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  • Cell phones and electronic organs



    On the thread about wearing a watch while playing, some have mentioned having their cell phones with them at the organ. Have you noticed how cell phones seem to induce curious noises into the audio circuits of electronic organs?</P>


    For that reason I never intentionallytake my cell phone into church with me when playing for a service. A few times I have forgotten to leave it in the car and heard that distinctive "rat-tatta-tat-tatta-tat" coming from the organ speakers at a most inopportune moment in the service!</P>


    It's odd how this noise doesn't happen on a predictable basis, just every now and then. My cell phone carrier is Alltel and my phone a basic model. Matt is on AT&amp;T and has a phone with internet and email. But both our phones cause about the same type of noise.</P>


    Anyway, this rules out setting the phone on the organ as a clock. I guess it wouldn't cause trouble on a pipe organ, unless the electronic signals somehow interfered with the digital control systems on many modern pipe organs, or if there are even a few digital stops.</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  • #2
    Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



    Hi, John</P>


    If you turn the cell phone off, it will stop. The interference is a result of the phone transmitting, possibly the result of a base query. The signal is quite strong and is detected in the low level audio amplifier transistors. It's not strong enough to affect digital circuitry but might damage an exposed organ pipe,a result of theangry music director's poor aim for the trash can.</P>


    Al</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



      Those sounds are the result of the cell phone responding to queries from the base stations--they are conversing to establish which station should handle any calls to that phone. This is a problem with most electronic sound equipment--PA systems, theater sound systems, etc.--even your computer sound may get that noise. That is why most venues with electronic sound systems require everyone to turn off (not just put on buzz) their cell phones and other devices that can transmit (passive pagers are OK, but should be put on "stun"). It's not to keep people to from talking on their phones during the service (well, OK, it's that, too) but to avoid having those horrible noises coming through the sound system.</P>


      David</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



        It can be quite annoying, especially when the organ is on full and the phone starts to interfere. The same thing happens if you place your phone next to a radio or hifi set.</p>

        People should not have their phones on in Church, particularly during a service. Unless its an absolute must, the phone then should at least be placed on silent or vibrate mode. The number of times I have been at services and phones have gone off during the most sacred part of mass is really aggrevating - particularly when the priest has mentioned before the service to turn of all phones. There are always a handful of idiots, ignorant and selfish people who steadfastly refuse/or ignore requests to mute or switch off their phones.</p>

        Surely asking for 60 minutes of peace and quiet away from the distraction of ringing mobile phones is not too much to ask for? I know such devices are illegal, but I'd advocate installing phone jammers in Churches, cinemas, museums etc. since people aren't capable of handling their own phones in a proper manner then someone else should do it ie. phone jammers.</p>

        Sadly, phones ringing in Churches, cinemas and museums is indicative of todays "me, me, me" culture, where people have a distinct lack of respect for the wishes of others.
        </p>
        1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
        Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



          One pastor I know has been known to ask a parishioner to "let me answer that" when a cell rings in the service. Once a phone rang, during the sermon,in the purse of a member seated on the front pew. He held out his hand, asked for the phone. The mortified lady handed it to him andhe answered it. The person on the other end wasa church member and he asked her "Why aren't you here?" The caller simply hung up. But he said that put the fear into the folks and he rarely has a phone ring during the service any more!</P>


          John</P>


          PS-- I don't really think such measures are necessary or even very nice. But peoplewho let their phones ring in church are just rude beyond reason.</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cell phones and electronic organs

            [quote user="jbird604"]

            One pastor I know has been known to ask a parishioner to "let me answer that" when a cell rings in the service. Once a phone rang, during the sermon,in the purse of a member seated on the front pew. He held out his hand, asked for the phone. The mortified lady handed it to him andhe answered it. The person on the other end wasa church member and he asked her "Why aren't you here?" The caller simply hung up. But he said that put the fear into the folks and he rarely has a phone ring during the service any more!</p>


            John</p>


            PS-- I don't really think such measures are necessary or even very nice. But peoplewho let their phones ring in church are just rude beyond reason.</p>
            <p mce_keep="true">[/quote]</p><p mce_keep="true">Great story! I better not retell your story to my parish priest otherwise he might get some ideas. Like you said, I think such confrontational behaviour is intimidating and likely to drive people away from the Church, through embarrassment if nothing else.</p><p mce_keep="true">If a phone does ring during a service, our parish priest will often stop what he is saying and glare at the offender until the ringing has stopped - that can be 20 or 30 secs if the person can't find it in their full handbag or rucksack.
            </p><p mce_keep="true">I still advocate the use of phone jammers, which are discrete and very effective. Only problem is that they are illegal - if only we could have the law changed so that they could be used in public places like libraries, museums, Churches, cinemas etc. with a valid permit. I be all for such an exemption in the law.
            </p>
            1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
            Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



              Amen, Jbird &amp; Nullogik!</P>


              I am very much in favor of cellphone blockers. I would like to carry a pocket model (yes, they do exist) when I dine out. Meanwhile, how about a large, exquisitely-embroidered taspestry/banner prominently displayed in the chancel rendering the following message:</P>


              "How comfortably could you sit in your pew with your phone inserted into your r-ct-m?"</P>


              LOL!!</P>


              [:$][]</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                ???????????????????</P>


                [6]</P>
                John
                ----------
                *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cell phones and electronic organs

                  [quote user="MenchenStimme"]

                  Amen, Jbird &amp; Nullogik!</p>


                  I am very much in favor of cellphone blockers. I would like to carry a pocket model (yes, they do exist) when I dine out. Meanwhile, how about a large, exquisitely-embroidered taspestry/banner prominently displayed in the chancel rendering the following message:</p>

                  [/quote]</p>

                  Indeed, a pocket jammer would be handy (though illegal), somewhere like the cinema would be the obvious place to use one.</p>

                  On the other hand, if you get a new Church built, you could line the walls with lead. That would certainly be most effective, but a pricey solution to the problem.</p>

                  I don't know if this is a problem in the US, but due to dwindling congregations and hence monetary collections, Churches are being approached to install mobile phone base stations on/or within their spires. They really are quite unsightly, and guarantee the idiots with their phones on in Church 100% signal strength. I would be more concerned about the health implications about being so close to such a powerful transmitter, despite what the scientists say.
                  </p>
                  1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                  Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                    nullogik, lead would be a poor choice for lining the walls--it's not a particularly good conductor and it is toxic; copper or aluminum (yes) would be a better choice. To create a "Faraday cage" to isolate the church from outside electronic signals takes more than just lining the walls, though--it is necessary to seal all the joints and openings (copper screens over the windows, contact stripping on the doors, etc.). I don't believe it would be worth it. It might be more suitable and affordable to place the sound system electronics inside a room that had been build as a Faraday cage. That might actually solve the problem since the cell phone signals are probably not strong enough to induce much effect in just the speaker wires. All microphones and their cables would have to be shielded, of course.</P>


                    Our new church had been approached with an offer to install a cell phone base station in the "lantern", but it was rejected. I was greatly relieved to learn that it had been because I think it would have been virtually impossible to avoid interference in the church sound systems with those powerful antennae so close. I also thought they might be unsightly, but it may be possible to design a set that would not be. I was less concerned about the possible health issues.</P>


                    David</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                      We were also approached in this regard and rejected the idea, thank God! The $$$$ was tempting, but the system would have been uncomfortably close to the pipe organ and its control systems. Moreover, part of the deal would have been to give them unlimited 24/7 access to the equipment. And the "vault" for the other equipment would have been the size of a small garage. Of course, they play down all of the negatives. I find the very idea of approaching a sacred building in this regard to be heinous. Can you say prostitution, boys and girls? Whorable, just whorable!!</P>


                      [:@][8o|]</P>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cell phones and electronic organs

                        Do the idiots designing such systems have ever heard of EMC compliance? Any system designed for audio use should not react on signals in the 900MHz and up bands. That is just plain bad design by incompetent people. (I won't call them engineers) I have often my phone next to amps etc at high volume and never has there been any interference. Just check the manual and see if they state compliance to EMC (or FCC in that part of the world) and tell them to get their act together.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                          [quote user="davidecasteel"]Our new church had been approached with
                          an offer to install a cell phone base station in the "lantern", but it
                          was rejected. I was greatly relieved to learn that it had been
                          because I think it would have been virtually impossible to avoid
                          interference in the church sound systems with those powerful antennae
                          so close.[/quote]</p>&lt;&gt;Imagine with me, the possibility that the
                          attenae on the church spire transmitting a conversation over the sound
                          system! I'd like to be present at that lawsuit! [6]

                          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                          • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                            Michael,</P>


                            We've all heard stories about(or experienced in person) CB radios coming in over the church sound system, or through the organ speakers. In fact, it still happens in a lot of churches that sit near major highways with truckers going by all the time. Sound techs go to great lengths to make their systems impervious to such radio signals, but not always with success.</P>


                            AM radio stations can also invade an organ or sound system, since their broadcasts are purely analog.AM transmissions are easily detected andrectified by any number of components in a typical organ or mixer board,and the result isan ordinary audio signal. </P>


                            Just recently I went out on a service call for such a problem. The church had just bought a new digital keyboard and connected it to the sound system. They were having a dreadful hum and hearing the nearby radio station.</P>


                            roblem -- they were using a speaker cable (unshielded twisted pair) between the keyboard and the sound system rather than a coax shielded cable.</P>


                            John</P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                            John
                            ----------
                            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cell phones and electronic organs



                              Havoc, I was not aware that our FCC regulated audio equipment except to the extent that it might be transmitting. I'm sure there are guidelines for the audio industry giving best practices, but I don't think anything is mandatory. Most equipment designers will make a solid attempt to eliminate EMI just to keep customers from complaining, of course.</P>


                              David</P>

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