  • Southwest Washington (state, not DC)
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2019, 06:43:20 pm »

I don't necessarily recommend this method, but I did once watch someone identify breakers by jabbing a 12AWG wire into both slots of a receptacle to short it out and trip the breaker.

Crude, effective, and an element of thrill danger.
Logged
Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Stephen Swaffer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2244
Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 12:40:49 pm »

I prefer to use a slightly more refined approach-a circuit breaker "finder" consisting of a piece of #12 and a plug.  It is very slightly safer, effective IF the breaker is functional.  However, it is very hard on the receptacle-I tend to only use when desperate and intending to replace, not use, the receptacle in question.  Regardless of appearance, I consider any receptacle subject to this method junk.
Logged
Steve Swaffer

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: The old “Which receptacle on which circuit” question. Anything new?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 12:40:49 pm »


Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.035 seconds with 25 queries.