Popping sound from sub when turning on ceiling fans. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-07-2013, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an HSU VTF-15H sub. When I turn on my ceiling fans the sub makes a popping sound. When the sub is off there is no popping noise. Anybody know a way to fix this? Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 05:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lumberjack96 View Post

I have an HSU VTF-15H sub. When I turn on my ceiling fans the sub makes a popping sound. When the sub is off there is no popping noise. Anybody know a way to fix this? Thanks.

It sounds like your ceiling fan switch is arcing or otherwise sending out a major transient when you turn the fan on. This is far from normal.

Is it an old switch or the cheapest switch in the store? You might want to try to fix the problem at the source - the fan switch.
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The switches are less than a year old and I don't know how cheap they are I think they were the $20 ones or something. Anyways why is it you think the ceiling fan switch is still the problem? If the sub is off everything works just fine. I understand the sub is off and can't make a noise, but no kitchen appliances, lights, tv's, av receiver, or anything like that seem to be doing anything weird. Also for what it is worth the outlet the sub is plugged into is on a different breaker than the ceiling fans.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lumberjack96 View Post

The switches are less than a year old and I don't know how cheap they are I think they were the $20 ones or something. Anyways why is it you think the ceiling fan switch is still the problem?

Yes.
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If the sub is off everything works just fine.

That is like saying "If I die my tooth will stop hurting" ;-)
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I understand the sub is off and can't make a noise, but no kitchen appliances, lights, tv's, av receiver, or anything like that seem to be doing anything weird.

That tells me that the fan switch is the exceptional child and that the sub is probably just doing its job.
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Also for what it is worth the outlet the sub is plugged into is on a different breaker than the ceiling fans.

And that tells me that the fan switch is a major offender.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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When I turn on my ceiling fans the sub makes a popping sound.

When switching any inductive load on or off, a burst of RF is created.
try a 'transorb' transient suppressor across the switch contacts.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-08-2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lumberjack96 View Post

When I turn on my ceiling fans the sub makes a popping sound.
This is a common problem. This article shows how to wire up a $30 RFI filter:

Hum and Buzz, Clicks and Pops

--Ethan
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-14-2013, 02:06 PM
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Maybe partly off topic...

This is a question for Ethan. I have eleven 50 W low voltage halogen pot lights with magnetic ballasts (transformers, not electronic) on a Lutron dimmer (slide type with toggle) rated for the load. Even with the dimmer on full, I am getting a buzz from one or more lights; it is difficult to isolate exactly which light is buzzing (without a ladder...it's on the list;)). The buzz was not there for the 1st few years. Is this from a weak transformer (I that they were bullet proof) or a bad dimmer? I read your Hum and Buzz post (very interesting - thank you) and it got me thinking about the dimmer.

Jim

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post #8 of 14 Old 04-15-2013, 01:00 PM
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Is this electrical buzz or mechanical buzz? If mechanical, I guess you'll need a ladder. biggrin.gif

If it's electrical, I assume it goes away when the lights are switched off. I don't know enough about that type of light to offer much more. I didn't even know that halogens use a ballast. I thought that was for fluorescent lights only.

--Ethan
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-16-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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I didn't even know that halogens use a ballast.

they don't...it's just a 12V transformer, that the OP is calling a ballast. If they're old, the laminations could be vibrating.

Fluorescent lights use a ballast to limit current. Ballasts and transformers are not the same thing.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-16-2013, 07:18 PM
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Good point. These ones are transformers, but they do also come as electronic and I have always heard the electronic units called ballasts by the distributors. Whether they actually are or not. So I mindlessly called these magnetic ballasts. I stand corrected.

Any ways, yes the noise is gone when the lights are off. Unfortunately, they are small pots with 3" dia. holes, so difficult to get my hand in to get the transformer out. But, plates vibrating could be the sound. Changing the dimmer sounded too easy.

Thanks for the answers!

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post #11 of 14 Old 04-17-2013, 04:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by just jim View Post

Maybe partly off topic...

This is a question for Ethan. I have eleven 50 W low voltage halogen pot lights with magnetic ballasts (transformers, not electronic) on a Lutron dimmer (slide type with toggle) rated for the load. Even with the dimmer on full, I am getting a buzz from one or more lights; it is difficult to isolate exactly which light is buzzing (without a ladder...it's on the list;)). The buzz was not there for the 1st few years. Is this from a weak transformer (I that they were bullet proof) or a bad dimmer? I read your Hum and Buzz post (very interesting - thank you) and it got me thinking about the dimmer.

The noise comes from some kind of interaction between the dimmer and the transformers.

The transformers aren't supposed to make noise related to the power that they receive, but apparently they do. You might be able to disassemble them and tighten up any screws holding the laminations together or cushion the way the transformer attache to the case. Filling the case with wax or resin might help.

Your choice of dimmer may affect the loudness of the noise. Dimmers work by rapidly switching the power on and off so that the lamps only receive power for part of the time. We don't see the flashing because of the way our eyes work and the fact that the lamp may smooth any short pulses it receives into a steadier illumination. Some dimmers coordinate their switching action in ways that minimize any spikes that the switching action causes, or contain filters that smooth the power coming out of them.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-17-2013, 06:18 AM
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You guys do know that they make two different low voltage dimmers, one for magnetic & one for electronic. Using the wrong one may cause issues like noise.
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-18-2013, 06:54 AM
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Yes it is a low voltage magnetic dimmer.

It was Ethan's comment in his Hum and Buzz article, "Dimmers can create havoc...Solid-state dimmers use the brightness knob setting to determine at what point in each voltage cycle to switch the light on and off. This sudden switching of the power is what generates the high frequency harmonics that permeate the air and power wiring with buzzing sounds.", that made me hope that this could be an easy reason for my buzzing.

I will break out the ladder and pull the transformer out of the Insulated thermal housing and turn the lights on to see what exactly is buzzing. It does make sense that it is one transformer since the dimmer would probably have all of them going.

The lights (Reggiani), and the dimmer are about 20 years old. When the distributor sold me the lights he said that the newer units had electronic "ballasts" and that they were having problems with failures. But, that the older transformers were very dependable.

Thanks for help!
Jim

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post #14 of 14 Old 04-18-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjack96 View Post

The switches are less than a year old and I don't know how cheap they are I think they were the $20 ones or something. Anyways why is it you think the ceiling fan switch is still the problem? If the sub is off everything works just fine. I understand the sub is off and can't make a noise, but no kitchen appliances, lights, tv's, av receiver, or anything like that seem to be doing anything weird. Also for what it is worth the outlet the sub is plugged into is on a different breaker than the ceiling fans.

Plug the sub into the same outlet as the equipment feeding it, use an extension cord.

Wrap the IC around the extension cord you used to power the sub.

If the loop formed by the power and the signal wire was trapping the transient magfield spike, this should lower it significantly.

jn

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