Gary Smith wrote:
> I have noticed the "buzz" on several different power supplies
> including a deep cycle battery. It's definitely not a hum but sounds
> like something with odd harmonics, a definite buzz.
The most common source of "buzz" consists of "triplen" harmonics of the
AC power line, coupled from the 3-phase power line that is probably
providing your residential service. See my recommendations for bonding
together the gear in your station to kill this noise. Triplen harmonics
are harmonics whose orders are divisible by three -- 180 Hz, 360 Hz, 540
Hz, and so on.
The first one is a tutorial in text form that covers a lot of material,
including this. The second is a Power Point that covers much of the same
My solutions are very simple and inexpensive, and don't involve going
inside the radio.
These harmonics are produced in power systems by current flowing at the
peak of the cycle to charge the input filter capacitors in electronic
power supplies (both linear and switchers). Most current cancels in the
neutral (and in the green wires) of 3-phase systems, but triplen
harmonics add. So-called "high leg Delta" power distribution is widely
used in neighborhoods where a few small users need 3-phase but most need
120/240V. It's a 240V Delta, but with one side being center-tapped to
feed residences. This triplen current is the source of what we call
"ground buzz." It's there because there's no neutral feed to those
3-phase users, so all their triplen current goes to ground in the
neutral for residences!
This is yet another reason why it's a very good thing to bond all
grounds together (the most important being lightning). To learn more see
Jim Brown K9YC
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