Can you help Luke identify this radio noise?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Luke Perry, who writes:

I am experiencing a issue with my shortwave reception at my part-time home. I have been helping out my mother so I have brought over my Sony portable, along with the Sony active antenna. I have a constant ‘clicking’ sound starting at about 5 kHz or thereabouts that make listening unbearable. As the video shows the problem is non-existent below 4 kHz. I tried moving the radio throughout the house thinking it could be something in the room and still get the same interference.

I was hoping that the filter on the active antenna would help but it does little to remedy the problem. I have no issues with MW or FM reception at all.

I have made a short YouTube video to document the problem in the hopes that one of the blog readers can identify it. I looked online at other instances of RFI and I could not find one that is similar. Hope that someone can help me!

Click here to view on YouTube.

After listening to the first few seconds of your recording, I thought it sounded a bit like an electric fence controller. However the interval between pops is nearly random, which suggests a different source. I suppose it’s possible a faulty fence controller could do this. I believe the only way you could defeat this noise (without shutting it down at the source) would be to use a radio with a durable noise blanker. Of course, I know of no portable radios with an NB function (though most SDRs and tabletop receivers include an NB).

Post readers: Can help Luke ID the source of this noise?  Does it sound familiar to you? Please comment!

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7 thoughts on “Can you help Luke identify this radio noise?

  1. Tony

    Experienced a similar issue last year and was baffled by it. Intermittent – but then those +20db pops at random spacing, much like your situation.

    Culprit eventually discovered was a bad GFCI outlet in the kitchen (which ultimately started acting flaky in the circuit). Replaced with a new unit, and the debilitating HF static pops ceased.

    Good luck!

  2. Rob

    I can’t help with the audio, but will offer some advice to whoever owns the SW100 pictured above (6160). The case needs notching around the flex cable to protect it. You all know what I mean! 😉 My apologies if it is a stock photo, just wanted to point it out.

  3. Luke Perry

    DanH, yeah that sounds very similar to the interference that I am having. Maybe I will figure it out eventually. By the way, great catch there with the India DX. Don’t think I have ever got them myself on the West Coast.

  4. Luke Perry

    I took the Radio outside and the noise stops. It seems to be worse in certain parts of the house but I could not pinpoint exactly where it is coming from. And I know it is not the power source or the AC as I am using batteries. Oh well, I guess I will have to keep my listen below 4 kHz when I am here.

  5. Mike

    Are you using the AN-LP1? If so, the directional receiving capabilities of the antenna may help you find the interference by orienting the antenna in the direction where the interference is the loudest and then walking on that plane (in either direction) to see if the interference grows louder. Also, try walking outside and walking some distance away from your home and see if the interference still exists.

    It almost sounds like a bad or loose connection of some kind that is causing an intermittent spark.

  6. DanH

    I have heard this “ticking” RFI source just above the 120 m band so it shows up pretty low as well. Even the noise blanker on my Hammarlund SP-600 JX-21has little effect on it. If it’s a birdie this problem doesn’t seem to be limited to old Sony and current Tecsun radios. The snap, crackle, pop RFI does resemble that from electric fences.


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