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View Full Version : Can Ordinary Fans or Air Conditioners Pick Up Radio Transmissions?



Tycho
08-01-2008, 03:04 AM
The other day I started hearing voices coming from my air conditioning unit.

Ordinarily, I'd dismiss this as the usual voices I hear instructing me to sniff Star Wars action figures due to my pervasive insanity.

However, I've also heard music coming from the fan before.

I think inside basic radios, are spinning parts and "frequency" means how fast they execute complete revolutions. This must determine what sounds they pick up, as the broadcast must be made at the same occurence of revolutions, or frequency.

So therefore, in theory, the spinning parts of a fan used in air conditioning COULD actually carry radio programs on it inadvertently.

Am I right?

Or does the Mouse Droid Sniffers' Association have new anthem songs that I just am becoming aware of?

I heard the Devil made me listen to it. :crazed:

jedi master sal
08-01-2008, 07:38 AM
Tycho has yet again gone off the deep end....heh heh.

TeeEye7
08-01-2008, 10:13 AM
Don't sniff the fans. It may be hazardous to your nose. :eek:

Neuroleptic
08-01-2008, 11:21 AM
The other day I started hearing voices coming from my air conditioning unit.

Ordinarily, I'd dismiss this as the usual voices I hear instructing me to sniff Star Wars action figures due to my pervasive insanity.

However, I've also heard music coming from the fan before.

I think inside basic radios, are spinning parts and "frequency" means how fast they execute complete revolutions. This must determine what sounds they pick up, as the broadcast must be made at the same occurence of revolutions, or frequency.

So therefore, in theory, the spinning parts of a fan used in air conditioning COULD actually carry radio programs on it inadvertently.

Am I right?

Or does the Mouse Droid Sniffers' Association have new anthem songs that I just am becoming aware of?

I heard the Devil made me listen to it. :crazed:


Are you sure you aren't smoking something?

I'm preaty sure that can't happen. At least the sound. You'd need a speaker of some kind to translate the electronic signals to resemble sound.

That being said, most likely they can at least interfear with radio signals. My glasses do all the time. I walk into rooms with radios at work and they start picking up static until I move to a certan place either toward or away from them.

But my glasses don't sing songs from the Arithmics or talk to me . . .

jedi master sal
08-01-2008, 11:22 AM
Don't sniff the fans. It may be hazardous to your nose. :eek:

I've stopped a fan with my tongue...and I didn't even wash the fan first...

Tycho
08-01-2008, 12:28 PM
I'm preaty sure that can't happen. At least the sound. You'd need a speaker of some kind to translate the electronic signals to resemble sound.

The speaker really serves as an amplifier. Sure it vibrates to reproduce the sound, but a fan that's got a little movement to ninety degrees of its regular rotation also has a vibration motion allowed it.



But my glasses don't sing songs from the Arithmics or talk to me . .

I can't discern what the voices are saying, or which songs the music is recreating, but it is definitely there. I might just have really sharp hearing. (I wonder if at night I turn into a werewolf and stalk the stockers at Wal-Mart. That's very possible, given recent circumstances where I wake up in the morning with Star Wars toys and I can't remember where I got them.)

However, I'm try very hard to discern what the voices are telling me. Maybe my life is a dream and I'm actually somewhere else in a coma, and the voices are my friends and family trying to get me to return to my reality. I saw this happen in an episode of Star Trek once or twice before. You know how TV shows repeat doing the same idea because they can't think of anything else? Maybe it's ME who can't think of anything else (subconsciously) and because I'm imagining it all, Star Trek isn't real either! I've created it all in my mind! Do you know what that means? It means Bill Shatner isn't real either. There are many who'd agree with me then - that it was all a bad dream. If you've seen Star Trek: Voyager, you'd totally be on board with this.

Blue2th
08-01-2008, 01:20 PM
I've stopped a fan with my tongue...and I didn't even wash the fan first...
That's hard core man! lol

LusiferSam
08-01-2008, 01:22 PM
I think inside basic radios, are spinning parts and "frequency" means how fast they execute complete revolutions. This must determine what sounds they pick up, as the broadcast must be made at the same occurence of revolutions, or frequency.

So therefore, in theory, the spinning parts of a fan used in air conditioning COULD actually carry radio programs on it inadvertently.

Am I right?
First off unless you own a really, really old radio there are no moving parts in modern radios. It's all electronically and has been for at least the last 40 years. Besides I don't think your fan or ac unit spin that fast. The bottom of the AM band (in the US) is 520 kHz or 31,200,000 rpm. It even faster for the top of the AM band and faster yet for the FM band.

Radio transmission (which is what your describing) is totally different radio reception. I'm unaware of anything in a fan or ac unit that would act like a coherer, vacuum tube, crystal detector, or transistor. Without this component your idea is dead in the water.

On top of that you have nothing act a speaker. The amplifiers and speakers are two totally components. The speaker turners electronic signals from the receiver (which you don't have) to sound waves. Fans do make sound, but they can't sounds like a speaker doesn't. The motion is different.

Bottom line is, your nuts. I think what you have is called schizophrenia. There are people who can help you. Please, for all our sakes, go find them. :crazed:

Blue2th
08-01-2008, 01:30 PM
An air conditioner has openings on both sides. To let the air in and push it out into your room. You probably heard some neighbors.

There's one club in town I can't use my favorite little Fender tube amp, because in between the songs you can hear radio free europe coming through. At least that's what we call it.

Jedi_Kal-El
08-01-2008, 01:45 PM
I've stopped a fan with my tongue...and I didn't even wash the fan first...

I'm not worthy!!!:thumbsup:

Tycho
08-01-2008, 03:30 PM
There's one club in town I can't use my favorite little Fender tube amp, because in between the songs you can hear radio free europe coming through. At least that's what we call it.

What are you hearing when this happens? Why does it do this?


Bottom line is, your nuts. I think what you have is called schizophrenia.

Oh, I knew that. But I took a survey of ALL my multiple personalities, and they ALL are hearing the voices. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

TeeEye7
08-01-2008, 07:56 PM
No wonder Sal's girlfriends have always had smiles on their faces! :bandit:

Blue2th
08-01-2008, 09:05 PM
What are you hearing when this happens? Why does it do this?





Well it's very scratchy. I couldn't tell if it was a talk radio station or some truck drivers on CB. Very annoying between songs.

I probably have a bad tube in there, and like LS said can pick up interference.

I was hoping it was a message from beyond: "Oh Blue2th you're our only hope please help us" lol

LusiferSam
08-01-2008, 11:39 PM
Well it's very scratchy. I couldn't tell if it was a talk radio station or some truck drivers on CB. Very annoying between songs.

I probably have a bad tube in there, and like LS said can pick up interference.

I was hoping it was a message from beyond: "Oh Blue2th you're our only hope please help us" lol

I'm guess is that it's a lack of shielding or degraded shielding (maybe a crossed wire too) in the amp and something unique about the EM interference in that area. And it must be a constant source, like a radio station. Otherwise it be intermittent at that club or happen else where. I'm also guess you can't "fix" this amp because you lose the sound you like out of it.

figrin bran
08-02-2008, 12:41 AM
An air conditioner has openings on both sides. To let the air in and push it out into your room. You probably heard some neighbors.

There's one club in town I can't use my favorite little Fender tube amp, because in between the songs you can hear radio free europe coming through. At least that's what we call it.

Awesome! :thumbsup: I wish I could find a radio free europe hotspot for my favorite Marshall amp.

Blue2th
08-02-2008, 01:01 AM
Yeah it only happens at that club, so I don't use it there. Sounds choice anywhere else so I don't even bother. Tubes are way expensive, so I just grab one of his brothers, or like Figrin' use my Marshall, which has it's own set of quirks, and is like a beast that's hard to control sometimes.

It one time I have talked into some electric guitar pickups (These are the ones that are the noisy 60 cycle hum Fender type) and had it come out of an amplifier.

You never know what kinda quirky things are goin' on in old electric equipment, so when Tycho said he heard voices coming out of his air conditioner, I don't count anything out as beyond the realm.

figrin bran
08-02-2008, 02:08 AM
Yeah it only happens at that club, so I don't use it there. Sounds choice anywhere else so I don't even bother. Tubes are way expensive, so I just grab one of his brothers, or like Figrin' use my Marshall, which has it's own set of quirks, and is like a beast that's hard to control sometimes.


"Marshall amp...like a beast...hard to control". Yep, tell me about it! :D

I think this is actually Tycho's way of testing out material for one of his novels. Just floating out possibilities out there to see how people might respond.

Mad Slanted Powers
08-02-2008, 02:21 AM
However, I'm try very hard to discern what the voices are telling me. Maybe my life is a dream and I'm actually somewhere else in a coma, and the voices are my friends and family trying to get me to return to my reality. I saw this happen in an episode of Star Trek once or twice before. You know how TV shows repeat doing the same idea because they can't think of anything else? Maybe it's ME who can't think of anything else (subconsciously) and because I'm imagining it all, Star Trek isn't real either! I've created it all in my mind! Do you know what that means? It means Bill Shatner isn't real either. There are many who'd agree with me then - that it was all a bad dream. If you've seen Star Trek: Voyager, you'd totally be on board with this.Maybe Shatner is real, and he is the one trying to get you to wake up. That's why he keeps showing up everywhere - Star Trek, Boston Legal, Priceline commercials.

Jedi_Kal-El
08-02-2008, 02:30 AM
Well it's very scratchy. I couldn't tell if it was a talk radio station or some truck drivers on CB.

I use to have an old radio that would do the same thing. I could set it between stations and hear full conversations from truck drivers.

Tycho
08-02-2008, 02:33 AM
Maybe Shatner is real, and he is the one trying to get you to wake up. That's why he keeps showing up everywhere - Star Trek, Boston Legal, Priceline commercials.

Yes. He wants me to beam up! Or maybe he's telling me to get a phaser and...



I think this is actually Tycho's way of testing out material for one of his novels. Just floating out possibilities out there to see how people might respond.

Nah. Not this time. I've no plans to write about anything having to do with radio waves. I think I should best avoid getting into science in my stories. I'm not very well-versed. And while I could do the research, I've never presented such material before (aside from grade school science projects). My literary work is best left to the realms of sociology, psychology, and politics - areas I know somewhat better.

Jedi_Kal-El
08-02-2008, 02:53 AM
Yes. He wants me to beam up! Or maybe he's telling me to get a phaser and...



Nah. Not this time. I've no plans to write about anything having to do with radio waves. I think I should best avoid getting into science in my stories. I'm not very well-versed. And while I could do the research, I've never presented such material before (aside from grade school science projects). My literary work is best left to the realms of sociology, psychology, and politics - areas I know somewhat better.

You know though Tycho, that might not be a bad idea for a book. If you're not too familiar with the science aspect, you could actually find a writing partner, who's a little more versed in that area.

Tycho
08-02-2008, 03:05 AM
There was a movie (which I never saw) called "Frequency," in which the radio was used to talk to the deceased, I think.

There are also films about communication with extra terrestrial life forms.

I'm not saying that just because it's been done before, I have to rule out doing it anew. But I'm not joking when I have about 20 different outlines for new stories (1 in development currently - the only one related to my first novel - this being a prequel). And as referenced, my dreams are very useful for story prompts. All my outlines came from them.

When they encompass licensed material or stuff I just can't use, I post them here to reinforce my credentials as one of the message board's real dorks. But they can be amusing - like the time IG-88 attacked me and Chewbacca in the airport and we threw luggage at him.

Jedi_Kal-El
08-02-2008, 03:09 AM
There was a movie (which I never saw) called "Frequency," in which the radio was used to talk to the deceased, I think.

There are also films about communication with extra terrestrial life forms.

I'm not saying that just because it's been done before, I have to rule out doing it anew. But I'm not joking when I have about 20 different outlines for new stories (1 in development currently - the only one related to my first novel - this being a prequel). And as referenced, my dreams are very useful for story prompts. All my outlines came from them.

When they encompass licensed material or stuff I just can't use, I post them here to reinforce my credentials as one of the message board's real dorks. But they can be amusing - like the time IG-88 attacked me and Chewbacca in the airport and we threw luggage at him.

I've seen "Frequency" and it's a pretty good movie. If you like any of the time travel, or paradox episodes in Trek, then you'l probably like it.

bobafrett
08-02-2008, 06:13 AM
I don't know, I thought I heard music coming from my AC unit, but then it is right at the head of my bed, frosting my large noggin.

Snowtrooper
08-02-2008, 09:59 AM
I don't know, I thought I heard music coming from my AC unit, but then it is right at the head of my bed, frosting my large noggin.

I think you guys need to call in the Ghost Hunters. Maybe you have haunted AC units. :D

JediTricks
08-03-2008, 04:15 AM
I'm guess is that it's a lack of shielding or degraded shielding (maybe a crossed wire too) in the amp and something unique about the EM interference in that area. And it must be a constant source, like a radio station. Otherwise it be intermittent at that club or happen else where. I'm also guess you can't "fix" this amp because you lose the sound you like out of it.I was thinking it was a dirty signal loose in the AC itself, I've seen this before with audio equipment, signal transmitted via the AC outlet, the building wiring poorly shielded and acting as an antenna.



Anyway, the fans in the room fan and the air conditioner are both natural transmitters, not receivers, and have to be shielded to avoid contaminating EM signals like radio, cordless phone, cellphone, stuff like that. Also, your A/C is exceptionally quiet and weak, so I really doubt you heard anything, you have central air over your bathroom and vents in your bedrooms, living room, and kitchen, any of which are far better at bringing in noise from the outside world (other apartments, people on the street) than actually cooling your place. I actually heard your AC compressor running from the outside of the building when I left the window open, it's pretty loud, so there must be some level of sound dampening in the apartment which further suggests you didn't hear anything from the equipment. And your place has paper-thin walls.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-03-2008, 02:52 PM
Da Superfans can pick up da scores of da Chicahgo teams: da Bears 97, Bucs -2. Or da Bullsz 294, Michael Jordan 290. :ditka:

Mad Slanted Powers
08-03-2008, 02:58 PM
Da Superfans can pick up da scores of da Chicahgo teams: da Bears 97, Bucs -2. Or da Bullsz 294, Michael Jordan 290. :ditka:
However, the Superfans are prone to heart attacks.

Are you saying that Jordan scored 290 of the Bulls 294 points, or that Jordan alone could almost beat the Bulls?

Bel-Cam Jos
08-03-2008, 03:04 PM
You see, Michael Jordan is so great, he can play for the Bulls AND by himself. Having to play defense against himself just took a little bit too much for him to win. :justanotherbrautwurstfortheroad:

p.s. The views of the Superfans do not reflect those of the poster and his affiliate brain cells.

Mad Slanted Powers
08-03-2008, 03:19 PM
I see. Michael Jordan playing against himself would result in an endless stalemate. Those other four Bulls gave them the advantage to squeeze out the victory.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-03-2008, 06:59 PM
I see. Michael Jordan playing against himself would result in an endless stalemate. Those other four Bulls gave them the advantage to squeeze out the victory.Exactly. They scored four free throws on technicals for illegal defenses (MJ overdid it); the difference. You saw that game, did'ya? ;)

Tycho
08-03-2008, 08:00 PM
Akright guys: don't hijack this thread. Sometimes I can still hear the voices calling to me. This isn't funny. I need to find out how I'm hearing them!

What are they saying to me?

El Chuxter
08-03-2008, 08:05 PM
I am an ordinary fan of air conditioning, and I have never picked up a radio transmission.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-03-2008, 09:25 PM
I'd do a scientific experiment: turn off the fans, see if the voices remain. If so, it's not from the fans. If not, you're back to your first hypothesis.

Next, I'd try a different fan. If no voices, you DO have a haunted fan. :rolleyes: If voices are still there, I got nothing for you. Call the Ghostbusters (555-2368... if it's NY's 1980s area code, add in 212, I think).

Tycho
08-03-2008, 11:21 PM
There are NO voices when the air conditioning is turned off.

I don't have a regular fan and that wouldn't cool the place as well as central air conditioning anyway.

Now if the Ghostbusters are as real as the voices I'm hearing, I bet they'd be expensive to make a cross-country call!

Doesn't the west coast have a competitive alternative for dealing with paranormal phenomena?

Mad Slanted Powers
08-03-2008, 11:58 PM
I think there might be a Ghost Bustuzz in Compton.

Blue2th
08-04-2008, 09:14 AM
There are NO voices when the air conditioning is turned off.

I don't have a regular fan and that wouldn't cool the place as well as central air conditioning anyway.

Now if the Ghostbusters are as real as the voices I'm hearing, I bet they'd be expensive to make a cross-country call!

Doesn't the west coast have a competitive alternative for dealing with paranormal phenomena?

Sometimes spirits (if you believe in such) can be invited in to your home through objects given to you by someone who delves into the black arts or is themselves tormented by spirits. On purpose or incidently.
It's kinda like the legend that a vampire will only come into your house if you invite him.
Any recent dubious gifts lately?

Maybe your air conditioner just gives off certain frequencies that make you think you are hearing something.
My neighbor has a slipped belt on his swamp cooler and it sounds like a spaceship from one of those old 50's sci-fi movies.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-04-2008, 09:20 AM
Are there other witnesses to these voices? It's always hard to get someone to believe you when you're the only hearer/seer/taster/etc. Do they occur at the same times of day? I used to have a phone that picked up nearby phone conversations (faintly), but only in late morning/early afternoon. Others heard it as well, so I felt justifed. Then, they just went away; later realized a Ham radio operator with a giant antenna a few houses over had moved away.

bobafrett
08-04-2008, 05:49 PM
I was hearing music in mine. A country tune I believe.

Tycho
08-05-2008, 12:00 AM
Are there other witnesses to these voices? It's always hard to get someone to believe you when you're the only hearer/seer/taster/etc. Do they occur at the same times of day? I used to have a phone that picked up nearby phone conversations (faintly), but only in late morning/early afternoon. Others heard it as well, so I felt justifed. Then, they just went away; later realized a Ham radio operator with a giant antenna a few houses over had moved away.

I'm going to phone JediTricks the next time it happens and might even leave it on his voicemail if that's possible.

itsToyaaa
10-03-2011, 03:49 PM
My friends pick up radio transmissions sometimes on their A.C. unit also....

No drugs involved....

...or Jedi mind tricks. (X