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What is wrong with my electricity?

  1. Jul 5, 2003 #1
    Ok - So I had some issues with using my guitar amp on the line in of my computer.... I had some buzzing issues.

    In my full on investigation I have discovered some distrubing things.

    Let me describe to you this, and please help me out and tell me this could only be a problem with the electrical system within the walls.

    I have my computer running - of course plugged into the power outlet of the wall.

    I have my headphones plugged into my computer so I can hear.

    1. When I pull the power cords out and in on RANDOM things around the house that are in no way attached to the computer in any way whatosever - I get a buzzing when they're in, and less buzzing when they're out. Again these objects are in no way connecting to my computer, except they are running through the same power system (but not the same outlet)

    2. Ok - with the same setup, I have a cord plugged into the LINE IN on my computer. WHenever I touch this cord to random cords lying on the ground that are IN NO WAY PLUGGED INTO ANYTHING - THEY ARE JUST LYING WITH BOTH ENDS ON THE GROUND - it causes alot of buzzing in my headphones

    So in both cases completely unplugged random cords are causing buzzes in my computer headphones - and unplugging objects in the walls which are NOT connected to my computer cause buzzing through my computer

    DOes this provide evidence to the claim:

    CLAIM: The buzzes of the plugged in objects are causing power changes which are coming through the power plug of my computer and into the headphones?

    QUESTION: Why would touching the line in cord to unplugged cords lying on the ground cause anything to happen? There should be nothing going on in the cords should there??

    Anyone who can help me out here thanks

    Really I just want to know:

    1. that this is a problem inside the wall power system
    2. POssibly the origin of the problem so I can sound knowledgable when I talk to the front desk people


    Oh and also, for those who missed my earlier post. The reason this started is because whenever my guitar amp is on and plugged in I get a local radio station coming through the amp speakers.

    thanks again!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2003 #2
    I have furthermore discovered that having other objects plugged into the wall outlets - weather they are at all plugged into the computer - cause a buzzing.

    However, since my amp is by far the most powerful item in the house - it causes the most buzzing.

    Keep in mind that the items are in no way plugged into my computer. The only comment connection is that they are always both plugged into the wall outlets and thus my power system.

    I am dying to get this fix.

    Entropy please tell me this seems like an internal power problem because I can have the apt people look at it then!!!!!

    Or if you know of any plug I can put onto my computer and music equipment to stop this problem from coming out of the wall system and into my PC and amp etc...

  4. Jul 5, 2003 #3


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    I want you to unplug all appliances and check to see. Plug them in one by one until you hear the buzzing noise. It could be an appliance you have malfunctioning. The reason your buzzing gets louder while the headphones are plugged in is because the headphones are not well insulated and remember everything with current creates a magnetic field with differ frequencies. Now your body can act as an antenna to pick up stray frequencies. if I were you i would have your outlets checked anyway if it doesnt cost you anything or use a multimeter to see if you pick up drastic voltage fluctuations (a O-scope is best but expensive test equipment).

    thats what I would do because it does sound like your wiring is screwed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2003
  5. Jul 6, 2003 #4
    it could just be bad sheilding in the wires that are beign disrubted by the other eletrical currants
  6. Jul 7, 2003 #5


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    Science Advisor

    ^^ Would be my vote ^^

    Using lighter sheilded wires is cost effective, and saves ppl money. Its also more prone to interference, which is what you seem to be suffering from.

    All electrical devices operate at a certain frequency. Frequencys are radio waves, and do not neccesarily have to travel through wires. Hence your picking up the radio station through your amp (do you live near a broadcast station by chance?).

    If I follow you, say your PC is in the bedroom, and you plug a toaster into an outlet in the kitchen. Does it start making the noise immediatly, or do you have to operate the toaster? Chances are, you've got a funny appliance somewhere that is putting some weird feedback into your wiring.

    As far as the objects not plugged in, what kind of objects. Things such as box fans, e-pencil sharpeners have large magnets, transformers and capacitors which could possibly store enough juice to produce some weird noise.

    As I'm sure you know, you can also touch the line in of your amp to your finger or tounge and get some noise.

    I'd definetly get your wiring checked, if nothing else to make sure there are no fire hazards.

    Also, perhaps a good surge protector would assist in some way.
  7. Jul 9, 2003 #6
    you don't have a ground, or a bad ground. Get a ground and be happy don't worry.
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