Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne E/M interference
Name: pati
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993

What might be the cause of static interference inside a home that prohibits the use of a stereo, battery operated radio, car radio, and television? The type of static interference is compatible to the static interference when a blender, mixer, or microwave oven is turned on only they are not being used and the static interference occurs at varies times during the day and night and come and go at different intervals. I thought it might be someone using a C. B. radio but I do not hear any voices. If you could tell me what you think it might be or recommend a good book to read on this topic, I would greatly appreciated it.

It is very difficult to tell what is causing the interference without knowing some more specifics, like proximity to neighbors, what type of neighbors (industrial or residential), how many people on a single transformer, frequency of the interference, and so on. It does sound like, if you are getting so much interference that it even makes the car radio inoperable, that there is a tremendous source of radiated electrical noise in the area. If that is the case, a call to the local FCC office should get the ball rolling. It could be that the operator of the source does not even know that it is happening. It is unlikely that it is a CB radio because of the power levels required to do what you describe, and it probably is not a HAM operator, because they would be able to tell that there was something wrong and do something about it. A good start to finding out where or what is causing the problem, is to get in your car, tune the radio to a low frequency on the AM dial, and drive. Note the strength of the noise at different locations, and use a map to pinpoint where the source may be. It may even be a factory with a big horsepower motor that has bad brushes. The FCC can help you out though, so give "Uncle Charlie" a call.


Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory