A typical AV system has about 30 different components within the AV cabinet (rack).  Each component provides some audio, video, or control functionality which allows them to function as a “system”.  The one thing common to just about all AV components – they need power.

Most AV racks have a combination of plug strips and multiple outlet strips for each of the AV components to “plug in”.   That’s a combination of line cords and “wall warts” which all need juice.

A single rack AV system will typically draw less than 15 amps and is typically protected by either a 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker.  For larger complex systems, where multiple racks are required, there would be a dedicated circuit per rack.

But let’s look outside the box (rack) – where do these circuits come from?  You guessed it, some circuit breaker panel somewhere – and that’s the problem – these circuits breakers should be nearby and available in the event they need to be accessed.

If the AV system includes a control room – we can also expect circuits required at the operator’s console for equipment such as the production switcher, mixing console etc.  Let’s also not forget power requirements for:

  • Video projectors
  • Projection screens
  • Flat panel displays
  • Video cameras

Again, they all need juice and without any clear direction to the Electrical Engineer – your circuits will come from wherever they can draw the shortest line on the drawing.

So what’s the solution?  Organize the AV circuits and let’s get a small dedicated circuit breaker panel located somewhere accessible to the AV techs (like in the control room).  Request that this panel be fed via an isolation transformer – which will keep all those bad transients (think spikes, hum, noise etc. from mechanical equipment such as motors, compressors, and lighting dimmers) from getting into our AV systems.

This actually makes a lot of sense.  Unfortunately, we (AV professionals) are not making this very simple request: “We need a small dedicated circuit breaker panel for the AV equipment”.  Let’s go one step further – ask for a LynTec SCLC or SCP Series Circuit Breaker Panel and you now have RS-232 control of all your circuits.  Sweet!

Now you can bring circuit breaker level control via RS-232 into the control system.   On a tech tools page, we are now  able to control and see status (on/off) of all the AV circuits.  Tie this into a few lines of energy management code and we can power down equipment COMPLETELY when not in use.  This would meet all the requirements of the “Disconnect” state in the soon to be released ANSI/InfoComm AV Systems Energy Management standard and make a big stride towards STEP.

Want to take it a step further?  Ask for a RPC (Remote Power Controller) Series Circuit Breaker Panel and you can control and monitor AC loads in real time on a per circuit basis.  Super sweet!

Think outside the box and specify LynTec panels to provide a wide range of capabilities and excellent tools to compliment any AV systems installation