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PC Grounding Problem

I have a very frustrating situation. Which is, I have been unable to resolve a grounding problem which results in a low-pitch humm when I connect my pc to my stereo system using an audio cable. It does NOT occur when I connect my iPod to the stereo using the same cable. There is no humm when I normally play audio on my pc. I have an HP Pavilion (Media edition) and a Pioneer stereo. I connect to the “CD” bank on the stereo since that is (presumably) “digital”. I have sent the signal from the PC to a radio via a wireless FM transmitter and then connected it to the stereo and there is no humm. Therefore, I believe it’s a ground fault from the “hard-wire” connection. I have done the following:

  • Swapped out sound cards
  • Connected a grounding wire from the pc tower to the stereo
  • Connected a grounding wire from the pc to the AC outlet
  • Connected both the pc and stereo to the same AC outlet

I am at my wits end. How do I diagnose/solve this issue.

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  • 9 more comments 
  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 04, 2009

    The audio cable is solid and is not loose
    headphones are fine-no hum
    I've used line out (back panel) and headphone jack (front panel)- no diff- still hums
    Have tried PC vol at all levels- only chnages the volume of the hum



  • noknees438 Feb 05, 2009

    I have an LCD monitor and yes the cable rises up through a drop ceiling near fluorescent lights but I already thought of that issue.  I dropped the cable to the floor away from the lights and still got the hum anyway.


  • Chris May 11, 2010

    Bear with me... I'm grasping a little here...

    Do you have a CRT or LCD monitor? When you hook it to the stereo, does the cable pass by any other electronic devices? (especially fluorescent lights, electric motors)

  • Chris May 11, 2010

    When you plug the audio cable into the computer, is it going all of the way in? If you slowly pull it out slightly, does it go away?

    Is it loose in any way?

    If you plug in a set of headphones to the audio output on the computer, do you get the hum?

    Are you using the "speaker out" or the "line out" jack?

    Do you have the computer's volume all the way up?

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  • 70 Answers

This ground loop isolator from Radio Shack was suggested when I did a search:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062214

It says it has the 1/8 jack adapter, so it should plug right in!

I'd be curious to hear about the results if you try it.

Good Luck!

Posted on Feb 05, 2009

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