So I’m sitting at my computer, immersed in a literature survey for my term project, listening to TOOL at full volume, when all of a sudden I hear a loud “dit-dit-dit-dit-deeeeet–ditditdit-dit—–dit——dit——dit”. Took me about three seconds to realize it’s coming from my speakers. So then I went, “ET!!! WOOHOOO- I KNEW IT!!!”
But, as some wise jack once said, “If wishes were horses, beggars would teleport”. I am of course referring to the noise certain old generation sound-systems tend to make when a nearby cellphone starts transmitting radio waves. Veterans will know that it’s a great way to predict phone calls before it actually rings. And some people have even attempted to make music with it. But one must wonder why it happens at all? A quick Google search will reveal a countless instances where the question has been addressed. Almost all of them appear in discussion forums, short, and insufficient and hand-wavy (to me at least). They all go, “Oh that’s just radio interference”. Even the Youtube video owner messes-up (”…an inch from your brain”?! :”Don’t try with headphones”?! What’s wrong with him!!!). Only a couple came close to helpful. But there are other things the speaker is trying to tell us. So this week, for my first post on RightShift, I’ve decided to listen closely.
The experiment involves recording and observation of sound patterns from a cellphone-speaker coupled system under various modes of operation, and an attempt to correlate to expected cellphone behavior. (You may skip to the comments section . . . now.)
1> My Cellphone
A SAMSUNG SGH-X160.
GSM phone with Dual Band (900/1800MHz).
2> My Speakers
Creative SBS 240, 20 KHz.
3> Standard issue aluminum foil.
Food wrapping variety. Unknown thickness. (The package didn’t say)
4> Sound-recording (Ubuntu sound recorder software, nameless chinese microphone), Imaging (GIMP) and track visualization tools (Snd 7.0).