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Safety Tip: Utilizing an isolation transformer

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If you do decide to mess around with your amp while it's on, do yourself a favor and invest (if possible) in an isolation transformer. It could save your life should you accidentally 'light up' your body.


They can be had for under $80.00 or you can make your own.




An isolation transformer is a transformer used to transfer electrical power from a source of alternating current (AC) power to some equipment or device while isolating the powered device from the power source, usually for safety reasons. Isolation transformers provide galvanic isolation and are used to protect against electric shock, to suppress electrical noise in sensitive devices, or to transfer power between two circuits which must not be connected. A transformer sold for isolation is often built with special insulation between primary and secondary, and is specified to withstand a high voltage between windings.


Isolation transformers block transmission of the DC component in signals from one circuit to the other, but allow AC components in signals to pass. Transformers that have a ratio of 1 to 1 between the primary and secondary windings are often used to protect secondary circuits and individuals from electrical shocks between energized conductors and earth ground. Suitably designed isolation transformers block interference caused by ground loops. Isolation transformers with electrostatic shields are used for power supplies for sensitive equipment such as computers, medical devices, or laboratory instruments.



Tim Dickerson

FutureNET Systems



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Nice post...I have been preaching that one for decades now. I tend to recommend a transformer based AVR that gives the isolation, voltage regulation and some filtering. Great protection for touring folks. I have been using AVRs on my gear since the 80s and I still have most of it. A Furman AVR is pretty darn expensive. I found this one 5 or 6 years ago and it has worked great. And just like you stated, only about $80 or so...



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