Reducing Feedback Noise on the AC Power Line

Dear Misumi Engineers,

We have a series RSH single axis robotic actuator that we seem to be getting interference or feedback noise on the power line. Is that a problem, and are there any steps that we can take to eliminate the issue?

Chris W.

Chris, thanks for your question. Though you can let some power line feedback noise go without worrying too much about causing damage, it’s important to remember that this feedback noise almost always indicates there’s something wrong with the lines or something needs to be fixed.

Loose connections, corroded switches, arc, hot clamps, poor bonding, line slack, and lose insulators are things that can be ignored for a while (after all, it’s actually pretty uncommon to see power lines without a little line slack), but need to be fixed before things get too serious.

Make sure that you don’t ignore these problems for too long – it seems like a simple enough thing to keep up on in your maintenance log, but since the feedback noise usually starts small and increases gradually over time, you hardly notice the problem getting worse unless you actually measure the noise. Worst of all, you could suffer from some dire consequences… like fire.

single axis robot
Single Axis Robot Image from AEC, Inc.

Looking into the causes of those noises you are hearing, the high- and low-pitched buzzing actually comes from the surrounding air’s chemical breakdown when it comes in contact with a strong electrical field. This breakdown is more common near the insulators that offer the support because they cause arcs on the power lines. To check your noise levels, or to locate exactly where they’re coming from, use AM detection. With long power lines, like those that run from one town to another, using these tools is especially important in getting to the source of the problem and making your work more efficient.

AC power filter
AC Power Filter image from ARRL

To eliminate noise from your AC power lines, the first step we recommend is to check that your RSH controller has a secure ground connection. If that’s fixed and you’re still getting some humming vibrations from your power lines, try a noise filter to significantly reduce the noise. We recommend MISUMI’s single axis robot noise filter (part number: EXRS-NF1).

Most of the time, the filter will reduce the noise feedback to a more acceptable level. However, if it doesn’t, or you find that you need to reduce the noise level even more, we recommend going to a local electrical supply store or warehouse to buy a 0.5 kW to a 1.0 kW isolation transformer.

Misumi Experts Make It Easy
With the ability to order our products online without any sort of minimum spend requirements, Misumi has gained a reputation of a top global supplier giving professionals everything they need – check out the noise filter mentioned above, or call one of our experts at 800-681-7475 for further advice on your specific situation!

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    Reducing Feedback Noise on the AC Power Line

    Dear Misumi Engineers, We have a series RSH single axis robotic actuator that we seem to be getting interference or feedback ...
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