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Windows 7: Asus D2x Frying Sennheiser RS120/140

25 Apr 2011   #1
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Asus D2x Frying Sennheiser RS120/140

a few weeks back, my Sennheiser RS140 stopped working after a momentary blackout in a thunderstorm. Since it was out of warranty, I replaced it with a RS120, because it is compatible with the RS140 headset. Yesterday was another day of thunderstorms, and again the RS120 failed.

I have another exactly like it on my HTPC, which has never been effected, and the only difference is that it is connected to an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum, and unlike my desktop PC, it doesn't even have a UPS connected to it. By process of elimination, it seems obvious that the Asus sound card is passing some kind of spikes to the headset. However, the 5.1 speakers are not effected by this, and continue to play normally.

Is it possible to have some kind of inline surge progector on the headsets speaker cables?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2011   #2
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I don't know of any surge protection for headphones, but if you use a surge protection device on your mains power this should prevent the majority of transient spikes as a result of lightning strikes in your area. If a strike hits very close, it may fry some things anyway.

Something like this;

4-way extension lead, surge protection, 2.0m: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

http://www.screwfix.com/p/masterplug...r-2m-10g/46321

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #3
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

The thing is that even though I did say "surge", I believe that this occurred during a blackout, instead of a surge. I know that it did the first time around, because I was sitting at the PC when it happened. I can only speculate about the last time, because I wasn't there, but momentary blackouts are quite common here during storms.

I doubt that anything was passed through the power line, because it is one of those with a little transformer at the plugin, and I don't believe that a spike would pass through it, and the transformer still works, because the headset will still charge when sitting on the transmitter cradle. That only leaves the sound card connection for a spike to travel through, yet I don't understand that, because the PC connects via an APC BX1000 UPS. The 5.1 speakers share connections with the headset, but they are connected by a separate surge protector.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Apr 2011   #4
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
The thing is that even though I did say "surge", I believe that this occurred during a blackout, instead of a surge. I know that it did the first time around, because I was sitting at the PC when it happened. I can only speculate about the last time, because I wasn't there, but momentary blackouts are quite common here during storms.

I doubt that anything was passed through the power line, because it is one of those with a little transformer at the plugin, and I don't believe that a spike would pass through it, and the transformer still works, because the headset will still charge when sitting on the transmitter cradle. That only leaves the sound card connection for a spike to travel through, yet I don't understand that, because the PC connects via an APC BX1000 UPS. The 5.1 speakers share connections with the headset, but they are connected by a separate surge protector.
Transient spikes can pass through anything except special filters.

The other thing that can happen with a "blackout" , especially in some audio equipment, but really in anything that uses wound coils in some way, is a large induction surge as the power cuts off, this is caused by the collapsing magnetic field. ( Same principle that used to be used to produce high voltage for spark plugs in an internal combustion engine, mostly done with solid state electronics now). Most amplifiers have some built in protection for this, and also for when they are switched on. They don't power up immediately, the power is applied and increased slowly, as otherwise there is a good chance of damaging them.

This effect can also fry headphones if they are plugged or unplugged when the volume is not turned down, or the equipment switched off. This can cause very large induction spikes which just fry the headphones.

There is not really a lot one can do about it. It happens now and again. But if it happens too often there could also be other reasons for it. Just walking across nylon carpeting or a rug can cause massive static build up in the region of 10...12,000 Volts, , and this in turn can cause very large transient spikes, you can sometimes see blue sparks and hear a crackling or sizzling noise, but even low voltage static can damage stuff easily, and is common in conditions of high humidity.

Electronic components can be severely damaged or destroyed by static discharges as low as 10 Volts, and humans are not able to perceive static electricity less than about 1500 Volts.

So, if something is being "fried" regularly in storm conditions, make sure you have no nylon rugs or stuff like that near your equipment, don't wear plastic soled shoes, or nylon clothing. All these things can cause serious damage to electrical and electronic equipment. If you use a "plastic" office chair, make sure you are grounded occasionally before you touch or use sensitive equipment.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #5
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Thanks, I know that other possibilities exist, but I know that the problem did not occur due to a static discharge. The more that I think about it, I think that the problem is the 5.1 speaker's common connection to the sound card with the headphone, because I have the speakers plugged into the surge protector, instead of the APC (all outlets filled). I know that when a blackout occurs, that everything connected to the UPS is uneffected, but things connected to the surge protector will blink off. It may not be a system component that is frying the headset, it may just be a bad surge protector. It is becoming quite old (6 years), but it does have a couple of lights on it...one to indicate power, and the other protection, and these indicates that all is well, but then I don't know how much that really means.

I have just been eBaying for some short (1-2 foot) extensions so that I could connect more devices to the UPS, but all that I have found that are reasonably priced are only a single outlet, and that would change nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #6
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post

I have just been eBaying for some short (1-2 foot) extensions so that I could connect more devices to the UPS, but all that I have found that are reasonably priced are only a single outlet, and that would change nothing.
Unfortunately, the really good surge protection devices are quite pricey. I can't give you any good recommendations because I am not familiar with the American market. But somebody on here will know I am sure.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #7
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I just ordered some Ziotek power extenders, so that I can move the speakers and headphone connections to the UPS, rather than the surge protector. Hopefully that will prevent a repeat performance of the problem, once I get the headset repaired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #8
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The headphones do not take much power. You can "Y" off of one of the UPS protected outputs for both whatever you have on that output and the headphones.

I used to be a LAN/WAN Network Manager and dealt with power problems at our field offices. We used UPS systems on our file servers but not the workstations. We used surge protectors on our workstations and printers. A surge protector must first be a high quality device (the ones we used were several hundred dollars) to be effective and even then there is no 100% protection. Inexpensive models give a false sense of security.

I have a TR120 model headset that I bought for my recording studio but it is noisy and it's been relegated to "collecting dust".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #9
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

One thing is for sure, I'm not going to spend several hundred dollars on a surge protector. I have been thinking of buying another UPS for the HTPC, but it seems that every time the one that I want goes on sale, that I miss it. Of course, even with another UPS, that wouldn't solve this problem, because it would be for a different PC. I'm curious why you didn't use an UPS on the workstations also? Maybe the UPS that you considered reliable enough was even more expensive, but the one that I use is not, and it has been fairly reliable. The only problem that I have had with it, is that the backup function wouldn't work, but I only learned yesterday that my hardware apparently doesn't support hibernation, so that was probably the reason for the problem.

I had to double check that model #, because I didn't recognize it, but that appears to be the transmitter for the RS120. I'm surprised that you had noise issues with it, because I have not...except from interference, like when a signal is being transmitter from both PCs at the same time. Unless you had a lemon, I would bet that you had some kind of interference problem also.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #10
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I worked for a Federal Government Agency. Our field offices had many workstations and printers in them spread out over each office. It wasn't practical to have a UPS at each workstation as the workstations (PC's) didn't have much on them, all the applications, such as Word or Excel, and any user program data were on the server or they used a 3270 emulation program to access the agency's mainframe computers, located at the agency's "National Computer Center". The Workstations were basically "dumb terminals".

In regards to the wireless headphones, there wasn't any real interference just that even a relatively short distance from the base unit (e.g. 10 ft) and it would start to lose signal and get noisy. I've talked to others with this model and they related similar problems in their studios. It may just be the particular model.
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 Asus D2x Frying Sennheiser RS120/140




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