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Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

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1961TC4ME

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Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 12:18 pm

Hello all,

First, I am coming to the forum here for this because I have found over the years there are many here with very good experience and knowledge in certain areas that is far beyond my pay grade of what I know, that or I have no clue about at all. Secondly, this seems to be more of a topic for the 'Amplification' section of the forum, so here we go and I'm wondering if this is really cause for concern, or is it more just hype as we often see on the internet. Any and all input and experience on this would be greatly appreciated!

I know a lot of Hauptwerk enthusiasts here use active speakers / powered monitors in their setups and have much expensive and delicate equipment involved. So far I don't use any active speakers, it has been something I've looked at and am considering as maybe an upgrade at some point. What started all of this is I recently stumbled upon some information concerning what some are calling 'ASI' or amplified speaker interference that can be caused by a hobby of mine I haven't done in years but am looking to get back in to which is amateur radio and I'm thinking while I'm at it I might just go ahead and get my HAM operators license. I've found it fascinating over the years that a person can talk to someone else that is half way around the world using what I'd refer to as less than optimum options, but very cool none the less and no phones or internet needed! It's kind of a challenge the way I look at it. Given many of us here seem to be cut from the same cloth when it comes to interests and hobbies, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of Hauptwerk users are also amateur radio enthusiasts as well.

So, what does all this have to do with Hauptwerk? Well, not so much of anything to do with the program itself, but it definitely has a lot to do with the equipment we use. I'm reading that an amateur radio installation can potentially wreak havoc and send spurious signals during transmission that can be picked up by amplified speaker systems ranging from powered monitors to computer speakers, hi-fi systems using wireless technology, etc., etc., and the last thing I want to do is cause a problem for my own Hauptwerk system and it's delicate components, or worse, make the neighbors mad at me. :lol: I've read that a lot of it and avoiding the problem has to do with using proper cable shielding and so on, but then of course you have to convince your neighbors they're using crappy cables if they have a problem. The next thing is this equipment could possibly be located in the same room as my organ, or it could end up a couple hundred feet away as I haven't gotten to the installation part yet, so am pondering my options carefully there as well. What I'm wondering is if I install this equipment too close to my organ, computer, sound card, amplifiers and so on if there could be cause for concern, like damaging any of it?

Some of the articles concerning ASI I read were from 10+ years ago, some much more recent, but all concerning folks picking up the neighbors HAM or CB radio transmissions through their stereo systems or powered speakers. In some cases they could hear the transmissions clearly, in other cases it was just a very soft buzz that they could barely hear. Maybe there's been improvements in technology in the past 10 years and I have nothing to worry about, then maybe I do.

Does anyone here have any direct experience / expertise with this, or has anyone here experienced any ASI issues with their own Hauptwerk systems?

Any advice or info here on this subject would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Marc
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engrssc

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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

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1961TC4ME

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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 1:51 pm

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the links, but I don't see anything in them that really directly relates to or answers the questions I am asking on this topic, that is unless you are suggesting that anyone who would receive or have a problem with such signals in their amplified speakers and other audio systems needs to look at their grounding and / or balanced and unbalanced cable situation. If so, try explain all that to your average no tech / low tech neighbor who just wants to hook up use their computer speakers. Good luck with that! :lol:

Anyone and everyone feel free to jump in here!

BTW: I'm getting a lot of 'general errors' here today. Grrrrr........

Marc

Edit: I see your points in the MOTU link and yes it looks like one of maybe several solutions. The million dollar question is does your average 'Joe home audio enthusiast' understand any of it? Although I am concerned the neighbors may have problems receiving unwanted signals, although they are a ways away from me, my larger concern is placing this equipment anywhere near my Hauptwerk setup. Of course the odds of both being used at the same time are slim to none but I still want to avoid the chance of damaging anything.
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 2:32 pm

In order to get your Ham license, you will learn a lot of basic electronic theory. You should know how to deal with any issues you may experience using your new knowledge. That's half the fun of Ham radio! A Ham radio will not damage a nearby amplifier (unless you somehow physically connect them together!). I also don't think you will be playing your Hauptwerk while using your Ham equipment anyway! (It is illegal to transmit music via Ham radio - you will also learn that while studying for your ham license!). I am a Ham and I have a Hauptwerk instrument. No issues. Just have fun!
Ray
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engrssc

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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 2:41 pm

What I referred to above has do as to the input connections, many not all amplified speakers use or have available unbalanced input connectors. An unbalanced line is in affect an antenna picking up all kinds of noise including RF from ham radio or CB's. The better choice is to use a balanced line/connection if available.

Alternately a low pass filter circuit can br added to attenuate these frequencies providing you know (at least approximately) the offending frequencies. Low pass filters are used to filter noise from a circuit. 'Noise' is a high frequency signal such as RF. When passed through a low pass filter most of the noise is removed and a clear sound is produced.

The solution can be quite involved.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 3:06 pm

RaymondList wrote: I am a Ham and I have a Hauptwerk instrument. No issues. Just have fun!


Raymond,

Ha! How did I know? I knew within the Hauptwerk community there's gotta be a HAM or 2 out there, would love to talk to you about it some time. Yes, you're right, the odds of using both Hauptwerk and the transmitter at the same time are slim to none. Illegal or not, my playing is too lousy to transmit over the airwaves anyways! :lol: I'm not planning on running any big power either, so it probably lessens the issue between any of my Hauptwerk equipment and anything the neighbors may have. I recently lost my soundcard to unknown reasons and Ed came to the rescue with a replacement. I don't want to be doing anything new that would cause other Hauptwerk equipment failures without knowing first that there's something I could have done up front to protect things. It seems I have nothing to worry about but I welcome all comments on this.

Raymond,

Have you ever had anyone around you complain of picking up your transmissions on any of their home audio systems?

Ed,

Yes, I've also looked at low pass filters, however they are supposedly now more a thing of the past because they were more to address TV interference which is now all gone digital, and apparently RF from an AM transmitter is no longer an issue for televisions as long as they're digital. Aside from protecting my own Hauptwerk equipment from RF which per Raymond doesn't appear will be a problem and I should be able to run what I brung, the next thing I'm wondering is if there's anything I can do myself to mitigate any chances of causing ASI be it to any other equipment at home or the neighbors. Yes, it does appear the solution can be quite involved.

Marc
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 4:24 pm

Marc,
If it would put your mind at ease, for a number of years, I was involved in Amateur Packet Radio, where my pc was connected to a 2 meter ham radio (through a type of 'modem'). I did cause some interference with that, but it was interference to myself! It only happened when I had just set up the rig the first time for packet radio use. I cured the interference by moving my 2 meter radio 6 inches to the right! Interference one can create depends upon the 'band' you are 'working'. A simple RF choke can cure many ills! In the 'old days' before digital TV, working the 6 meter band would be a great way to disturb your neighbor's TV! Harmonics are fun things, but not in the RF world. I hope I've helped a little. Kind of 'off topic' for this forum.

Edit: After a little thought, I need to clarify that my 2 meter radio was not interfering with the computer but rather the computer clock was interfering with my TNC (Terminal Node Controller) which is like a modem for the radio. Just for complete clarity. :D

Regards,
Ray
Last edited by RaymondList on Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 4:43 pm

1961TC4ME wrote:I've found it fascinating over the years that a person can talk to someone else that is half way around the world using what I'd refer to as less than optimum options, but very cool none the less and no phones or internet needed!


Before Zoom or Skype, yep. Imagine that. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed
Last edited by engrssc on Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 4:45 pm

Hi Raymond,

Yes, I certainly don't want to turn this into some kind of an amateur radio forum, was mostly concerned with any issues that may arise having that kind of equipment near my HW setup (if I were to choose to do so) and if I would need to take any steps to protect things from being potentially damaged. The secondary part was more so if it's causing issues for me, then would it cause issues for anyone around me. It appears from your and Ed's responses that I really don't have much to worry about in either case. Perhaps I'll drop you a PM at some point now that I know you're doing the HAM thing. :)

Take care,

Marc
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 4:49 pm

engrssc wrote:
Before Zoom or Skype, yep. Imagine that. :roll:

Rgds,
Ed


Yep, exactly! And is way more interesting to me!

Marc
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostTue Aug 31, 2021 7:33 pm

C Q, C Q ( _ . _ . / _ _ . _ ). Back "then" I didn't have much interest in learning code. But today with Hauptwerk developments, there's C + +. Most all forms of communication are interesting, even the Internet, at times. :wink: .

BTW, I did get a First Class Radio Operator's License. Needed as an engineer to operate a commercial FM station's 50KW transmitter {WSEL}.

So it seems we have a need for licenses [or a dongle] 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Amplified speaker interference / Amateur radio signals

PostWed Sep 01, 2021 10:35 pm

We all promise to get off this topic soon, right? I too had my 1st Class Operators license but let it lapse years ago. Don't know how I worked at Collins Radio without getting into Amateur Radio but many engineers and field service guys were hams and I did do repairs on a few radios. Any ham operators using packet radio will appreciate a number of years I spent supporting DARPA's ADDS Packet Radio Experiment at Ft. Bragg. The military packet radio was inspired by the old Aloha Net and was similar in many ways to the current WiFi routers that we all use in that it was a router for broadband spread spectrum networking. The protocols were under development but became TCP/IP as the development network became the internet we know today.

Back to Hauptwerk now. Many of these same engineers were active in the Cedar Rapids theater organ group but that's a weak attempt to somehow relate this post to Hauptwerk.

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