power, speaker, buzz issue...

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
okay, folks, i think i know what is going on here, but i want someone who may have gone through the same issues to confirm, deny or help me pin down the culprit.

when we first moved into our house (which is in a small town, but not exactly rural), we noticed that our stereo systems had difficulty holding a signal. we would get a snowy, static signal for about 10-15 seconds, then it would go back to a strong signal. 10-30 seconds later, it would come back. repeat until evening...

then we noticed that it seemed to happen mostly in the afternoon. i thought, being in a semi-remote area where we don't get a cell phone signal in our house, it must just be that.

but then i noticed that it wasn't JUST our stereo. EVERY electronic item that had speakers would experience a buzzing sound in a recurring 10-20 second loop throughout the afternoon, at the EXACT same time the stereo would go all static-y. even the speakers hooked up to my mac (?!?) sometimes longer, somtimes shorter, sometimes longer clear signals between massive static outbreaks, but consistently every day.

then, i made a connection. there are asplundh tree cutters throughout our neighborhood and town, as well as a lot of construction occurring in a subdivision not too far away from us.

how crazy is it to assume that the power leading into our neighborhood isn't up to the task of keeping up with the power draw of those big saws, cranes, etc., and causing brownouts low enough to cause this problem??? in fact, i bought a UPS with voltage regulation for my new computer setup, and just this afternoon, for the first time, it dipped low enough to cause the battery to kick in for a second, and then corrected itself.

am i onto something? or is there another explanation?

any help (and suggestions) from audiophiles or people who deal with power issues like these would be greatly appreciated.

(edit: one other note, today, i don't even have the air conditioning on, and still saw the power dip that low. but living in louisiana, i suspect it is everyone ELSE'S air conditioning systems kicking on and off during the afternoon while they are away, in conjunction with the construction crews, tree cutters, etc. it's a CONSPIRACY!)


  • Reply 1 of 2
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    aw, c'mon, 20 views but no opinions? is this the appleinsider i know i love?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    You are loosing your ground. (really) That means the third prong that doesn't seem do much is not connected to anything.

    After a storm at my house, that third cable leaving my house broke. (The other 2 lines were fine) For a year our lights would dim when something big turned on and hums/static all over the house. Some repair crew found the broken wire (it was hidden in the thickest section of trees in our backyard) by accident and asked if we were having problems with our power. Few weeks later problem solved.

    There are 2 solutions depending on your situation.

    1) Ground your house. Attach copper wires from the grounding screw of your electrical sockets to the water pipes under your home. That's what I did for a while.

    2) You can also "lift the ground" if you get interference from another device in your home. (Fridge, Computer, A/C, TV...) To lift a ground, you have to buy a $0.50 "3-prong to 2-prong" adapter. This will stop noise from entering your stereo. (I wouldn't ungrounded microwaves, TV and high-powered stuff because a buildup of static electricity can be bad).

    It might be a good idea to buy a little grounding tester from a hardware store to test your house. And if you find a problem, call the power company 'cus they know a heck more about grounding than I do. (If you get a good person )
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