PP12 struggling at times


#1

I purchased a new PP12 and hooked it up to my mid-level audiophile system on 1/11/19 with the hope that it would mitigate an electrical service issue that I noticed almost every evening between the hours of 5PM through 7AM. After hooking up the PP12 and watching the onboard reporting tool screens for weeks I can see that my THD IN% is always between 3.2% - 7.0% (the PP 12 THD IN % meter only goes up to 8% max). I am always “in the red” all day and night…its only a matter of how much. The PP12 enhances the sound quality of my system nicely between the hours of 7AM -5PM, after 5PM I have to roll the dice and hope for the best. Sometimes at night the PP12 holds its own against the onslaught of THD IN and God knows whatever else (other artifacts besides THD IN?). During the “bad” time period the PP12 succumbs to the onslaught about 2 out of 3 times. The curious matter to me is that the PP12 always reports that it is providing 0.1% THD OUT even while my 2 channel system falls prey to the onslaught (bass response loss, loss of musical piece dynamics, musical instruments sound flat and are represented incorrectly, a white veil of noise over all media types). The next morning as the THD IN % falls to it’s lowest point range of of 3.2 - 5.6% everything sounds very nice once again -until around 5PM (note even 3.2% is in the red on the PP12 software meter). The observation that is driving me crazy is the PP12 always reports 0.1% THD OUT to my system -even while I get hammered with 7.0% THD IN from the power company. I am now wondering if there might be some other artifact coming at me nightly that the PP12 is not seeing/does not measure? Or do I have a defective PP12? Please note I have taken the following actions ad nauseam: I have shut off every breaker in the house except CB 12, the one that feeds my system and THD IN% does not change. I have opened “another” service ticket with the electrical supplier National Grid. They just don’t ever seem to fix the problem (although they will eventually state they did something it never mitigates the issue…I’m about 6 years into this fight with “power corporate” and I am clearly a beaten man at this point. I also have a private thread going with PS Audio but I don’t have root cause as to why the PP12 reports 0.1 % THD IN to my system while it falls into the abyss. I’m not faulting PS Audio for lack of root cause, I know these things take time. Just thought I would post to a larger audience to see if anyone else has a similar experience to report.
Happy listening all!


#2

Do you live in Nigeria?


#3

This is my P12 with Readings from the United States, California.

Those THD numbers you’re posting are quite large. Where are you located?


#4

I live in the US, in Massachusetts. This is a long standing issue for me (since about year 2012). Others have complained to National Grid and sent letters to state government offices but to no avail. It looks like this guy gave up in year 2012 since his website went silent --> https://sandaura.wordpress.com . Maybe he was mysteriously electrocuted :slight_smile:


#5

I have seen the reading of THD IN reach 7.0 % on the worst nights


#6

I had problems around ten years ago with SCE, who provides my power. The utility was overvoltaging my area due to a faulty part in a regional power distribution plant, which boosted voltage in periods of high demand. Unfortunately, when demand dropped the part didn’t adjust downward, and I was getting a steady delivery of 135v. I took pictures of my readings and called the utility every time it happened, and finally an engineer from SCE admitted the problem, and it was corrected. Wonder how many appliances they fried unbeknownst to the customers. If you have a local authority who regulates power, maybe they could help.


#7

This could be a very important link to many. It is from the Amateur Radio Relay League discussing the reasoning behind modifications being made to the power grid on a national level. If you read through it you can see where state government may be involved in decisions about grid technology changes. It seems like a wise thing to do across the country. Maybe that’s why our measly residential power problems are not going to be addressed in this decade-> http://www.arrl.org/smart-meters I am not a conspiracy theorist at all - I just want my quality audio back. I hope there is an easy solution somewhere for me. But I think I may have to look into placing an whole-house isolation transformer at the main panel. The other option is to wait for National Grid to replace some of our oil-filled, old-school pole transformers with the new smart transformers …the newer transformers are supposed to do something to remove some of the harmonic distortion. Even if they just replace a few in my neighborhood that would probably fix it for me.


#8

It sounds like the P12 is doing what it’s supposed to. Definitely not defective from what I can see. When the distortion’s so high can you take and post a picture of the incoming AC for us?

That might give us a clue.

There might be other factors involved in what’s happening that the P12 cannot address, such as high EMI from some source coming down the pike. Let us have a picture and we’ll see.

At least you know one area of trouble is being addressed.


#9

Surely there is an electricity regulator that has jurisdiction with these things? That power quality is rubbish. If it happened here it would be dealt with quickly.


#10

When I lived in a suburban area my P5 would show incoming THD at 7.0 often. Since moving to a rural area it shows incoming THD between 2.5 and 4.5. My system sounds better too.


#11

If you want to see really bad power, this is what I had years ago.
The P10 could not repair it completely. This led to the phase adjust that was added to the P10 to make it work under these extreme conditions.


#12

I had my smart meter removed a couple of months ago. Those things are deadly.


#13

Received Paul and thank you. My apologies for this long-running situation. There may be some good news on the horizon. I have received a call from a National Grid engineer this morning and they will be mobilizing again starting in about 2 weeks from today. The engineer agrees there is a severe issue in my neighborhood based on the PP12 metrics, my time-THD IN chart, and the symptoms incurred at my electronics devices. Rather than speculating about the source I will “mostly” hold my tongue, but he aligned with my theory about a new solar panel farm 1.5 miles from me factoring into this experience. That farm went into production service about 5 years ago corresponding to my initial observations of a problem back then. He mentioned they have seen this scenario before with the solar panel farms . I just confirmed voltage readings with National Grid this morning …the voltage in is a moving target fluctuating between 123.8 to 124.1 according to PP12. The Grid engineer states this is in line with what they expect to see there. More to come in about 3 weeks time. I am hopeful …


#14

st50maint - thank you for sharing that picture. Wow, I though I had it bad :slight_smile:


#15

Glad to hear the P12 helped get some change moving with your power company at least :grin:

Something else to try in the short term - if your P12 is on Low Distortion, you could try switching it to High Regulation.


#16

Since solar farms have to convert DC into AC their inverters may well be a major contributor to your line distortion. Keep us posted on what Grid says and does.


#17

Thank you gentlemen! …to Schroedster: …JeremyB@psaudio had me try that early on. Previous to this I had a long email chain going with PS Audio support. Much to my dismay moving between High Regulation and Low Distortion modes had zero effect. You would think making that change would affect " it " -even if in a very small way. But no affect when changing modes in the middle of the nightly event where THD IN % moves into the 5.6 and upward range. There must be some other interference in there that the PP 12 is not built to handle -like Paul mentioned maybe EMI? I can’t wait to see what National Grid finds out …the PP 12 has allowed me to press in on them …consider it a soft skill of the PP 12 :-). I can’t stress enough here that the PP 12 gives me great joy when I am not in the middle of the evening “strafing” event.


#18

Haha Jeremy is a clever one - it can be tough to think of troubleshooting he hasn’t already come up with! Nonetheless, it’s interesting to hear changing it made no difference.

I was thinking something similar to what Stevem mentioned, though it seems that the problems are at their peak during the hours when the solar panels and inverters (probably) are not doing anything. That is, the problem is between dusk and dawn when it’s dark out.

One request, if you don’t mind a bit of homework - could you post a picture of the incoming sine wave during the evening strafing event? It might offer us some clue as to what is going on.


#19

Hi Schroedster - OK this is not exactly what you asked for since the issue is not happening tonight. The PP12 has held its own all night against a reading of 7.5% THD IN (7.5 is a new THD IN high for me). Nonetheless my sound system sounds absolutely flawless this evening. I decided to send the screenshots anyway since they may be useful as baseline data.


#20