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Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:22 pm
by Paul Maybury
Hi, I am looking for some advice and opinions on the above topic.
I am about to install a new console in my studio and plan the following for my grounding scheme.
All signal earths to be connected at the console end only.
A separate technical earth will be run to each rack from the console ground point and each piece of gear in each rack will be grounded through it's chassis to the rack rails and thence to to the earth cable at each rack, which goes back to the console earth. This will include all connected equipment, both in the machine room and live area.
The console itself will be earthed through it's power supply. We are also running a UPS, if that makes any difference?
We are on the second floor of a factory space, so running an earth to a spike in the ground is a little tricky.
I am looking at buying some cable for this job, and am wondering what gauge to get?
Any thoughts and suggestions welcome. I really want to get this right this time as the previous installation didn't provide the quietest possible system. It's a big investment in time and money to do this studio upgrade and I don't want to waste the potential in the new console.
Cheers,
Paul Maybury
P.S. the console is a D&R Octagon. It is electronically balanced throughout, even the insert points I think.

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:33 pm
by Paul Maybury
Bump.
So, nobody on Turtlerock has installed a studio before? Crikey!

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:42 am
by Alastair Reynolds
For Grounding I would recommend reading Col Abrahams page on "Studio Wiring, The Ground Rules"
http://www.studioconnections.net.au/
Col is a legend in Studio tech land.

On a local front here we ( and 3AW) use a substantial technical Earth.
125mm from a 6 Metre long ground stake up 2 floors (7 Floors at 3AW) and into the rack room onto a Buss bar then starred out to each rack, then studio then console. Racks and Studios are 125mm, then finally down to 6mm to individual Powerpoints (coloured RED) and equipment. Solid Copper Buss Bars in each Rack with threaded holes to use standard M6 screws.

A good technical earth will give you a nice low noise floor and is well worth spending just a little bit extra to clean up your audio and if done right you'll never need to touch it again.

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:03 pm
by Paul Maybury
Thanks Alistair, I really want to get this right the first time. That's a pretty bomb proof looking setup you have at 3AW!
Are you saying that your technical earth is tied to the mains earth at the audio (red) powerpoints in the studios?
Did I miss read that?
" Solid Copper Buss Bars in each Rack with threaded holes to use standard M6 screws" sounds like a really good idea. Certainly better than relying on the rack rails themselves.
I believe I am on the right track(?) with this, but it' sure to be interesting when it comes to integrating unbalanced equipment in the system.
I will have a thorough reread of Col Abrahams paper. I read it some time ago, but a refresh would be good I think.
Cheers,
Paul

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:10 pm
by Manning
Alastair Reynolds wrote:Col is a legend in Studio tech land.


Amen to that. He supervised (and continues to supervise) all such matters at my place, as well as getting my Auditronics to sing beautifully.

Col does astonishingly good work at exceptionally good rates. I can honestly say the money I've spent on Col is probably the best money I've ever spent in the studio.

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:47 pm
by Paul Maybury
Col's site is fantastic. It really helped my understanding of "The Ground Rules"
Thanks for directing me to it Alastair.
I am going to post it in "Inspirational Websites".
Essential reading, I think.

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:58 pm
by The Tasmanian
Isn't it also possible to get a reasonable enough earth off the buildings sprinkler system?
As it already goes into the ground?
Ive heard second hand that this is another way (cheat) around digging holes in the ground + copper plates/salt/water etc.
But I'm really not sure of the safety issues of this advice.
It would be good to know if its safe though.

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:15 am
by Alastair Reynolds
You could get an earth off the pipe , this is commonly used earth system on many houses with a clamp on the incoming cold water pipe if copper.It can work well if the earth cable is taken to the closest possible point to the ground and of course the pipe is copper. Soldering the wire to the pipe is better than just clamping.
Use the thickest earth cable you can for the main feed to the star point, maybe not 125mm like we did(It's really expensive and a @#$% to work with) but certainly 20mm if you can and then down to 6mm into the tech power points.

if you can dig a hole, put in a copper stake and fill it with "good Earth" high conductivity soil mixture it will really help get an even better connection. It's down to the economics though and increase in performance being justified in the cost.

Earthing in AM Radio land on Antennae is where it gets really fun . We build a mat of copper radials buried underground . Radials are spaced every 3 degrees (so 120 in total) around 150 metres long each of 5mm diameter cold drawn solid copper wire which are then tied together in rings of copper wire a bit like the wire on a dartboard.
A good earth here can increase performance and coverage by up to 3dB, or in power terms the equivalent of going from 10,000 watts to 20,000 in an underperforming setup. This is part the fun AM

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 1:50 pm
by The Tasmanian
Wow Alistair - the amount of effort that goes into your radio stations tech is jaw dropping!

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:53 pm
by Paul Maybury
Impressive. Transmission antennae fill me with respectful fear.
I'm thinking there should be a broadcast tech band called "R.F. Burns and the Sub Carriers"
Any takers?

Re: Grounding scheme for new studio installation

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:42 am
by dave01.cooper
How'd you go with it in the end Paul?
Keen to hear what you ended up doing...

Cheers