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Religious radio station coming through PC speakers


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#1 DracoXIII

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:37 PM

So my roommate pointed this out to me. I had not even noticed it yet but my speakers play a radio station very quietly. I have to have the speakers turned all the way up and my ear next to it to hear it but it is there. Thought he was crazy at first. It doesn't seem to do it constantly and it is some religious radio station I'm guessing. I have been looking around and have seen a few people have had this problem. Some say it is a virus/malware others say it is poor cable shielding. Still others will say it is the sound card picking something up. 

 

Custom built PC 

asus sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard that the speakers are hooked up through. 

 

I have Logitech $70 Walmart speakers. It has a green, black, and tan/pinkish hookup that then runs to the front right speaker and from there to the sub woofer.the sub woofer splits to the left, center, rear right, and rear left speakers. It seems like only the rear speakers play it. I was not hearing it from the front 3. I unplugged the main green jack and it continued to play but I did not unplug the other two jacks. The sound played for at least 30 minutes but has stopped now so it is hard to perform further testing. The computer was on today but when my roommate said he heard the noise, it was off. I can verify that because i turned it on when i got home well after he had heard the noise and figured out where it was coming from.To me that says it is not a software issue if the computer can be off and it's still picking up the radio station.  I was hoping one of you could help me out in figuring out what the issue is. If it is a virus/malware I would like to know so i can get that cleaned off my computer. 

 

I was also wanting to know what programs you would suggest someone get for regular maintenance when it comes to virus and malware cleaning. I have also seen things about registry cleanups and i used to have ccleaner. I would just like to know what a very serious gamer and computer geek should use as a suite of software to keep his computer clean and running smoothly. Sorry first post. not sure if i should make a second topic for this. 



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:22 PM

The one thing this is almost certainly not is a malware problem.

 

Have you managed to identify this station ?  And is it using AM or FM technology ?  It is almost certainly plain old fashioned radio interference and if it is an AM station you need very little to pick up and translate their signals - one of your cables being an exact fraction of their wavelength plus an iffy connection is sufficient !  An FM signal can cause interference but is less likely to be converted to audio, it is rather more complex, and a digital signal is highly unlikely to cause interference of this type.

 

It would be interesting to check the effect of using a different pair of speakers, you may be able to borrow some. Otherwise the cure lies in checking the integrity of all your connections, and/or experimenting with your cable lay out, and/or changing the length of your cables. Improving screening would also minimise the problem but would probably be fairly complex and possibly expensive.

 

For your second part, the most significant factor is the computer user !  But as back stop to my A/V I use Malwarebytes and Super AntiSpyware. I also use Ccleaner but almost entirely for its ability to remove temporary files, occasionally for checking start-up programs but never as a registry cleaner.

 

Chris Cosgrove


I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !


#3 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:28 PM

I agree, it is a simple electrical issue with plain old fashioned RF interference. These things are usually real easy to eliminate as soon as you find the exact frequency and band of the radio station. It might be a faulty wire or plug anywhere in the house causing this.

 

Reminds me of that old Giligan's Island episode.


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#4 Platypus

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 06:38 AM

others say it is poor cable shielding


Indeed this is usually it. The poorly shielded audio cable acts as an antenna, it will likely pick up the closest radio station.

Shielding isn't helped by most modern devices not being earthed (double insulated). If the computer is a desktop with an earth connection in the mains plug, it can be an indication the earthing in the outlet is poor or non-existent.

It's possible a ferrite core clamped over the audio connecting cables at the back of the speaker may exclude the RF pickup, e.g.:

http://au.element14.com/tdk/zcat1325-0530a-bk/ferrite-core-split-5mm-500mhz/dp/1844066

Edited by Platypus, 16 February 2018 - 06:40 AM.

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#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:27 PM

@ Platypus #4

 

Thanks for reminding me of ferrite beads, I'd completely forgotten about them. They also have the merit of being fairly cheap !  As an excuse it is quite a while since I played seriously with radios.

 

Chris Cosgrove


I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !


#6 QQQQ

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 09:50 AM

Years ago in electronics class we built am/fm radio's from a kit, but built them on a piece of wood with brass nails as the connection points. Mine started playing music from a radio station when it was only 1/4 of the way built. I asked the instructor how that could happen and he said it does sometimes happen. If some of the solder joints are just right they can act as antenna's and since I had the power section and the speaker already hooked up it picked up a radio station, I thought that was pretty cool, no others in my class did it.



#7 DracoXIII

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 05:40 AM

thanks, puts my mind at ease that it isn't some virus. it's hardly noticeable and only happens at certain times so i'm not to concerned with fixing it if it's not a software problem. 



#8 QQQQ

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:13 AM

I agree I would not bother yourself with this unless of course it gets louder.






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