Picking up radio signals

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Reemo_bassist, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. I was jamming away to myself and suddenly I stopped and turned down my bass's volume control, only to be met with the noise of several radio stations at the smae time! I have a Arion distortion pedal...maybe this has something to do with this strange occurrence! COuld someone shed some light on this strange phenomenon?

    So far, I've got as far as Indian radio!
  2. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I HATE THAT! :mad: It could be a sheilding issue. That what it was for me. Also, do you practice anywhere near a neon light?
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I have heard of it happening before, although it has never happened to me.

    Also, moving this to MISC.
  4. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Shielding or grounding possibly.
  5. RJ

    RJ Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    That always happend to a friend of mine on his guitar. It only happend when he had one of his distortion pedals in his fx loop.
  6. It used to happen to me with an old bass I had. I would be practicing late at night and I would start to pick up short wave radios. By this time at night I would usually be pretty intoxicated and I would freak out, because I would hear foreign languages coming through my amp. The first time it happened was the best, I seriously freaked out, I had no idea where it was coming from.

  7. did you look for all the frenchmen?
  8. Yep, I've had that from time to time. We stay quite close to a radio station transmitter too. I guess I should invest in some better leads!!!
  9. I have had some big problems with this. But not with my bass amp, with my subwoofer. I got a sweet sound system for Christmas and it came with a subwoofer. When I plugged it in, I noticed it emitted radio signals. It sounds fine when the music is on, but you can still hear the radio on, when music is playing. We have a newly built house, and I tested the socket, and the ground works fine. Any idea what could be wrong with my sub? maybe a wiring issue?
  10. Maaaany years later (ten!), I have studied electronics engineering and hold two radio licenses. If the strings/signal input path is not shielded, going into a distortion pedal (it is basically a gain stage at the end of the day...) will risk turning it into an AM receiver.
  11. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Damn dude thats like someone having a stripped strap button and studying to become a luthier.
  12. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Did this thread inspire you go down that path of study?
  13. I quite enjoy bringing cannons to knife fights :D. Nah, interests just materialised, radio was after I spent a day out in the Westmost point of Ireland in a small shack watching someone morse-code to Egypt on a dark and stormy day. Enthralled from then on, licensed as EI6GXB and VA2GXB. Eventually I stumbled over my own thread and thought I'd answer it!
  14. This happened to my guitarist at practice a couple of weeks ago. Seemed to be his wah pedal was the culprit, although it hasn't come back since.

    To hear a radio signal, you need to pick up the carrier and then rectify the signal to get the audio off of it, then amplify the audio so you can hear it. I get where picking up the carrier can happen with pickups or cables acting as antennae, and of course the amplifier will take care of making the audio loud enough to hear, but there's got to be a some sort of diode or other similar-acting device in the signal chain to rectify the carrier. I am guessing this part must be in the wah pedal circuit. In the OP's case maybe it's in the distortion pedal.
  15. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The way I solved my radio dilemma once was to take a long instrument cord and put a loop in it and adjusted the size of the loop until the radio signals went away, kind of like turning the tuner knob on a radio.
  16. Check most distortion pedal schematics. They have diodes (to clip and distort the signal). There you go! Couple that with the adjustable gain (pot) and decoupling caps and youv'e got yourself a tuned circuit, plus a rectifier. AM receiver!
  17. iipopes, you made an RF choke.
  18. Holy cow, you mean this actually works?
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Common root cause: Loose ground on the input jack of your amp, possibly due to wiggling the input jack and breaking the solder joints loose.
  20. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Lucille Ball once picked up radio in her fillings. Turns out you don't even need a guitar. or a reciever..at all. Man, we all been duped. Curse you, Nikola Tesla!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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