Noise Harvesters: ‘Launched some years ago and were very popular amongst the high-end crowd’

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Paul McGowan:

Noise Harvesters were launched some years ago and were very popular amongst the high-end crowd.  Many are still used today and we get continual requests to bring the product back – which we have. I thought it might be interesting to do a short little series on how the product developed – describing the process between the birth of an idea and seeing it launched as a product.

BTW if any of you have suggestions about what you’d like me to write about after the Harvester story, feel free to drop me a note or just list your subjects in the comments section.

The whole idea of the Noise Harvester came to me as I was reading a great book Empires of Light by Jill Jonnes.  This book is the story of Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse and their race to light up America and the world with electricity.  It’s a great read even if the subject isn’t all that interesting to you.

At the time we had just launched a new series of passive power filters and I was on the phone with a customer explaining how they worked.  The question came up “where does the noise and unwanted artifacts your new filter is eliminating go?”   I explained that the filter converted the noise energy to heat and when the customer repeated back what I had explained, his mental picture really intrigued me.  ”So, this filter is kind of like a gate or fence – and there’s all this noise on one side and it’s quiet inside the fenced or gated area on the other side.  So why can’t you just get rid of all the noise on the house wiring in the first place?  Why do we need to surround our equipment with these gates?”

Good question.  We make “safe havens” that protect our equipment from the noisy “barbarians” on the outside of our protected and filtered areas, but wouldn’t it be great to just simply get rid of the noise altogether in the first place?  If we didn’t need these gates we’d probably have better sound.

That question bugged me for quite some time and then I read a passage about energy conservation in my book.  The conservation of energy rule in physics suggests that energy can neither be created nor destroyed – it can only be manipulated in different ways.  For example we can convert energy to heat, motion, light etc. but we can never simply make it go away.

Thus eliminating noise on our home’s power line would be impossible – you simply cannot eliminate energy – but perhaps there would there be an easy way to send that energy somewhere else?

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