Author Topic: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks  (Read 792 times)

Offline AstroBrant

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Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« on: April 21, 2017, 02:08:41 PM »
One hoax claim we often see is about short bursts of static that are heard during Apollo EVA TV transmissions. Conspiracy theorists claim we are hearing sounds from impacts outside the space suits. Explanations have been given about the vox system picking up occasional vibrations, contact with the microphone, etc, but there is another source. I discovered that com breaks make that same sound. (My apologies if someone else has already pointed this out.)

If you look at the ALSJ transcripts you will see com breaks noted. It's when the transmission from the moon is switched from one Earth relay to another. In checking out one claim about alleged external noise, there was a com break noted at that time in the transcript. I listened to EVA videos at other points where com breaks were documented and heard the same kind of sound.

It can be quite time consuming to find the video clip in the ALSJ video archive which is shown in a hoax video, so I haven't looked up any more, but if you run into one of these claims and find the matching clip in the archive, go look up the transcript and see if there is a com break around that time.

Note: the transcript does not include the mission time for when a com break occurs, so if there isn't any dialog going on at the time, you will have to find some dialog before or after the static burst and then look for that in the transcript.

Please post here if you have found some. 
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Offline bknight

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 08:43:41 PM »
I think Jay made a conclusion, in another thread, that the electronics of the day made artifacts in the transmission record.  On thread comment concerned Bart's claim that one can hear "talk" in a conversation between Armstrong and Houston.  Bart claims that Armstrong's leader was giving instructions on a private line, and the "talk" was given to tell Armstrong t talk to Houston and answer their question(?).
So atrifacts are what I would guess the sounds might be.
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Offline Glom

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 03:51:47 AM »
Comm break has a technical meaning? I always thought it was just Eric Jones's way of saying everyone was keeping quiet for a while.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 03:44:15 AM »
If I could hear an actual recording of a 'comm break' I could probably offer an opinion as to the cause. Apollo's voice communications were analog, and thus subject to many, many potential sources of noise, crosstalk and other problems.

Although voice modulation was usually narrowband FM very similar to terrestrial 2-way radios, communications were full duplex without the noise-suppressing squelch circuits standard in the half-duplex radios used terrestrially. So you could easily hear all sorts of artifacts even when nobody was talking. VOX (voice activated switching) was often used to gate microphones on and off as people spoke, but even when VOX isn't activated you'd still hear noise due to loss of radio signal, station handover, etc.

Offline bfeist

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 11:48:32 AM »
I have done extensive research on Apollo 17 and just attended the 45th anniversary Symposium at Goddard. Jack Schmitt was in attendance and during a discussion on the seismic efficiency of shock transmission within the moon's surface, he mentioned that you could "feel it in your boots" when he struck boulders with his geology hammer. There are times when you can actually hear this in the audio transmissions. Shocks coming through the suit and then being audible within the suit, picked up by the mic.

I've searched around a bit and I can't find the moment I'm thinking of, but here are a few moments where they're whaling away with the hammer:
http://apollo17.org?t=122:11:14
http://apollo17.org?t=165:07:52

Ben
Author, Apollo17.org

Offline bknight

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 08:00:19 PM »
Ah the old hammering noises "in a vacuum" hoax belief, never considering the exact fact that the sound traveled in the atmosphere of the suit.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 03:15:36 AM »
Note that you won't necessarily hear the hammering noises over the communication links unless they're loud enough to trip the VOX (voice actuated switching) on the astronaut's microphone, or if the VOX is already open because of speech or breathing onto the microphone. VOX usually has a "hang timer" that keeps it activated for some short period of time after the speaker stops talking, to minimize rapid off-on keying.

Offline bknight

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 10:26:57 AM »
Note that you won't necessarily hear the hammering noises over the communication links unless they're loud enough to trip the VOX (voice actuated switching) on the astronaut's microphone, or if the VOX is already open because of speech or breathing onto the microphone. VOX usually has a "hang timer" that keeps it activated for some short period of time after the speaker stops talking, to minimize rapid off-on keying.
Yes and that is why ALL the hammering can't be heard on any video only a few.  But that doesn't stop the HB's with their nonsense.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
Eugene Cernan

Offline nomuse

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 06:43:28 PM »
I would love to introduce those idiots to the concept of MOS. Or do they think that movies are (and especially, were) shot the way they shoot a pool party with their camcorder?

Why would you even have a mic on the soundstage for an Apollo shoot? Even if you decided to take live audio, it would be off the suit microphones.

And these are the same people who think the "film" was slowed down to simulate lower gravity. Somehow I never noticed all the astronauts sounding like James Earl Jones.

Offline Count Zero

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 08:28:29 PM »
And these are the same people who think the "film" was slowed down to simulate lower gravity. Somehow I never noticed all the astronauts sounding like James Earl Jones.

Obviously this means "They" were pumping helium into the actornauts' spacesuit-costumes.
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Offline Kiwi

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 10:57:48 AM »
A few good examples of sounds picked up inside a space suit are during Apollo 17 at Nansen crater, from about 143:29:03 to 143:45:37, when the TV is turned off. The sounds recorded are those of the geology hammer hitting a rock, a flying piece of rock hitting an astronaut, and perhaps an astronaut doing kangaroo hops.

At the Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/frame.html
the link to click on is "Geology Station 2." Immediately above 143:29:03 are links to the video and audio.

They can also be seen and heard on Spacecraft Films' Apollo 17 DVD set,
Disc 3
EVA 2
Station 2, Nansen crater
Chapter 9
0:43:20

At GET 143:29:03 [SCF Disc 0:43:20]:--

Quote
143:29:03 Cernan: Now, I want to try to take this piece off first. (Pause as Gene hammers)

143:29:10 Schmitt: Pretty hard, isn't it.

[Hammering sounds - a soft "plock" - can be heard through Gene's suit. He takes seven whacks at the top of the boulder on the east end.]

[Cernan - "Although we can hear on the tape that the microphone in my suit was picking up the sound of my hammering, I don't ever remember hearing it. I could certainly feel it; and I've always contended that it's a very fine line between hearing noise and feeling noise. With that hammer, when you hit something the shock went through your whole body; but I'm not sure I ever heard the noise, probably because my ears were covered with the Snoopy helmet."]

[What seems likely is that, when Gene hits the rock, the hammer rebounds against the palm of the pressurized glove, creating a sound wave in the suit loud enough to be picked up by the microphone at Gene's lips. In brief, the suit acts like a drum.]

143:29:11 Cernan: That boulder's going to roll. Man, that is hard. There's the same clast over there.

Gene Cernan is hitting the rock hard and we hear at least two successive strikes.

Some hoax-believers might complain that we don't hear every strike, but that is because of the VOX issues mentioned above by Ka9Q. We particularly don't hear the sounds when Jack Schmitt speaks, because both astronauts are actually on the moon in a vacuum, through which sound doesn't travel, so the hammering sounds Cernan is making don't reach Schmitt's microphone.

There are more sounds:--
Quote
143:30:01 [SCF 0:44:17] Cernan: There's another little one.

At about 143:31:01 [SCF 0:45:19], when a piece of rock flies off, Gene tries to grab it but knocks it toward Jack, and we see and hear it hit Jack's left wrist.

Quote
143:31:02 Cernan: See it?

143:31:03 Schmitt: Yeah. (Pause) See it!? You hit me with it!

143:31:09 Cernan: Well, I tried to catch it. Bob, you still there?

143:31:14 Parker: Roger. Still there. Listening with great delight.

But wait, there's more!

After a few more shenanigans, including some boulder-rolling at 143:33:47, SCF 0:48:10, Jack and Gene return downhill to the rover at about 143:35:21, SCF 0:49:44, and as Gene does the kangaroo hop, we hear a sound which might be his microphone recording his hops, unless it's just a strange coincidence.

Again, at about 143:41:22, SCF 0:55:45, after taking more samples at another site up-sun from the rover, Gene does the kangaroo hop and again it seems that we can hear some of the hops.

Quote
143:41:23 Parker: Beautiful station, guys; just simply beautiful. Almost deserves a Falcon code.

[Gene is going at a rapid pace. Fendell follows him for a while, then does a final site pan.]

[Schmitt - "Gene started out doing the kangaroo hop for a little ways and then went into a left-foot-forward skip. He wasn't getting very high off the ground because you can see his toe kicking dirt almost every step. Anybody wanting to estimate how fast two relatively tired people could go should look at this sequence. This one sequence could give you a lot of information about walkback. I'm glad we didn't have to do that."]
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 11:18:57 AM by Kiwi »
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 01:14:09 PM »
I would love to introduce those idiots to the concept of MOS. Or do they think that movies are (and especially, were) shot the way they shoot a pool party with their camcorder?

Even people like David Percy, who should at least know better, seem to think they are.  That boggled my mind back in 1999 when I first started writing about Apollo hoax theories:  these people have obviously never seen a real movie set or theatrical stage in their lives, much less worked for any length of time on them.  But then of course neither have the intended audience.  That's how this works.  You have ignoramuses telling a sycophantic audience stuff they have no reason to question.  It sounds just plausible enough for the audience to think it has been educated.

Quote
Why would you even have a mic on the soundstage for an Apollo shoot?

It's not as if you can see the astronauts' lips move.  It would be extraordinarily stupid to do it the way conspiracists say it must have been done to accidentally produce these artifacts.  Sure, if you want a sense of realism then put a wireless mic in each helmet and record that.  But it would have been so much easier to do something in post-production.

I worked on a film in Italy.  The producer was American, and to save money they hired an Italian production company to work with the skeleton production crew they sent.  The location shoots were in a very small town in Italy, with no real sound pollution.  The Italians were surprised to discover the Americans wanted location sound.  Italians never use location sound.  They hadn't even arranged for a location sound crew.  (This was in the late 1980s.)  Italian filmmakers always used ADR and foley to generate a completely synthetic soundtrack for any location work.  Their rationale was practical:  it's just too noisy in most locations to get good sound.  Most of their films are intended for an international audience, and they preferred dubbing the foreign languages rather than subtitling.  So they have to synthesize the audio tracks anyway with different voices for the principles.  And the location manager told me Italian directors were accustomed to giving ongoing direction during the scene, something we rarely do in Anglo-American filmmaking.

And that leads to the second point.  We do sometimes use location sound, and even in the studio we sometimes allow the director to give cues and make audio commentary, which then later has to be cut out of the sound recording for the eventual take or fixed with ADR, abandoning the on-set sound.  We have to wonder why, if the "live" soundtrack captured unwanted set noise, why a similar technique can't have been used.  The alleged problem that produces this supposed giveaway is, like most other problems cited by claimants, one that the film industry faced and defeated decades prior.
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Offline Count Zero

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 09:02:41 PM »
Italians never use location sound.  They hadn't even arranged for a location sound crew.  (This was in the late 1980s.)  Italian filmmakers always used ADR and foley to generate a completely synthetic soundtrack for any location work.

I figured that out before I was a teenager, watching all those Steve Reeves movies on Channel 5 after school...  :D
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2017, 12:15:50 PM »
If I could hear an actual recording of a 'comm break' I could probably offer an opinion as to the cause. Apollo's voice communications were analog, and thus subject to many, many potential sources of noise, crosstalk and other problems.

Thanks for weighing in.  My name got invoked, not inappropriately, in the discussion of crosstalk that Bart Sibrel tried to argue was a director giving orders.  Communications electronics is your strong suit, not mine, and so I'd be hard pressed to attribute specific causes to specific electronic and radio effects, even if I could hear the effects.  However I can hold my own when it comes to mechanical effects.  To add to the many great suggestions, I would also include the inertial behavior of the microphone assembly itself.  I assume we're all familiar with the "Snoopy cap" communications carrier.  This cap decouples the communications requirements (earphones, microphones, wiring) from the environment requirements (oxygen, thermal, UV, etc.) of the overall headgear assembly.  Here's a link to a picture of a replica being worn by George, its maker.

http://www.globaleffects.com/C_pages/Rental/Wardrobe/Headgear/HelmetsModern/Space/Apollo/SnoobyCaph.JPG

George worked on our NatGeo/Channel 4 documentary years ago as our spacesuit specialist, but more famously designed and fabricated the costume suits for From the Earth to the Moon as extremely faithful replicas of the originals.  The mic boom is cantilevered out from the earphone assembly, and is reasonably flexible.  The crew were instructed to place them as close to the corners of the mouth as possible before donning the "fishbowl" pressure helmet.  When I did so I found that the mic would, under various circumstances, brush or bang against my chin.  It's fairly wobbly.  I don't have evidence to determine if that would cause a sound loud enough to activate the VOX gate, but I think it would.

Now one thing common with both hopping and hammering is the inertial response of anything sort of semi-attached to you.  It will have its own inertia and will move relative to you as you land, or as your hand lands a hammer blow.  Although I didn't do any hopping or hammering while wearing the Snoopy cap, I think I can guess how it would behave.
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Mysterious popping sounds also come from com breaks
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 09:14:06 AM »
Yes, I can easily see how sudden movements could cause the microphones to bump or rub against the astronaut's face, even though they were mounted to the snoopy cap on the astronaut's head. It was probably also possible to rub the headsets or microphones against the sides of the pressure helmet. Note that there are two microphones for redundancy, and only one would have to pick up noise for it to be heard over the comm system.

Boy, I'd like to redesign all that stuff with today's technology. All transmissions would be digital. The suits, LRV, LM, CSM and earth station would all form a mesh network. All suit telemetry would be moved out of the voice band onto its own channels. Each microphone (2 per astronaut) would be given its own dedicated channel so that there would never be any ambiguity as to who was speaking, and the microphone giving the best voice quality would automatically be selected. The headphones would be stereo so each astronaut could place the other parties (Capcom, the other astronauts) at different points in the stereo image to make them easier to distinguish. And so on...