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Help Requested - Clock Radio with Fuzzy Sound

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Doug, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. Doug

    Doug Guest

    I just found this group. Sorry to ask what is probably an elementary
    question for you folks.

    I have had a clock radio (digital tuner and cordless phone) for
    several years. I believe that it is a "Frontgate" label - but don't
    know who the manufacturer is. Pretty much all of the sudden, the
    sound has gotten very fuzzy soft - and even if I crank up the volume
    it is still on the softish side.

    Is this normal for a (not so expensive - but not cheap) piece of
    consumer electronics? I seem to recall an earlier digital clock radio
    that also seemed to go "fuzzy" after several years. I got rid of that
    for the radio/phone combo (in order to reduce the clutter on the night
    stand).

    If this is "normal", is there a better manufacturer of clock radios
    out there that won't have this behavior? Or should I just plan on
    replacing my clock radio every 5 years or so.

    thanks
    doug.
     
  2. hr(bob)

    hr(bob) Guest

    Unfortunately, this is the case any more with many consumer
    electronics... In some respects, you are lucky it has lasted as long
    as it has. We are living in a throw-away society, parts for repairing
    that type of electronics are more costly than replacing the entire
    unit, assuming you can even get the parts any more.

    I use Consumer Reports as a somewhat reliable source of reliability
    information, but for the no-name brands, you are taking a crap-shoot.

    Good luck with your next thow of the dice.

    H. R. (Bob) Hofmann
     
  3. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Well stuff like that is a crapshoot, though fuzzy sound could be something
    simple like a cracked solder joint if it happened suddenly. You might also
    check to see if some bits of crud fell down into the speaker, they usually
    face up and a few crumbs of something can make it sound nasty.
     
  4. **Mechanical switches and electrolytic caps, would be my first suspects.
     
  5. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Or the speaker itself. If it has an earphone socket, might be worth plugging
    one in just to see how it sounds on that.

    Arfa
     
  6. It could just be the loudspeaker or a bad connection and they are both
    worth checking out. If it's relatively new, then most of the electronics
    is probably one or two chips.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name AND either lasers or electronics is included in the
    subject line. Or, you can contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  7. Doug

    Doug Guest

    Thanks to all of you for resonding.

    I have taken some compressed air and blew out any dust (especially off
    the speaker) to no avail. I'm not too electronically inclined, but I
    have been known to heat up a soldering iron on one or two occasions.
    I'll check for loose connections tonight.

    doug
     
  8. Doug-

    As Trevor suggested, there could be a leaky electrolytic capacitor in
    the audio amplifier, possibly one connecting the speaker to the
    amplifier.

    Could liquid have been spilled into the speaker? If the speaker cone
    had warped, the voice coil might be rubbing against the magnet's pole
    piece. It is possible to apply pressure to a speaker cone in such a way
    that you can feel it rubbing (or not) to see if that might be what
    causes the fuzzy sound.

    Fred
     
  9. If you have any sort of small loudspeaker kicking around (like a PC
    speaker), it would be worth substituting it or even just jumpering it
    in parallel with the internal speaker to see if sounds any better.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name AND either lasers or electronics is included in the
    subject line. Or, you can contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
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