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Thread: Measuring sound levels

  1. #1
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Measuring sound levels

    Hey, I know the throbbing brain has a couple of code enforcement folks on here, so here's a question for ya.

    Our City just bought a sound level meter that has a couple of different settings. I know very little about different frequencies, etc, so I need some advice. The meter I bought has a 50-126dB range. It also has two different "weights". The "A" weight has A-curve frequency characteristics and responds to 500-10,000 Hz range. The "C" weight has C-curve frequency characteristics and responds to 32-10,000 Hz range. The little manual says that "A" is best to determine an area's noise level, while "C" is to measure sound levels of musical material.

    So, which one is the most appropriate from your experience?

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    You'll want to use the (a) measurement. Our code even dictates that the readings must be taken using the (a) setting.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    You'll want to use the (a) measurement. Our code even dictates that the readings must be taken using the (a) setting.
    Thanks! I figured that one of the authors of "Stan and Stan's Code Enforcement Adventures" would chime in with an answer.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    The 'A' weighting is supposed to replicate the sensitivity of the human ear - that is giving more weighting to the frequencies our ears are more sensitive to and less weighting to frequencies our ears are less sensitive to. For most land use arguments, the 'A' weighting is most appropriate. Also make sure you calibrate your new instrument (and record doing so) if you plan to rely on the readings in an enforcement dispute.

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