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RF interference

By swmiller ·
I have a local AM radio station's tower near my house. Their signal is bleeding over into my computer's speakers and modem. Does anyone have any advice on how to clear this up?

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RF interference

by Leo74 In reply to RF interference

Try to enclose the area you are in with some sort of metal cage. We had the same problem in the lab I work in. We put chicken coop wire up on all the walls and ceiling. Now even our most sentisive equipment picks up almost no noise.

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RF interference

by swmiller In reply to RF interference

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RF interference

by johnm In reply to RF interference

A lot of the time, the signal is being picked up on the power or phone lines (acting as antennas) and gets passed on to the amplifiers feeding the speakers. An inexpensive solution is a clip-on ferrite core for the power cable to the computer. Radio Shack used to have them. It weakens the signal strength but doesn't always eliminate the problem. A line filter sometimes does some good (a good surge suppressor makes a decent line filter and some filter modem lines as well). An uninterruptable power supply (UPS) can provide some filtering and is always a good thing to have, but is relatively expensive. A wire screen between the antenna and your computer will also help but be sure to bond the screen to a copper rod driven solidly into theground at least a foot.

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RF interference

by swmiller In reply to RF interference

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RF interference

by mbarker734 In reply to RF interference

JohnM's suggestion of the ferrite toroid core is a valid one although not always foolproof. Radio Shack does carry them in two varieties (snap ons and solid) the solid ones are more effective than the snapons but do not provide you with ease of application. No matter which you select, should you go this route, place as many raps through the core as you can and place the core as close to the offended object as you can manage. ONE CORE PER WIRE this includes the power cord.

The suggestion ofchicken wire is not all that far fetched. The chicken wire will absorb the much of the radio signal and send it to ground IF IT IS PROPERLY GROUNDED. A copper rode driven into the ground to a depth of 1 foot would be useless. The moisture contentof the soil at that depth is not sufficient to maintain good conductivity. The rod should be no less that 5 feet in the ground, best would be the standard 8 foot rods used in normal electrical grounding. The grounding rod should only be used for this one purpose and should not be the same one used as your house electical ground (very bad things can happen if you use it). You could try rapping the object in aluminum foil, this by itself could block the signals from getting in (just tell everyone that they are a special "Intel Pentium" edition ... haha.

See the continued in the comments, to long winded I guess.

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RF interference

by mbarker734 In reply to RF interference

That covers the previous answers, now to my suggestions:

First, quality speakers can be the answer to your speakers playing the top 40. Note I say quality and not expensive. The cost of the item does not always dictate quality. Heavy type shielded speaker wire would be one indicator of the quality.

Second, assuming an external modem, go internal on the modem, this would atleast put the sheilding of your computers box between it and the signal.

Third but most important, contact the radio station and discuss your situation with them. They may have a problem that they are not aware of that is causing your problem or may have other suggestions for you.

Finally, if you feel the radio station blew you off contact the FCC. Although all of your electronic equipment comes with a label that states something like: This device must not cause harmful interference and must accept all interference. These rules are not applied to you alone, the radio station is subject to similar rules governed by the FCC. I would be a matter of good comunnity relations for the radio station to aide you if they can, they would not want you to start wondering what other problems their radio signal may be causing,such as those constant headaches and the irregularities in your MRI your doctor wants to talk to you about ;?)

Good luck,

Mark

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RF interference

by swmiller In reply to RF interference

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by swmiller In reply to RF interference

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