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Cabling interference

Posted on 2003-04-01
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Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2010-04-29
Hi, I recently got a new PC, but the fans (2 power, 1 MB, huge CPU for AMD +2200, 1 video card, 1 case fan) were so loud I decided to put the PC in the closet and put all the wires through a hole in the wall about 2 inches in diameter. Because I was short on my VGA monitor cable, I bought a cheap 6' extension cable. Now I am getting shadowing on my monitor (eg. white letters about a 1/2 charactor width after black letters). Also my speakers have a background low fuzzy sound even when the volume control is turned off (indicating interference - to me, no expert).
Through the hole is:
power for computer
power for external Zip drive
output to monitor, keyboard, mouse
output to USB hub
output to speakers and line in/microphone to audio card
CAT5 to router from NIC
Nearby is:
stereo speaker wire on the floor beside all these others
cable TV wire (about 1 foot away through separate hole in same wall
phone line about 1/2 foot away
stereo about 1 1/2 foot away
TV about 3-4 feet away

questions (assuming this is a signal interference problem):
1) what else could it be?
2) what would be the cause of the most (strongest) interference?
3) what could I wrap around my cheap VGA cable (and audio output) to prevent interference?
4) would physically separating certain cables alieviate certain interferences?

Any other suggestions? Questions?

thanks for any help.




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Question by:harry325
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9 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:EvilPrince
ID: 8248023
You've got loopback interference. This is common with cheap cables. You may be able to move the cable around to improve it but you probably won't eradicate it altogether. More expensive shielded cables can prevent this. The stereo and TV nearby may add to this but don't quote me on that.

Maybe you could save yourself a buncha hassle by buying quiet fans and chucking the VGA extension.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:stretchsp
ID: 8248194
I will back up EvilPrince's comment about the stereo and tv nearby.  These devices can definetly cause interference, at least with the sound.

Maybe you should try and figure out why your fans are so loud.  Do they fit snuggly in the case and are all screws tight.  Maybe take it back and have it looked at as it should still be under warranty (I'm guessing its still under warranty)
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:rustyrpage
ID: 8248613
Is there a power outlet on the wall near the hole?  The biggest source of interferance would be a piece of hot romex.  But besides that, the TV should have very little effect on it, only when it is first turned on.  Check to make sure that your speakers are too close to the monitor (because they may not be properly shielded and can cause the mirroring).  You may also want to try running the 2 power cords through a seperate hole and seeing if that helps...it could be the source of the problem.  Voltage is usually the primary cause of distortion.
0
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
Kyle Schroeder earned 500 total points
ID: 8249603
I think your main problem is the "cheap 6' extension cable for VGA".  Get a thicker, shielded, better quality cable and watch your problems disappear.

I wouldn't advise running your system in a closed closet, the heat from that 2200+ will build up and you may have lockups/restarts due to overheating.

You might want to look into replacing your fans will slower RPM models; some of those things sound like a jet engine!

-dog*
0
 

Expert Comment

by:r0ck3r
ID: 8251256
just call the phone support for the product company. it'll be LOT easier than refreshing this page every minute checking for an answer.
0
 

Author Comment

by:harry325
ID: 8264645
Hi, thanks for input so far.
Evilprince and dogztar: yes, I agree the problem is probably the cheap cable, but since I am cheap (hence the cable), is there a way to shield it myself, say with aluminum foil? or metal insect screen or foam covering to get more separation in the wires or ?? what kind of material would be best for shielding?
Rustyrpage: same thing ... is there something I could use to shield the power cords? My speakers are shielded (didn't have the problem before adding the cheap VGA cable( although I'm not sure if the speaker hiss was there before.
Also Dogxtar, yes it does get hot in the closet. I have the BIOS heat warning turned on (and it does work). I have looked into QUIETPC.COM but those solutions become rather expensive. Having it in the closet is just so much more quiet too.
R0ck3r: you mean like Dell or IBM? I have a clone. But I'm sure their answer would be: remove the extension cable or "what do you want us to do about the noise?"
0
 

Author Comment

by:harry325
ID: 8264786
Hi, thanks for input so far.
Evilprince and dogztar: yes, I agree the problem is probably the cheap cable, but since I am cheap (hence the cable), is there a way to shield it myself, say with aluminum foil? or metal insect screen or foam covering to get more separation in the wires or ?? what kind of material would be best for shielding?
Rustyrpage: same thing ... is there something I could use to shield the power cords? My speakers are shielded (didn't have the problem before adding the cheap VGA cable( although I'm not sure if the speaker hiss was there before.
Also Dogxtar, yes it does get hot in the closet. I have the BIOS heat warning turned on (and it does work). I have looked into QUIETPC.COM but those solutions become rather expensive. Having it in the closet is just so much more quiet too.
R0ck3r: you mean like Dell or IBM? I have a clone. But I'm sure their answer would be: remove the extension cable or "what do you want us to do about the noise?"
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 8284049
disregard "r0ck3r"'s comment...he has posted the same thing in several other questions, obviously he is not here to help anyone, only to be a distraction/annoyance.  We've had several people over the years who apparently have nothing better to do that irritate others with idiotic comments. If it continues I will report to Community Support.

As for shielfing the cable...I really don't know what you could use.  Your Al foil suggestion is as good as any other (and cheap as a bonus!)  But I have a feeling that you're just getting signal degredation over the length of the cable, and the shielding won't make much difference.   This is why the screen image is "ghosted" looking and fuzzy.  I have a Belkin switchbox here that degraded by  The higher-quality cables just conduct the signal better.

-dog*
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 10034073
harry:
Any particular reason you gave me a C grade?  I'm not sure what other information I could have provided that would helped.  What was the ultimate solution to the problem (if there was one?)

Thanks,
dogztar
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