Radio Noise

Radio Noise

Radio noise and other annoying buzzes are many times transmitted through an AM radio. Here is a list of the most likely causes:

Dimmer switch (even in ceiling fans) Touch lamp (even when turned off)
Fluorescent light bulbs Fluorescent tubes
Incandescent bulb that is about to burn out LED light bulb (non-FCC certified types)
Automatic on/off night lights Automatic outdoor yard lights
Christmas tree lights & other blinking bulbs Faulty electrical switches
Electronic bug and pest controllers Ultrasonic motion detectors
Electric blankets 120VAC smoke detectors (battery operated OK)
12VDC inverters Smart-meters from electric company
Streetlights Dirty insulators and transformers on nearby power pole
Nearby televisions or monitors Cable or satellite boxes
Ionic Breeze® or other electrostatic air purifier CPAP machines
Smart speakers Cordless phones (2.4GHz)
Scanners Treadmills
Appliances with motors Modems and/or routers
Desktop Computer or Laptop Tablet or Smartphone
Cell phone chargers Switching AC adapter
Neighbor's versions of the above list if in an apartment, townhouse or a close proximity home.
The best way to eliminate radio noise and interference is at its source. Here is a list of possible solutions:
The most obvious solution is to turn off the offending device.
Temporarily switch the radio from AC power to battery power to see if the interference is coming from the electrical outlet. If the noise stops, a Radio Noise Filter/Surge Protector can dramatically reduce the interference.
Often grounding a radio will reduce hum caused from AC line noise. Unfortunately, most receivers do not have a ground connection.
Turn off all circuit breakers to see if the noise stops. If it does, then you know it is something in your house. Turn on one circuit at a time to isolate what area the noise is coming from.
Use a battery-operated radio as a direction finder. Turn the radio until the loudest noise is heard. The front and back of the radio will usually point to the noise origin.
Carry a battery-operated radio around the neighborhood. Ask other neighbors if they have problems with radio noise.
If a power pole is suspected, call the utility company. They will usually check the area and wash the insulators.

For more in-depth information about tracking down and solving interference, please read Interference: Define and Conquer by Tom Osenkowsky at Radio World.

Still have a question about radio noise or radio reception problems? Visit our FREE Online Library or call one of our technicians at (707) 725-9000.