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The Neighbors computers and ours are possessed by our TV...

Posted on 2003-03-27
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hi this is kind of a freaky problem...We have a TV in our bed room sitting on a computer desk next to our computer, we turn the TV on it turns the computer on as well... We turn the TV off it freezes the computers that are on, just find out that it also does this with our neighbors around the block, we turn our TV on and it turns every ones computers on...the other thing it does on turning off is it resets every ones BIOS... FREAKY HA????

Here is what I know so far....

It only does this when:

1) The TV is in our bedroom
2) Only when the pc is connected to the power (i.e. when its out of power it does not effect neighbors either...)
3) It only powers on ATX cased PC's and only manages to freeze AT cases i.e. old P75 to P233 non soft touch ones...
4) It does not effect my IBM laptop (think pad 20E)
5) Only does it with this TV and not the other ones in the house

Things I have tried and didn't work:

1) I tried supplying separate power to the TV from kitchen and still does the same thing as long as TV is in our bedroom
2) I tried taking parts out of PC example sound card, network card, modem
3) I tried using standard key board and mouse instead of wireless one
4) I tried calling the electricians...they just laughed at me...one actually came and got freaked out and had no idea

The PC, TV & environment

1) The PC is a Soyo MB, Celeron 500, with Asus 32M video 248M SDRAM, Ricoh CDRW, Pioneer DVD, HP 5P Scsi Scanner, 17" Philips 17B Bussiness Monitor Sony floppy and 56K external modem
2) The TV is a 56 CM Sharp
3) Its in our bedroom near the window on the computer desk, the desk is metal, the blinds are metal
4) other electricals in the bedroom: electric blanket, lamps, battery chargers

Other things to know

If I have my hand on the computer desk and turn the TV on I get Zapped big times and it doesn't effect the neighbors PC but it still turns ours on...

This has been going on for last 4-5 months and I just discovered the neighbors problem few days ago...

Please Explain a solution, with out the obvious... example buy a different TV or buy a new Computer etc... I am curious to know why??? Cheers
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Question by:baz_can_fix_it
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24 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Snowguy
ID: 8221681
Check for good ground at the outlets or reversed power at the outlets. The fact that you are getting zapped leeds me to a grounding isue. As far as the neighbors goes I haven't a clue.
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by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8221734
Hi Snowguy, I had an electrician to check it before and he said it was all normal, his theory was magnetic induction... but he couldn't explain any further...he told me to ask a physicist...
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by:Snowguy
ID: 8221763
Humm What is the common link here. Do you and your neighbor have cable to the TV and maybe a cable modem?
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by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8221792
Nope... and its not just one neighbor its about 6-8 of them its the whole street lol.... both side neighbors have satellite dish...If you think that makes any difference...
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Expert Comment

by:gbaughma
ID: 8221989
That's freaky.

Massive RF leak from the TV?

<shrug>

--Greg
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Expert Comment

by:matguy
ID: 8222827
First off, your electrician is WRONG.  Feeling a shock through your grounded case when you turn the TV, even by itself is a bad thing, then add to the fact that you're affecting other people's computers in your neighborhood indicates an even bigger problem.  Any electrician that says this is normal should have their licences and bonds revoked.

What is likely happening is there is a short (I use that word verry cautiously) that is sending a brief high voltage spike back down the line upon power up and down.  Now, this voltage return may be constant, but the quick thange is what is likely causing your (and your neighbors) issues.  Other than buying a new TV and/or taking it to a shop to have it checked out(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) a good line conditioner between the TV and the wall may supress your issues, and by power conditioner I mean something like a battery backup UPS, not a cheap "surge protector."  Expect to spend $40-$50 on one.

I would also expect that the surges are also affecting other electronic equipment, both yours and your neighbors.  I would imagine it could be to the point that if they know it's you and something fails on them they could even possibly hold you legally liable if something of theirs fails with a possiblilty of the cause being the surges.  So, in ohter words, unplug the TV and don't use it!

You may also want to contact the manufacturer of the TV (aparently Sharp) as it could have even been recalled for such behavior and could also be a fire and/or shock risk.
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Expert Comment

by:pchung99
ID: 8222837
My guess is that you're spiking the line so severely that its like cutting the power on and off in a split second... while your computer is off.. if you unplug it and plug it back in... does it turn on?  Can you get a scope and measure you line... or you can just use a vom and measure the voltage.  This sounds really dangerous... id get rid of the TV.

Phil
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:steve_gro
ID: 8222843

Hello,

From the bizarre symptoms, I would hazard a guess that:
 
1) There's something wrong with the high voltage section of the tv (if I were zapped by a tv, I'd start thinking about replacing it, or throwing it away).

~and~

2) That this may be something that you should bring to the attention of your power company.  There may be problem at the transformer that serves your neighborhood.

Please let us know when you find the answer.

Regards,

-Steve G
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Expert Comment

by:jwitt98
ID: 8222981
I would have to agree with the others.  Sounds like you have 1. Like matguy states, a short (and I feel fine using the term in this case) to some metal part of the chassis of the tv which has some electrical contact with the metal desk (this could likely be through the ground of the outlets the computer and tv are plugged into), and 2. Like Snowguy indicates, there is a problem with the ground.  If the outlets were properly grounded, you would not be feeling voltage and you would most likely be tripping breakers in your house when you turn on your tv.  Now, how this is affecting your neighbors is still a mystery.  Most all utility companies electrical code require that each home's power be grounded to earth ground outside the house unless you live in a very old neighborhood or an area where these electrical codes do not apply.
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Expert Comment

by:BigFloppy
ID: 8223061
This has got to be the weirdest thing i've ever heard, and like everyone else has said, immediately stop using the TV, unplug it. and call the power company, have them send someone to check everything out.

Is there any other electric problem in your house? i would seriously have the electrician check your whole system, because this seems like a very serious problem that could end in a fire.

Like Steve said, please tell us what the end result is.
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Expert Comment

by:nafeelm
ID: 8223704

This is a really strange complex problem!

Anyways,
Do u have a TV Tuner card installed onto your PC with the Cable line plugged into it.. if yes that could be causing the problem .. try unlinking the cable line from the TV Tuner card.


Whatever you've typed above sounds so unreal, just not possible on second thoughts! :)
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Expert Comment

by:waffleironhead
ID: 8225651
this could be the culmination of a superpower...

1) have you or any members of you family: eg parents, grandparents etc, been subjected to any forms of radiation?
maybe staring at the microwave spinning around too much(cheap entertainment?)

2) does this happan to anyone else who uses the system/tv, or is it just you?

3) why is this a problem? certainly turning on you neighbors computers is annoying for them but random shocks to the system can be good for the heart...no need for a pacemaker...

i would try to see if the shock is in fact coming from you and not the tv set... ie lightining doesnt really come from the sky but actually comes from the ground up...

take off your shoes and rub your sock clad feet on carpet vigorouly...after 5 mins of rubbing proceed to touch another human being(no small pets please)...if shock happans you definetly have super powers...if not well i have to say im dissapointed and i have to suspect that this whole post is bunk...

please test my theory and post results...the future of mankind as we know it is at stake...

waffle

btw...sorry to hear about your golf war system...my heart goes out to you and all the innocent victims
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Expert Comment

by:cm467
ID: 8226733
A power transformer in the street probably got hit by a lightning bolt one time or another and is not transforming the power properly.  The transformer also acts as an isolator thus isolating two house holds if each is at a different transformer.

Your neighborhood is probably on one transformer and since everyone is experiencing a problem of some sort with their power, the trasformer should be reported to the emergency power company.  911 should also be contaced to baricade the pole until the Gas & Electric technicians come to repair the transformer so that innocent children, bystanders, and pets don't get zapped.

Good Luck and please post as to what happened and to close the file on this issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8227668
LOL @waffleironhead (what a name BTW!)

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8228782
Hi, thank you all for the suggestions, I have had the TV checked... and there is no problem with it....as I mentioned if I take the TV in other rooms on the same desk there is no Zapping problem even if I move the whole computer as well as the desk in another room there will be no problems...It only happens in our main bedroom and only happens with this PC near the window...That's what make it weird and FREAKY!!!! I have had a physicist friend to come and look at it with his fancy equipment and apparently there is a very strong magnetic fieldgets created around  the window area when the TV gets turned on....He is going to bring his University Lecturer to our house and take a look at what is causing it... All the electricity in neighbor hood is OK and so is our house and no other equipments except some computers are effected....I'll let you all know the outcome soon..but mean while feel free to take any guesses.... Cheers all
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Expert Comment

by:jwitt98
ID: 8229413
Hmm, Maybe your metal desk and metal blinds have been turned into a big transmitting antenna.  You know how electrical devices can be affected and even shut down by strong magnetic fields.  The military has incorporated this principal into devices intended to shut down all electrical devices within a certain radius.  The magnetic field would have to be pretty strong though, I would think.  But maybe computers are just more sensitive to this magnetic radiation.
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by:jwitt98
ID: 8229415
Maybe you could even direct it towards certain neighbors by opening and closing the blinds. :) lol
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Expert Comment

by:matguy
ID: 8231693
Well, there's nothing magnetic your TV could produce to turn on/freeze your neighbors computers when you turn on/off your TV.  If it was your TV wouldn't be working anyway, and you'd notice lots of other highly distrubing occurances like erasing of the magnetic strips on your credit cards, erasing floppy disks, hard drives, creating odd stripes on TV's/monitors, loud buzzing sound from any conventional speaker within range (epecially the ones in the TV itself,) etc.

I'd still point to the TV and/or house wiring itself.  Also, being in you Austrailia, some of the wiring codes followed in different countries (or not followed) can make a difference in a reccommendation of a rememdy.
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Author Comment

by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8249953
Ok all, The problem is solved... However there were other obstacles which were involved and I didn't know about...So I will tell you what they were and see if you can work it out for your selves... Under the house near our bedroom window there are two old transformers for the garden lights about a meter apart.... right underneath where the TV is.... nearly on each side...Telephone line is going beside the transformers, on the back of the room there is a big Infra red sensor for the alarm system, My laser printer has Infra red...The neighbors have modems conected to their ATX box (hint: "wake up on ring")...We were all on one telephone exchange box...So thank you all...If there is a way I can split some points amongst you for having a go please let me know...Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:matguy
ID: 8250063
Wow, so the turning on of your TV is being picked up by two garden light transformers, which may be amplifying the RF/Magnetic pulse and transferring it to the telephone line, plus the IR Orgy between the laser printer and the Alarm sensor causing a big interference exchange between the two devices and the alarm central control, both of which contribute to send a pulse through the local phone system and turns on machines that respond to wake on ring?

As far fetched as that sounds, I guess it could do something... Where's Mr. Wizard when you need him?
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by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8250444
Matguy: hahhahaha I couldn't stop laughing when I read this "IR Orgy between the laser printer and the Alarm sensor" LOL made my day :)
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by:baz_can_fix_it
ID: 8250528
Matguy: hahhahaha I couldn't stop laughing when I read this "IR Orgy between the laser printer and the Alarm sensor" LOL made my day :)
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8253642
baz::

Glad you resolved your problem.  Since we were unable to help you fix it, please post a 0 point question in the
Community Support TA (http://www.experts-exchange.com/commspt/) and ask them to reduce the points in this question to 0 and move it to the PAQ (Previously Answered Questions).  You won't lose any points, and the knowledge in this article (as bizarre as it is!) will be archived.  Or you can choose a comment from above and award points anyway (or post a question in Community Support to have the points split as you see fit).

Thanks!

-dog*
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SpideyMod earned 0 total points
ID: 8257853
PAQ'd and all 250 points refunded.

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