Radio Signals Picked Up By A House's Wall

EnolaGaia

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#1
I don't recall a case quite like this. A particular wall in an Illinois home's bedroom "receives" / "plays" voices and music identified as programming from a local AM station.

Radio signals picked up inside Illinois girl's bedroom wall

An Illinois family said a wall in their 9-year-old daughter's bedroom has been picking up radio signals for years - and no one knows why.

Richard Smith said voices and music were repeatedly heard inside the wall in daughter Brianna's room at their Lockport home, and the family eventually determined something inside the wall was picking up a local AM radio station.

The station, Christian radio station AM 1160, owned by Salem Media Group, sent out an engineer to investigate, but was unable to identify the issue.

"He said, 'I got to be honest with you. I don't know what is acting as a speaker. There is nothing I can explain of why you're actually hearing it,'" Smith told WLS-TV.

He said the wall was opened up and the electrical grounding was examined, but the family was still unable to figure out where the radio station was being picked up.

"Sometimes when we think we've arrived at a solution, the next season comes around, and it's back," Smith said.

Household objects have been known to pick up radio signals in the past. A man reported in 2018 that radio signals were being picked up by the metal components in a household fan while the power was off.
FULL STORY: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2020/0...linois-girls-bedroom-wall/9011582315350/?sl=2
 

kamalktk

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#3
Better a Christian radio station coming from the wall than a Satanic radio station I guess?
 

Ermintruder

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#4
I've a solid boring full technical proposed explanation for this case....I would prefer a supernatural one, but I have to be honest and tell it like it is
 

EnolaGaia

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#5
I've a solid boring full technical proposed explanation for this case....I would prefer a supernatural one, but I have to be honest and tell it like it is
I sorta figured it was unlikely to be much of a mystery - especially after reading that the house is located near 6 radio broadcast towers (cf. second link above).
 

Ermintruder

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#7
It's clear from the video that the bedroom walls are made from what's called in the USA 'drywall' (in the UK and Commonwealth we call it plasterboard).
Screenshot_2020-02-21-20-57-59.png


In the USA, many states enforce "building code" that specifies the use of foil-backed drywall, a building standard that is now very-rare in the UK and Europe (we rely upon totally-different building insulation techniques, foiled boards are old school).

Consider how a large surface-area lightweight metal substrate is exactly what an electrostatic loudspeaker is made from.

This foil-backed drywall is held under pinioned tension with multiple zinc-coated nails, which is then in semiconductive contact with the tin/mylar backing foil.

Numerous elemental crystallines will act as efficient radiofrequency detectors, even on an unwanted basis. The original 'cat's whiskers' / crystal set radios used a chunk of galena with a tiny wire, as a point-contact receiver, no batteries required, direct to carbon-granule headphones.

Jail and POW radios were made using coal lumps and razor-blades and tuned circuit antennas

It is no major leap to believe that these walls with their combination of dissimilar metals (foil/nails), accidental semiconductors in close compression (coal/silicate dust), >electrically< insulative timber backframe studs, multiple point instances of radiofrequency detection across multiple wall sheets (all in transductive co-phase), PLUS exactly as @EnolaGaia says, they are in very-close proximity to the transmitters...the field-strength might be way up into high fractions of a volt-per-metre.....this is an open-and-shut case.

And it is inconceivable that any FCC or radiostation transmitter engineers wouldn't already have thought of all of this.
 
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maximus otter

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#8
l’d suggest that there’s a section of rebar - or something similar - inside the wall; and that it’s cut to the length, or an exact fraction/ multiple thereof, of the radio station’s wavelength.

My old Force’s radio engineers had issues with one type of vehicle, when it was found that a suspension component (?) was as described above.

l‘ve also noted previously here on FTMB that the one-armed bandit in my nick’s canteen used to pick up VHF transmissions from our cars’ main set radios. Eerie, when munching one’s 0200hrs. breakfast, alone in the semi-darkness...

maximus otter
 

Ermintruder

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#9
or an exact fraction/ multiple thereof, of the radio station’s wavelength
That's an interesting idea, but with respect it may be an over-engineered proposition.

I say this primarily because of the very high local field-strengths, due to the close proximity of the radio transmitter masts.

When the point of reception is within the nearfield from the source (or not too far from it) the need for any form of tuned circuit or specific length of receiving antenna becomes irrelevant (put it another way, in a sense practicalities win over physics).

The sheer saturation of radiofrequency energy (especially without attenuation from much physical shielding or seperation distance) means that signal becomes patently-induced into almost any conductive material. It is only at real distances (which can be regional, global or even intercosmic) that tuned circuits become absolutely-essential.

Also- when you raise the matter of fractional wavelengths, and resonant material reception: whilst this is a persuasive subset of the general proposition, at the frequencies being used by traditional AM radiostations in the USA (and, still for now, internationally) we are talking about physical wavelengths in the order of hundreds of metres (ie the precise inverse of your old 'talking one-armed bandit')

The only way in which practical consumer small 'transistor' radios can operate without an antenna as long as a street is precisely because they DO possess the augmented sensitivity of optimised tuned circuits (which the house will not possess/does not need for the phenomenon to present, due to the aforementioned saturation effect)
 

maximus otter

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#10
That's an interesting idea, but with respect it may be an over-engineered proposition.

I say this primarily because of the very high local field-strengths, due to the close proximity of the radio transmitter masts.

When the point of reception is within the nearfield from the source (or not too far from it) the need for any form of tuned circuit or specific length of receiving antenna becomes irrelevant (put it another way, in a sense practicalities win over physics).

The sheer saturation of radiofrequency energy (especially without attenuation from much physical shielding or seperation distance) means that signal becomes patently-induced into almost any conductive material. It is only at real distances (which can be regional, global or even intercosmic) that tuned circuits become absolutely-essential.

Also- when you raise the matter of fractional wavelengths, and resonant material reception: whilst this is a persuasive subset of the general proposition, at the frequencies being used by traditional AM radiostations in the USA (and, still for now, internationally) we are talking about physical wavelengths in the order of hundreds of metres (ie the precise inverse of your old 'talking one-armed bandit')

The only way in which practical consumer small 'transistor' radios can operate without an antenna as long as a street is precisely because they DO possess the augmented sensitivity of optimised tuned circuits (which the house will not possess/does not need for the phenomenon to present, due to the aforementioned saturation effect)
Most of those aren’t even *words*.

;)

maximus otter
 
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#11
There's a factor called 'flanking sound' - the cause of much confusion when it comes to sound related issues in buildings. It’s very common, and if it’s a factor here then anyone looking for answers while concentrating solely on the bedroom wall may be on a hiding to nothing.

We have a tendency to assume that sound we hear coming from a wall is transferring from a source directly the other side of that wall (or in this case, inside the wall - directly behind the bedroom layer of drywall), but this is very often not the case. Flanking sound is the indirect movement of sound through a structure - the most common example would be sound transferring upwards or downwards through a supporting wall, or through utility elements within vertical voids, or the voids themselves. In this instance a sound which appears to be travelling laterally from the other side of a wall can actually be travelling vertically, sometimes from a source several floors away.

Although rarer, it's also not unknown to find sound appearing to 'jump' - that is, appearing in a place several removes away from the source, and not seeming to affect the places in between. (It’s not actually ‘jumping’ – it’s just that the fabric, layout and structure in the intervening places is not optimised for the effect in the same way.)

In the case in question it could be that sound is being picked up elsewhere in the house and travelling through studding, conduit, void etc - in which case focusing solely on the point where the noise is actually heard is maybe not going to be much help.

(An example: I once stayed in a top floor flat in Edinburgh where I was continuously disturbed by a rusty sounding pattern of squeaking coming from behind my bed: there would be a very audible screech, followed by two or three more of rapidly decreasing volume. I was totally mystified - as the only thing behind my wall was the communal stairs, and I could see nothing that might explain the sound. It was two or three days before I realised that the cafe on the ground floor had batwing (saloon style) doors leading into their kitchen, one of which was hinged directly to the same supporting wall that my headboard was against - and was clearly in desperate need of oiling. You would have sworn that the sound was just the other side of the wall, but it was actually my side - and travelling from the ground floor, to the fifth floor, through the wall.)
 
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