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DR
01-23-2015, 11:07 AM
This morning a faint, fuzzy, but almost totally understandable radio signal is coming from the speakers on the desktop. Actually, I don't know for sure if it's radio, clearly male and female voices, constant talk, no commercials. I thought this was happening before, not as clear as this morning though. At first it seemed to be coming from the Comcast cable modem next to the speakers, but turning the speaker volume up/down shows it's clearly from the speakers.

What's up with this?

superUnknown
01-23-2015, 11:14 AM
Tin foil top hat?
;)

Rosco-P
01-23-2015, 11:32 AM
Electronics misbehaving is often the first sign Poltergeists trying to communicate or cross over. Unplug it and see if it happens again.

Or maybe its got something to do with all those black unmarked Chevy Tahoe's that you have been seeing in your neighborhood?

digiex_chris
01-23-2015, 11:38 AM
some length of wire in your computer or speaker was the correct length to match the wavelength of and orientation to the incoming signal to generate a voltage at the speaker from an incoming unencrypted radio signal. It also makes it more likely when you're talking about a speaker that has an amplifier in it, like many computer speakers do.

It's pretty much how a basic radio works. A crystal radio is just a diode, an earphone, and a length of wire of specific length. You can make a tuneable crystal radio by tapping into that length of wire at different places, to change the wavelength.

Rosco-P
01-23-2015, 11:48 AM
His PC speakers suddenly morphed into a crystal radio? Not buying it. "There's dirty work afoot here"

digiex_chris
01-23-2015, 11:53 AM
didn't morph at all. simply lined up with a wavelength being broadcasted on while not being suitable for other wavelengths.

A radio is just an electrical circuit that generates a fluctuating voltage from electromagnetic waves. All you need to do that is intercept a wave with a wire. The reverse is used to create the electromagnetic wave, a fluctuating voltage in a wire.

A speaker is a device that transforms fluctuating voltage into vibrations in the air.

Not a huge leap, it's easily defineable highschool level physics. A long speaker cable makes a great antenna if there's no choke on it.

That's why Cat5 cable is twisted pair, to nullify external interferance.

topct
01-23-2015, 12:03 PM
The newest cable modems from Comcast/Xfinity are a bit spooky. The phone jack, even though I do not have that feature enabled, is hot to the point that if you plug a phone into it you can hear your voice in the earpiece. Also anywhere there is located one of these modems you can use it for a connection by clicking on Xfinity in your Wi-fi detected list and entering your user name and password. People are parking in front of my house and using my modem to access the net. There is no indication that that is what is happening and I didn't believe it until I went out to the street and asked a person doing it. I then went back into my house and tried it on a spare computer. It works. A bit disturbing.

As to strange noises? I get that when I visit the obituaries column from the local paper. And now I am watching that strange delay when typing this. And that statement just made it go away. Thank you. Are there any other trouble makers noticing that?

A.K. Boomer
01-23-2015, 12:03 PM
you have 12 volts dc after the transformer in the computer, install a reversing switch to swap the neg for positive and positive for negative - the switch needs to be wired to the outside of the computer within reach - very important - next time you hear things then hit the switch and talk really loud to the area you heard the original sound coming from - this will now effectively be a microphone,
say something like "may day - may day - can you read"
then immediately flip the switch back to the "normal" mode - and I use the term normal loosely,,,

laugh if you want but the tin foil hat is not a bad idea if you want to keep your outgoing signal more pure...

Make sure you include the entire family in on this as when the crap hits the fan soon this is how we will all be communicating with each other,,,

Side Note; if you smell smoke coming from the computer when first attempting to speak
out to someone do not worry - it's probably just a diode re-aligning itself, very common and after the first time you should be good to go...

digiex_chris
01-23-2015, 12:03 PM
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/radio8.htm
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/radio2.htm

fjk
01-23-2015, 12:10 PM
could you a) have the speakers on and b) be looking at some web page that is playing a video -- either an ad or real content -- even if it's not actually in the part of the page that is displayed in the browser, maybe even on one of the tabs that you've forgot about? Or maybe have uboob running someplace?

Rosco-P
01-23-2015, 12:13 PM
didn't morph at all. simply lined up with a wavelength being broadcasted on while not being suitable for other wavelengths.

A radio is just an electrical circuit that generates a fluctuating voltage from electromagnetic waves. All you need to do that is intercept a wave with a wire. The reverse is used to create the electromagnetic wave, a fluctuating voltage in a wire.

A speaker is a device that transforms fluctuating voltage into vibrations in the air.

Not a huge leap, it's easily defineable highschool level physics. A long speaker cable makes a great antenna if there's no choke on it.

That's why Cat5 cable is twisted pair, to nullify external interferance.


Cutting to the chase, as they say.... He's suddenly receiving and hearing non-commercial communications through his speakers. I'd be more concerned as to what was going down in my neighborhood than why I'm receiving this. Location of DR, like SuperUnknown, ......is unknown. Are the RCMP, DEA, FBI, etc. about to bust a terrorist cell or take down a meth lab?

flylo
01-23-2015, 12:17 PM
Finally went over the Sungal edge, tinfoil the entire room:rolleyes:

digiex_chris
01-23-2015, 12:21 PM
dunno, most of those agencies are using encrypted frequencies now. At least the RCMP and FBI are. it's available even on family grade GMRS radios. I'd be more worried that I'm picking up a neighbor's baby monitor.

:eek:

Tim-Bob
01-23-2015, 02:17 PM
We had the same thing happen to us in the early 90's, on our tv. We could hear voices from it at random times when it was turned off. We tried unplugging it but the voices continued. Of course, the giant amateur radio tower right next door probably had something to do with it. I've often wondered if that radio energy did us any harm. To be able to drive a speaker obviously required a fair bit of oomph.

The Artful Bodger
01-23-2015, 02:57 PM
I think it is unlikely that anyone would hear radio signals breaking through into audio circuits in this day an age although it was common enough when the aether was saturated with megawatt AM signals.

digiex_chris
01-23-2015, 03:06 PM
my coworker recieving an SMS right next to my computer makes blipping noises on the computer speakers. Weirds her out when I tell her she's got a text when her phone's hidden from view in her purse.

DR
01-23-2015, 03:35 PM
Whatever sinister forces were at work here seem to have vacated the premises.

What I did was to lift the speaker in question about a foot thereby repositioning the cord. When I put it back in position they were gone.

Apparently they realized I was on to them and went elsewhere.

Deus Machina
01-23-2015, 03:46 PM
I've gotten that from a few things. It's usually cheap electronics on both ends. Used to get in speakers, and a wireless phone and radio in the garage way back when. Worked that way on both--the radio would pick up phone calls, and turning on the speaker part of the wireless would overlay everything with fuzzy AM. Of course, this was late-80's to mid-90's.

Now, I have to decide if it's poltergeists, Anonymous, NSA, or UVB-76. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76)

Joe_B
01-23-2015, 05:37 PM
If it happens again, snap on one of those clip on ferrites that come with lots of electronics nowadays.

oldtiffie
01-23-2015, 10:07 PM
Perhaps the OP and/or the computer/speakers has tinnitus.

Are they haunted?

https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=tinnitus

J Tiers
01-24-2015, 12:36 AM
So, its the extra-crappy electronics in the speaker/amplifiers picking up some sort of signal that is strong enough locally to BE picked up. No thought whatever of interference when designing them..... all too common these days.

Needn't be AM, FM can be picked up in the right circumstances by what is nominally an AM receiver.. "slope detection"....

Ferrite beads may spoil the antenna action enough to stop it. Put them on the wires, and slide around until it quits, then tape in place there.



I think it is unlikely that anyone would hear radio signals breaking through into audio circuits in this day an age although it was common enough when the aether was saturated with megawatt AM signals.

You may have had that, but in the US, the broadcast AM is 50,000 watts maximum. And they still exist. The shortwave stations may have had a lot more, but usually not so much even there, with some exceptions (HCJB, for instance). FM however, may be quite powerful.

fixerdave
01-24-2015, 02:53 AM
Yeah... I got caught out by that. Sitting at home one night, about a decade ago, my computer suddenly started talking... kind of muffled, not clear, but obviously words. Figured I had some weird virus and poured over the system pretty hard. Found nothing, then one day it happened again. Still no luck finding it, but the weird thing was turning up the speaker volume, on the speaker, made no difference. Thought that was pretty weird. The next time it happened the computer was off. Yeah... off. That got me questioning my sanity as it NEVER happened when anyone else was around.

Long story short, I tracked it down to a guy talking with what I assumed to be an old-school cordless phone in the suite below. When he paced under where my computer was, my very cheap speakers picked up the conversation, sort of. Yes, the amplified computer speakers can pull AM signals out of the air. All they need is a bit of unshielded wire, something to rectify the signal (any kind of diode-like circuit), and an amplifier. Good amplifiers are designed to NOT do this. Cheap ones... whatever.

Yes, FM signals are a little trickier to convert to audio but it's not unheard of. Also, various bits of electronics can unintentionally transmit AM signals even if they are not designed to. One example I heard of was a marina where the GPS signal was being intermittently jammed, which rather upset the boat owners. Eventually, they convinced the regulators to come and they tracked it down to an amplified TV antenna on a boat in the marina. When the owner was at the boat watching TV... nobody there had GPS. Yeah, a receiving antenna with a tiny built-in amplifier circuit failed in such a way that it became a transmitter that happened to broadcast a carrier wave at the frequency the GPS satellites operate at. It happens. It might not be the 50,000 watt broadcast AM station down the road... it might be your cheap VCR sitting next to the computer.

It's either that, or you're going crazy. Has anyone else heard these 'signals'?

David...

metalmagpie
01-24-2015, 10:14 AM
This morning a faint, fuzzy, but almost totally understandable radio signal is coming from the speakers on the desktop. Actually, I don't know for sure if it's radio, clearly male and female voices, constant talk, no commercials. I thought this was happening before, not as clear as this morning though. At first it seemed to be coming from the Comcast cable modem next to the speakers, but turning the speaker volume up/down shows it's clearly from the speakers.

What's up with this?

If you have DSL check your DSL filters.

Rosco-P
01-24-2015, 10:53 AM
If you have DSL check your DSL filters.

Check (test?) them for what? How? Wouldn't be a DSL filter on the line to the modem or it wouldn't work. Anyway, the guys got broadband via his cable, not a DigitalSubscriberLine.

Paul Alciatore
01-24-2015, 03:08 PM
Speaking as someone who has spent many a professional hour chasing such things, it is not surprising. As mentioned by others, all a crystal radio receiver consists of is an antenna, an inductance, a capacitor, and a diode. The wires in your connections are antennae. There is always inductance and capacitance in any circuit, you simply can not build even the simplest circuit without them.

So all you really need to turn almost any circuit into a radio receiver is a diode. That can be easily formed by some corrosion on a connection. Thus, the easiest way to eliminate reception by a circuit that did work properly at one time is to just clean the connections. Unplug and replug then several times often works. A pencil eraser is an old stand-by for more advanced cases; if the pencil eraser doesn't work, try an ink eraser. But this may remove any plating, like gold plating if it exists. In some cases I have even used household cleanser.

You may also have a new Ham radio operator in the neighborhood. Or someone with an illegal booster on a CB radio. If you can identify the source, you may be in a better position to eliminate it. You say no commercials so that eliminates a lot. Post more details.

Puckdropper
01-24-2015, 10:12 PM
Speaking as someone who has spent many a professional hour chasing such things, it is not surprising. As mentioned by others, all a crystal radio receiver consists of is an antenna, an inductance, a capacitor, and a diode. The wires in your connections are antennae. There is always inductance and capacitance in any circuit, you simply can not build even the simplest circuit without them.

So all you really need to turn almost any circuit into a radio receiver is a diode. That can be easily formed by some corrosion on a connection. Thus, the easiest way to eliminate reception by a circuit that did work properly at one time is to just clean the connections. Unplug and replug then several times often works. A pencil eraser is an old stand-by for more advanced cases; if the pencil eraser doesn't work, try an ink eraser. But this may remove any plating, like gold plating if it exists. In some cases I have even used household cleanser.

You may also have a new Ham radio operator in the neighborhood. Or someone with an illegal booster on a CB radio. If you can identify the source, you may be in a better position to eliminate it. You say no commercials so that eliminates a lot. Post more details.

I've been using a polishing wheel in a Dremel to clean model railroad wheels. It seems to remove most of the gunk without harming the wheel. (Some wheels are plated.) It might be a good second option after the pencil eraser.

FWIW, I had the same problem a month or two ago. I think I fixed it by pushing the cables back in so they made a more solid connection.

J Tiers
01-24-2015, 11:32 PM
While corrosion etc is a very good reason for interference to start, it isn't the only reason. Perfectly possible that something else changed.

A new transmitter nearby (or not that near), a new source of inadvertent transmissions, the wires or speakers etc getting re-positioned, a wire that blocked the effect before being removed, etc. Lots of reasons that have nothing to do with a new defect in your equipment.

And of course also the possibility of a real defect... A shield braid over a wire may be broken, so that it no longer shields correctly. Something inside with a broken solder joint.

outlawspeeder
01-25-2015, 02:36 AM
We got the same thing from the headphone cord used on the ground for airplanes. Aline the cord in the right direction we would pick up country music and the other talk radio. The cord was 175 feet long though. Don't know if a short wire could do that???