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Old 10-20-2018, 02:52 PM
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Chasing down interferance

I've been using my antique radios lately, and it had got to the point where AM was nearly unusable, due to buzzing and interferance.

I located the noise sources by shutting off one breaker at a time, until it went away. I ended up finding one grey market LED lamp, the treadmill, and the power supply to the Wii U. I also unplugged the computer. With all that done, reception is awesome now.

If you're struggling with am reception, keep trying, it is possible to get it back. I can get stations which have been lost in noise for years, and the sound is good now.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:04 PM
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I need to go on such a hunt soon. Lately, something has been intermittently interfering with the agile modulators I use to transmit to my TVs.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:13 PM
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I need to go on such a hunt soon. Lately, something has been intermittently interfering with the agile modulators I use to transmit to my TVs.
It took less than an hour, I thought it would be really time consuming or difficult, but it was super easy, and the results are amazing. I had really written off using AM radio, and now it's back just like it was when I began this hobby.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:03 PM
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I need to go on such a hunt soon. Lately, something has been intermittently interfering with the agile modulators I use to transmit to my TVs.
It will be interesting to know what it is.

What does the interference look like?
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:09 PM
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I'm an AM DXer. I found that my CPAP would make noise running and a power brick for my son's laptop would make weird noises. Interference looks like lots of dashed lines in motion.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:24 PM
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I'm an AM DXer. I found that my CPAP would make noise running and a power brick for my son's laptop would make weird noises. Interference looks like lots of dashed lines in motion.
This seems like typical motor commutation interference.

Zenith had a device they called "the growler" for testing analog TV sync circuits. It was a metal box with RF input and output ports that contained a vacuum cleaner motor coupled to the signal. It had a two stage speed control circuit that cyclicly varied the speed of the motor and the rate of change of the speed, thus creating interference streaks that ran through all possible phases with respect to vertical and horizontal sync. Eventually, integrated analog sync circuits could sync up when the signal was so much smaller than the noise that you could not make out what the picture content was.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by old_tv_nut View Post
This seems like typical motor commutation interference.

Zenith had a device they called "the growler" for testing analog TV sync circuits.
That's the second diagnostic tool use I've heard for the word "Growler" . In electric motor servicing there is a tool called the growler that will indicate shorted windings in a motor's armature . Since the electric motor servicing growler predates mass market TV , I believe the name of your device was borrowed from the original growler ...
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:29 AM
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A buddy of mine was fond of complaining about how bad the RF interference is in town. 75-40 meters was basically unusable and 20 was pretty rough too. We got a battery for the radio and starting flipping breakers. Turned out he was generating most of the noise! He had all sorts of stuff that was interfering. Got most of it dealt with but he still likes to complain about "the noise in town".
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:26 AM
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That's the second diagnostic tool use I've heard for the word "Growler" . In electric motor servicing there is a tool called the growler that will indicate shorted windings in a motor's armature . Since the electric motor servicing growler predates mass market TV , I believe the name of your device was borrowed from the original growler ...
Very interesting; I always assumed the Zenith growler was named simply for the noise it made.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:08 PM
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I once had an RFI problem that made SW listening unbearable. Located the problem at a street light with a bad sensor across the street. Got the city to change out the sensor and the problem went away!
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:18 PM
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Some stuff on armature growlers..

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...mature+growler
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2018, 03:05 PM
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Awesome ! Yes those are exactly what I remember . Somewhere in my collection of stuff I'll never use/get to there is one that I bought at a yard sale years ago .
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:37 PM
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Zenith had a device they called "the growler" for testing analog TV sync circuits. It was a metal box with RF input and output ports that contained a vacuum cleaner motor coupled to the signal. ...
When the ATSC high def digital over the air systems were tested, one of the tests was a vacuum cleaner motor that made RFI. To see how well the transmission methods handled it.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by maxhifi View Post
I've been using my antique radios lately, and it had got to the point where AM was nearly unusable, due to buzzing and interferance.

I located the noise sources by shutting off one breaker at a time, until it went away. I ended up finding one grey market LED lamp, the treadmill, and the power supply to the Wii U. I also unplugged the computer. With all that done, reception is awesome now.

If you're struggling with am reception, keep trying, it is possible to get it back. I can get stations which have been lost in noise for years, and the sound is good now.
I was surprised to have interference on the FM band due to LED lamps. They aren't exactly TOTL R40 lamps. They're the Sunbeam badged from Dollar Tree. Two for a buck! This house has those can lights, popular in the early 2000's. The switch is on the other side of the wall from the radio.
The FM reception is great when the lights aren't on.
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  #15  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseljeep View Post
I was surprised to have interference on the FM band due to LED lamps. They aren't exactly TOTL R40 lamps. They're the Sunbeam badged from Dollar Tree. Two for a buck! This house has those can lights, popular in the early 2000's. The switch is on the other side of the wall from the radio.
The FM reception is great when the lights aren't on.
This kind of story is part of the reason I've been sticking with incandescent/halogen.
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