I Need A Little "Electronic" Advice

Hmm, that sounds like the fan switch is creating an electrical spike, either through the mains or even a bit of an electromagnetic interference that is knocking your hardware out of whack. I’ve seen these old-timey rotary switches actually throwing sparks when switching - not a healthy thing around sensitive electronics. Or the fan electronics are affecting the power level - electrical motors can pull a lot of power when starting up, which could create a short-term voltage dip. Or worse, when turned off, they can actually create power peaks back to the mains, which could affect your laptop and periphery. Definitely not a healthy thing - over time, this is very likely to damage your computer and attached devices, so you should definitely do something about this.

First thing I’d do is use some ferrite cores on your USB cables - that can help sometimes. And these gadgets are pretty cheap, so won’t hurt trying. But I suspect these won’t really eliminate the problem - ferrite cores help more with interference, not so much against brute force voltage glitches. But worth a try.

If the voltage glitch affects mains voltage, a battery-buffered power supply or power conditioner for your sensitive equipment could help.

Have you tested if your keyboard is affected by the power glitch when your laptop is running on battery only, i.e. not plugged into the mains with the ventilator? If yes, then it looks like some spark EMP is transmitting wirelessly - more difficult to protect against, and TBH that fan wouldn’t be something I’d like to have around my equipment in any case.

If the issue goes away when you run the laptop and keyboard from battery only, this suggests that the glitch transmits via the power connection. In that case, a power conditioner or mains filter would be the thing to try.

You should definitely do something about this - you’re risking damage to your equipment every time this happens. If your drummer isn’t open to reasonable suggestions (i.e. change to a less intrusive fan), you should definitely try to insulate your power supply from his equipment by means of a power conditioner / surge protector

I am using a combination of battery-buffered UPS and surge protector for my stage setup (Eaton 3S 700) - looks like an oversized multi-socket power distributor, but weighs a bit more (4 kg). I power my keyboard setup and our digital mixer from it - a good thing to have when stage power supply is a bit dodgy. And it cost me roughly 100 EUR, which is a reasonable investment compared to the value of my stage kit…

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Buy him a new fan? :grin: I remember around 20 years ago or so getting weird hums and noises in the studio. It was a fan. Even though the gig fan I use now is fine, I still put all fans at gigs on another circuit to be safe. Of course the same for lights!


Hi, @Corky

I haven’t had time to read all the advice given above, but for the past ten years I have gigged with a UPS/Conditioner and would not gig without one now.

I got one because of the fact that my Kronos X has a slow boot time (3 mins due to all the sample preloading), and of course I now have an NUC PC in my Gigrack not a laptop so that needs protecting.

I remember one time at a particular gig/venue the whole power went crazy, complete brownout territory for five mins. My setup just carried on, and the UPS kept the boards live, and protected them from surge damage.

Thanks for input Torsten. I ordered a battery buffered UPS to protect my gear. I am now realizing how much that switch has affected my electronics in the past, especially my laptop. It doesn’t help that many venues here will not upgrade their power sources, even though we raise hell about it. But, I have successfully changed some places to upgrade.


When I lost equipment, I used UPS/Conditioner at every gig. Don’t know why I stopped.

I just talked to my drummer. He has a new fan coming from me. :grin:


Now that reminds of a system acceptance we were doing once, where this distributed network system kept crashing randomly (amongst many other issues). It was traced to a power spike on the mains, that was traced to somebody’s office kettle!

Lesson learnt, critical network systems and general office white gear should not be mixed on the same power system! The guy got a new kettle out of it!



:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I’d forgotten about this but it reminds me of something that happened about 15 years ago, I was doing a venue survey for a rather large corporate show in Maui, we’d booked the Doobies and I was producing for the corporate client… We were looking at the space while watching another firm doing a large show, about 1500 people in the audience, when suddenly everything crashed… lights, sound, anything using AC power… and the poor lead singer was still onstage singing his heart out but no one could hear him. I later discovered a hotel staff person plugged in a coffeepot. So glad it wasn’t my show but I learned a lesson, isolate your show and tie-in to the mains :grin: Of course, in clubs and most events these days we have to take our chances, tie-ins require more moola $$$$!


Love it!!

Many events NEVER have adequate power and ancient plugins with no ground and dangling out of the wall… You never know until you arrive to the gig. I have walked away from gigs when I notice shabby wiring. We have all spent a small fortune on our gear, and we don’t need to gig that badly. It was much worse in the 70’s and 80’s.

Club and House wiring can be deadly! I believe Barbara Weldens, who was performing barefoot, somehow stepped on an exposed wire and went into Cardiac Arrest and died during a performance. Many years ago, I had just slung my guitar on and went to sing in a front mic. BAM! My a$$ got knocked backward on the floor just missing the drum riser. PA power was evidently different phase than guitar amp power and the phases collided at my lips. I’m still not sure what happened, but an electrician fixed it. Ever since, I’ve always touched the mic with my fingers before singing.

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I remember playing at a pool party, and I was somewhat drunk. I was singing, with mic in hand, and the cute blonde I was dating, encouraged me to jump in…so I did. My guitarist screamed at me to get out of the pool. How I avoided being electrocuted, I don’t know. He still talks about it every time I see him.

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Ouch! It’s a sad and creepy thing.

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No, maybe he managed to combine something with the blonde… :innocent: :innocent: :rofl: :rofl:

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