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Old October 16th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #1
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BeachTek DX4A humming

Hi, I am having a noise problem with my Beachtec DX4A. I thought someone here may have some insight or share a common problem. The problem is a low frequency hum. With or without my AT897 microphone (which rules out a microphone problem) plugged into the DX4A, I can hear this hum. The hum is present in already captured footage, or live when listening thought the headphone port of my GL2. The hum seems to go away when I eject the tape and the heads are not spinning. I do not have the gain up high on the GL2 (only half way) and I have the DX4A up 3/4 of the way. Even with lower setting the hum is noticeable. When I unscrew the DX4A from my GL2 and move it 2 inches or more away the hum goes away. I thought at first it may be an internal problem with the GL2. Like perhaps the headphone or microphone jack were picking up the camera motors, but I think moving the DX4A away from the camera and losing the noise proves it a problem with the DX4A. If I move it near my computer or my cieling fan I can hear the hum. Perhaps it is not shielded? Also maybe worth mentioning, my device has no ground switch like some models. I assume it shouldn't need this because the Dx4A is built for the GL2.

I called the Beachtek with the number on the side of my device. The man had me do some tests and then told me to get a RMA and have it repaired. He said it was a passive device and it shouldn't hum. I told him I had never noticed the hum until I tried to do some voice overs. Then I went back to old footage and noticed it. Unfortunately during that time gap it became out of warranty and he told me it is a $50 flat fee for repair. I think all of the DX4As may have this problem and their may be nothing to fix. Then I am down $50. Any suggestions? Perhaps a way to shield the DX4A from interference? Or some other tests I could try? Any input is appreciated, thanks.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 08:09 AM   #2
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Does the hum occur whether the GL2 is running on AC power or batteries?
As for the BeachTek, you may want to clean the mini plug thoroughly with a clean soft cloth. Then plug and unplug it into the camera several times. Then clean the connector again. This might help but it's just a guess. Also rotate both BeachTek volume controls up and down several times. Flip any switches it does have several times. Listen if this has changed the hum.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #3
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I had the same problem with my VX2100. The Beachtek worked fine when it wasn't mounted to the camera, but as soon as it the screw mounting touched the tripod plate on the camera, the hum started.

I had carried out the recommended earth modification (removing the tripod mount screws and scraping off the paint) but it didn't make any difference. My multimeter showed that the Beachtek seened to be earthed OK with the camera, so it must've been something else.

Solution? Beats me! I know that's not much help, but it might show you that the problem isn't unique to your camera.

Anyway, my new Sony V1 doesn't need a Beachtek! In the end, the extra box shackled to the bottom of the camera simply got in the way for me.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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Jay, the hum occurs with both AC and batteries. I did all the things you suggested (which were good suggestions) but had no results. Thanks for the suggestions.

Mike, sorry for your problem, but I guess it doesn't matter anymore : )
Unfortunately for me I need the Beachtek because I also use a wireless mic set at the same time. So I need the two inputs. Maybe I am being to picky with my audio, but like they say bad audio can ruin good video.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Ben, any resolution yet? I was preparing to buy a Beachtek for my GL2 when I ran across your post, so certainly do not wish to purchase a problem. Thanks.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #6
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alternative?

I was reading one of Ty Fords resplies on another thread, regarding mixers, and he mentioned a SignVideo mixer. I went to that site to see the mixer & saw what appears to be a Beachtek comparable (XLRPro) - was wondering if anyone has used it with better results?
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Old October 28th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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Did you try changing the BeachTek's ground-lift switch ?

My BeachTek will sometimes hum if I have the ground-lift switch set incorrectly.

- Guy
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