Audio Electronics and the “Mobile Phone Buzz”

In the past, when you were in a conference call, it probably felt like any other telephone call, except you had the advantage of hands-free, high quality audio. Nowadays, as more and more complex mobile devices make their way into the hands of business executives and consumers across the globe, the dynamics of the conference call have changed. Mid-conversation, a buzzing noise starts as people frantically grab their mobile devices and move them away from the conference phone, knowing full well that they may be the offender. We typically know what causes the buzz, but we may not realize why it’s happening or that there’s a new wave of conference phones available that will put an end to this phenomenon. This paper will explore what exactly is causing that annoying buzz, why it’s happening, and how it can be remedied.
As long as radios have been in existence, the opportunity for interference has been there. But in today’s crowded world of high-tech, wireless devices, the problem has become pronounced. The truth is that building a good radio is a real challenge, but building a bad one turns out to be surprisingly easy. We have all heard stories of the guy who picked up a local radio station in his fillings, or the rusty radiator that buzzed in time to the “Top Ten” playing on the AM dial. They sound far-fetched, but some of these stories are actually true. What is happening is that really strong radio waves, for example from a nearby station, can force a less-than-perfect electrical connection to act like a detector that strips out the really high radio frequencies and leaves just the audio we hear. So, two rusty pipes fitted together can act like an accidental detector, but so can transistors, connectors, and a variety of other parts commonly found in electronics. When they’re pushed hard enough, they reveal their darker sides, and add “noisemaker” to