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Do your PSU's hum or buzz?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Do your PSU's hum or buzz?
Muff Wiggler
my Condor PSU in my eurorack makes a quiet buzz/hum sound.

my other PSUs don't - or if they do it's so quiet I don't notice.

Does anyone's Condor/PowerOne etc PSUs make some sound?
fonik
my power one PSUs do, and my DIY PSU does. all are using chassis mounted transformers.
from what i heard, teroidal transformers have less or even none hum/buzz.

it's not in the audio path of the synth though, so i do not care...
consumed
fonik wrote:
from what i heard, teroidal transformers have less or even none hum/buzz.


toroidial=blacet and some doepfer.
yes mine have a little buzz, much lower than other noisemakers in the bedroom.
sandyb
my dotcom power supply has a faint buzz - i rarely ever notice though probably due to the terrible noises eminating from the synth itself!
Muff Wiggler
ok cool, thanks guys! Glad this is normal and not the sound of my PSU slowly killing itself.

The Blacet PSU does use the toroidial tranny... and mine (all 9 of them) are absolutely silent
wetterberg
I'm getting slightly interested now in actually setting up a team to design a better and cheaper clean power system for modulars. It irks me that we are being fleeced on the PSUs right now.

The Doepfer PSUII is no less than 90(!) euro - for a 1.2A system?

30 euro gets me a 2x5A toroid transformer, ferchrissakes.
flight
@ Muff Wiggler: Actually, transformer buzz can be a warning sign. It's usually caused by either a loose sheet in the laminate core or a loose winding that is flexing in the alternating EMF. Cheaply- or improperly-built transformers usually do this (like most IKEA wall-warts). In older units, it means the laminate adhesive and/or the winding varnish is decaying, and will eventually short out.
neandrewthal
Who votes that flight should be called "The Plague Bearer" instead of "Virgin Wiggler"? 8)
felix
I'm pretty sure my Doepfers (4 in the monster case) have some sort of very slight hum.

I say very slight, because I can't necessarily hear it, but when I put my ear inside the case, it sounds a little "funny".

Kinda like walking into an anechoic chamber, or a really dead room...not quite the same, but similar.
JohnLRice
So far the PowerOne DIY I built recently is dead quiet. Luckily one of the used MOTM-800 EGs I bought was modded to have an LED in it so I can tell if the whole thing is on or not! confused I probably need to spend a bunch of money and time on some way over the top power indicator! 8)
Muff Wiggler
neandrewthal wrote:
Who votes that flight should be called "The Plague Bearer" instead of "Virgin Wiggler"? 8)


i do w00t
Muff Wiggler
flight wrote:
@ Muff Wiggler: Actually, transformer buzz can be a warning sign. It's usually caused by either a loose sheet in the laminate core or a loose winding that is flexing in the alternating EMF. Cheaply- or improperly-built transformers usually do this (like most IKEA wall-warts). In older units, it means the laminate adhesive and/or the winding varnish is decaying, and will eventually short out.


argh, so what do i do? lotsa other people say they have buzz also :(

if this is the plague you bear I don't want it lol

seriously, so if it shorts out will it just short to ground or would my modules be in danger?
flight
LOL, nope. I'm not a bearer, just an enabler. heh.

The only solution is to replace the transformer. (sorry)

As to what happens, that's impossible to predict (without an x-ray). Since the primary and secondary windings are usually intertwined it could either dump full mains on to your power rail (worst case), short across primary windings (blow a breaker), or short across secondary windings which, if it is a multiple-secondary, could double (or more) the secondary output, or just burn a section of winding out like a fuse. Since there is no ground connection in the transformer itself and the core is usually isolated from the case, it can't short to ground. I used to design power generators back in the day, and had to get trained at a generator manufacturer. Interesting stuff.

To sum up, nothing good will happen (sorry again). Your modules are DEFINITELY in danger. It usually takes years, but not always. If you think about it, sound is created by pressure waves from a moving thing. Transformers are usually silent because they have no moving parts; if it's making noise, something is moving. Unless your air is almost totally ionized, but you'd notice that pretty fast too.
Muff Wiggler
Dead Banana

wow what a drag :(

ok... i guess i will look for a new PSU!

thanks
JohnLRice
Just FYI: A loooong time ago I bought a B-Stock Yamaha TX81Z (when they just came out and I didn't want to wait for a non-B-stock . . I wont do that again! very frustrating ) and it has always hummed fairly loudly. It still works to this day, almost 20 years later. (I haven't run it much in the last 10 though)

Here's a guess that may be totally wrong but, have you (and other's that 'are buzzed' Guinness ftw! ) have your sensing wired connected up? I haven't done that yet. I'm just thinking that my Furman AC regulator is usually pretty quiet but when the voltage goes high or low it gets noisier. (I'm guessing cuz it's working harder . . and/or not designed well enough! meh ) matthias, any thoughts on this?

Another thought is, maybe the Ebay deals aren't as good as they seem? I used to buy a lot of computer gear on ebay at great prices, but I started have more problems. I think even though stuff may be "new" on there it is often factory seconds etc and maybe not "in spec" enough to be sold at normal retail prices.

best of luck!
fonik
i am currently using three power one HAA15-0.8 power supplies. two are new from the shelf, one is about 15 years old. they all show up with this hum.
maybe my hearing is very sensible, though. there is almost no electronic gear i have that does not show a hum (not only wallwarts but HiFi and other rack gear...).
BTW i never have heard of a failing power one PSU yet. anyone?
flight
I have a bunch of NOS power One PSUs (pack rat), let me know what ratings yours has and I'll see if I have one that'll work for you. I also know where I can find some more for $20 each (I don't remember the ratings though).
Muff Wiggler
thanks fonik and flight...

it's encouraging that all of fonik's PSUs have this sound. I wonder if perhaps my hearing is sensivtive as well - in fact with the exception of my Blacet PSU's, *all* electronic equipment I have also makes some sound when powered on. Always subtle, and often pitched high enough that my wife can't hear it (women do not hear as high in treble range as men..... men do not hear as low into bass range as women) but I can usually hear it.

I'm not sure what to do. flight, are all your Power One PSUs silent when you plug them in? And all of fonik's (and mine) have a hum?

this seems a bit bizarre.

My PSU is a HCC15-3-A+
flight
Hmm, I guess we should look at this more closely. If you have dog ears like me, you'll hear all sorts of stuff that most don't.

Is your PSU humming or buzzing? Low- or high-pitched? The high pitch is the bad sign - and they can be pretty high-frequency harmonics. The hum is our good friend the 60-cycle hum, which is usually caused by nearby wires flexing in the EMF, insufficient shielding (the EMF is making nearby panels flex), or a less-than-good ground (often a small-gauge power cord).

<edit> With the high-pitch, a whine usually is OK, the buzz always sounds like something bad.

I built a power one supply for ±15V into a small portable enclosure for my bench and have never had a hum.

Your supply is ±12V-±15V, 3A. I have a NOS Lamda supply that is equivalent, and built like a frikkin' tank - fully enclosed in 1/8" plate.
Muff Wiggler
well, i do have dog ears! also worth noting - i only hear the sound if i stick my head into the case - we aren't talking about anything loud here at all....

ok, it is most certainly a buzz, and low pitched. In fact I can say almost for sure that it's 60hz

hmm, a rock solid Lamda supply huh? how much do you want for it?

cheers
flight
Well, let me fire it up first & make sure it works. Then, oh, 10$ + shipping? I'm on a drive to clear out my hoard, my Lady is understandably annoyed (hell, so am I).
Muff Wiggler
woah, pretty hard to say no to that!

wow, thanks hyper
neandrewthal
Got any more +/- 15's to get rid of? hyper
flight
Heh, okay, okay; here's what I have for spare PSUs (all NOS):

1 x Dual ±12V/±15V @ 1.7A/1.5A Power One BB15-1.5-A
1 x Single +24VDC @ 1.2A Condor B24-1.2-A
4 x Triple ±12/±15V @ 1.0A/0.8A & +5VDC with OVP/-5VDC @ 3.0A/0.4A Power One HBAA-40W-A

Make me an offer. smile

I have a bunch more smaller stuff as well, I'll list them when I have time to catalog them.
flight
@ Muff Wiggler: It works, but has a slight hum (when I put my head next to it - 2" or so). I guess that's just part of the deal... I'll have to do more research on that.

I'll plug it in again in the morning when it's quiet to get a better evaluation. I'll also check out a couple others for comparison.
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