Schools Training

Top Tips For Handling Audio Equipment

27 SEP 2013
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

These tips prepare you for safe handling of audio equipment.

Earth Connections

The most common safety problem when handling audio equipment is the lack of appropriate earth connections. As a rule, all sound equipment that is powered from the mains supply should either have an earth connection or come with double insulation. In addition, you should never be tempted to remove the protective earth connections from your equipment, as is often done when trying to eliminate ‘mains hum’. In case you have doubts with your electrical connections, consult a qualified electrician.

Insulation

Some of your audio equipment, especially loudspeakers and amplifiers require high voltages to operate. Therefore, you must ensure that all the terminals, wirings and connections leading to such equipment are adequately insulated to make them safe to handle. In addition, you must ensure that the connectors and components used with the equipment have sufficient capacity to handle the specified current and voltage.

Ventilation

High power audio equipment such as amplifiers generate a lot heat during normal operation. This can cause fires. Avoid stacking the equipment on each other or placing them too close to each other, as this restricts the ventilation. Fortunately, some of the high-tech audio equipment are designed with thermal protection mechanisms, which can shut down the devices if overheating is detected.

Power Supply

How you power your sound equipment is crucial, in as far as safety and performance is concerned. First, you should avoid phantom-powering for equipment such as microphones, from the mixing desk and instead have a separate power supply for each of the components.  In addition, you should try to locate high voltage equipment, such as amplifiers, away from the mixing desk and use multi-core signal cables for interlinking. It is also advisable to use the same phase of mains supply to power all your equipment in order to prevent the ‘mains hum’.

Fuses

You must ensure that all your audio equipment is fitted with the correct fuses. The fuses protect your equipment against power surges, short-circuits, and other common electrical malfunctions. Therefore, you should refer to your sound equipment instruction book to get the correct power ratings and check if your fuses are appropriate. You should never bypass the fuse or be tempted to substitute a blown fuse with a nail, silver paper or wire.  This is an essential lesson in audio engineering school you should never forget.

Plugs & Extension leads

Audio engineering schools consider the handling of electrical plugs and extension leads as another important safety lesson. You must ensure that all plugs or leads are connected correctly to the mains supply. In addition, never try to use these components if they are damaged or have previously been taken out of service. The extension leads must be fully extended when in use to prevent overheating.

Inspection & Testing

Another important lesson that you will learn in audio school is that you should have your sound equipment regularly inspected, tested, and serviced by a professional technician.

 

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