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oktup
2007-02-19, 07:24
I'm attempting an 'SB3 as über clock radio' scenario in my bedroom. After reading all the powered speaker threads, I'm intending to get a pair of Acoustic Energy Aego M (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aego_series/Aego_M.asp)s.

However, I'd like the speakers to power on/off automatically when the SB3 does. Is there a relatively simple way to get this happening?

AMP Switch (http://www.gwendesign.com/slimserver/dev_hard_and_software.htm#ampswitch) looks promising but anything involving a circuit diagram is probably beyond my practical abilities ;/

I tried an Intelliplug (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=97206) but the SB3 doesn't draw enough power to activate it

IRBlaster (http://www.gwendesign.com/slimserver/dev_hard_and_software.htm#irblaster) won't work because the Aego Ms aren't remote controlled

My reasons for wanting to do this, rather than just leaving the speakers on all the time, are:

* Noise (is there any audible background hum etc from them when there's no input signal?)
* Wasting energy (how much would they be using if left idle most of the day?)
* My house seems slightly prone to power spikes etc, so I'm reluctant to just leave things on all the time if it can be avoided


Any ideas, or comments from Aego M owners, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

peter
2007-02-19, 07:33
oktup wrote:
> I'm attempting an 'SB3 as über clock radio' scenario in my bedroom.
> After reading all the powered speaker threads, I'm intending to get a
> pair of _'Acoustic_Energy_Aego_M'
> (http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aego_series/Aego_M.asp)_s.
>
> However, I'd like the speakers to power on/off automatically when the
> SB3 does. Is there a relatively simple way to get this happening?
>
> _'AMP_Switch'
> (http://www.gwendesign.com/slimserver/dev_hard_and_software.htm#ampswitch)_
> looks promising but anything involving a circuit diagram is probably
> beyond my practical abilities ;/
>

It's been years since I'd soldered anything but I managed to pull this
one off after I'd figured out I'd put the transistor in the wrong way.
It's not that difficult, really. I have powered studio monitors in my
living room. They have an auto on/off feature but it's too sensitive. If
you turn the music to background levels the speakers switched off.
Ampswitch fixed that.

> I tried an _'Intelliplug'
> (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=97206)_ but the SB3
> doesn't draw enough power to activate it
>

The point is that the difference between on and off power is very small,
because the SB is really always on.

> _'IRBlaster'
> (http://www.gwendesign.com/slimserver/dev_hard_and_software.htm#irblaster)_
> won't work because the Aego Ms aren't remote controlled
>
> My reasons for wanting to do this, rather than just leaving the
> speakers on all the time, are:
>
> * Noise (is there any audible background hum etc from them when there's
> no input signal?)
>

It's possible. The little T-Amp I use to power my bedroom speakers
doesn't cause any audible static or hum. The powered computer speakers I
used before that had an annoying hum.

> * Wasting energy (how much would they be using if left idle most of the
> day?)
> * My house seems slightly prone to power spikes etc, so I'm reluctant
> to just leave things on all the time if it can be avoided
>

I figure the T-Amp uses very little energy when not in use (I can't tell
you how much exactly, but probably less than the SB) and if it breaks,
I'll just order a new one for 30 bucks...

Regards,
Peter

peterw
2007-02-26, 16:24
I haven't yet upgraded my kitchen from mediocre PC speakers to Aegos, but I've been using X-10 gear (a Firecracker serial port RF transmitter, a TM751 RF/X-10 transceiver, and an X-10 appliance module) with my BottleRocket plugin to turn my powered speakers off and on. No soldering, and the X-10 gear costs $8-$15 per piece on eBay. This'll likely only work with a Linux/Unix Slimserver host (Windows would require some code changes).

http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/BottleRocket.html

My main disappointment with this setup is that the relays in the X-10 brand appliance modules make a quite audible clicking noise when turning on or off (when the relay opens or closes). But it hasn't bothered me enough to build an AMPSwitch setup or try a fancier X-10 compatible appliance module.

-Peter

peter
2007-02-28, 13:10
peterw wrote:
> I haven't yet upgraded my kitchen from mediocre PC speakers to Aegos,
> but I've been using X-10 gear (a Firecracker serial port RF
> transmitter, a TM751 RF/X-10 transceiver, and an X-10 appliance module)
> with my BottleRocket plugin to turn my powered speakers off and on. No
> soldering, and the X-10 gear costs $8-$15 per piece on eBay. This'll
> likely only work with a Linux/Unix Slimserver host (Windows would
> require some code changes).
>
> http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/BottleRocket.html
>

Yeah, that's a good solution. I already have X10 stuff laying around but
unfortunately my house requires some kind of phase bridging for the
devices to see each other everywhere.

> My main disappointment with this setup is that the relays in the X-10
> brand appliance modules make a quite audible clicking noise when
> turning on or off (when the relay opens or closes). But it hasn't
> bothered me enough to build an AMPSwitch setup or try a fancier X-10
> compatible appliance module.
>

My AmpSwitch relay makes noise as well, but not as much as the X10
switches I have. You select the relays for AmpSwitch yourself so perhaps
you could ask for really silent ones in the electronics store. Anyway,
my speakers make a nice (NOT) plop when they're turned on say the click
is not such a big problem. Actually the speakers make a louder noise
when they've only just been turned off. Thankfully the AmpSwitch
shutdown delay fixes that nicely. For some reason turning the SB off and
then on again happes quite a lot in practice.

Regards,
Peter

oktup
2007-03-01, 09:37
Ah yes, X10, I'd forgotten all about that, thanks! Think I'll starting looking down that route and see how it goes.

One concern though - due to the aforementioned electrical issues I've experienced in the past, I now try to keep all my decent stuff behind surge protectors/noise filters. Do these tend to eat X10 signals with impunity, or is that a relatively rare occurence? Or is this one of those "you won't know until you try" scenarios?

thanks guys.

peterw
2007-03-01, 11:17
Ah yes, X10, I'd forgotten all about that, thanks! Think I'll starting looking down that route and see how it goes.

One concern though - due to the aforementioned electrical issues I've experienced in the past, I now try to keep all my decent stuff behind surge protectors/noise filters. Do these tend to eat X10 signals with impunity, or is that a relatively rare occurence? Or is this one of those "you won't know until you try" scenarios?

thanks guys.

Good question. The TM751 RF receiver/powerline transceiver that my Firecracker sends commands to is plugged directly into the wall (nothing is plugged into it, so I didn't think to protect it from surges), but all my appliance modules are plugged in to power strips that are supposed to provide surge protection. One is run-of-the-mill, the other is nothing fancy and 3-4 years old but from a reputable brand (APC). I haven't noticed any problems, though I do use the repeat feature of the bottlerocket command with a value of 2 or 3 (1 or two extra RF transmissions).

You can use the TM751 as an appliance module. If you can install it within the RF range of the Firecracker, you could plug the amp/speakers into it and the question of surge & noise filtering would be moot. And the Firecracker can send RF commands for any X-10 house code, so you could use multiple TM751 if they were in RF range. I'm under the impression, though I have not verified this, that the TM751 will convert any RF command to powerline, even for house codes other than its own, so if your AC protection gear doesn't filter out the X-10 powerline signals, one TM751 could relay commands to others in your house.