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MMD > Archives > February 2001 > 2001.02.13 > 14Prev  Next

Pianocorder Vorsetzer Mains Current
By Bob Baker

Regarding the Pianocorder System P-200 Vorsetzer reproducer, I think
that if one has plugged this unit into a typical 20-Amp (or worse,
15-Amp) home circuit, then if one turns the volume up, one can observe
a slight diminution in the room-lamps on the same circuit.  To say
that the lights dim considerably is, in my humble opinion, a bit of
an overstatement.

I do not believe that this unit requires 1500 watts to do justice to
whatever music one wishes to listen to.  One San Francisco electronic
engineer of high repute informed me that he didn't think a typical
Pianocorder System would draw more than 6 amps.  At 110 Volts AC,
that's about 660 watts.

For comparison, I play my Laboratory Standard (to borrow a Thomas A.
Edison term) Pianocorder System at the lowest volume setting possible
(without key solenoid stalling) and it's plenty loud enough for me.  Of
course, I'm usually testing a newly refurbished PT-100 tape deck at that
point, so I'm within three feet of the Classic Player Piano (which has
a genuine Baldwin "strung back") in which the Pianocorder System has
been installed.

Some day when I have the time, I'll look up the electrical specs of the
four industrial diode rectifier bridge in the Pianocorder System's power
supply which rectifies the 110 volt AC line voltage into 170 Volts DC
to power the key solenoids.  I can tell you that since we began
building new such power supplies with the latest solid state devices,
even with the identical circuitry employed when Joe Tushinsky was at
the helm, the new units seem to be far more powerful.

Despite this phenomenon, I have still to make the room lamps dim when
the system plays.

Bob Baker

 [ "Considerably" is, admittedly, subjective.  I live in a semi-rural
 [ area where the source impedance of the 120 VAC residential electric
 [ service is higher than in densely populated areas.  In addition, the
 [ resistance of the aluminum-to-copper-wire connections in my house
 [ is probably higher than it should be.  I estimate the actual source
 [ impedance at the wall receptacle is around 0.5 ohm.  The result is
 [ that the nearby lamps in the house dim noticeably when a loud chord
 [ is played.  (I like to hear the music at "concert volume"!  ;-)  The
 [ average current consumed by the Pianocorder is probably much less
 [ than 6 amperes, but the peak current, which causes the lights to dim
 [ briefly, is much greater.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 13 Feb 2001, 02:37:34 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Current, Mains, Pianocorder, Vorsetzer

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