Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Friday, August 26, 2005

  Digital Hash


OK, my dialog with chipper gave me a lovely new term for audio to roll around my tongue: digital hash.

Hum implies a 60hz signal like the last 1/3 of the left hand image. Hash, on the other hand, describes the pictures I've been seeing(right). If the other UPSes in the house are feeding back into the mains, it explains why a free-floating UPS generates the exact same noise.

His suggestion - unplug all the UPSes in the house and see what happens - make sense, as I'm running the same brand throughout (5 upses) so I'm going turn off every circuit in the house then unplug all my UPSes now.

when I do that I may drop off the intern

Update: So...

I unplugged all the UPSes in the house. I turned off EVERY circuit breaker save the one feeding this room. I unplugged everything in the room. Plugged the headphones into roland XV-88. I note that the XV-88 has no ground on it - I'm going to try grounding it at some point shortly... (my ground was the mixer - as per the one true way)

!@#!@#!@!!!! The exact same noise still comes out of the headphones.

The ONLY two iffy things left would be the X10 circuit in this room (it's a dimmer switch but it's OFF) - and the cable modem/thing that seems to be wired into something resembling power on the outside of the house.

I'll run a long extension cord into this room from another circuit and see what happens. But I think it's the XV-88.

I'm going to take it to work and see if it still hums/hashes before I start ripping apart more of my home's electrical system. As it is I'm literally draped with cables that I pulled out - on this thus far fruitless quest for silence... Next I'm going to intentionally create some 60hz hum out of this system and see if the upper harmonics look similar...

I know the long term real answer is: get rid of the D/A converters entirely - but I need a new woodstove this winter far more than I need to shiver over the perfect sound....
 
Comments:
Gad zooks, what a battle!

When I was a kid (!), we built Tesla coils and run them during the Ed Sullivan show and knocked out reception for blocks. Worked great until Dad saw us carrying lighted flourescent tubes with no wires and a strange noise coming from the next room.

Is the crap riding in on the power line? They make nice, really long antennas!

Knew a guy that lived next door to one of the commercial radio station's FM transmitters outside of Memphis where I grew up. An abandoned rail line ran through the part of his farm and close to the antenna tower. He said he could run his stove off the power induced into those rails.

Maybe you should just go all acoustic and to hell with all that electronic wammy jammy. It's probably cooking your nuts, anyway.
 
A high-level engineer who works for the power company here told me they started embedding a fiber-optic cable in the ground wire that runs from the very tip-top of power pole to power pole. They initially did this to just pass data from substation to substation but now they sell the bandwidth to whoever.

I wouldn't be surprised if they've got something riding on the power cables in addition to the good old 60 HZ.

How about trying your equipment on a borrowed portable Honda generator? The power coming out of it probably isn't very clean but, then again, it most likely would be a different kind of filth from what the utility provides.

Oh, oh, what about this? The noise is in your head but you only hear it when you try really hard or put on headphones?

Interdimensional signalling?
 
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Hi,

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I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family


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