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Static in computer speakers

When i turn on my computer, after about an hour I start hearing static, and it gets louder and louder over the next several min. i have moved most of the wires and other conectors that are atached to the computer, but i still hear alot of static

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  • geners2 Feb 15, 2009

    Thanks for your help everyone, i live in a home that is only 2yrs old and in north las vegas they have some of the most stringent building codes in the state. I got a blower and blew out all of the lent that was built up inside the computer and i placed it on a stand so that it would not be on the carpet. I also pluged a set of head phones in the sould card where i had the speakers pluged and i still get the noise. the more work that the computer does the louder this static gets. I check the to fans that are over the the intel chip and they are blowing. The computer is a dell workstation 450 and it came preinstalled with a SB Audigy 2 [dcco] sound card and it uses 2 ports and I have 2 Video cards in the other slots because I have 4 monitors. I was going to just replaced the sound card but it seems to be wired throught out the computer and i am not sure that would solve the problem. Abrsvcs you made a commint about "freeze spray" what will i spray it on, the sound card? I will try and unplugging the intire system for a few hours and see if that releaves some of the static. if you guys have any other suggestions please keep them comming



    geners



    thanks

  • geners2 Feb 15, 2009

    have any of you used the USB 2.0 external 5.1 channel 3D sound card adapter. I found one on amazon for 99 cents brand new. think im going to give it a try to see how it works, not much to loose.

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While Hokuwho is correct as far as polarity and electrical noise goes, it is unlikely to be the issue here. Problems like that usually are present from the start. Another possiblity is the breakdown of a transistor in the audio amp circuit that drives the speaker. When the semiconductor starts to fail, it can get what is called "leaky". This often translates into random noise being generated and amplified by later stages in the system. The fact that the noise gets progressively worse as time goes on suggests a part breaking down because of heat. A simple test of making the problem appear and spraying "freeze spray" onto the electronics should prove the point. The spray should cause hte problem to disappear. This spray is available at any electronics supplier. Try that and let us know the results.

Dan

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

  • ABRsvcs Feb 15, 2009

    Since the problem seems to be related to heat, try spraying the sound card first, That is probably the easiest to get to. Otherwise, if the speakers are powered, then the problem is most likely in the speakers.



    Keep us posted.

    Dan

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The ideal way to deal with noise on an electrical circuit is a dedicated receptacle from a dedicated circuit breaker. That is a requirement for service contracts from computers to cash registers.
Not knowing the environment you are in it could be a simple installation or an impossible dream. If the latter is closer then a good Uninterruptible Power Supply will work fine as well as providing back up power for about 20 minutes.
The "hot" conductor is not the only consideration as the "neutral" conductor is the collective return of everything else that is a load on the switchboard. To verify that this is the problem you are having you can connect to a receptacle that has nothing else powered by it's circuit breaker. Typically your laundry receptacle is like that in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
If the problem is still present then the computer power supply or a computer fan may be generating an unwanted harmonic. Just static from a carpet won't be present unless your are dragging the machine around ;)
I do this as a commercial electrician and network installation engineer so post back if you need any further assistance.  Steve Medley

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

  • Stephen Medley
    Stephen Medley Feb 15, 2009

    As I recall the Dell 450 has an integrated audio circuit. Is there a little lime green miniconnector for speakers on the back of the computer besides the PCI card? That would be an excellent way to check the optional sound card.

  • Stephen Medley
    Stephen Medley Feb 15, 2009

    Post a review of that adapter when you try it out. That really is cheap. And thanks for the diamonds :) Steve

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Hi geners...

sounds like a static electricity problem... this can be due to poor grounding... plugging everything into an extension with a fuse can help, but the static still builds up... i've had the same problem in the flat i'm in as the electric installation, while safe and functioning, isn't the most modern, and there is no general grounding on the house itself (not unusual where i live, i'm in spain and the houses are all stone).

there is something really simple that you can try... i was told to do this by an electrician as i was getting small shocks from the metal parts on my computers and any metal on wire adapters that were plugged into it. here's what you do...

unplug whatever extension you have your computer and the rest of the bits from the wall socket (or anything you have directly plugged into the wall) and plug it back in reversing the prongs from their original position. i don't know if this will work for you, but it worked like a charm for me! i haven't had a shock since!

if this doesn't solve your problem, i do hope you find a permanent solution, static electricity can damage your hard drive and many of the electronic components on your motherboard and device cards.

best of luck!
bru*

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

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  • Kathleen Bota
    Kathleen Bota Feb 14, 2009

    ah well, geners, sorry that didn't do the trick... is there anything around your computer that could cause static electricity to build up? fluffy rugs etc...

    let me see if i can get someone with electrical expertise, geners... are you in the US?




  • Kathleen Bota
    Kathleen Bota Feb 14, 2009

    while looking for someone to help out, i found a few things about preventing static electricity...

    unplugging the computer from the power source for at least four hours will discharge any built up static elec. from the cards, motherboard, etc... and static may be damaging you sound card, ram etc... try unplugging everything overnight...

    proper grounding will help avoid static... however... if your pc or anything connected to it is on a rug, something non-static should be placed under it.

    also did you try reversing the plug for the speakers, or plugging them into a different outlet?

    i also found something about a 'Ground Loop Isolator', that you use between the connection of speakers to computer, that apparantly gets rid of the noise completely.


  • Kathleen Bota
    Kathleen Bota Feb 14, 2009

    hey hokuwho... thanks for stepping in!
    fixya solution if i ever did see one! :)
    bru*


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I tend to lean towards "Abrsvcs's" solution. I have been repairing audio amplifiers for over 18 years and have seen this type of problem many times. A "leaky" drive transistor will do exactly as your problem describes. It gets worse as time passes because the transistor gets hotter and hotter the longer it is in operation. The heat is what brings out and makes the fault in the transistor apparent. It doesn't need to be a transistor causing it either, it can be any type of "integrated circuit" or IC. IC's have entire circuits of transistors and other components built right into them. Many different types are used to amplify audio and although I am not familiar with computer speakers, they are amplifed speakers so they have an amplifier built into them. They are very low power output so they are most likely using an amplifer IC mounted on a small heat sink inside of one of the speakers for all the power. The speaker that has the A/C power cord running out of it will be the place to look for the amplifier for both speakers.

Another way to just eliminate the computer as the source of the problem is to remove the speakers you have right now and put some different one's on it. If the problem returns with different speakers, you know the problem is coming out of the computer and your solution would most likely be the one that you got from "hokuwho". That is also a good and valid solution. You could also just remove the speakers and plug a pair of headphones into the speaker output of the computer (the green connector the speakers are plugged into on the computer). Just turn down the volume on the speaker icon in the taskbar first to make sure it is not too loud going into the headphones. Then you can adjust the volume in the headphones the same way, with the speaker icon in the task bar in the bottom right corner of the desktop (if you are using windows). If the problem is gone and does not return, you just need to buy new speakers. Sometimes computer speakers go bad.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

  • Dave DeGain
    Dave DeGain Feb 15, 2009

    I think that this device will not solve your problem, since it is listed as an "adapter" it will still need to work with your sound card, it will not replace it.

    If you have onboard sound built into your motherboard, you should try uninstalling the PCI sound card and then make sure to enable the onboard sound of the motherboard in your bios and install the driver for it as well. Then see if you still get the same distortion in your speakers. If so, you have a problem on your motherboard. If the problem goes away, you know that the sound card is bad and you just need to replace it with a new one. Or, if you have a soundcard you are not using right now, you can try to use it to see if you can isolate the problem to the sound card or the motherboard.


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