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  A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router? 
 
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Dr. Peaceful Feb 06, 2012, 01:21pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 06, 2012, 01:25pm EST

Replies: 7 - Views: 7124
I've been hearing a high pitch noise in my computer room. At first, I didn't know what it was, and thought it could be something wrong with my hearing. But then, I narrowed down the noise to my wifi router! With the router turn off, I don't hear nothing. With it back on, the same noise once again.

I've been telling others, but all looked at me like I was crazy, because they could not hear it! I've heard similar noise before from old CRT TVs and CFL lights.

My questions are:
1. Anyone here has similar experience / hearing? Please share.
2. Can someone tell me what exactly is causing these noise to occur in electronics? And how to prevent them?
3. I wonder, if I train myself enough, will I be able to decode the wifi packets with my ears?


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~Vel Feb 06, 2012, 02:14pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 06, 2012, 02:17pm EST

 
>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
Dr. řaz said:
I've been hearing a high pitch noise in my computer room. At first, I didn't know what it was, and thought it could be something wrong with my hearing. But then, I narrowed down the noise to my wifi router! With the router turn off, I don't hear nothing. With it back on, the same noise once again.

I've been telling others, but all looked at me like I was crazy, because they could not hear it! I've heard similar noise before from old CRT TVs and CFL lights.

My questions are:
1. Anyone here has similar experience / hearing? Please share.
2. Can someone tell me what exactly is causing these noise to occur in electronics? And how to prevent them?
3. I wonder, if I train myself enough, will I be able to decode the wifi packets with my ears?


1. Yes, actually. A couple different devices including modems, routers, and switches.
2. Not sure. I'm thinking John might have something for this.
3. Lol, no. Depending on what exactly is making the sound though it may be changing directly with the transmitted signal, though think of binary morse code on crack with the rate it changes in mbps. That's beyond the capability of human limits. Something like a mic might be able to (assuming the noise is correlated with data), but that doesn't really matter since as far as security goes it would likely be the same as whatever's being pushed through your antenna. The only real worry would be is if it was correlated to wired traffic vs. wireless traffic since wired doesn't factor in security much from the perspective of being monitored. The importance and likelihood of this would depend on a lot of things though.

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Afrow UK Feb 06, 2012, 02:50pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
I've always had this problem. My old TFT monitor makes a very high pitch noise every 2 seconds when it's on standby when the red power light on it flashes. Also my old speakers used to make a very high pitched noise if left on (was from the bass box). Basically I ended up putting both onto a separate multitap so I could switch them off when not in use. On top of this, in the same room, the energy saving light bulbs make the same sort of noise if they aren't sitting in their light sockets properly (bad connection perhaps). Naturally my parents can not hear any of it because their hearing range has decreased over the years.

Stu

I like: Programming, Gym, University
Music: House, Dubstep, D&B, Trance, Metal
Meats_Of_Evil Feb 06, 2012, 06:00pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
Does your router have a fan? Could be the bearing.

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Dr. Peaceful Feb 08, 2012, 02:36pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 08, 2012, 02:42pm EST

 
>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
No fan, Meats. The router's passively cooled.

~Vel said:
Dr. řaz said:
...
3. I wonder, if I train myself enough, will I be able to decode the wifi packets with my ears?

...
3. Lol, no. Depending on what exactly is making the sound though it may be changing directly with the transmitted signal, though think of binary morse code on crack with the rate it changes in mbps. That's beyond the capability of human limit...

Are you sure we can not process 150Mbps with our neural net CPU? XD I am pretty sure with a trained ear, one can tell the beginning and end of each frame. LOL ;)

Glad to see I am not the only one hearing these noises. After a bit of research, I think I found an explanation (see below). Though I haven't proved the noise from my router is indeed from the same source. I need to ply it open when I have time, to see for sure.

High pitch noise from electronics can be from electromagnetic coils, or in electronics terminology, chokes. You can easily find one of these coils on a PC motherboard (something like this http://www.modsynergy.com/Modsynergy%20files/MSI-6.jpg ). If a coil is poorly insulated from vibration, it can generate a high pitch noise, which can be in audible range of humans. See here for full explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coil_Noise

I read from some sources, that the quickest fix is just to add a dab of hot glue onto the coil.

DoubleDouble Feb 08, 2012, 07:22pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
Dr. řaz said:

I read from some sources, that the quickest fix is just to add a dab of hot glue onto the coil.


Very true,

If you open up a TV or many other electrical appliances, you will ind most coils have been glued

Dr. Peaceful Apr 23, 2012, 07:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
An update to this thread. I have not open up my router to do a self fix of hot glue, and I am glad I haven't yet. When I was testing another wifi router in the same setup, I've got a similar high pitch noise. I was saying to myself, what was the chance that two different routers have the same issue?! Turn out the problem was not from the router itself, but rather from my power source.

I have all my network equipment plugged into a power strip. You know how obstructive those bulky AC adapters can be... quickly I went out of space in the strip to plug in another adapter. So I used an extension power cord, which plugged into the strip in one end, and the other end provided 3 additional outlets (2 on one side, 1 on other; really I can only use 2). The wifi router, along with another piece of hardware were plugged into this extension. Turned out this was the culprit!

It's only when the router was plugged into this power extension, that noise was presented. If I plug the router directly to the power strip, the noise is no longer! My hypothesis is that this extension cord somehow provides unstable power to the router, which need to work extra hard to correct the power input, hence generating the noise.

The thing I am wondering is why only wifi routers? I have wire only router too, and it won't make any noise, no matter where I plug it in...

~Vel Dec 18, 2013, 06:15pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: A rather unusual question: can you Hear your wifi router?
Well. This is interesting.

http://beta.slashdot.org/story/195775

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