Anechoic chamber

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Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:02 pm

I am into a DYI project and I want to and will build an Anechoic chamber in my house. I tried without success to get into a sensory deprivation tank while on holiday a few months back and then looked at buying or making a tank but the project went into the too hard basket for a heap of reasons.

I hunted the net for sensory deprivation info and then found out about the anechoic chambers and the degree of silence, the fact that most people will start to hallucinate in short time due to lack of sensory input and then got excited at the possibilities of using one.

I have a nice attic space, a lot of building skills and some idea of an noise proof room with an internal chamber suspended on rubber mounts that is the centre piece of the anechoic chamber so will start this project in the coming week by simply cutting a hole in a wall to allow access to the attic space.

I will post as I construct, expect the project to take a month or two depending on sourcing materials and the ups and downs of DYI.

Anyone have any experience in these chambers
Any sound engineers out there that can advise on the type of internal foam echo absorbers
Any useful tips at all welcome


" build it and they will come, they are already watching..) :lol:
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Anechoic chamber

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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Jettins » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:19 pm

That sounds really neat. I would like to see pictures of it as you build it. :)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby CFTraveler » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:35 pm

I'm bookmarking this thread.
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Xanth » Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:56 pm

Damn yeah! That sounds like a great project! Please do keep us updated.
I'd love to do something like this in my own house. :)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:46 pm

I found some metal lining supports and sound resistant brackets at the DIY store this morning. Small metal brackets that go into the studs with small rubber grommets to hold them away to stop noise transfer so counting up what I need and back to buy the first few parts for that all important first step
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Szaxx » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:12 pm

The nearest I've come to this is being part of our Health and Safety Executive's anechoic chamber at their new laboratory.
They are deafly quiet inside.
Heavy foam wedges all over the walls and ceiling. The floor was a suspended platform for the work to be finished.
At work we still soundproof some units we build. This is flat heavy foam with some nuclear glue on one side. It's not really nuclear in that sense but a six inch square of it will hold your weight.
Its also a thermal barrier. This thermal issue needs to be incorporated with the ventilation in your design. Failiure to comply may result in asphyxiation or/and heat exhaustion...
Thinking of personal safety that doesn't want overlooking.
If you are aware of soundproofing vents then ok.

Be ready for your internal noises to be deafening. It takes 10 mins or so...
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:24 am

Cool you have seen one, have you any quiet time in there?

I am trying to get some images online and will do so soon so I can share progress but it is coming along quite nicely. I have 2 walls lined and a ceiling lined for the outer chamber and a couple to go along with some clever design for a door in the outer chamber.

Internal I am not sure about the heat issue and will have to put some venting in somehow. I have left a cavity behind one wall for air flow to surround the internal chamber and the air has 3 90 degree bends to get there so provides some sound proofing with this pathway. I dont know how hot it will get. The subfloor framing is in place (timber) and is supported in 50 mm rubber blocks to isolate it from the outer chamber. Still a lot to do and its a DIY project so no master plan.

I am looking at wedges about 300 mm x 150 mm and 200 mm thick out of sound absorbing fibre batts. I cant find any other material to use here in NZ. I need to make a couple of hundred of these and that will quite a big job.

Enjoying the process and have no idea how quiet it will be in the end but has to get some ways towards what I am after.

I am very curious about internal noises and how loud they become - hope it becomes something I can adjust to and then in to some serious projecting. If not I am sure it will be another fun journey at the least
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:13 am

Very rough site. Just images of progress so far. I will break the site up into pages of each stage soon but for tonight took the lazy way of putting something online





http://www.53x12.co.nz/AnechoicHome.htm
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Xanth » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:57 pm

Wow dude! That's coming along nicely so far! Great job!
I wish I was that handy around the house. :)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby astralzombie » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:38 am

You're not messing around.

When I worked for the Navy as a contractor, I learned that the sailors used cardboard egg crates to line the walls to drown out machinery noise. This was against regulations but every ship has its own captain.

Double 1/2" sheetrock or gypsum is also great for soundproofing. Liquid nail on your toe boards (if subfloor is wood) as well as your floor joists before you screw down your plywood will prevent any squeaking.

The only real concern for noise now is your ventilation system as Szaxx said. I imagine it will get pretty hot after a few minutes so don't neglect that part. Check out the bladeless fans by Dyson. They are expensive but put out good air and are almost silent.

You put a lot of thought and work into this. It should work great. :)

edit: Nevermind, you got the ventilation covered as well. great idea.
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:07 pm

You're not messing around.



Healthy obsession :D

I will look at the Dyson fans, they are very smart tec - seem to work on implosion or a vacuum rather that explosion, so they copy nature. There are some clever thinkers in that lot.

The sub floor is 150 mm thick so I will put a small baton in each of the 3 segments that make up the floor frame and glue some ply to the bottom of that. It will firm up by acting as a bracing panel and a light floor to hold the Anechoic baffles. On top of this will be mesh screen of plastic of metal to act as a supporting floor for the chair and it is big enough to get a mattress in as well. I want to do some sleep studies as well, will leave it partly open for that so I know there is enough air going round.


The thinking part is fun and I create most of it in my head. I look at the space of a part of the job and literally start making it in my mind so I build a model and when I am in the zone sometimes parts appear or something changes by itself and becomes part of the model. Its a great way to get a working plan in place and calls in a lot of the SC skills or intuitive thinking that we all have.

I had a dream a while back, not sure if I posted it but it was before I made the decision to build this chamber and when building one of these models I made the connection between my dream and the plan I was constructing. It was an event associated and just made me fall down with laugher.
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby astralzombie » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:20 pm

I had a dream a while back, not sure if I posted it but it was before I made the decision to build this chamber and when building one of these models I made the connection between my dream and the plan I was constructing. It was an event associated and just made me fall down with laugher.



Beedeekin had been taking advantage of this with his career...hint.

Do you find it easier to plan out a schematic in your head than to work from a blueprint?

Once you know the building codes everything else is just details.

Just out of curiosity, does your chamber have to meet any codes? I don't think it would matter here (States) so long as it wasn't listed as a room (living space with load bearing walls) or a selling point.
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Xanth » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:45 pm

When I write a program or a database, it's quite common for me to just sit there for an hour or so running through the design in my head of how I'm going to code it so that it logically works. It's a great tool for doing stuff like that! :)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:39 pm

Do you find it easier to plan out a schematic in your head than to work from a blueprint?


If I have plans I need to get to the point of seeing the full picture before I start but rarely do I use plans. I did build the entire house and its very big and complex with stone exterior so I am good at doing stuff the hard way and working it out. I used to have to go to building sites after hours to see how some stuff went together for a while.

If I make plans they evolve in the same away, just putting thoughts and images on paper till it works.

Xanth - Must be great to do that and I expect that some of the gaps in code or solutions will appear of their own will when you need them.

Building codes, have not bothered. It is just an attic space and apart from the floors and door I am lining an existing space. The door has the correct size lintel above and the floor is supported on beams and of the correct size for the space.

I would not like to have the conversation on intended use, they would think I was going to use it to grow dope most likely. Not sure the planners at the council would come to terms with a Sensory Deprivation chamber. Might have been a good conversation to have for the humor of it.


Dreaming and career. The way of thinking and ability to deal with stress or remove stress is very valuable. More that anything dreaming (lucid) puts the world in perspective for me. I like what I do and have a few others projects on the go but would like in time to totally change what I am doing. Not sure what I would do but expect it will become obvious in time.
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Methiculous » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:55 am

I never used a sensory deprivation chamber/room before, but this reminds me of a funny story:

It was about 15 years ago and I was visiting my family. They had electric shutters outside the windows that rolled down and blocked out the light completely so the room was pitch-black where I slept. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I needed to go to the bathroom. BUT I HAD NO IDEA WHERE I WAS! I thought I was in my usual room and didn't remember I was visiting. After some time feeling my way around and getting caught in the drapes, I didn't know if I could hold it in anymore. I must have spent 5 whole minutes in complete confusion, wondering where I was and in dire need of taking a wizz. I almost wet myself!

Finally, I figured it out and remembered the layout of the room and found my way out to relieve myself. But I was completely disorientated and forgot where I was for a while.

I don't know if you are planning to sleep in it or use it when awake, but It would be interesting to sleep in the anechoic chamber and awaken there, and have no external stimuli to tell you that you are awake. You may experience a very long hypnopomic state full of hallucinations.

But whatever you do, make sure you go to the bathroom first! :lol:
I close my eyes and see what I can see, whatever it may be.
It could be the sea, or I could see a bee.
Don't you see? It doesn't matter to me. Just let it be!
(written by a great poet after a dream... ME!)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:11 am

LOL - will do and do want to sleep in there as well as some stage.

When I was at sea I would sometimes get my crew to sleep in their bunks the opposite way around before I ran a fire drill and a lot of them would get up mid shift off when the alarms went off and go for the door but hit the wall as they ran the wrong way. It was a good eye opener to show how much of what we do is just habit

On another note I read somewhere about a light bulb that can be controlled by an IPhone app and will produce about 1 million colors. I will try to get one of these and then be able to play with light as well. Varying intensity and color might be cool
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Methiculous » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:04 am

You've thought about this more than I have.
Remove all senses and then play with one at a time such as light.

There are some restaurants that are in pitch-darkness and serve food. Apparently it heightens your sense of taste.
There are many things you can try when you finish the project.
I close my eyes and see what I can see, whatever it may be.
It could be the sea, or I could see a bee.
Don't you see? It doesn't matter to me. Just let it be!
(written by a great poet after a dream... ME!)
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Majic » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:24 am

I hope so and expect a few suggestions will flow in as well from this forum. I dont really think about it in the sense of planning so much as something I have seen or read about will come into my mind in a useful way. It will also be nice to introduce scent. Really we are starting in a sensory void and as you say introduce one element at a time.

I also expect that to do something with light and scent will sharpen up the senses and should have effect in how I sense the world around me. LOL - for better or worse I dont know
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Update

Postby Majic » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:15 pm

a bit further ahead and starting to feel quite pleased about it all.
Its getting pretty dark inside and quiet but discovering that nose is like water and it needs only the slightest gap to get in. The internal chamber will seal it off quite well I think as its getting better and better.
Lighting and ventilation are next on the agenda

http://53x12.co.nz/
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Re: Anechoic chamber

Postby Szaxx » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:59 pm

In response to your earlier question, I only had time to work on a LAN fault.. Cat5 cabling being damaged by others...
It was quiet and emphasis on quiet you'll find for yourself. Your internal noises are deafening, you'll find that for yourself. They have a timbre you'll notice as familiar within a half hour. I'll say no more for now on that...
The fan noise issue, if your unit is mounted remotely like the shower extraction systems available, the noise is greatly reduced. The outlet manifold to the unit may require some refinements. Use the same or larger cross sectional area for the inlet manifold. You don't want to forget the air flow requires some balancing or you'll be in a decompression chamber. Pop goes your ears.lol. Worked around one of these too. A bit cramped and boring so don't build one lol.
I'd suggest a two by two foot opening on the outflow which comprises of internal foam walls so the airflow has to pass in a zigzag way to escape. The size of the walls want to be 2/3rds of the box section with each foam wall being on one side then the other alternating. At least 5 wedges will be required dependant on the foams absorbency to sound. This works well as the airflow snakes through the outlet the sound is greatly reduced from the pipework to the extractor fan.
Hope this is understandable and sorts out air flow noise problems before they appear.
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