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Horrible buzzing noise on AM/LW - help!!!


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Old 03-09-2007, 21:50
Kurdt Kobain
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For the last 10 years or so we've been suffering on and off from what I can only describe an extremely irritating and very loud humming / buzzing noise on Medium Wave and Long Wave.

I can remember the night it started and since then it seems to come and go every few months.

We had been free of it for quite a while but unfortunately it came back again last night and quite frankly makes listening to anything on AM/LW intolerable.

Has anyone heard of anything like this before or know any way to get rid of it?
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Old 03-09-2007, 21:51
on the air
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I have a tv that when on standby has this effect right around the house.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:16
Sesay2000
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Switch off your electric!
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:21
Horace Zontal
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Switch mode power supplies and fluorescent tubes also cause interference on MW & LW. That will probably include power supplies to your printer etc.

It could also be a neighbour's equipment, so try another room for your radio.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:50
The_First_Tiger
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Switch off your electric!

Not as daft as it sounds.

Assuming you're listening on a radio running off batteries, when you've got the noise, do just that.

It's a first step, if it stops, you'll know it's something in your house, maybe a sticky thermosat on the central heating.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:03
Rabbit Rabbit
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Try walking around with a portable radio, go up the street, down the garden etc, to see if it gets better or worse. Move the radio through 90 degrees to see if it gets better or worse and use the direction the radio is pointing to try and reference where it comes from.

It maybe street lights, or poor ADSL connections.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:07
Inkblot
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It maybe street lights
Haven't noticed this for a long time, but street lights used to produce a ridiculous amount of interference on AM. Possibly in some areas they use an older design?
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:12
Powerplay
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Switch off your electric!
Try switching off your neighbours electric too. Just tell them you're trying to tune-in to RTE1 on LW, I'm sure they'll understand!
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:02
Galaxy266
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If you have replaced the light bulbs in your house for the new energy efficient compact type fluorescent light bulbs instead, these things are notorious for producing bad local interferrence on AM Long and Medium Waves.

If you have changed your bulbs as described, in the interests of satisfactory AM radio listening, I would recommend you try changing them back to filament lightbulbs.

Failing that, just try listening to your radio in the dark!
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:12
gpl
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Another cause of buzzing is dimmer controls - my halogen uplighter is a nightmare
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:40
Hot Hits
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I had a similar problem but this was on FM too. I even had it in the car when I tuned off station in the car as a parked in front of the garage. Turned out to be a booster being used for getting better TV reception in the lounge. Cheap nasty thing.. went in the bin. No buzzing then!.. Try to do it by elimination
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:16
StereRowe
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We moved into our new house 30 months ago. Between ourselves and next door is one of those huge transformers for the local supplies. Whether it's a conincidance or not I don't know, but listening on MW & LW in a dream now. The mains supply is so 'clean'.

I've never known the bands so clear of pops, whistles & hum.

StereRowe
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Old 07-09-2007, 22:14
Kurdt Kobain
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Would buying a DAB radio solve this problem?

If so where can you buy cheap DAB radios from?
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Old 07-09-2007, 23:03
Orry Verducci
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Would buying a DAB radio solve this problem?

If so where can you buy cheap DAB radios from?
It would provided the stations you listen to on AM are also on DAB. You can get DAB radios from just about all electronics retailers.
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Old 07-09-2007, 23:05
radiolinks
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It would provided the stations you listen to on AM are also on DAB. You can get DAB radios from just about all electronics retailers.
Yep, go and buy DAB. When you have got tired with it, use it as a door stop or paperweight....
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Old 07-09-2007, 23:46
KnobTwiddler
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For the last 10 years or so we've been suffering on and off from what I can only describe an extremely irritating and very loud humming / buzzing noise on Medium Wave and Long Wave.
Crap computer power supplies are one of the worst offenders when it comes to interference on MW & LW.

It could be from a neighbours computer radiating through the mains, so have a listen to this recording and see if it's the same noise.
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Old 08-09-2007, 00:07
DRY_SWEEPER
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For the last 10 years or so we've been suffering on and off from what I can only describe an extremely irritating and very loud humming / buzzing noise on Medium Wave and Long Wave.

I can remember the night it started and since then it seems to come and go every few months.

We had been free of it for quite a while but unfortunately it came back again last night and quite frankly makes listening to anything on AM/LW intolerable.

Has anyone heard of anything like this before or know any way to get rid of it?
its caused by a change in atmospheric conditions, it will always happen about 6 weeks before the clocks are changed, both for winter time and for summer time
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Old 08-09-2007, 00:09
DRY_SWEEPER
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Would buying a DAB radio solve this problem?

If so where can you buy cheap DAB radios from?
you havent told us which station you are trying to listen to but I can guess,
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:01
Zeropoint1
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It would provided the stations you listen to on AM are also on DAB. You can get DAB radios from just about all electronics retailers.
Yep, upgrade your AM quaility and get DAB...however if you ever move on to FM use the DAB radio as nice looking door stop.
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Old 08-09-2007, 13:31
Kurdt Kobain
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Crap computer power supplies are one of the worst offenders when it comes to interference on MW & LW.

It could be from a neighbours computer radiating through the mains, so have a listen to this recording and see if it's the same noise.
Yes mate that's the exact same noise we get!

We've only had a computer since last Christmas so it could be one of our neighbours then.....
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Old 08-09-2007, 13:41
Headless Dickin
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That noise is everywhere these days. Ten years ago I could listen to MW with no problem. You can forget that now.
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Old 08-09-2007, 13:49
broonale
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its caused by a change in atmospheric conditions, it will always happen about 6 weeks before the clocks are changed, both for winter time and for summer time

Not heard that one.... So don't think so.... Although spacial weather can have an effect on hf frequencies.

I suspect the cause here is electrical interference from power supplies or lighting or an external source nearby.

I had the problem for ages and never did find the cause. It went away one day and has been quiet since. MW/LW isn't good here anyway but at least the interference I suffered vanished.
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Old 08-09-2007, 16:42
Martin Kayne
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The interference levels on MW and LW in built-up areas have increased considerably in recent years, mainy due to many electronic devices that are now in use. In high density housing, like flats and terraced houses, there is not a lot one can do except to check you are not creating the interference yourself.

There are 2 ways interference can reach your radio, one is through the mains and the other is through the air to the antenna. A quick and inexpensive way to check is to use a small battery powered radio tuned to the interference you are experiencing, cart it around your property holding it near to light fittings and other equipment in use (or on standby) to see if by switching off suspected equipment causes the noise to stop. If the interference is much less in your garden or out in the street, away from a lampost, you can guess the interference is not atmospherics but generated from within. In my case I discovered an old VCR and a computer picture scanner, when on standby, were causing a dreadful racket on MW and LW. These are now kept unplugged when not in use. Thermostats can be a problem, they can sometimes cause a crackling noise for a period just before the circuit breaks and sometimes when the switch closes too. Mains interference can be minimised by using a filter, you can buy some that plug in line, or you can get ferrite devices to fix to the cable.

I invariably find that using a car radio in the countryside, away from overhead power cables and the engine off, there is very little background noise and weak stations come in correspondingly better. This is how it was everywhere 40 years ago! Cue violin music

Hope this helps a little -
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Old 08-09-2007, 16:52
broonale
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Another cause is the actual LED display on a radio 'tuning dial'. Hold the AM aerial to this or another portable radio and it is sometimes just wiped out.
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Old 08-09-2007, 21:26
DRY_SWEEPER
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Not heard that one.... So don't think so.... Although spacial weather can have an effect on hf frequencies.

I suspect the cause here is electrical interference from power supplies or lighting or an external source nearby.

I had the problem for ages and never did find the cause. It went away one day and has been quiet since. MW/LW isn't good here anyway but at least the interference I suffered vanished.
I dont kno much about it but thats the pattern I have noticed with it in the past
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