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Q: Speaker picking up radio signals. ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Speaker picking up radio signals.
Category: Science > Physics
Asked by: toolofthesystem-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 03 Jul 2006 11:25 PDT
Expires: 02 Aug 2006 11:25 PDT
Question ID: 743009
One of my speakers has been picking up a radio signal. It is connected
with my computer and works fine with playing sound. There is no
program running that would be causing this effect and even when I
completely mute the sound system on my computer an unidentified radio
station will play on it.

How is this physically possible?
Subject: Re: Speaker picking up radio signals.
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 03 Jul 2006 13:08 PDT
Hi toolofthesystem-ga,

This phenomenon is known as "radio frequency breakthrough
interference". It occurs because the speaker leads are acting as an
antenna and picking up the radio wave, converting it to an electrical

There is then some kind of nonlinearity which demodulates the radio
wave, producing the audio component. This could be, for example, a
corroded joint acting like the crystal in a traditional crystal set
and rectifying the radio frequency signal, producing an audio
frequency signal that makes a sound when it passes through the

The following short article may prove useful to you:

   Solving Radio Interference RFI Breakthrough on Computer Speakers

I trust this provides the information you are seeking. If not, please
request clarification.


Google Search Strategy:

radio interference breakthrough speakers
Subject: Re: Speaker picking up radio signals.
From: kottekoe-ga on 03 Jul 2006 20:36 PDT
I presume your speakers have a built-in amplifier. The nonlinear
distortion that demodulates the AM radio station is probably in the
front-end transistor of that amplifier.

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