DIY power bar/strip

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions' started by ferday, Apr 7, 2014.
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  1. Speedskater
    a 'Star Wiring Pattern' can have different meanings, what were you thinking?
    The best electrical layouts, try to reduce the lengths of the runs from audio component to component.
    That's why the AC power bar/strip works, everything gets plugged in together.
  2. MikeyFresh

    I've only really considered a star grounding point, which is used to combat the propensity for ground loops. That star grounding point is typically the chassis itself, however there are some folks that swear just directly connecting to the IEC ground pin actually sounds better, assuming there is no ground loop problem with that in your specific system configuration.
    As the previous post mentioned, I'm not even exactly sure what you meant by star wiring, but if you mean not using a cascade from one outlet to the next, i.e. each outlet wired directly to the IEC jack, I am considering that but don't know that it's really necessary and would probably only aid in offering equal current to each receptacle.
    I'd also like to add that any potential wiring scheme, or grounding technique that I may choose to employ is all at my own risk and subject to my own research in doing what is both safe and following the local electrical code. The same would be true for you or anyone else who embarks on a project similar to this.
    DISCLAIMER - I offer no specific advice or stance on exactly how or how not to wire any aspect of these power strips, you need to research it for yourself and also make sure to follow the local electrical code where you live. It isn't worth it to burn down your house or have an insurance claim denied over faulty wiring, so I make absolutely no specific recommendation in that regard, thats on you.
  3. Habu2u
    A big caveat:  Always test your power strip outlet before plugging in any gear.  An AC Electrical Receptacle Tester (3 Prong) is an essential tool.  Similar to this one: 
    To address the star wiring pattern I mentioned previously:  When originally looking for a power strip, I considered the Wiremold L10320.  These are sometimes hard to find.  Research brought me to Naim forums where they extensively discussed the Star Wire Pattern.
    In the star-wiring pattern all pathways for electrical currents return to one common point, making a pattern similar to a multi-faceted star, as each separated branch fans out from the center of the star. The advantage to this is in keeping the impedance constant for all power branches.
    Each power strip outlet’s three wires (black, white, & green) run directly to the corresponding power cable input wires (black, white & green). 
    The star technique is similar to that of running dedicated lines to your listening room.  The power strip’s input (from your wall outlet), in this case, is the star reference point and each outlet (in your power outlet) are wired individually to this star point.
    I searched high and low for an image and found this one building a power strip (it's not the neatest but provides an example):  
    Fast forward to 5:20 for the image:  
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  4. MikeyFresh

    I guess if I were to wire it the way you see in the video, I'd probably want to marry the wires together with a copper crimp sleeve, just to be sure it could never come apart, then insulate it with heat shrink.
    I don't think I'm going to do it that way, my 20+ year old Noisetrapper power strip does use a star ground, however the hot and neutral legs are done as a cascade and I've never felt this caused a lack of available current to my amp.
    I also don't see how wiring the way you see in the video would be of much help regarding EMI/RFI, but if you have additional information regarding that I'm all ears.
    My EMI/RFI strategy will involve the use of StillPoints ERS cloth, and also the Shunyata Venom Defender plug-in device, which I already own and like. 
  5. Speedskater
    Considering the small internal size of a power bar/strip, it won't matter much on which wiring method is used.
    But 3 parallel bus bares might have an advantage. With added construction challenges.
    For cords and cables, running the Hot & Neutral as a twisted pair will reduce EMI/RFI.
    In an AC power circuit StillPoints ERS cloth won't do anything.
    The real experts on this kind of stuff are:
    Keith Armstrong
    Jim Brown
    Ralph Morrison
    Henry Ott
  6. Brighenne
    Wow, these look fantastic. These actually may be a good solution for my desk setup.
  7. MikeyFresh
    After much procrastinating I finally assembled the 2 duplex outlet version of this DIY power strip project last night:

    Test fit of wiring and IEC inlet, and initial continuity plus short circuit testing via multi meter.

    Ready for installation into the aluminum chassis.

    Outlets and IEC installed.

    View of the IEC end, a Furutech FI-06 (G).

    AC outlet tester shows all good.

    DIY power strip all finished. 
    Now on to the 3 duplex version, I still have to decide which outlets I'm using there, probably the VooDoo Cable cryo treated Hubbell IG 8300.
  8. Speedskater
    Is that a 20 Amp IEC chassis connector?
  9. MikeyFresh

  10. Speedskater
    Then you shouldn't use 20 Amp receptacle's.
  11. Speedskater
    I would eliminate the chassis IEC connector and use a captive cord with a 20 Amp plug.
  12. MikeyFresh

    True except I know the use case for this strip and it is only going to be powering a guitar amp and pedal effects board. At no time will anyone be attempting to power 20 amp devices from it.
    Even if something like that were to happen, the probability is the 15 amp breaker at the service panel would just pop open. I can't imagine any scenario where that would even be tested, maybe if a contractor were hired to do some home improvement work, spotted the strip and thought they could plug in a 20 amp power saw or something like that.
    The strip is a gift to my nephew, he will be told that despite the 20 amp compatible outlets, it is a 15 amp strip. He has no 20 amp devices of any kind, no high-end power amps etc... and likely never will.
  13. MikeyFresh

    The DIY chassis came pre-cut with an IEC sized rectangular opening, and not the round hole needed for use with a captive cord.
    The problem with a 20 amp male plug is it won't work with a 15 amp wall outlet, with one blade turned sideways/perpendicular.
    This is not a for sale commercial unit, so I don't care if it doesn't adhere to that aspect of proper electrical code. I'm not worried about my nephew misusing it, he's very smart, graduated dean's list with a degree in bio chemistry, it won't be a problem in terms of how he wants to use it.
  14. MikeyFresh
    The final pieces on the parts list for the 3 duplex version of the DIY power strip have arrived:

    Hubbell IG 8300, phosphor bronze contacts with cryo treatment by VooDoo Cables.

    Furutech Alpha-12 hook-up wire.
  15. Speedskater
    Once again, one should not use 20 Amp receptacles in a unit that has a 15 Amp IEC chassis connector or a 15 Amp plug.
    The only reason for a 20 Amp receptacle is so the a 20 Amp plug can be used. But all the pieces & parts in the circuit need to be rated at 20 Amps.
    All the internal parts in both 15 and 20 Amp receptacles are the same. Only the plastic cover plates are different. That is all the internal parts in a 15 Amp receptacle are rated at 20 Amps.
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