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Recieving "Broadcast Radio" thru my rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mjw, Feb 26, 2005.


  1. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Well this is wierd......

    Just today, I started recieving what I'll call "broadcast radio" signals thru my rig. I doubt if brand or configuration matters, but just for the record, I've got an Eden Traveler 550 head and a pair of Eden D-210XST cabs. So there I was...... between sets.... and all of the sudden I start hearing a Latino radio station through my rig.....

    Now........ I grew up in Chicago and lived fairly close to some broadcast antennas of a local radio station with mucho power, and it wasn't tremendously unusual to hear their station through all kinds of things, i.e., pianos, CB radios, your sister's braces, etc..., but I've *never* had this happen through my rig. How bout' anyone here? This was really kinda freaky for me......
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    thats very common. usually points to a lack of sheilding in your bass, amp, or in any effects (particularly distortion or wah units - IME) sometimes everythings sheilded and the signal still comes thru when its strong enough. you can troubleshoot and isolate where it might be coming from. of course, you could always learn to samba. ;)
     
  3. mjw

    mjw

    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    LOL!

    Thanks man! Oddly enough, that's never happenned to me before. Pretty funny though. P.S., I think I'll pass on the Samba.... heh!
     
  4. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Start isolating the problem by disconnecting everything to the amp's head. If you're still receiving the signal, start fooling with the cord between the head and the cabinet. That cord may be acting as an antenna. "Fooling" includes coiling it up, stretching it out in different directions, using different connectors, or using a different length. Even moving the setup to a different room can change things.
     
  5. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    I had a similar problem a while back. Turns out that my old Behringer parametric EQ had a very poor sheilding, and the entire rack chassis acted as a big radio antenna. I promptly returned it and upgraded to an Aphex, and haven't had a problem since.

    Lonnybass
     
  6. Years ago my band showed up at a club for our load-in and soundcheck. To our horror every guitar we had was picking up the same radio station...and I mean LOUD! No problem with the mics or the PA though. On a hunch, I went home after the sound check (we had a couple of hours to kill) and started chopping up spare mic cables and turning them into guitar cords. Got to the gig that night, handed out the new cables to everybody and no more problem.
     
  7. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I had this happen once at a gig. I didn't notice until between sets as well. When I wasn't playing you could hear it in the audience (which means after every song :-/) but even durning my quitest playing you couldn't hear it anymore. Kinda freaky, but I never let it bother me. Made for a few good laughs at some gigs..

    Ray
     
  8. Bassstud1

    Bassstud1 Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2001
    LaPorte Indiana USA
    I've had problems with my Alembic Epic. If any walkie talkie or walkie talkie phones are keyed, I get a Bzzzzzzzzzz. And this isn't a good kind of buzz? I switched to my MM SR5 and it went away. I was using an Eden amp too sometimes a CXC1015 sometimes BBE 383 with Eden 1000 watt amp. A fellow talkbasser suggested that one of the wires in the Epic is the same as a common signal for walkie talkies. Good Luck
     
  9. FR5

    FR5

    Feb 12, 2004
    Netherlands
    I had this happen a couple of times, and always when playing in a church where they have a "ring-system" for the amplification of the pastor/minister (cordless mic). When they turned it off the problem was solved. My amp was the weak link.

    Steven
     
  10. JonB

    JonB

    May 27, 2003
    Indianapolis
    Once we played in a place where everybody's amp picked up a radio station. Didn't matter what brand.
    I went to Radio Shack and the guy recommended a choke (which they sell) which goes on your input cord as close to the amp as possible. It didn't eliminate the problem, but cut the interference way down to a manageable level. MCM sells some nice ones that just clip on the cord. You can keep stacking them until the problem goes away.
     
  11. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    also known as a ferrite ring..
     
  12. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Are these ferrite rings the same thing you see on some computer cables? Why don't any musical instrument cables come with them if the computer people think they are so useful?
     
  13. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    They're called ferrite chokes or ferrite cores, and come in a variety of "types." What type you use is dependent on the radio frequency signal that is being received by the amplifier. Type 73 or 77 may be useful for AM broadcast signals and low shortwave, whereas type 43 may be used for VHF applications. They don't come on computer cables (as far as I know) - or on any kind of cables for that matter. They are purchased and used on an as-needed basis. Don't get me started.
     
  14. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Hmm... then what are the thingys on some computer cables? My laptop power cable has a barrel shaped thing about an inch from the jack end, and so does the firewire cable that came w/ my digital camera. I always assumed they were something designed to reduce interference . . .
     
  15. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Most likely stress-relief points, that way when you tug on the cord, it doesn't end up pulling on the sodlered end where it's connected to the jack and breaking it. Something I put on a lot of my instrument cables, and haven't had to replace them in a LONG long time.

    Ray
     
  16. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    (Incorrect stuff about what that barrel shaped thingie is was edited out)

    Ferrite cores are often required when the equipment is in the near field of a radio broadcast station, particularly a strong amateur radio station. Many hams who also use computers find they have to go to some, uh, lengths to cure interference to their own computers. In the case of a musical amplifier, radio frequency interference is too uncommon to require each 'guitar cord' or speakon cable to come with ferrites installed. They are fairly inexpensive. A good source (with knowledgeable people, as opposed to Radio Shack) is Amidon Associates or Palomar Engineers. You can phone them for assistance for your particular problem. (You would state the nature of the interference, such as AM radio broadcast, and the diameter of the cable onto which you will install the ferrite.) http://www.amidoncorp.com or http://www.palomar-engineers.com
     
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

  18. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Well, I'll be flap-doodled! Looks like I'm wrong -- again! :crying:
     
  19. zac2944

    zac2944 Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I had this problem before and easily fixed it by using a ferrite torroid choke on my instrument cable. My instrument cable was acting like an antenna and my preamp was rectifying the signal. I bought a ferrite torroid from radioshack. It looks like the material magnets are made of, and shaped like a doughnut.. The inner diameter is about an inch, the outer diameter is about 1-1/2 inches, and its about 1/2 an inch thick. I beleve it was 73 ferrite. I'm not sure what the number means, but I think it is important. I took the end of my cable and coiled it through the about three times. I plug this end into my amp. It is important to have the choke at the end of your cable that is closest to the amp. This fixed the problem. I've been using this cable for about four years now and have never heard the radio through my amp again.