not joke: I can hear talk radio interference on my MBP!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by catachip, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. catachip macrumors regular

    catachip

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    #1
    I know you are going to think I'm crazy, and I honestly thought it was a website pop-up the first time I heard it. But, if I have my headphones plugged in, and it's quiet, I can hear some radio station coming in and out. It's faint, but the sound of human voices is certainly there.

    I have one of the new MacBook Pros, and ever since I got it I have noticed the audio quality is not that great. I get a bit of a static hiss feedback, and an occasional very quiet, but high-pitched tone if I am wearing headphones.

    Before you say this guy is nuts, please take comfort in the fact that I'm not. This is the third time I've heard it now, and I thought I'd ask if anyone has any possible explanations or ever heard of anything like this?!
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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  3. RichL macrumors 6502

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    #3
    While you clearly stated hearing "human" voices....MAYBE, in fact, you are receiving extraterrestrial signals from space.

    Just a thought ^_^
     
  4. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

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    #4
    I had this problem with my 12in. PowerBook, I was on my iMac and I heard very faint voices so I walked around the house to see if I had a tv or radio on I walked by my PowerBook and thats what it was, I had it next to a clock radio and I think thats what was causing it. About the poor audio, I would call Apple.
     
  5. catachip thread starter macrumors regular

    catachip

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    #5
    Can't say for sure. The times it has occurred, I was on AC power. It's kind of intermittent, so, I might have to wait a little while for it to occur on battery.
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    If you aren't already, try using the grounded, 3-prong, extension cable that came with the adapter (it replaces the slide-out 2-prong one). Just something easy to try. RFI can be a "black art" to try and troubleshoot.

    Another question: Is it occurring with one particular set of headphones, and if so, do they have any internal amplifiers - like dynamic noise-canceling types would?
     
  7. omgwut macrumors 6502

    omgwut

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    #7
    I used to hear radio interference in my air conditioner.
     
  8. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #8
    Funny, this also happens with my dad's dells speakers when one plugs iPod headphones into them. It's weird.
     
  9. ToastMaster macrumors regular

    ToastMaster

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    #9
    I've had this happen to me multiple times before with different speakers.

    What is probably happening is you are picking up HAM or CB radio signals through your speaker components. Many stereo and computer speakers work on the same frequency ranges as civilian radio operators.

    If it were on some external speakers, you could probably fiddle with the wiring a little bit and that might solve it, or maybe just move them to a slightly different location in the room. But since it's the speakers in your MBP, your best bet might be to find out if there are any HAM radio operators around your area, and if so, contact them about the interference you're receiving.
     
  10. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #10
    Although it might be HAM or CB, stereo and computer speakers don't work on anything similar the "same frequency range". The RFI is caused by the components demodulating audio from the source RF. Most amateur radio operators use SSB modulation (at least, in any frequency which is likely to cause interference), which would be unintelligible (though, there are some rare AM mode operators). If it's intermittent, CB would be a good suspect, as most use AM mode. But, if the OP lives near an AM broadcast station, it's very easy for the interference to be caused by that (mostly due to the high power output). It should be fairly easy to determine whether it's broadcast radio.

    If the OP does know of any local HAMs, approach one with your problem, you probably will find them very helpful in tracking down the interference - whether caused by their transmissions or others. Most are very good at working this kind of problem. Actually, if there is a local Amateur Radio club (most areas have them), contact someone there and I'd bet they will find someone to help out, whatever the cause.

    Speaking of which (licensed since '76): If it's just the headphones, and they do have an amplifier, you might be able to suppress the RFI by putting a choke on the cable (those little barrel things you see on computer computer cables). I mention amplifier, as it would more difficult for the RFI to show up directly on the headphone speaker elements. Snap-Together Ferrite Choke Core.
     
  11. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

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    #11
    This happened on my PC before. I was picking up my school's radio station in my dorm. I had thought I was crazy for so long and just blocked it out, but one day I was actually listening to the radio station and when I turned it off I could still hear it. I was able to get rid of the sound by making sure the cables were connected solidly and moving some og the wires further from each other.
     
  12. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    #12
    If it was radio interference you wouldn't be able to hear a specific channel. It would just be white noise..

    You would have to have some sort of tuner to be able to hear a specific channel. And even then, you'd need to amplify that signal a hell of a lot to hear anything.

    Must be something else.
     
  13. diadem macrumors regular

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    #13
    LOL I get this alot in the recording studio with guitars and with the head phones in the live room. What we get is the church, its an induction loop system they have setup in the church. :)
     
  14. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The transmitter for my school's radio station was on the building next to mine and I could see it from my window. It was definitely that radio station I was picking up and I had nothing attached to my computer except for the speakers. I could also hear it when the computer was off, but the speakers were on.
     
  15. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #15
    On the flip side of all this, my friends car would pick up engine rev noises and amplify them. Sort of like a make shift muffler (if they're called that, I know squat about cars).
     
  16. yrsonicdeath macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Haha, my car does this too, I'm using an FM transmitter though. It isn't that noticeable though.
     
  17. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #17
    Not true. With sufficient signal strength, it just needs a way to be demodulated (again, assuming AM mode). e.g. If you look at an AM modulated signal on an oscilloscope, it doesn't need to be "tuned" to the RF frequency to see the audio frequency modulation (the 'scope just needs to have enough frequency response to see the RF as a complex waveform).
     
  18. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #18
    I wish I have the same feature too!

    It is not a bug! It is a feature!
     
  19. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

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    #19
    When you don't know what you are are talking about- and you sure as hell do not on this subject- you should seriously consider not posting at all, rather than making stuff up and proving your lack of knowledge in a public forum.

    This sort of thing happens all the time. Gilligan picked up one specific radio station on his tooth- I saw it on TV.
     
  20. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #20
    lol - forgot about that one. Was there a vine and two coconuts involved? ;)

    There's actually a famous story about Lucille Ball hearing a spy station. Here's another anecdotal story: Amateur Radio Field Day and Fillings

    I believe it might be possible, under the right conditions.
     
  21. PriusPilot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    #21
    Me too

    I made an account just to reply to this thread, it is happening to me with Apple EarPod Headphones and my MacBook Air 11"! (I'm listing to truckers and some guy screw around on a CB radio right now!) It only picks up when it is connected to the charger, I have found it. It is super clear though, this guy must be transmitting from close by.
     
  22. junkmailbonzai macrumors member

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    Mar 8, 2008
    #22
    Experience

    My wife was sitting in the same room with her headphones in and I talking on my ham radio using single sideband at 100 watts on 7MHz. She said she could hear me loudly in the headphones and sure enough, when I tried it, I could as well. Not sure how far away we would have to be for this to not work.
     
  23. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2011
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    Ridgewood, NJ
    #23
    Could be the headphones. I had a pair of beats pros that were picking up cell phone calls and all sorts of stuff, when plugged into my AI. Returned them and picked up a pair of athm50x's and it stopped.
     
  24. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #24
    This made me spit my coffee out :D:D:D Lol

    I think it's just the cell towers doing that. Probably not a big deal? Unless of course it IS in fact aliens *dun* *dun* *dun* nOOOOO :mad:
     
  25. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #25
    Holy thread resurrection, Batman!

    My grandfather lives next to a radio tower that's just a little too powerful. Every radio frequency in his house has Christian talk radio on it, including channel 2 on his TV.
     

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