Leave rack powered on or off?

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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:28 am

Leaving a 45w power supply on 24 hours a day costs roughly 10c a day at my rates. It'll be a few years before I could even buy a behringer module.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by batch » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:50 am

Wasting electricity is wasting electricity no matter how much you use. Also think it’s a fire hazard.

Synth is on when using, sometimes all day but always off at night and when am away from the house for any length of time I I plug completely from the mains. I try to do this with everything, not just synth. My dad really instilled this habit in me - he’s an engineer.

Few years ago I had a wall wart powering my TVs sound bar catch on fire. It has been plugged in for several years and was hidden and difficult to get to so it was just plugged in. Fortunately I was at home when this happened, smelt it, and was able to catch it before anything serious happened. I shudder to think what might have occurred if we’d been away from home.

Now I have almost all these things on smart plugs so I can shut them down. This has also reduced my electricity usage by about 15%.

Have also recently bought a SOMA Labs Ether - very interesting to see how much EMF is put out by just random things that are plugged in. Some simple things like lights put out so much crap.

Adds up.
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:16 pm

Agree completely. I keep everything powered off unless i'm using it. But just pointing out that it really isn't an astronomical cost or consumption for your typical rack. Not to say that any bit of waste is ok - but it's not helpful to go around telling folks that their 84hp rack is akin to running a microwave.

I have a customer who had a computer catch fire in their office and almost burn the whole thing down. To this day they literally unplug everything from every outlet at the end of the day. They were told that even turning the surge protectors off is not enough to protect from an electrical fire. Absolute protection (arguable that they've achieved this even - outlet wiring can degrade over time and become a fire risk) is a nice feeling, but often comes with alot of annoyance or difficulty.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by XODES » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:26 pm

Would you keep your car engine running 24/7...?
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by Pelsea » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:41 pm

My local power company runs occasional campaigns against “power vampires “. 45 unneeded watts won’t matter much to you, but over 100,000 households, it’s pretty significant.
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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:44 pm

Absolutely. I leave it running in the garage while I sleep to generate enough CO to breathe in the house.

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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:49 pm

My local power company runs occasional campaigns against “power vampires “. 45 unneeded watts won’t matter much to you, but over 100,000 households, it’s pretty significant.
For sure. I think the point here is that you shouldn't waste electricity but also shouldn't be alarmed into thinking that your rack is wasting enormous resources while your using it either.

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batch
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by batch » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:55 pm

I don’t think the question is about wasting - though you shouldn’t do that.

Think it’s more about whether turning it on/ off is good for the components.

You know, like turning nuclear or coal power stations on and off isn’t that good for them and you a best off leaving them on from an efficiency perspective.
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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:18 pm

Think it’s more about whether turning it on/ off is good for the components.
The answer is simply no. It's not good for components. Inrush current during power-on stresses components and will reduce lifetime. In most cases the effect is probably negligible though. We're talking about reducing the lifetime of components from 30 years to 25.

Electrolytic capacitors have a limited lifetime and will typically be the first to go.

I would say that for 98% of application it's perfectly fine to keep your racks off and power them only when you're using them. It depends mostly on the quality and type of your power supply. If there is poor inrush current protection in your supply then you might see a quicker degradation of components over cycles.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:45 pm

Just as a comparison we can look at your typical home computer power supply. They usually range from 250-1500w and usually have a lifetime of 5-7 years due to heat generated and the amount of initial current needed to charge those large capacitors. Power cycling does absolutely reduce their lifetime. I know this because through professional experience I can compare the lifetime of a home/office computer power supply to a datacenter server power supply. Datacenter servers stay on 24/7/365 and their power supplies often outlast their mechanical components (hard-drives, fans). I have never (in over 15 years in the field) had to replace a datacenter server power supply. But I usually have to replace my home equipment supplies every 3-5 years because I keep the equipment off when not in use and often power on/off 2-3 times a day.

Now eurorack power supplies (except the big boys) don't use these giant capacitors that you find in computer supplies and don't draw as much current or generate as much heat, so their lifetime will typically be much longer.

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chai baba
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by chai baba » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:03 pm

I switch my rack on maybe 30 minutes before use. After using it i don`t accept the case to still consume any power. So always power off. Never thought differently about it.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by brandonlogic » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:55 pm

HeWhoWantsJeans wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:34 am
brandonlogic wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:51 pm
screens on digital modules dont last forever, they can die or they can get burn in, especially if the dont have screensavers. my o and c and flxs 1 both have some burn in, and my er301 might have it very slightly. thats enough of a reason to turn it off when not in use for me.
Oof. What version of the FLXS-1 firmware are you on? I believe I'm on the most recent and there is a screensaver that runs automatically after a bit of inactivity. I believe the latest one (20b5) was posted on the Zetaohm forums here.
dubonaire wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:21 pm
brandonlogic wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:51 pm
screens on digital modules dont last forever, they can die or they can get burn in, especially if the dont have screensavers. my o and c and flxs 1 both have some burn in, and my er301 might have it very slightly. thats enough of a reason to turn it off when not in use for me.
ER-301 has a screensaver now.
Yes I know both modules have screen savers now but they didn’t for a while. And even modules that do, screens still don’t last forever, it’s best to just turn them off when not needed.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by dubonaire » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Hmmm, I'm guilty of leaving mine on all the time. I should probably turn things off more frequently. Such a waste of energy. My problem is I usually have some state I don't want to lose.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by EPTC » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:04 pm

I have everything connected to a few furman power conditioners. Those power conditioners are separately connected to a power cable, which is connected to the wall. This allows for an easy cable connection of the furman cables to the extension cable on my desk.

I turn everything off when I'm done working with it on the furman power conditioner switches. (two power switch clicks)
I then disconnect the furmans from the extension cables. (two pulls)
Reverse of this is just as simple, put the power cables back into the extension cables and click the power on.

I like to fully disconnect things when not in use and this makes it very simple.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by target_destroyed » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:43 pm

I always turn my system off at the end of a session, and unplug it from the wall if I think I won't be using it for a few days.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by col » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:27 pm

There has been a couple of modules that Iv'e seen lately that i would never leave powered on without being present. Mainly, as they use Tantalum capacitors as filters in the power supply, which I consider an absolute no-no. It is a well known fact that Tantalum caps fail short-circuit and are a fire hazard. Why a modular company would use them as filter caps to shave a few millimeters off module depth is just dumb.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:57 pm

Mainly, as they use Tantalum capacitors as filters in the power supply, which I consider an absolute no-no.
That's not good. Do you know any specific modules? I've seen tantalum-teardrop-looking capacitors that are just ceramic but never the actual tantalum electrolytic caps.

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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:13 pm

Also I'm reading that some tantalum caps have a short circuit safety mechanism to prevent the catastrophic types of failures. It might be some peace of mind for you to check on yours. You can also easily swap them for the regular aluminum electrolytic caps although there might be a specific design reason that they're using tantalum.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by col » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:24 pm

The tants are SMD. Iv'e already removed mine. How would you know if they are the "safety" type?

Also, the modules are available as kits, or PCB/Panel combos.

The modules Iv'e come across are Befaco/Divkid Mutes and Plum Audio DSO 150 EuroScope v2.0

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by studio460 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:09 pm

psienide wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:45 pm
Just as a comparison we can look at your typical home computer power supply. They usually range from 250-1500w and usually have a lifetime of 5-7 years due to heat generated and the amount of initial current needed to charge those large capacitors. Power cycling does absolutely reduce their lifetime. I know this because through professional experience I can compare the lifetime of a home/office computer power supply to a datacenter server power supply. Datacenter servers stay on 24/7/365 and their power supplies often outlast their mechanical components (hard-drives, fans). I have never (in over 15 years in the field) had to replace a datacenter server power supply. But I usually have to replace my home equipment supplies every 3-5 years because I keep the equipment off when not in use and often power on/off 2-3 times a day.

Now eurorack power supplies (except the big boys) don't use these giant capacitors that you find in computer supplies and don't draw as much current or generate as much heat, so their lifetime will typically be much longer.
One of THE best first-hand, fact-based answers I've ever seen to this question (and this question has been asked by users since the first days of the home computer). Kudos!

I don't know it its true, but a fireman told me that the vast majority of house-fires (he said 90%) are caused by faulty wall-warts. In my entire life, I've only experienced one potential home fire—a power supply to a convection-heater (small, 1' x 1' wall-heater, basically a low-temp heated-plate) short-circuited and began smoking.

Thankfully, we were home at the time and the problem was easily observed. When we we redid our electrical I was thinking of installing arc-fault circuit-breakers. Maybe I should do that since I often leave my entire rack on all night.
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:49 pm

I don't know it its true, but a fireman told me that the vast majority of house-fires (he said 90%) are caused by faulty wall-warts. In my entire life, I've only experienced one potential home fire—a power supply to a convection-heater (small, 1' x 1' wall-heater, basically a low-temp heated-plate) short-circuited and began smoking.
I believe it, but there are tons of reasons other than just component failure for this kind of thing. A friend of mine almost had a disaster in his house because his daughter was using a frayed cable to charge her iphone from a wall wart. The jackets of these cables are often grounded for interference and it just so happened that the foil jacket was shorting on the power wire. It roasted the wall and melted most the outlet before he was able to get to it.

There's also a considerable amount of heat generated in these things, and I can imagine even more so for a heater power supply.

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psienide
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by psienide » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:55 pm

How would you know if they are the "safety" type?
I just looked up "fused tantalum capacitor" and found a bunch of different types, though it doesn't look like they're easily identifiable other than crosschecking part numbers.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by studio460 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:13 pm

psienide wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:49 pm
I don't know it its true, but a fireman told me that the vast majority of house-fires (he said 90%) are caused by faulty wall-warts. In my entire life, I've only experienced one potential home fire—a power supply to a convection-heater (small, 1' x 1' wall-heater, basically a low-temp heated-plate) short-circuited and began smoking.
I believe it, but there are tons of reasons other than just component failure for this kind of thing. A friend of mine almost had a disaster in his house because his daughter was using a frayed cable to charge her iphone from a wall wart. The jackets of these cables are often grounded for interference and it just so happened that the foil jacket was shorting on the power wire. It roasted the wall and melted most the outlet before he was able to get to it.

There's also a considerable amount of heat generated in these things, and I can imagine even more so for a heater power supply.
Yes, that's my biggest worry in this modern connected world—third-party iPhone charger-blocks. Very few seem to opt for the original Apple versions, so many own the cheap import-brands. I settled somewhere in-between. Got several Anker iPhone multi-blocks during Amazon Prime Day.
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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by dubonaire » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:44 pm

studio460 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:09 pm


I don't know it its true, but a fireman told me that the vast majority of house-fires (he said 90%) are caused by faulty wall-warts.
It's not true. The most common cause of house fires is cooking. Second is heating. When it comes to electrical equipment, overloaded distribution equipment is much more likely to cause a fire than a faulty wall wart.

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Re: Leave rack powered on or off?

Post by studio460 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:02 pm

Ah, yes . . . e.g., deep-frying frozen turkeys.
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