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Old 19-Apr-2021, 11:07 PM   #1
Victoria Whitsett
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Join Date: Apr 2021
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AM Radio Interference

Hi friends,

I know this is a tv site, but I have a problem with my radio antennas and I don't know where else to turn.

I listen to AM radio. I have one in each room of my apartment, and all worked fine till last week, when suddenly they all developed so much static that they're unlistenable. I moved the positions of the radios and their antennas, but that didn't help. I deduced that something changed, but that I was not the cause of it.

I did some research and found that sometimes HD tv's can cause interference with radio reception. Is that true? Perhaps a close neighbor of mine, like upstairs, perhaps, got an HD tv? He's not been around, so I'm not able to ask.

But even if that's what happened, is there anything I can do about it? I ordered one of those round antennas, but it hasn't arrived yet and some reports on the internet said that if the cause of static is interference, then a new antenna won't help.

Does anyone have any information or advice for me? Thanks.
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Old 19-Apr-2021, 11:17 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria Whitsett View Post
Hi friends,

I know this is a tv site, but I have a problem with my radio antennas and I don't know where else to turn.

I listen to AM radio. I have one in each room of my apartment, and all worked fine till last week, when suddenly they all developed so much static that they're unlistenable. I moved the positions of the radios and their antennas, but that didn't help. I deduced that something changed, but that I was not the cause of it.

Does anyone have any information or advice for me? Thanks.
Hello, Victoria; welcome to the forum.

We will try to help you as best we can.

It is true that some TVs can cause interference. Other devices can cause similar interference: AC adapters for laptop computers, battery chargers, and many types of lighting.

I think the most likely cause is the new types of lighting, like CFLs and LEDs.

I suggest you use a battery operated portable radio tuned to the AM broadcast band to hunt for sources of the interference. Most portable radios have a built-in antenna that is directional which might help you in hunting for a source. This is the one I use:



If you still can't locate the source of interference, or are unable to do anything about it even if you do know the cause, I suggest you listen to FM. That's what my sister does; she likes NPR.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 19-Apr-2021 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 21-Apr-2021, 9:50 PM   #3
Tim
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If your AM radio is able to operate on battery power, I would suggest you first turn off the main breaker to your home and see if the interference is coming from your home or from outside your home.

It is also possible that the interference is coming from an AC power line from outside of your home. Dirty or cracked insulators, faulty lightning arrestors or loose hardware on the power lines can cause interference. Power companies have specialized equipment such as ultrasonic dishes and hot stick sniffers for locating sources of AC power line interference.

Some other things to check:

Door bell transformers
Electric blankets or heating pads
Recessed ceiling light fixtures
Furnace control circuits
Light dimmers
Screw-in photocells
CFL bulbs
LED floodlights
Switching mode power supplies as used on laptops and other electronic equipment
LED under cabinet lights
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Old 26-Apr-2021, 5:40 PM   #4
Victoria Whitsett
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Join Date: Apr 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Hello, Victoria; welcome to the forum.

We will try to help you as best we can.

It is true that some TVs can cause interference. Other devices can cause similar interference: AC adapters for laptop computers, battery chargers, and many types of lighting.

I think the most likely cause is the new types of lighting, like CFLs and LEDs.

I suggest you use a battery operated portable radio tuned to the AM broadcast band to hunt for sources of the interference. Most portable radios have a built-in antenna that is directional which might help you in hunting for a source. This is the one I use:



If you still can't locate the source of interference, or are unable to do anything about it even if you do know the cause, I suggest you listen to FM. That's what my sister does; she likes NPR.
Hi all. Thanks for your suggestions. I first tried an AM radio indoor antenna. I used the TERK Advantage. It got the best reviews. Their specs noted that if the cause of static was interference, it probably wouldn't work. Hoping against hope I ordered it anyway. Unfortunately, they were right.

I tried to measure how far the interference went. I live in a small apartment building with an outdoor car port. The interference goes throughout the building and into the car port. It stops just outside my window on the other side of the building.

My neighbor's car was vandalized in the carport, and I see he's installed a wifi camera on the nearby telephone pole. Could that be the problem?

Meanwhile, I'm taking the advice of my friend who posted above and am returning to NPR. When I just can't cope with their relentless political correctness, I turn everything off and listen to the quiet around me. Maybe that's the best solution.

Thanks so much, everyone.
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Old 26-Apr-2021, 10:48 PM   #5
Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria Whitsett View Post

My neighbor's car was vandalized in the carport, and I see he's installed a wifi camera on the nearby telephone pole. Could that be the problem?
While anything is possible, I have never run across an instance of AM interference caused by wi-fi.
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