Possible to isolate Phase-Perfect generated noise from the mains?
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    Default Possible to isolate Phase-Perfect generated noise from the mains?

    Just like the title says.
    My PT-3160 is a noisy sumbeech! And, I am getting real tired of it.
    When it is on, I can hear a distinct hum in many electronic devises around here.
    Most notably: stereo equipment, and ceiling fans.
    Last night I noticed a puddle of goop under one of my really expensive, impossible to repair, audio amplifiers.
    Upon further inspection, it is electrolyte from leaking power-supply capacitors! This amp was brand-new 2 years ago!
    No way these caps should have failed already. I am blaming my noisy Phase-Perfect!
    If the stereo system is on, with no signal (no music playing) it is silent.
    The second the Phase-Perfect is turned on: you hear a thump in the speakers, followed by a very audible hum/buzz.
    Turn the Phase-Perfect off, the noise immediately disappears!
    Same with the ceiling fans. Installed new fans when the Phase-Perfect filter caps failed and almost burnt my house down.
    Now, in the last week or so, the new fans are making strange noises.
    This can not be good for electronics. It just cant.
    There has to be a way to isolate this thing to prevent all this bullshit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Just like the title says.
    My PT-3160 is a noisy sumbeech! And, I am getting real tired of it.
    When it is on, I can hear a distinct hum in many electronic devises around here.
    Most notably: stereo equipment, and ceiling fans.
    Last night I noticed a puddle of goop under one of my really expensive, impossible to repair, audio amplifiers.
    Upon further inspection, it is electrolyte from leaking power-supply capacitors! This amp was brand-new 2 years ago!
    No way these caps should have failed already. I am blaming my noisy Phase-Perfect!
    If the stereo system is on, with no signal (no music playing) it is silent.
    The second the Phase-Perfect is turned on: you hear a thump in the speakers, followed by a very audible hum/buzz.
    Turn the Phase-Perfect off, the noise immediately disappears!
    Same with the ceiling fans. Installed new fans when the Phase-Perfect filter caps failed and almost burnt my house down.
    Now, in the last week or so, the new fans are making strange noises.
    This can not be good for electronics. It just cant.
    There has to be a way to isolate this thing to prevent all this bullshit.
    Sorry don't know the technical name, and maybe it is not the same thing at all, but we had some type of filter between incoming power and our cmm. It was supposed to "clean" the incoming supply of spikes or whatnot..? Maybe an idea for google search...

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    I would contact Phase-Perfect. We would be guessing the frequency spectrum that is causing the problems, its amplitude and other parameters. They should already have solutions that have been proven.

    I am sure that with some reactors and other filter components improvements could be made but why engineer it yourself?

    Now if you have a transformer that can be wired 1:1 in to out already sitting around of adequate size, you could try placing that ahead of the PP. The iron of the transformer is pretty lossy at high frequencies and might be helpful. But I would not go buying hardware to try without some help advice from PP.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simmons View Post
    I would contact Phase-Perfect. We would be guessing the frequency spectrum that is causing the problems, its amplitude and other parameters. They should already have solutions that have been proven.

    I am sure that with some reactors and other filter components improvements could be made but why engineer it yourself?

    Now if you have a transformer that can be wired 1:1 in to out already sitting around of adequate size, you could try placing that ahead of the PP. The iron of the transformer is pretty lossy at high frequencies and might be helpful. But I would not go buying hardware to try without some help advice from PP.

    Bill
    It has been my experience that support from Phase-Technologies is less than desired.
    At one point they were flat out ignoring me (did you see where I mentioned this thing almost burnt my house down once?)
    My neighbor is an EE. His specialty is RF, so he knows a little something about noise, LOL.
    I am sure if I asked him for help, he would be all over it. But, he is swamped with work right now.
    The last thing he needs is me pestering him.

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    Wheelie,

    I hope PP has the interest as they should to advise you and supply parts to fix this annoying problem. You go messin' with a guys sources of music and well... that's like kickin' his dog, eh?

    If'n it were this old man, I would reach out to Mr. Carlson's Lab on Youtube and see what insight he might have for you. I know you are busy, but this young man on there is seriously gifted in electronics and a good teacher to boot. For instance,I don't think he's met a stereo problem he can't repair, just from watching his video's. This guy is the real deal in electronics and distortion.
    Heck, throw him a bone on his Patreon if he's helpful.

    Old Gus, fellow NAMCO owner

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    How badly do you want to solve the problem. You are not the only one making these complaints. The surest way is a motor/generator. The issue there other than cost is a generator large enough to handle inrush currents. This type of solution is over a hundred years old. Next is an RPC. American Rotary seem to be the biggest. Any of the others I can think of involve inverters which are again high frequency switches.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusmadison View Post
    Wheelie,

    I hope PP has the interest as they should to advise you and supply parts to fix this annoying problem. You go messin' with a guys sources of music and well... that's like kickin' his dog, eh?

    If'n it were this old man, I would reach out to Mr. Carlson's Lab on Youtube and see what insight he might have for you. I know you are busy, but this young man on there is seriously gifted in electronics and a good teacher to boot. For instance,I don't think he's met a stereo problem he can't repair, just from watching his video's. This guy is the real deal in electronics and distortion.
    Heck, throw him a bone on his Patreon if he's helpful.

    Old Gus, fellow NAMCO owner
    Ohh, I am familiar with Mr. Carlson. Him and Xraytonyb are two of my favorite night-caps.
    I love electronics. It intrigues me greatly. I just don't understand it.

    edit: ohh-yea, Pit-Stop rules! LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    How badly do you want to solve the problem. You are not the only one making these complaints. The surest way is a motor/generator. The issue there other than cost is a generator large enough to handle inrush currents. This type of solution is over a hundred years old. Next is an RPC. American Rotary seem to be the biggest. Any of the others I can think of involve inverters which are again high frequency switches.

    Tom
    Don't think for one second I haven't considered swapping to a big rotary!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusmadison View Post
    Wheelie,

    I hope PP has the interest as they should to advise you and supply parts to fix this annoying problem. You go messin' with a guys sources of music and well... that's like kickin' his dog, eh?

    If'n it were this old man, I would reach out to Mr. Carlson's Lab on Youtube and see what insight he might have for you. I know you are busy, but this young man on there is seriously gifted in electronics and a good teacher to boot. For instance,I don't think he's met a stereo problem he can't repair, just from watching his video's. This guy is the real deal in electronics and distortion.
    Heck, throw him a bone on his Patreon if he's helpful.

    Old Gus, fellow NAMCO owner
    I don't think Paul Carlson has ever found an electronics problem he couldn't solve. That guy is SMART! He doesn't mess with industrial stuff very often but when he does I'm all ears.

    My limited amount of playing around with Phase Perfects I have found them to be very noisy. How they passed all the FCC tests and whatnot I don't know, but then again I'm not familiar with the testing requirements.

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    How much pain and punishment do you want to endure? I can recall from your earlier posts about continued problems among others, nearly burning down the house and causing wide spread destruction, the heat and noise inside, capacitor failure, low to no support, now this plus whatever awaits you in the future. What you have is getting old and electronics do not love heat. How many thousands have you spent on this beast already? How much longer before it have to be replaced? I can almost guarantee more to come.

    My avatar represents my philosophy. Simple, copper and iron. It will last several lifetimes and still be doing what it does best. The only noise is a dirty magnet.

    Copper and iron are pretty much immune to these problems.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    My avatar represents my philosophy. Simple, copper and iron. It will last several lifetimes and still be doing what it does best.

    Tom
    Ohh, I get it! I should change my avatar to this:

    30189448.jpg

    I drive a common-rail diesel truck now. And, it has given me more problems than the pictured mechanical pump ever did. I get it.
    If it gives me one more major problem, it will no longer be a common rail!

    Same with my 12v power supply.
    I have two. One is a big solid-state Astron 70a unit. Huge transformer, giant caps, weighs a ton. Built like a tank, dead silent, and uber reliable.
    Then there is the 90a switcher (Cascade APS-90). Just like the PP, it is a noisy POS.
    If I don't use the charge controller and a battery with the Cascade switcher, I get the exact same results I am getting from the PP!

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    OK, you HAVE the PP, and no reason why you cannot use it.

    YES, there are filters. They can be expensive, but so are houses.

    I would have suggested a commercial line filter, BUT.... remember, first, know your enemy... in this case it means needing to have some idea what is the frequency range that is a problem. We can suspect all we want, but we do not KNOW unless and until the line-side of the PP is looked at with some instrumentation, .the simplest being a good 'scope, preferably one with input isolation that can stand the voltage, which I presume is 230V (115V to ground)

    OK... SPECULATING..... Probably the frequencies are fairly low, in the low tens of kHz, but possibly just high enough to not be directly audible..

    Most typical filters for the line are for somewhat higher frequencies, in the radio range, over 100 kHz. So a standard commercial filter MAY not be effective, but of course we do not know enough to be sure.

    The PP has an input power factor corrector. Those ALWAYS have an inductor in series with the input, which automatically reduces the frequency range that is fed back into the line. That is why I "speculate" that the frequency range is low.

    Now, first thing is to make sure that the capacitors that PP wants changed e very 3 years have been changed. Some of them may be at fault here. I do not know where they are located, so I am "speculating" that some may be input filter components, which would be normal to have.

    Now for some techie-talk.... There is "differential mode" noise, and there is "common mode" noise. Either may be at fault here, or both.

    Differential mode means line-to-line noise that would be affected by a plain capacitor across the power line, one that you can put in without much of an issue. That would be a good test, just a motor run or power factor correcting capacitor, properly rated for the 230V line, put across the power going to the PP. See if it makes a difference. Size is not super critical, most any ought to make some difference, if you have a choice I'd maybe go for a 20 mF size, but try what you have.

    Common mode noise is on BOTH lines, relative to ground. Nearly anything that is similar to a VFD will have that. It is due to small timing differences between IGBTs, typically, although there can be other causes. Any input filter that is rated to handle common mode signals should at least reduce this type noise. It is usually a high frequency, because the timing differences are small.

    For common mode, the capacitor test is from each line to neutral. Do both at once, preferably with same size capacitor. Not to actual ground, because the other equipment being affected is in many cases connected line to neutral.

    BTW, this test is more comprehensive, as it tends to filter BOTH differential and common mode. Yes, a fairly crude test, but it is good if you do not have the test equipment. Just see if the noise is affected, hopefully cut down a bit.

    Commercial filters have ratings that include the "response" vs frequency for both differential and common mode (also called "CM") noise. The response may be just a table of numbers, with a "dB" loss at 4 or 5 frequencies ov er the range, or it may be a graph. A "6 dB" loss indicates a halving of voltage, which is 1/4 of the power. I'd want more in a case such as yours, but it comes at a reasonably stiff price for low frequencies.

    I'd hold off for now, until you have checked with the capacitor test, but in general, without knowing more, I'd favor a filter with as much filtering at between 10 and 20 kHz as possible. That is expensive, so the test is useful to see if a simple solution is workable.

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    Looking at this again, because this morning I heard an audible change in the noise emanating from the shop lights when I turned the Phase-Perfect on.
    It has been 8 months since I changed the filter caps. Maybe it is time again? To describe what I am hearing:
    The shop lights are big 400watt "high bay" lights that make the normal 60hz hum when they are on. It is barely audible. But, it is there.
    As soon as the Phase-Perfect latches on, that hum becomes quite audible. It gets significantly louder.
    Also, my shop stereo system. If I am using a 120v amplifier plugged in to the mains. With the Phase-Perfect OFF, I can turn the volume all the way down, and put my ear right to a speaker, and there is no noise. No hiss, no hum.
    As soon as the Phase-Perfect is turned on, instant hum audible from the speaker. This is getting more and more annoying. I plan to do something about it in 2020.
    I don't know what yet. But, something is going to happen.

    So, my service is 240v. I have two machines that are 220v max. I have them running off a 3-ph step-down X-former.
    The three haas that can deal with 240v are getting 240v.

    So, what if I got a big 100kva 1-ph stepdown X-former to knock the 240v mains down to 208v before the Phase-Perfect? Would this help to isolate the noise?
    And, where would I find such a beast? I was able to find a 50kva unit. But, nothing larger.
    Larson Electronics - 50 kVA Isolation Transformer - 240V AC Primary - 208V AC Secondary - NEMA 3R - Single Phase

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    My first question is whether the voltage changes when you turn on the PP?

    Lower voltage might mean more current and more hum from some loads. I don't know that lights are one that would do that, I'd actually suspect not.

    I understood that PP had an input power factor corrector (PFC). Those are made, by design, to draw power in a very good sine-wave fashion, much like a resistor. I would expect the basic sine wave power draw to have minimal effect on other loads (any EMI might be a different issue, if present).

    But I have also heard that older ones did NOT have that. I have no particular idea whether that is true.

    IF if IS true, if YOUR PP is one that does not have the "PFC" then the noise could be from the PP "clipping off" the peaks of the sine wave. That could cause an increased hum from transformers and inductors such as those in the lights.

    That would also make a considerable quantity of harmonics which could cause many of the other issues that have been reported, particularly on power lines that are not very "stiff", and have noticeable voltage drops.

    That sort of issue is also a lot harder to change. It would require more filtering at lower frequencies, which tends to be expensive.

    These "speculations" would be easily shown to be true or false by examining the incoming line to the PP with an oscilloscope (and proper probes, etc)

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    My neighbor is an accomplished EE. I am going to have to ask him to put a scope on the mains.
    He is just very busy right now, and I am trying to leave him alone.

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    Coil up 100-200 feet of whatever you can get that can handle the current, say 1 gauge aluminum, 6 gauge copper.. on the input of the phase perfect. coil both lines together but the direction of one of them reverse so that the inductance adds together. coil as many turns and as tight as you can get. optimal dimensions are about the ratio of a crispy-cream donut, but more like 1 foot outer diameter, 3 inch diameter bundle of wire.

    Then add at least 50uF capacitance line to line at the phase perfect, and two capacitors something like 50uf line to neutral, line to neutral, at the upstream sub panel, or line to ground.. whatever works. the Phase perfect should not be producing line to ground noise.

    if you still have noise upstream of that then you need to determine if its common mode or differential mode noise and what frequency and why.

    btw some of the cheapest oscopes on ebay have enough bandwith to tell you if the lower than 50Khz harmonics of the pwm frequency are causing your problems.

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    As many times as I have heard of crazy problems with a PP you could not give me one, not a chance. I have had my American Rotary RPC for over 10 years with absolutely no problems whatsoever. If you do have an issue they have a 24/7 service line. It has been running about 20 or more hours a day since new. I recommended A R to 2 friends that have shops and they have had no trouble either. I have no issues running my CNCs on it. My stereo still kicks ass and the caps. are not melting. Bonus, no noise in the speakers. Well some people think Metalica and Iron Maiden are noise! My RPC has never tried to burn my house down or induce rouge currents or whatever all PPs do. Member OX uses a RPC to run all that giant machinery he uses, don't see him posting issues all the time. I would send those PPs down the road and get a big RPC before they try to burn your house down again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    As many times as I have heard of crazy problems with a PP you could not give me one, not a chance. I have had my American Rotary RPC for over 10 years with absolutely no problems whatsoever. If you do have an issue they have a 24/7 service line. It has been running about 20 or more hours a day since new. I recommended A R to 2 friends that have shops and they have had no trouble either. I have no issues running my CNCs on it. My stereo still kicks ass and the caps. are not melting. Bonus, no noise in the speakers. Well some people think Metalica and Iron Maiden are noise! My RPC has never tried to burn my house down or induce rouge currents or whatever all PPs do. Member OX uses a RPC to run all that giant machinery he uses, don't see him posting issues all the time. I would send those PPs down the road and get a big RPC before they try to burn your house down again.
    That option is high on the list!

    Especially knowing how much it would cost to replace just one IGBT in a 60hp PP. And, how big of a job it would be

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    That option is high on the list!

    Especially knowing how much it would cost to replace just one IGBT in a 60hp PP. And, how big of a job it would be
    I would be on the phone to American Rotary Monday. You could build one but that's for backyard Harry hobby, I'd tell AR what you are running and what you anticipate getting and place an order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I would be on the phone to American Rotary Monday. You could build one but that's for backyard Harry hobby, I'd tell AR what you are running and what you anticipate getting and place an order.
    After 11 months of keeping the doors open and my guy gainfully employed with hardly any work? It will be a while before I order anything.
    At my current workload for the forseeable future? (which isn't terrible) It will probably be end of April at least. After tax time.


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