Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Build a Sound Tube

Speakers can be powerful electromagnets. They generate significant electromagnetic fields can cause discomfort to those with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). It is difficult or impractical to generate sound from an audio device without electromagnetic devices such as speakers.

I have EHS, and I found that the farther I was from a speaker, and the lower the volume, the less I could feel the electromagnetic radiation. Therefore, I built a sound tube so that I could position myself a significant distance (30-35 feet) away from a speaker and still hear the audio. I made a sound tube out of forty feet of PEX tubing. I hooked up an an audio jack from a computer to a very small speaker (with a low volume). I then connected the speaker to one end of the tube with duct tape. I attached a stethoscope to the other end of the tube to use like headphones (see picture below). It worked for about six months really well before I finally became sensitive to it and had to limit my time using it. I began to be sensitive to electromagnetic radiation coming from the tube, and I am not sure whether it was coming through the air or through the tube.

I am chemically sensitive, and the PEX tubing was non-toxic for me. The PVC pipe (which I did not purchase) seemed somewhat toxic to the touch to me. I ran water over the pipes and also through them with a hose before I brought them inside to wash away chemicals. PEX comes in various diameters and I used the one-inch diameter. I purchased the PEX tubing at a local hardware store (Home Depot). PEX pipe bends more than PVC but it does not bend too much, which I thought was important because I read that if a sound tube bends too sharply, sound will not travel through it as well. I also needed the pipe to bend a little to navigate into another room.

A person at the hardware store cut each twenty-foot pipe into two pipes of ten feet each. I used copper connectors to connect the four pipes together to make the sound tube. I then connected the pipe to the walls and ceiling to secure it so that it would be off the floor and out of the way. I have also heard of people using clear Tygon tubing for a sound tube for a phone but I have not tried Tygon myself.

Speaker connected to sound tube:

Copper connector.

Stethoscope connected to end of tube:

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