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World's biggest wall wart.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just dicovered this thing causes shocks.

See last post.

What does this thing do?

A friend gave it to me today and said it was an "isolating transformer" and that it protected whatever was plugged into it from damage caused by ground faults.

Would it also act as a line conditioner....smoothing out the A/C power supplied? Protect in the event of a lightning strike?

It says on it:

Pri. Volts......115
Sec. Volts.....115
Hertz..... 50/60
it also says "shielded"

I'm afraid to plug anything into it until I know exactly what it is and how much power demand it can take.
post #2 of 17
It's really just a transformer used for physical seperation. It does not change the voltage or current, but rather uses the fact that a transformer (except for an auto-transformer) has two seperate coils that are not connected (it uses mutual induction). So, there's no 'hard' connection between the the input (primary winding) and output (secondary winding). Hopefully the two will stay isolated from each other!

I don't think it will be doing too much line conditioning, and it may not be the best bet for full lightning/surge protection, but it may keep some nasties out of the system! You might want to test it out with a multimeter to make sure the voltage is correct and use a light or something on it first. Keep safe!

post #3 of 17
I use a large 1:1 transformer, into which I plug all my source equipment (CD player, turntable, tuner, TT power supply), and it makes a significant difference to the sound quality - quieter, smoother, more detailed, with blacker backgrounds. However, I do not use it with amplifiers, since it tends to soften dynamics.
post #4 of 17
That makes sense. With your source equipment the transformer serves to help lower the noise floor by isolating the junk that is present in mains from entering the equipment. As far as it limiting the impact or dynamics as you say with your power amps, it seems that you are drawing too much current (during musical peaks), which will saturate the transformer. (If it is not of sufficient capacity)
post #5 of 17
I don't know if the one pictured is one, but when I used to repair scanning electron microscopes, we used, what the English, call a saturation transformer to condition the AC. It's funny, I've never heard of it befor or since.

What therse gizmos were was a, roughly, 1:1.25 winding transformer but had a limited ability to carry the flux from the primary to secondary, so the actual voltage at the secondary was limited to 110AC. As long as the primary didn't sag more than about 25% below the primary, the voltage remained pretty constant at the secondary.

It would provide a significant degree of noise reduction, but stuff like lightning and RF noise would capacitively couple through. But it would get rid or nearby motor start surges, and noise from the vacuum pumps and the like.
post #6 of 17
You used to repair electron microscopes? Sheesh. Next you'll tell me that you were a cryptographer for a TLAA. (Three Letter Acronyom Agency)

Maybe there should be a "bio" section on the new HeadRoom site
post #7 of 17
BTW, I think *mine* is bigger:
post #8 of 17
Mine is literally about five times that big, and takes six plugs. Pity I don't have a digital camera or a scanner or I would post a picture.
post #9 of 17
Click on profile button we can easily know who's who.
post #10 of 17
I used to sell those. One step below a line conditioner, one step above a surge protector (provided it has capacitors on the secondary). Most companies that still make them call them a Transformer Based Filter (IEPS in Texas makes them).

I would second Jeffs suggestion on checking it with a multimeter before plugged anything into it.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've plugged my Marantz CD player and Headmaster into it and it works fine. I guess it's got enough power to run a headphone amp. Seems to get warmer when there's no load on it than with.

Any suggestions as to any advantages/disadvantages, if any, to using it?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just discovered a big disadvantage.

With my foot resting on the world's biggest wallwart, I receive a tingling/burning shock through my fingertips when I touch the Marantz CD player which is plugged into the wallwart.

I haven't tried touching anything else.

Don't want to get shocked any more.

Think I'll unplug them.
post #13 of 17
Where does one get one of these things (not necessarily this exact model, just an isolating transformer in general) -- I live in really old housing, and would appreciate a certain amount of cleaning up of the power supply.

Originally posted by mbriant
With my foot resting on the world's biggest wallwart, I receive a tingling/burning shock through my fingertips when I touch the Marantz CD player which is plugged into the wallwart.
Yikes! Sounds like it's not shielded, though -- is it possible it's just eminating some sort of electronic field, and you're building up a charge?
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
It's say's it's shielded. I don't understand electricity but am glad I didn't discover enough voltage to knock me into the next room.
post #15 of 17
The "tingling/burning shock" is 120VAC running through your body! the chassis of electronics (your CDP) are usually connected to earth ground for safety. One of the hot wires has come into contact with the chassis of your transformer, making it have a potential of 120V. (ie your foot) When you touch the chassis, its the same as touching earth ground (0V)... complete circuit formed, current flows...

as my electronics teacher would say "dis is like a waterfall"

i'd get rid of that thing asap...
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