Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Baldwin D422 Digital Organ issue

Advertisement


Question
Greetings,

Our church has an Baldwin D422 Digital Organ.  We have noticed that if anyone has a cell phone near it we start hearing interference through the organ's speakers.  Is this a known problem?  We are trying to isolate what is receiving the interference (whether it is the organ itself or the speakers for the instrument.  We are considering putting in a Faraday cage or something similar if we can figure out what is the guilty component.  Thoughts?

The organ is working beautifully aside from this issue so we are going to try to keep it in use as long as practical.

Many thanks,

Tim

Answer
Hello Tim!  The problem you describe is very common. It's due to two technologies colliding when one technology had not be prepared for a newer technology when it appears. Now we are faced with what to do about it. As I am writing this, I am at a church dealing with a similar problem. The clients tried shielding which did not work. I have never seen shielding that did work. Not that it can't work, but I've just never seen it work.  Many times the shields are too general, full of holes, leaky and/or in the wrong position.

Every organ has to be treated individually because the initial goal has to be to determine how the RF is entering the particular instrument. In my case, the instrument's op-amps are set at an such a high gain they are receptive to RF (more specifically, a radio station and cell phones). My goal now is to change components that surround the op-amps to reduce their gain. Notch filtering and beefing up the ground in key places are other technics.

In all cases, you will need to determine the organ has a ground...and not just a ground, but a good ground. Once you have a rock solid ground, then the work begins. Tools will include a signal tracer, an oscilloscope, schematics and a lot of experience.

In some cases I simply place a label on the console music racks clearly stating: "All cell phones must be turned off within 10' of the console".  Even this may not be sufficient in some organs, but it can help. This is usually accepted because, after all, cell phones should not be on in a church service anyway (at least that's the accepted rational).  

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Thomas Britanyak

Expertise

I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics. If you need a piano's date of manufacture, please go to http://www.pianoexchange.com/howold.htm or http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html I am happy to answer musical or technical questions, however, I CANNOT offer appraisals on pianos or organs. Please do not ask what an instrument is worth. For this service please contact an experienced local appraiser or try the following links: https://mmm1100.verio-web.com/blueb1/appraisal.html or http://www.57piano.com/questions.htm

Experience

I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

Education/Credentials
I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.