EMI with soundcards

By Duck
May 26, 2005
  1. I've decided to get some sennheiser HD555 headphones and a decent soundcard (probably M-Audio Revolution 5.1) to get the most out of them. But i have one concern i would like to clear up before i buy. I've also water cooled my PC and the pump that i've got is a little noisy in the EMI department (electro magnetic interference). The same interference you'd get from a CRT monitor. Its just that the pump will be RIGHT next to the soundcard (between the PCI slots and the side of the case). And i'd be very dissapointed if it ruins the sound quality.

    Its hard to measure the amount of interference, but the image on my monitor starts to get distorded if the pump is within about 50cm of it. I've also put my electric guitar up to the pump to 'listen' to it. It picks up a fair amount of noise but no where near as much as my 17" CRT.

    Hopefully there will be some watercooling audiophiles out there to lend their advice. But i doubt it, so anyone elses help/opinions on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If the pump produces the noise as radio waves then maybe you could just shield it? A roll of tin foil anyone? The effectivness of the Faraday cage depends on how you have run your wires and pipes of course.

    If the noise is induced into the wires then your solution is a separate power supply or some filter circuit.
  3. Duck

    Duck TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks Nodsu. Never thought of just sheilding it with foil. That's such an ingenious solution, i love it. I did think that once i put the metal side pannel of the case back on, that would help 'conduct' the EMI away from the soundcard.

    The pump runs off the mains not the PSU. And i'm not using any copper pipes or anything like that. I think i'll go ahead and buy the stuff. I'll post back here to let you know how i got on and whether i needed the shielding or not.
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