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Who is behind this project?

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This news and research blog augments the World Hum Database and Mapping Project located http://www.thehum.info

Dr. Glen MacPherson lectured for 16 years at the University of British Columbia (UBC), training mathematics teachers in the Faculty of Education, and worked for 10 years with UBC Robson Campus with its GMAT and GRE curriculum program. He is also an ethnographic researcher, and high school teacher of physics, mathematics, psychology, general science, and biology. He lives and works on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. His books, articles, and speaking engagements focus primarily on mathematics education.

After first noticing the Hum in spring of 2012 and discovering the Hum community, he sensed the need for a unified, moderated, and serious place for discussions and research surrounding the world Hum. This led to the World Hum Map and Database Project.

The leading theory is that the world Hum is an internally generated audiological phenomenon, possibly related to otoacoustic emissions.  (Note that tinnitus is also a self-reported audio effect, although it manifests quite differently from the Hum.) There are four competing theories.

This is a place for disciplined inquiry, and not for wild speculation and conspiracy. There are many entertaining and interesting websites available for those who want to indulge in those activities.

Contact Glen at glen.macpherson@gmail.com

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624 Comments

  1. George G. says:

    To Benoit,

    Hello again.

    You mentioned an electric field.

    “—–our body takes care of this electric field—-“.

    Please explain how you detect this field so that others may attempt to detect this “electric field”.

    Do you use an instrument of some kind?

    I eagerly await your response.

    Thank you.

    • Benoit says:

      Hello George,
      Yes I guess it’s an electric field although I have not been able to detect it with my kit MK30 GIGAHERTZ SOLUTIONS but strangely latency decreases in the rest areas when I’m barefoot on the earth.
      Since my past experiences with the RION NL-62 sonometer that goes down to 1Hz have only resulted in the discovery of beats of industrial machines, I definitely put aside the hypothesis of a sound of low frequency even if it is perceived in this way by the inner ear. Strangely in my rare rest areas there is no 4G and the antennas are far apart.

      • George G. says:

        That’s great Benoit,

        Keep the experiments going, and keep us informed on new developments.

        Cheers.

  2. Vanda says:

    I use a child’s sleep fan which I’ve been using for six years to recreate a similar drone to the HUM with several settings. This is about the best thing I’ve tried over many years. I first “felt” the vibration and droning and HUM in Bristol in the 1980s when I was in my 20s. I now live in Oxfordshire and it is almost constant and far worse at night, destroying quality-of-life. A Osteo once asked me if I had second sight because his PhD prof had studied my skeleton type and I have a large occipital bulge. The left side of my body is slightly bigger from the chin down to the toes and it is on this side that the hum is far worse. I have a theory that we sensitives have a different brain type and possibly a larger amygdala. The BBC radio recently emitted a sound most people including the presenter heard as LAUREL; only one caller said she heard YEARLY. I was the second person who heard that. It is quite a large discrepancy. Also I’ve read up on wind turbines; underground vibrations can actually amplify over distance. Passing through underground cavernous spaces as well as overground, the (noise) frequencies must get stronger. I also live near a new American Intel base using massive telecommunications Equipment. The environmental health officer who visited told me there was nothing a council can do as they are exempt from any such investigating. The Earth Pulse I also tried as I assumed that the frequency 7.8Hz might help. But I get just as much benefit from laying out on the grass for half an hour; it feels like the battery has been charged or the body drained of what was depleting it. Since I’m hyper aware my last theory is that we have more of the Neanderthal brain, attuned to sounds at a different frequency than is the general population. A gift thousands of years ago, but an affliction today.

  3. Vanda says:

    Does anyone know anything about the oscillation rate of brain cells; is that connected to electricity (excuse the pun)?

  4. Radosław Szukiewicz says:

    It seems to me that each dot is placed conviniently close to a running water source (a river, a stream or a pond) and to a crossing of roads of primary or secondary importantce. The sound must come from Tunnel Boring Machines or other heavy equipment building undergound shelters and communication links in expectation for a coming nuclear war.

    • Of course your conclusion is false. Human beings live near water. I would ask you to list more than a tiny handful of even medium-sized cities that do not have a significant river flowing through or near them. Likewise with the correlation between population and connections to highways. This marks the end of “tunnel boring machine” discussions.

    • J.O. says:

      Well, if a nuclear war is coming anytime soon I guess we’ll soon stop thinking about the causes for the hum.

  5. Gwebo says:

    I just completed my entry in the world wide database. I am a ham operator and have equipment to see the hum. It’s operating at 59 Hz. Nearly steady with my ear but equipment showing a very slight variation in intensity. Very slight. I took a screen shot and can send showing the signal.

    • Keith Hamlyn says:

      Could you please describe your equipment? I am also a radio ham and am trying to isolate the noise and to use some form of direction finding equipment at audio frequency to search out the source, a bit like RDF.

    • Gwebo –

      Are you in the US or Canada? IF SO, there is a suspicion that you are hearing 60 Hz originating in the power equipment. How accurate is your equipment? WHAT equipment did you in fact use?

      Another indication that it is associated with power is that you describe it as essentially rock-steady. Hearers of the traditional Hum (in contrast) describe it as surging (diesel engine in distance). Also, you got some sort of display? Getting a display of AC hum is trivial. No one has ever displayed the traditional Hum.

      Since you have filled in Glen’s survey, how did you answer two of the questions: (1) Does a head-shake interrupt the hum you hear for about ½ second? and (2) Does anyone else at the same time and location hear the same thing?

      Thanks for your additional info when you get the time.

  6. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Annamae, or anyone else living in the Southern U.S. – has the hum gotten louder in the last couple of weeks? I notice that for me, in South Carolina, it’s loudest when it gets hot here and not as consistently bad other times during the year. I’d be curious to know if that’s a pattern anyone else has noticed, too.

    • George G. says:

      Lisa,

      Are you still experimenting with that recorder you purchased not so long ago?

      If so, anything to report?

      Cheers,

      G.

    • annamaeforever says:

      Lisa, Yes I hate to say it but it is a lot worse. Very very active and in the day too. I had to start taking sleep stuff. The banging is worse and I have 2 very loud industrial fans but the vibrations are so bad. Thinking of getting rid of my sleep number adjustable bed now. I just cannot believe that only a few of us experience this how can that be. I hope you get this post I think I did it correct. Very hot here in Orlando. Don’t think it matters anymore hot or cold day or night. Hope all ok for you.

      • Lisa M. Allen says:

        Hi Annamae, I’m sorry to hear it is so loud for you, too. I also have to take something to help me go to sleep. Do you think changing beds will help? To me it seems like it always gets worse when it’s hot and it’s very hot here now, too. But last night I didn’t hear it at all when I went to bed, though it did wake me up at 6:30 a.m. A weird thing happened yesterday and I don’t know what it means, if anything. My husband sent me a video of someone playing a Hurdy Gurdy (an ancient instrument) and it created a reverberating sound in my ear that the hum also causes, but my husband didn’t hear that, and he also doesn’t usually hear the hum. I don’t know if that means anything or not. My landline phone does the same thing sometimes and it’s so bad I have to hold the phone away from my ear or put it on speaker. None of this happened before the hum. As I sit here writing I hear the hum loudly reverberating in my ear, just like the phone does and that instrument. BTW, are you still using ear buds – does that help at all? I tried them but found it too uncomfortable to sleep with, though it did block out the hum.

      • annamaeforever says:

        Lisa, It was active last night but this morning and now is very quiet and peaceful. My friend in Massachusetts said she can feel it come up through the mattress springs and my adjustable bed has a lot of metal under it. I might try sleeping on my air mattress some time. I keep wondering WHERE it goes when it leaves here??? It is getting louder and stronger in my experience and I believe it will break through sooner or later and everyone will know it. Ear buds did nothing for vibrations. I guess just put the bandaids on and treat the symptoms as needed. Wish it would stop

      • Lisa M. Allen says:

        Annamae, yes, I wish it would stop, too. The fact that you stopped hearing the hum last year during a power outage is significant. I remember you said that when the generators started, it was hard to tell the difference between that sound and the sound of the hum. But, the hum stopped when the power went off, and until the generators started you didn’t hear anything, and that is something to take note of. There is a couple that lives in my town that heard the hum a few years ago and also experienced terrible vibrations, just like you do. They hired an industrial engineer who came and investigated and all that noise was determined to be caused by the power company. They spent thousands of dollars trying to get to the bottom of it as it was ruining their lives. They complained and made a big stink about it. It was in the newspaper too, and all of a sudden the hum stopped. Isn’t that weird? The hum may have different origins for different people, but it’s possible that for some of us, the power company could be the culprit. If you lose power again this Fall during hurricane season it will be very interesting to see if the hum goes away again. All of us who are believers need to pray that God helps us find the answer to this mystery, and I believe he will.

  7. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Hi George, yes, as a matter of fact I just finished resetting some of the specifications on the Tascam that were recommended by the person who is helping me (and very knowledgable about these sorts of things). I am going back to the substation this weekend. It is about a 10 minute walk from my house, up a dirt road away from the street. I didn’t even know it was there until recently. I went there a few weeks ago and of course it was very loud, but in addition to the higher decibel noise, there was a very loud, very low rumble, which sounded just like the hum but 1000 times louder. It had the same kind of pulsing sound that the hum has. It was very strange. I also have a screenshot from home with the Audacity app that shows a low frequency noise in the house, but I’m also going to do that again with the power off this weekend. Also, last week we had a huge storm and lost power for about 5 minutes. Of course my first thought was, “Is the hum still here?” I listened and heard nothing. But I wish the power was off a little longer to be 100% sure. If we lose power for more than a few minutes during hurricane season that will be a good test – I’m sure I’m the only one hoping for that!

    • Keith Hamlyn says:

      Could you possibly share the settings that you were given. It’s quite possible that I haven’t set mine up properly.

    • Lisa M. Allen said JUNE 22, 2018 AT 11:28 AM IN PART

      “. . . . . there was a very loud, very low rumble, which sounded just like the hum but 1000 times louder. It had the same kind of pulsing sound that the hum has. . . . . .”

      Lisa. This would seem to be a key fact. Is the loud hum from the substation 120 Hz? Forget about making any recording. Make sure you recognize this 120 Hz pitch. Use the Online Tone Generator. In fact, try (at home) to hum (sing) it which will likely not be easy (very low for a woman), but the singing effort will in consequence become a familiar (transportable) experience as a level of mild discomfort. If the substation is 120 Hz, does this follow you as you walk home?

      • Lisa M. Allen says:

        Hi Bernie, I don’t know if it’s 120 hertz. I would have to go back and see. I just recorded the 120 Hertz tone from the Online Tone Generator on my cell phone recorder so when I go back to the substation I can check. That is closest to an A sharp I think. I drive there because it’s in a wooded, secluded area away from the street. Anyway during the day and evening there is some nearby and distant traffic and so many birds singing that once I’m on the main street it’s hard to hear the substation. But if low frequency sound travels it only has to go a short distance to my house – less than a quarter mile, so it could easily reach it I would think. I’ll go back during the week and see if it sounds like 120 hertz. If it does, what does that mean?

      • Thanks Lisa –

        You indicate that you have a power substation within ¼ mile and that except that it is very loud up close, it sounded “just like” your hum at home. A 60 Hz (your power frequency) substation has a 2nd harmonic of 120 Hz, and this 120 Hz is exactly what we expect to emerge acoustically as transformers attract ferromagnetic materials (transformer cores, equipment doors, etc.) TWICE each 60 Hz cycle. For details, see:

        http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN54.pdf

        As you note, 120 Hz is right between A# and B just two octaves above the bottom end of the piano. It is not that easy to hear as a sine wave, but much easier than 60 Hz, and comfortable as a mechanical buzz. If you can identify this buzz as 120 Hz at the station, at home, or both, you may well have your culprit.

        Bernie

      • J.O. says:

        Back in the 1950’s when electric guitars were first being produced, the pickups in them were called “single coils” They were basically a bar magnet wrapped with copper wire. But they did then and still do today have a problem and that was “60-cycle hum” that was transmitted into the amplifier especially when florescent lights or other electricity sources were nearby or overhead. Then an inventive young man used two magnets with the polarity of the magnets in opposite directions, wrapped them in copper wire and called them “humbuckers” and they are still called this today.
        I mention this because A) I’m a guitar geek and B) Because of this topic between Bernie & Lisa.
        Lisa, as I believe you live in Florida, would it be possible for you (or possibly other folks living near the coasts) to charter a boat to take you a few miles off of the coast where potentially all power could be shut off? (except the 12 V battery maybe). If the hum is absent away from all land-based sources of 60-cycle electricity, it could add an important observation as to the origin of the hum.

      • Replying to J.O. JUNE 26, 2018 AT 8:16 AM

        Lisa already said just above that she at least did not hear the hum when her power was off for five minutes due to a storm. Likely the storm provided the generally unavailable option of shutting down her nearby substation – not just your own home breakers. Important evidence.

        [By the way, “humbucking” (at least as a term) goes back to perhaps 1930 in connection with “electrodynamic” loudspeakers used in radios.]

      • J.O. says:

        Yes Bernie, I know she said that…I read it. But do you not think it would be a good idea for those living near the coasts and with means available to go away from land sources via a boat and see if the hum is still present? I’d be happy to volunteer for the experiment as there is a good probability of catching some fish while out there, but I’m a poor choice as I’ve not heard the hum since early May.
        And your comment about humbucking and radios gives even more credit to 60-cycle hum potentially being the culprit.

      • J.O. said “. . . But do you not think it would be a good idea. . . .”

        I do not think it would be a good idea in this case. You don’t want to get AWAY from the suspected source but CLOSER to it. She already knows how to walk up to the fence of her prime suspect.

        If you can get within 10 yards of a suspect, and hear it getting louder, you probably have your source. If you are 10 mile away from some suspect, and don’t hear any hum, you are also 10 miles away from some other substation, some factory, some municipal pump, and so on.

        And I wouldn’t bet on 60 Hz but rather on the 120 Hz “magnetostriction” noise of aging (delaminating) transformer cores. If so, that’s good as the power company may be more easily persuaded to change out to new units. They generally have a good supply of spares on hand.

  8. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Keith, I’d be happy to. To maximize the signal-to-noise ratio: WAV 24-bit, 44.1 k sampling rate, and MONO recording. Also:

    – LOWCUT OFF (white background)
    – Level Control OFF (white background)
    – Effects OFF (white background)
    – Auto Tone: OFF (white background)

    Also, maximize the recording level (see page 14 of manual). Good luck!

  9. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Hi Bernie, thanks for the feedback. The first time I went to the substation, it was very loud and there were two types of noises coming from it. One was very loud and mid range, and the other was a very low, pulsing type rumble that sounded exactly like the hum but 1000 times louder. Then I went a second time and it was relatively quiet. It was making noise but not much, and that time there was no noise that sounded like the hum. I will have to keep going back until it is loud again like the first time, and take recordings with the Tascam recorder and also screenshots with the Spectroid app on the cell phone. I’m getting the hang of all these apps and the recorder now but not being a technically oriented person it hasn’t been easy! But I’ll keep on trying.

    • Thanks Lisa –

      You also noted above that your hum is stronger when the weather is hotter. In the past, people seemed to feel that the Hum (traditional) was loudest when it was coldest outside, and this we suggesed could be possibly attributed to closed windows stopping distracting outside environmental noise.

      Since we are (for the moment) talking about power-station buzz, perhaps on hotter days in warmer climates (like yours) the higher electrical loads of air-conditioning would enhance the acoustical output. This is logical.

      Another thing to keep in mind?

  10. Lisa M. Allen says:

    J.O., that is interesting about the guitar. I live in South Carolina, about a 3 minute drive to the ocean. A year and a half ago we went on a cruise in Alaska, and when the engine was off I didn’t hear the hum (Obiously I couldn’t hear it when the engine was on either.) I just mentioned your idea to my husband and since he’d love to go fishing on a boat, he’s all for it. I’d have to see how much it costs. I can continue to go to the substation and also go out into the ocean, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. This weekend I’m going back to the substation, recording it, downloading it and having the Audacity app do a spectrum analysis. I’ll look into chartering a boat too.

  11. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Bernie, yes, I had the same thought. Plus, in the winter people don’t use their electric heat (that’s what it is here) all the time lbecause it’s not always cold enough to warrant it. Some days can be in the 50s or 60s in the winter, and other days it’s cooler, or even pretty cold. But the electricity doesn’t run as constantly as it does in the summer months, and that’s when the hum’s the loudest. Also this is tourist season in Myrtle Beach and it’s packed with people now. But why it gets louder late at night, I don’t understand. I think the power company could be the cause of Annamae’s hum, too, in Florida, since she also stopped hearing the hum when they lost power during a storm. Of course the power company won’t admit it though!

    • annamaeforever says:

      Lisa, I can’t find your other post to respond to but my friend up north has told me the same thing, that is , that she hears differently than she did before the hum. She has experienced this outside of her home doing regular things around her town like stores and other places. This is re the phone and the instrument you were talking about. I did call the power co. and they came with their big trucks and were here for hours and said everything is ok. I don’t know what to do because it always comes back to the same thing, I can hear/feel it but “they” can’t , so how in the world can I get any help? It is not their fault that they cannot hear it. There is no starting point for them. Re the couple that you mentioned, the both heard it and I guess others did too and so thats why they got help I am guessing. It always goes back to that in my view. It seems to me that it is getting stronger and more frequent and maybe it will finally break through and everyone will hear it and then it will be exposed.

      • annamaeforever says:

        Lisa sorry forgot to say that glad you are getting sleep, I know it is hard to have to take something. I never had a problem sleeping. Only on some nights when I would be concerned about a patient, or maybe a problem with family. I really don’t like the idea of it but we have to sleep so treating the symptoms is the only option.

    • Vinny Setala says:

      Dear Lisa. In my early 20’s I had an ear damaging gunshot injury, which somehow turned my hearing range as it healed to where I could hear frequencies from about 24-25 Hz to 35Khz (Dogs and Bats lol) then in the past 4 years, I’ve had three major head trauma’s. About 18 months after the 1st TBI (Two Ton Truck near head on) I began noticing the Hum at night and early morning. I live in the country in SW Washington, and though I had “noticed” this low frequency hum, it never seemed obtrusive or harmful. In fact I thought it was “low frequency tinnitus” if there is such a thing as I have tinnitus at the high end, or “just me.” Then it quickly became worse over a few months, even having apparent physical effects, which prompted me to try the internet. Holy Moly! I have been stunned at the global reporting, and the ever more serious research. Knowing that hundreds if not hundreds of thousands have and are hearing this hum, and a great many are having physical reactions like myself, at once came as a great relief and frustrating block of flat earth, tin foil hat, basement dwellers (or “agents posing as conspiracy nuts” for misinformation…lol) the usual ‘expert debunkers’ calumniate trolls…all having to be zigged, zagged, and ducked around as I kept getting more and more ill, unable to think, having a cascade of physiological systems failures and finding bits and pieces of the puzzle. At root, it still is, and I’m desperately searching for an end to this continuing mind/body/spirit decay.
      You said you were going out to use an audio-spectrometer app, or something to identify the frequencie(s) over the weekend, and I was wondering what you may have found. I have found a list from some “radionics” program that identifies known freq’s from .0001Hz – 25KHz and what, if any resulting reaction with the human body may exist. Many in the ELF and LFN range are KNOWN to have disastrous, life threatening effects, yet we still have as many theories as ever. My thinking has become more focused on, “While I get getting lies and silence from official’s as to the what, how and who’s to blame, I am very sick and getting sicker. What can I DO about it?”
      At least I know I haven’t been just losing my mind, regardless of the source it is harming me, and even if the most mundane or multiple industrial electromagnetic systems, HARRP, or atmospheric/acoustical sonic resonance, the COST o even admitting it much less abating it, ensures nothing will be done on any globally significant scale. Thus, we must find some ways of protecting ourselves. Thank you for your posts and I would be very interested to know the results of your field experiment. Thanks all…Vinny Setala

      • J.O. says:

        Vinny you said something intriguing to me…head trauma. I’ve had 3 concussions over the years. How many others here have as well?

  12. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Vinny, You expressed so well what I think so many of us are experiencing. I can’t say “all” of us because some don’t seem to be as bothered by it as others. I am trying to live as normal a life as I can, but the negative effects of having to take something to help me sleep almost every night, and having to give up reading at night because the peace and quiet I need to concentrate isn’t there, and wondering and worrying about where this noise is coming from, for months and years now, are the “new normal” for me. I know it has had a negative impact on my physical health. There is comfort in knowing we’re not alone in this, and that many are trying to figure it out, but the answers still seem so far away. One thing you said made me think of something: I first started hearing the hum shortly after I starting going to a shooting range. I wore protection for my ears but it was still extremely loud. I don’t know if that did something to my ears or not. But other “firsts” were also happening around the same time, so it’s hard to say what external factors, if any, caused my hearing to become so sensitive. On the screenshot of the Spectroid app I used at the substation, in one picture “120 Hz; -50 dB” was in the middle of the screen in blue, and on another screenshot it said “152 Hz, -55 dB.” I don’t know what that means. Someone who is knowledgable about all of this is helping me but right now we are waiting for the Tascam company to get back to us on how to calibrate the recorder I bought. I think in my case there’s a chance the culprit could be the substation, but I’m not sure. Even if it was, the power company wouldn’t do anything about it because most people don’t hear it. You are right that we have to find ways to protect ourselves because we might have to live with it for the rest of our lives. Are you able to mask the noise when you go to sleep? I hope so. Despite the negative effects of living with this, we have to try to stay strong and keep trying to figure it out. I think everyone’s clues and insights and experiments will eventually lead to answers. One day we’ll have all the pieces to this puzzle and the answer will be known; of this I have no doubt. Hopefully we’ll still be around to know the answers, too.

    • Lisa – it is interesting that your cell-phone (spectrum analysis?) app responded with 120 Hz. Here is a digest of what we discussed regarding 120 Hz:

      (1) Bernie Hutchins JUNE 24, 2018 AT 9:44 AM Lisa M. Allen said JUNE 22, 2018 AT 11:28 AM IN PART
      “. . . . . there was a very loud, very low rumble, which sounded just like the hum but 1000 times louder. It had the same kind of pulsing sound that the hum has. . . . . .”
      . . . . . . Lisa. This would seem to be a key fact. Is the loud hum from the substation 120 Hz? Forget about making any recording. Make sure you recognize this 120 Hz pitch. ?

      (2) Lisa M. Allen JUNE 24, 2018 AT 6:57 PM . . . . . I just recorded the 120 Hertz tone from the Online Tone Generator on my cell phone recorder so when I go back to the substation I can check.

      (3) Bernie Hutchins JUNE 26, 2018 AT 1:33 PM . . . . . And I wouldn’t bet on 60 Hz but rather on the 120 Hz “magnetostriction” noise of aging (delaminating) transformer cores. . . . . .

      (4) Lisa M. Allen JULY 11, 2018 AT 9:44 PM . . . . On the screenshot of the Spectroid app I used at the substation, in one picture “120 Hz; -50 dB” was in the middle of the screen in blue, and on another screenshot it said “152 Hz, -55 dB.” I don’t know what that means. Someone who is knowledgable about all of this is helping me . . . . .

      NOW: Did you HEAR the 120 Hz? Forget about trying to record. Forget about equipment. Forget about experts. Simplest first! (I haven’t any idea about 152 Hz)

      Bernie

      • Benoit says:

        Hi Bernie and Lisa

        I see you’re talking about a substation. Since I bought my MK30 GIGAHERTZ measuring kit, I measured the magnetic field on the overhead line that feeds the houses of my street in 380 Volts 50 Hz. I discovered several things:
        1. A 15000 V line goes underground in the sidewalk across the street in front of my house, it feeds the cabin which is 20 meters from the front of my house on the other side of the street. street in front of my neighbor.
        2. This cabin 15000V ::: >>> 380V provides about 300 houses.
        3. When the sky is overcast during off-peak hours, I measure 36 nT (Nano Tesla) that the institute http://www.buildingbiology.com describes as a slight risk to health.
        4. In the evening around 11pm when the meter goes into night mode, everyone starts the dishwasher, the washing machine, the dryer … the night current is cheaper. The amperage in front of my house becomes very important and therefore the magnetic field goes up to 120 nT that the institute http://www.buildingbiology.com describes as an important risk for the health.
        5. Curiously the HUM seems stronger at that moment but it is not instantaneous, it is progressive. My wife who also hears the HUM, finds the same thing, my neighbors too and a friend who lives in the nearby village near another low voltage cabin too. We thought that the impression that HUM was increasing at that time was due to the audible sounds that become less and less strong as people go to bed.
        6. When the sky is clear and very sunny, the magnetic field also increases to 80 nT (light risk but close to the significant risk that starts at 100 nT) because the photovoltaic panels that equip a house on four send power to the network. Yet the HUM seems less important when the sky is clear than covered. Unless the difference in atmospheric pressure is for something, I do not think that the HUM is created directly by that. It is perhaps this magnetic field that charges us and makes us sensitive to other low and high frequency waves. It may be useful to know if people who hear HUM sleep or live near a low-voltage booth and are therefore subject to a larger electromagnetic field.

      • Benoit –
        The link you provided for “risk” from magnetic fields does not seem to go to the data you quote, at least not directly, or that I can find. Please provide a complete link – thank you. Note that the fields you measured (?) are far less than the 1% of the Earth’s natural field.
        One problem with sites like the one you gave is generally that by clicking you too soon collide with “advocacy” concerns that are either PRO-smart-meter or ANTI-smart-meter. Neither side seems particularly concerned with scientific accuracy, logic, or clarity.
        I have personally encountered advocates giving numbers in milliwatts/meter-squared and calling that quantity “power frequencies”; and another giving a ratio of relative exposures that if you bothered to look had physical units of kilograms/square-centimeter (that’s zero)!
        We (the public) are cautioned to be weary of the ignorance (or is it the disdain) of experts.

      • Benoit at JULY 13, 2018 AT 10:43 PM Said in part:
        “. . . . . My wife who also hears the HUM, finds the same thing, my neighbors too and a friend who lives in the nearby village near another low voltage cabin too. . . . . .

        This (multiple hearers) of course suggests an external source such as power equipment – but what frequencies (audible pitches) do you all hear? When you say “cabin” does this mean a utility equipment enclosure like a substation (transformers)? If it is only 20 meters from your house, it would be no surprise if it were a source of significant acoustic vibration. Is it 50 Hz or 100 Hz or perhaps something else? This simple test is fundamental to any description of a hum phenomenon.

        I’m not sure what a MK30 GIGAHERTZ kit is! But something intended to measure RF/magnetic fields (you mention nT but not frequencies) does not seem suited to low-frequency acoustic studies.

        Bernie

      • Benoit says:

        Thanks for your reply Bernie
        You know it a year ago I already studied the HUM with sound measurements provided by the sound level meter RION NL-62 which goes down to 1Hz. I had already measured the transformer (low voltage cab) and we had detected 50db at 50 Hz at only 2 meters. In my house, the 50 Hz melted in the levels of other frequencies and did not exceed them any more. I detected noise from refrigeration units of 84 dB between 4 Hz and 1.2 km from the house and all residents had health problems around them.
        A few months later, I realized that the HUM was not an external sound but a sound produced internally by one or more external sources.
        You know, when we exceed 20 Khz we rarely talk about db but other measures that you mention, some use the V / m microwatt / m2 …
        Today, I am convinced that HUM is produced by microwaves emitted by GSM antennas, Radar, Sattelites as Glen recently mentioned for the latter. Professor Belpomme of Paris finds an opening of the blood-brain barrier.
        Shortly before the acquisition of the MK30 kit from GIGAHERTZ SOLUTIONS, I found a very sparsely populated place far from the GSM antennas (here in Belgium the antennas are mapped on ibpt.be and the site is accessible to all). a moment (between 15 and 30 minutes) the HUM has disappeared. Once back home, no HUM and after a few hours, the HUM comes back as if our body is a battery that takes a long time to load or unload. The MK30 kit has confirmed my feelings by HF and LF measurements close to 0 in this “white zone”.
        Where I wanted to come here is to be able to define why one person hears the HUM and not another, I think that all depends on the impact of the high frequencies but also of the low frequency environment taking into account the time factor of exposure.

      • What exactly did I mention?

      • Benoit says:

        In your video, the microwaves emitted by the satellites, Glen.

      • Yes, I said they were not responsible for the Hum.

      • Benoit – here are some replies to your comments which I quote:

        “. . . . . RION NL-62 which goes down to 1Hz. I had already measured the transformer (low voltage cab) and we had detected 50db at 50 Hz at only 2 meters. . . . . .”
        ———–Do you have a screen capture of this result? For comparison, here is a youtube video of the strong 100 Hz second harmonic of a 50 Hz station “Awesome hum of electricity substation” :

        . . . . . I detected noise from refrigeration units of 84 dB between 4 Hz and 1.2 km from the house and all residents . . . . .
        ———-Obviously you didn’t hear this 4 Hz audio – what documentation do you have of this observation?

        . . . . . A few months later, I realized that the HUM was not an external sound but a sound produced internally by one or more external sources . . . . .
        ———-On what evidence, specifically, do you base this spontaneous claim?

        . . . . . You know, when we exceed 20 Khz we rarely talk about db but other measures that you mention, some use the V / m microwatt / m2 … . . . . .
        ———-Meaning just what? Describing a value in db is just mathematical, and DECEASES information. Indeed db is often (usually) used for sound – but you NEED TO ALWAYS specify the reference level! In contrast to sound, V/m is for electric field. Microwatts/m2 is a power density. So what. Nothing to do with frequency.

        “. . . . . Professor Belpomme of Paris finds an opening of the blood-brain barrier. . . . . .”
        ———-Which would relate to microwaves how!

        “. . . . . a moment (between 15 and 30 minutes) the HUM has disappeared. Once back home, no HUM and after a few hours, the HUM comes back . . . . .
        ———-What hum are you talking about nowa? 50 Hz? So, following a return trip, the hum remained missing (due to travel?) for a few hours. Logically you needed to wait a few hours in your quiet zone to see if the hum correspondingly APPEARED. Did you do this?

        Thanks – Bernie

      • Benoit says:

        In answer to your questions Bernie:
        1) I do not have a screenshot of the transformer measurement because in the house the measurement was weak.
        2) I have a screenshot of the measurement of the refrigeration units, I send you by mail.
        3) On my own analyzes and those made with my wife who has the same observation as me.
        4) The frequency must be taken into account when determining the source of pollution The NARDA SRM-3006 device measures in V / M and in microwatt / m2 for each frequency.
        5) Professor Belpomme studied in 5 years 1500 cases of people suffering from waves. An opening of the blood-brain barrier was observed. Microwaves are also used to voluntarily open the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain against polluted blood so that it can inject a treatment that would not otherwise work.
        6) Yes, I did this experiment. Arrived at destination, the HUM is still there and after 15 to 30 minutes it disappears. Back home, he is no longer there and reappears after a few hours. Same experience with my wife and same observation.

      • Keith Hamlyn says:

        Benoit,

        Just a couple of points.

        Your (4). The NARDA SRM-3006 is specified down to 9KHz. It is generally understood that the HUM described on this blog is in the region of 50Hz to 200Hz, which means that this equipment cannot measure it. It can, of course, be used for measuring microwave frequencies up to 6GHz. This link shows that : https://www.narda-sts.com/en/selective-emf/srm-3006.

        It is important not to muddle microwave frequencies with those that are detected audibly as HUM. This site has shown clearly that there are two types of HUM, the real HUM in the head that few can hear and the noise that is frequently heard that has been generated externally by power distribution and other sources. You may be in some danger of introducing a pseudo-HUM derived from microwave sources that may well affect people, but is not similar to the two forms just mentioned. Personally, I am of the opinion that the field strength from satellites, GSM masts or similar is so low that it cannot affect people.

        In passing, a great friend of mine was working in one of two huts during world war two. The huts were joined by a power cable. The grass was lush under the cable, which made the physicists there believe that this was the effect of the power line. It turned out to be caused by the birds who perched on the cable and left their droppings to fertilise the soil. The moral of the story is that we must look for the obvious first!

        Best regards,
        Keith

      • Benoit says:

        Hello Keith thank you for your response.
        It’s been 18 months since I started studying HUM full-time.
        At first I also thought it was an audible external sound in the low frequencies it was a mistake. After eliminating the beating of industrial and other machines, the HUM was still there and in remote areas of machinery and pipelines.
        The HUM is perceived in the same way everywhere and is described between 50 and 200hz if you say it but it does not certify that it is created in this frequency range, it is also impossible that it is produced by a single source of low frequency would be the same for everyone.
        One day when the HUM was strong, I pumped my heart and the HUM increased and decreased at the same time as the beats.
        This is where I realized that it is created internally.
        In a weak area in the high frequencies and weak in the magnetic field it disappears after a few minutes and my devices confirm at this point low values close to zero which means that it is not external but audible internally and created by a external phenomenon. When I get home, it comes back after about 6 hours, which also confirms that it is not an audible low frequency external sound, otherwise I would hear it instantly.
        We must question our conventional wisdom, so far we have all spoken about the sounds of machines, generators, transformers, fans, pipelines, wind, ocean waves … without success. Sometimes it takes a change of direction to find the solution, to move forward focusing on what is meant to be heard, but also on what is felt and the symptoms common to people affected by HUM. You say that these are not the high frequencies? This is the last phase of my study soon: see if I can separate from the HUM in the presence of high frequencies only or the magnetic field only.
        I will reveal very soon the result of this last analysis.
        I like your example at the end of your comment, it is proof that sometimes the solution is in another direction and it is my motivation.
        Best regards,
        Benoit

      • Benoit at JULY 15, 2018 AT 1:46 PM SAID IN PART:

        “. . . . . 1) I do not have a screenshot of the transformer measurement because in the house the measurement was weak. . . . . . “
        (???) But – – – you said it was 50 Hz, so I suppose your instrument caught it. Is this correct? Was that outside near the transformer? Are we talking about an audible hum now known to be 50 Hz?

        “. . . . . 2) I have a screenshot of the measurement of the refrigeration units, I send you by mail. . . . . “
        Got it – thanks. It shows a sub-audio, broad but also low-pass spectrum, with a mild peak at 4 Hz. (Like a fan?) Why not post this for everyone?

        “. . . . . 3) On my own analyzes and those made with my wife who has the same observation as me.. . . . . “
        With all due respect, this response does not constitute a convincing presentation involving evidence, analysis, and logical conclusions. Real science needs such details.

        “. . . . . 5) Professor Belpomme studied in 5 years 1500 cases of people suffering from waves.. . . . . “
        What in the world does ‘suffering from waves’ mean! Do you have a link or two?

        “. . . . . 6) Yes, I did this experiment. Arrived at destination, the HUM is still there and after 15 to 30 minutes it disappears. Back home, he is no longer there and reappears after a few hours. Same experience with my wife and same observation. . . . . . “
        Thanks – this helps. But we do need to clarify what hum you are hearing. Have you pitch-matched to anything? You don’t really say. And of course, an area devoid of cell towers is probably sparse in other things (substations, supermarkets., etc.). You need controls! What happens if you drive the same time frame to a cell-noisy region, or perhaps to a lonely cell tower in an otherwise bucolic area? Etc.

    • in line with my suggestion of simplest first, here is a 5-page webnote on displaying low-frequency acoustic buzzing with minimal resources and hopefully minimal ambiguity.

      http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN55.pdf

  13. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Hi Bernie, Thanks for that summary and also for the link to those documents. I have read some of it already but not all, but will try to do so this weekend. I have been to the substation about five times, but the only time it was very loud and where it sounded like the hum was the first time I went. Every other time it was very quiet. I don’t know why that is. I’ll keep going since it’s so close to my house and if I can catch it in it’s loud cycle, I’ll see if it matches the 120 hz sound on the Online Tone Generator, and also take screenshots with the Spectroid app, and report back. Thanks for your help!

  14. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Bernie (or anyone else), is it supposed to be easy to identify the sound of 120 hz? The reason I ask is because yesterday morning the hum was very loud in my house, and it was that droning sound (as opposed to just a pulsing sound) so I pulled up the online tone generator. It was defintely in the range of 120-140 but it was hard to pinpoint the exact tone. Is that normal not to be able to tell exactly what the hz was?

    • Lisa – good question –

      Aside from professional musicians, it is probably not “normal” for many to be able to pitch-match easily. And musicians probably do most of their matching to much higher frequencies like the A4=440 Hz the orchestra tunes to. But down at 120 Hz (or much much worse at 60 hz), things are even less normal! Here are some suggestions:

      (1) Practice and experiment, Try also the triangle (small but significant harmonic content) as well as the sine. Try to mimic the OTG by singing (humming).

      (2) if you have an old stereo system (the older the better!), the “electrolytic” capacitors in he power supply may be deteriorating and producing exactly 120 Hz “AC Hum” that is a constant (possibly tolerable) background in the loudspeakers with the volume turned all the way down. A useful reference sound, but importantly, likely very similar to the hum of a substation.

      (3) As you play the OTG while listening to the your hum, try 119 Hz and 121 Hz as well as 120 Hz. You are listening for “beating”. This would be heard in the case of 119 and 121, as a subtle but noticeable “shimmering” effect that is NOT there with 120 Hz, and the shimmer cycle is exactly once each second.

      Each time you try something new – it gets easier – at least in theory!

      Have fun – Bernie

  15. Lisa M. Allen says:

    Bernie, thank you! There are also different choices on the OTG (triangle, square, etc). Is one better to set it in then the other?

    • Lisa – another useful question.

      I know you are a conscientious reader so I can justify a full response.

      If I set the OTG to, say 50 Hz, the sine, the saw, the square, and the triangle all have a frequency of 50 Hz and a pitch of 50 Hz. The difference is that the sine is rather mellow (harder to hear) while the other three are “edgier”, easier to hear, and in fact SEEM louder, DUE TO HARMONICS.
      When we read that the human ear hears from 20 Hz to 20 kHz (or thereabouts) it refers to sine waves. These limits are not sharp cutoffs, but gradual. In fact, the response at 50 Hz is already dropping. However, if you are talking about a 50 Hz sawtooth (for example) it is easily heard.

      Try this: listen for a setting of an 80 Hz sine and then press that triangle button. You heard the sine, but with the triangle the pitch becomes much more apparent (although you still hear the original). With square or saw, the original pitch still is heard although the “timbre” (tone color) is even more penetrating.

      Strongly-pitched comparison waveforms (like a saw) are often preferred for pitch testing, but if the harmonic content is too great, a difference in timbre may overwhelm a similarity of pitch. A triangle is possibly a good default.

      A triangle of 50 Hz has a fundamental (of amplitude 1) of frequency 50 Hz (like the sine) but also a 3rd harmonic (150 Hz) of amplitude 1/9, a 5th harmonic (250 Hz) of amplitude 1/25, and so on – relatively weak harmonica content. You won’t hear (“hear out”) the 50 Hz fundamental of the triangle any better than with the sine, but you will hear the much stronger pitch of 50 Hz due to the 150 Hz and 250 Hz harmonics which, heard together, although relatively weak, support a “missing fundamental” (a perceptual phenomenon) of 50 Hz.

      A person who is experiencing a Hum (internal or low-frequency tinnitus, which none of us have ever seen on an oscilloscope) is probably a fundamental with a few weak harmonics. On the other hand, a real (acoustic) buzz like from a pump or compressor might well have a large harmonic content. The “magnetostriction” buzz of 120 Hz as from a power station would NOT have a 60 Hz fundamental. Rather it is generated by a non-linear process and has its fundamental of 120 Hz and odd harmonics of that.

      So be prepared to experiment and observe. – Bernie

      • Lisa Allen says:

        Bernie, thank you for that explanation. I have to admit a lot of this is over my head. I will have to educate myself on some of the terms and concepts (ie, magnetostriction) to fully understand this. But for the time being I will use the triangle setting on the OTG when trying to match the tone of the hum.

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