Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brain Dump: RF and EMI interference in my studio

Continuing from my earlier posts about ongoing power issues in my studio causing my equipment to glitch out, specifically the SPDIF link dropping sync whenever a nearby lightswitch is toggled.

Turns out that practically every lightswitch causes an RF burst when toggled. One of the pieces of equipment (E-MU 0404 USB or Yamaha M08) is incredibly sensitive to this field, and will cause "jitter" or signal loss between the two units.

I know the problem is "in the air" because I've run the two units off a battery UPS and *still* have the glitch - it's not the connected wiring after all.

It appears that many manufacturers employ a ferrite bead to deflect the RF interference, although the Yamaha power supply clearly lacks this feature...not sure why.