The old In and Out

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I will be getting on a plane heading to las Vegas in a few hours to attend CES, a show that's sure changed over the years. Attendance remains about the same but only by virtue of changing what we consider consumer electronics. What used to consist of televisions, stereo systems and a smattering of home theater, now extends to drones and widgets of little interest to most of us. Okay, I would like to see the drone exhibit, I'll admit it. But it sure has changed.

We've been focusing on power supplies and their effect on the performance of our amplification devices. Yesterday I mentioned batteries were the cleanest, lowest noise alternatives we have, yet they aren't the best for sound quality in my opinion. So what's better? Well, that's a big question and the answers aren't simple. Let's look first at what we're trying to accomplish.

All our equipment is powered with DC (Direct Current). What comes out of our wall sockets is inconveniently AC (Alternating Current). We need to first convert the AC, power moving back and forth between positive and negative 50 to 60 times per second, to that of a steady plus and minus power appropriate for our needs. To make matters more interesting, the AC voltage coming from our wall sockets is almost never at the voltage we need to run our equipment. So not only is our home's power in the wrong form, it's at the wrong level. We must change both before we can use the power. And once we've changed, that power is not in very good shape; we want it to be closer to that of a battery's purity.

Let's take the tasks at hand one at a time. First up, converting AC to DC: changing the moving to the non-moving.

Once I get settled in my hotel in Vegas I'll sit down to scribble some of this out. The subject's quite simple if we discuss the traditional. The less traditional, called a Switching Power Supply, is a lot more complicated. For this discussion we'll avoid them if that's okay with you, dear reader.

My first stop upon landing in Las Vegas is to head straight to In and Out Burgers for our once a year ritual. I, as a vegetarian, order a double, double cheese sandwich Animal Style with fries. For those international readers as well as deprived US readers that have yet to experience an In and Out experience, it is the high end of fast food. Fresh, simple, delicious, decadent, fattening, not to be done more than once a year if you wish to live healthy. But oh, so good. Yum.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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