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Autumn Morning Star
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I have two types of portable sound system: The more powerful system is a Telex PAS-1, and my lighter weight system (which I fly in my luggage) is an Amplivox Audio Buddy.

When I plug into the local current I get intermittent static and interference. If there is an extensive alarm system in the building in which I am performing, there will be regular intervals of extreme static. Plus, my wireless mic must remain in "mute" position or "on" position or there will be a cacophony of total static. This is especially true with the more expensive Telex system.

As we all know, cell phones will interfere, as will cordless phones. I once had two ladies discussing recipes that came through my system. They could hear me, too. (I am glad it was just a small library show…) I told them I was a magician in the middle of a performance and my audience of 100 could hear their recipe. I said, “But before you hang up, what temperature should we set the oven at?” This got laughs and they said “Uh, 350 degrees!” and hung up. It was a really funny bit, but I really do not want the distraction and static.

When I use batteries, there are no problems. Should I use batteries all the time? Can anyone shed light as to exactly what is happening and/or how I can prevent this problem?
Much Thanks,
Autumn
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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todd75
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It sounds to me like what is happening is that you are on the same channel (frequency) as others and therefore picking each other up. The best way to prevent this is by using a wireless system thay has multiple channels so that you can scan for a "clear" channel.

I too have had things like what you mentioned happen. The only was I ewas able to take care of this was by having a multi-channel wireless system.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Hello, Autumn!
Sounds like your best bet is either, (as you had suggested) using batteries all the time, or (as Todd had suggested) buying a better wireless system. Wireless is expensive, batteries are cheap!
Dan McLean Jr
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Moth
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I agree - I don't think that plugging in vs. using batteries has anything to do with your intereference issue; however, it's possible that in addition to getting interference your connections with the power cord are a bit frayed, which will cause a different type of static sound. That may be what's going on with the problem of needing to leave it on or muted - a bad connection somewhere in the unit itself, causing the power to become intermittent.

If you check the cord, make sure it's all good and that all terminals are undamaged - then we're back to interference. With a multi channel system you can get on the frequency dedicated to wireless use (I'm pretty sure there's one everywhere) and avoid the local radio stations..but you'll still be vulnerable to anything that's wireless.

If you use an antenna to boost your signal, you will cut down on your chances of picking up stray signals. However, it's still possible.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2007-04-22 09:51, Moth wrote:
I agree - I don't think that plugging in vs. using batteries has anything to do with your intereference issue

I respectfully disagree. Replacing power cords with batteries can help to remove, or reduce, static noise and ground hum.
Dan McLean Jr
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Eldon
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Dan Is right. Autumn says in her post that when she uses batteries she has no problems.
TV Magic Pal
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Batteries reduce, but do not eliminate, the possibility of interference because the power system you plug into, particularly if not grounded correctly, can act as a gigantic antenna. There is nothing you can do to completely eliminate that possibility... it has even happened to huge touring acts that I have spoken with. The problem is often outside the system. The rise of illegal wi-fi amplifiers, for example, is beginning to cause problems and there is nothing you can do about it.

Even wired systems can pick up radio and cell frequencies (usually in the form of digital clicking). Even if your phone is muted, updates from the system can cause noise so store your phone as far away from any audio component as possible (like your car). Do not underestimate the possibility of your hardwired components actually being the problem. You frequnetly hear that speaker cables do not need shielding because they are not as sensitive to interference as input cables but I ran a movie theater years ago that sat under a highway. Its speaker system would occasionally pick up stray transmissions from truckers passing overhead (which was always spooky at three in the morning when I was the only person in the place); this was not the first permanently installed sound system that I had heard this in, either.

I always suggest that everyone carries a hardwired back up. Everybody acts like it is impossible to perform magic with a wired mike and yet I am pretty sure it was accomplished for about 60 years or so! The bottom line is you can not be sure of the interference issues you will face in a location because they are invisible hazards that are often intermittent in nature. A hard wired back up is the quickest and easiest solution for a non-tech with time constraints.
Michael L.

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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2007-04-22 13:05, TV Magic Pal wrote:
Batteries reduce, but do not eliminate, the possibility of interference because the power system you plug into, particularly if not grounded correctly, can act as a gigantic antenna. There is nothing you can do to completely eliminate that possibility...

I certainly do agree that batteries are not guaranteed to eliminate the problem in every situation. Fortunately for Autumn, she knows that it works for her.
Dan McLean Jr
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Moth
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I stand humbly corrected...I was remembering a situation where we thought it was the batteries helping, but it turned out to be something else entirely...

Thank goodness for experts, huh?

Sorry to have muddied the waters here...
todd75
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I remember reading about someone else who was having the same problem with their Amplivox system. When I used one I never had this problem but I only used the power cord. Interesting....
Autumn Morning Star
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Thanks so much for your replies, gentlemen.

Thanks, Todd. The problem was the channel when I had that cordless phone “recipe” interference, however it is not the problem on the current static, because I have tried switching. This has been an on and off problem for a while so I finally decided to ask the experts Smile

Dan, what sort of lightweight system can you suggest? My Telex PAS-1 is about 12 years old but is a professional system. My Audio Buddy is new and was advertised as a "professional" PA system. Any suggestions?

Moth, the cords, connections and terminals are all good. (We ALL have to watch those "flex points" on the wireless mic. I reinforce mine with black electrical tape for longer wear.)

TV Magic Pal, you are correct about unshielded cable and power systems acting like a giant antenna. I always carry a corded lapel mic and sometimes this makes a difference, particularly with "trucker interference" like you have described. But this does not make a difference on most occasions and on this particular interference.

You are right, Eldon. I do not have the interference when I use batteries.

From what everyone is saying, it sounds like either my power cables or the wiring are picking up stray signals from cell phone, Wi-fi, alarms, etc. The interference only lasts about 5 seconds and occurs a few times during the show but it is distracting. It sounds like my best solution is using batteries for power.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
TV Magic Pal
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Really what I meant was that interference is becoming a more and more of a problem and there is little you can do to eliminate it entirely short of buying extremely expensive equipment...
Michael L.

Magic is a lie. It is our job to convince the audience to overlook the lie and our goal to make them embrace it.
Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Quote:
On 2007-04-23 09:36, Autumn Morning Star wrote:
Dan, what sort of lightweight system can you suggest? My Telex PAS-1 is about 12 years old but is a professional system. My Audio Buddy is new and was advertised as a "professional" PA system. Any suggestions?

Hello, Autumn!
There's a long thread already comparing small systems here;
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......;start=0
Dan.
Dan McLean Jr
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Autumn Morning Star
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I agree, Michael. We are living in a wired society. Everyone has something electronic hanging from their ear, hip or wherever. I guess the only place I have a guarantee of having no interference is performing deep in a National Park, way out of cellphone reach.

Thanks for the link, Dan! I had looked at that link a couple of days ago and it was not too informative. In six days it has four pages of posts! You are most kind to pass that on! Thanks!
Autumn Morning Star
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
Dennis Michael
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Autum,

I did find this link related to Interference as well as related links to resolving interference and types of interference.

Avoiding Microphone Interference
Dennis Michael
Autumn Morning Star
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Thank you, Dennis! Great link and very helpful.

I think mine comes more from when my system is plugged in. Batteries never seem to give me any problem. Mine is most likely electrical interference.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
silverking
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One possible solution to electrical interference in your receiver would be to plug it into a small Furman or similar uninteruptable power supply.
It's the same as running it off batteries, but much cheaper than actually putting batteries in your receiver.
If the interference is only showing up on the channel of your wireless receiver, there's no reason to plug anything else into the UPS BUT your receiver.

http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=SB-1000

The advantage with the Furman is that it's rack mountable, but any small APC or equivilent uninteruptable power supply purchased from your local discount computer supply shop would give you the same protection.
Autumn Morning Star
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Thank you, Silverking! That is an excellent idea. So this power supply is rechargable and never needs plugging into the wall unless you are recharging it? Such a deal. Much more eco-friendly than buying batteries.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
silverking
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Autumn,
You would keep it plugged in all the time you were using it. It would be just like any other component in your sound system.
In effect, you never let the batteries discharge.
Autumn Morning Star
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Hey Silverking,
Thanks so much for the explanation and suggestion. It is always nice to have alternatives.
Autumn
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
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