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What is RF Interference?

What is RF Interference?

 

Have you ever been driving down the road on a warm sunny day trying to listen to your favorite Saturday mix when all of a sudden you begin to hear snow in the background? It’s bizarre and frustrating, and can make you want to either throw your phone out of the car or, worse yet, rip your radio from your dash.  That irritating feedback is called Radio Frequency Interference and there’s a few ways that it can be addressed.

In short, RFI (or Radio Frequency Interference) can be defined as an unwanted audio signal that disrupts the signal sent by your sound system.  Generally speaking, when you’re using your sound system you’ll want to receive signals from things like your radio, Bluetooth, or even your satellite radio however at times these signals can be interrupted by other electronic energies in and around your vehicle.  This creates the unwanted buzz or white noise that you end up hearing either over top or in the background of your music.  Sometimes, this interference can even be caused by the electromagnetic energy that your engine is dispersing - you can tell this source by hearing your speakers wind up and down with your engine RPMs. 

 

But why does this happen?  Well, majority the time the issue lies in the wiring.  The wires that connect your speakers and your amplifier (or radio in many cases) can act as a a sort of antenna for troublesome RF signals that are looking to find their way into your ear.  As we know, these wires are metal and can tend to conduct this signal if the plastic jacket surrounding them is not thick enough, or the signal is just too strong.  This signal may then find its way to your circuit board of your radio where it is detected and transformed into an audio signal that can be heard in your speakers as unwanted noise.  This is why it is very important to make sure that you’re using high quality wiring kits, such as those provided by RetroSound, and you employ installation techniques that can minimize interference. 

 


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