Hello, Martin,

When you were describing the noise, I was thinking variable speed motor 
drives--which would be completely in keeping with a revamping of the 
HVAC systems.

How accurately did you measure the 10,330 Hz? Could it be 10,320? If 
that's the case, then it's locked to the 60 Hz and is the 172nd!! harmonic!

I don't think there is anything that low in digital cable, and it is 
less likely that any digital cable (which is supposed to stay INSIDE the 
coax shield and does unless it is grossly mis-installed) would radiate 
enough energy around the building to cause the widespread havoc you 

I would have the electricians look for potential mis-wires in the HVAC 
system that have some of the load side of the variable speed drives 
(VSDs) being grounded in some way or other.

Ideally, the power to the VSDs should be twisted and installed in EMT or 
similar conduit. We used to always specify the load connectors between 
stage light dimmers and the outlets to be twisted to reduce radiation of 
the SCR hash from the dimmer.

I've seen this with SMPTE Timecode as well as power-related issues where 
the return side of some TC signals were grounded by unbalanced inputs -- 
not pretty -- it was all over the place. I've also seen 
neutral-to-ground shorts wreck havoc in a plant. Neutral and ground 
should only be tied in one place.

With that said, power line filters do put (in sum) a reasonable amount 
of current back into the ground. I have measured it in a large TV 
facility at about 1 A. The client had me fly from Burbank to SeaTac on a 
Saturday morning to do a survey and I was able to show him the small, 
but significant currents injected by each filter. Add that up on the 
back of the proverbial envelope and you're close to 1 A...polluting your 
clean ground. Back in Glendale for dinner. Joy.



On 2011-08-30 2:07 PM, Martin Fisher wrote:
> Hi gang,
> FYI, the following is cross posted to two list serves.
> A mysterious squeal appeared in the transfer chain here in the audio lab about two months ago.  It's a tone centered around 10,330 hz and seems to be coming in on the AC power lines for a good portion of the building.  This has been determined by taking a piece of equipment (in this case a Soundesign 8 track deck with integrated amplifier and a pair of headphones) and plugging into several outlets in the building.  The tech power outlets for the recording studios are clean as well as some outlets on the 2nd floor but many of the 1st floor outlets have the offending tone present.
> I've tried isolation transformers and low cost IsoBar type line conditioners with absolutely no luck.  The tone appeared at approximately the same time of a revamping of the air conditioning system for the building and stringing of lines for some sort of digital cable.  One of the campus electricians did some switching around of breakers and various things but nothing has helped.  Before I go out and get a high end line conditioner to try out I thought I'd tap the collective wisdom of two of the best informed list serves.  Any ideas??  I'm sure I've not provided the best description in the world so I'll try to answer any questions that arise.
> Thanks.  :-)
> Martin

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada           (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.