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    July 30, 2007

Trouble with AM Radio Reception - Not sure if this is an appropriate forum or not, but I have a problem that no local technicians can help me with.

I have lived in my Oregon home for about a year. The AM radio reception in my home has been great. About two months ago, ALL of my radios in my house have a very loud buzzing noise on every AM station. I cannot even hear "past the buzzing". Just a loud, constant buzz. I have tried numerous radios. This happens whether I use the power cord or simply battery power.

When I pull my vehicle into the driveway, the buzzing even occurs in my vehicle when I get within ten feet of my house.

My "XM" satellite and FM reception is great.

I have not replaced anything electrical in the house nor have I had any changes to wiring or cable upgrades.

Any suggestions? (other than stop listening to AM radio? haha) Thanks!!

posted by Gudshot to technology at 7:33 P.M. EST     (10 Comments)

Comments ...

Stop listening to AM radio, it's all conservative talk, all the time, and rots your brain. The liberals' mind control lasers have been tuned to interfere with your reception, anyhow.
posted by anonymouscoward at 07:59 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

That is odd. I was going to ask if you replaced all your old incandescent light bulbs with fluorescents, but that wouldn't explain the static in your car while in your driveway.

While driving around here, the worse spot I run into for AM reception due to massive interference is at the intersection of Miami St and Oregon Rd. Some kind of power unit gizmo sits along the road there that really wipes out the reception.

Has any work been done around your home by the power company? How close is your home to your neighbors? Have your neighbors done any electrical work or installed something?

posted by jr at 08:00 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

Step 1: get battery powered AM radio
Step 2: pull main breaker in house
Step 3: turn on battery powered AM radio. if buzzing is still present, call FCC, if it is not, turn off all the other circuit breakers and turn the main one back on, then turn the various breakers back on until you find one that triggers the buzzing. if the buzzing is not present, then start turning on stuff that was powered off and didn't come back on after flipping the breaker off and then back on (computers for example).

might also be a good idea to get an electrician out there and check everything over, too.

posted by anonymouscoward at 08:18 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

"it's all conservative talk"

You need a new radio, AC, that picks up something besides WSPD. Here are a couple of the easy stations that come in that aren't contalk:

1230 is Fox Sports
1470 is ESPN
950 is the all news station from Detroit
800 CKLW

Here's a radio I like that I've used since last fall. Not sure how well the built-in battery will hold up in the long-term, but it's nice not dealing with replaceable or rechargeable batteries.

"Offering a choice of AC recharge-ability, wind up and solar power, the Eyemax incorporates the latest in Freeplay's self-sufficient technology- which means unparalleled sound quality, dependability and durability, all with out the need for replaceable batteries."

posted by jr at 08:23 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

Thanks, jr, but I got one of these and one of these for my radio needs at the moment. I just wish I had some sort of weather radio with SAME that would interface to a computer so I could rig up something to page or IM me when an alert goes through... all the other systems I've looked at are too slow for my taste.
posted by anonymouscoward at 08:33 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

It could be something as simple as your fish tank, if you have one. The heater in those things can go bad and create the buzz you speak of. You have a AC line noise problem in or near your home, that is why you hear it in the car when you pull into the drive. Check the little things such as a charger for the phone first. Just uplug them and see if the noise goes away. It could be a power transformer near your home also. The power company will help with that if necessary.
posted by max at 09:09 P.M. EST on Mon Jul 30, 2007     #

This article gives some suggestions. I would guess that you have some interference from power lines.

As for local AM Radio, the syndicated programming on WSPD and WTOD are bad for my health. Jim Rome on 1230 and the ESPN sports shows get me through the day from 9-3.

posted by fish4 at 06:56 A.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

I think the AM radio in my dad's car is broken too. All I could hear when we went to lunch today were the ill informed rantings of some thrice divorced drug addict. Must have been picking up the martian signals....
posted by Ace_Face at 12:46 P.M. EST on Tue Jul 31, 2007     #

I would add something else to anonymouscoward's recommendation. Before you pull the breaker, take your battery powered radio and just take a walk. walk around your neighborhood see if the interference is just in your house or if it coming from a neighbor.

If theres interference is just in your home try turning off the breakers one by one with radion next to you. Wait about 1-2 minutes before you turn the breaker back on. Sometime electronic equipment needs a couple of minutes to discharge. Pulling the main breaker should be the last thing you do IMHO.

It sounds like either a refrigerator motor is frying out near by or you live near the power plant which is installing new equipment.

posted by tekrat at 05:38 A.M. EST on Wed Aug 01, 2007     #

1470 doesnt come in well at all in south toledo.
posted by incrediblehelp at 11:42 P.M. EST on Wed Aug 01, 2007     #

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