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Phone Calls from Jesus

Dear Matthew Alice:

I understand how cordless phones can pick up signals from other devices. HOWEVER, my wall-mounted (very corded) telephone has been picking up a religious radio station for the past several months. How does this happen? It's very distracting when holding a conversation and hearing a booming guy in the background proclaiming his love for Jesus.

-- Religious Phone Girl, Morris County, NJ

Spiritual telemarketers. What next? We checked in with Wavy Gravy, our Team Matthew Alice wizard of all things wired and wireless. He says if this is a recent problem, then your pipeline to salvation is not likely a glitch in the radio station's transmitter. Wavy suggests your phone has some corrosion somewhere in its guts. Or possibly it's in the phone wiring in the house. Corrosion, sez Wav, turns the joints in the wiring into semiconductors. Semiconductors create DC from your AC house current. And you end up with what's basically a crude radio receiver capable of picking up nearby AM signals. Try hooking the phone to another jack, or try a different land-wired phone to narrow down where the problem is. (If you dial around on your AM tuner, you'll probably find the station you're hearing over your phone. Salvation in stereo.) Wavy always hedges his bets, though. He says if you live very far from the transmitter, you might be getting some crosstalk from another phone circuit. Whatever it is, you have our sympathies.

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Dear Matthew Alice:

I understand how cordless phones can pick up signals from other devices. HOWEVER, my wall-mounted (very corded) telephone has been picking up a religious radio station for the past several months. How does this happen? It's very distracting when holding a conversation and hearing a booming guy in the background proclaiming his love for Jesus.

-- Religious Phone Girl, Morris County, NJ

Spiritual telemarketers. What next? We checked in with Wavy Gravy, our Team Matthew Alice wizard of all things wired and wireless. He says if this is a recent problem, then your pipeline to salvation is not likely a glitch in the radio station's transmitter. Wavy suggests your phone has some corrosion somewhere in its guts. Or possibly it's in the phone wiring in the house. Corrosion, sez Wav, turns the joints in the wiring into semiconductors. Semiconductors create DC from your AC house current. And you end up with what's basically a crude radio receiver capable of picking up nearby AM signals. Try hooking the phone to another jack, or try a different land-wired phone to narrow down where the problem is. (If you dial around on your AM tuner, you'll probably find the station you're hearing over your phone. Salvation in stereo.) Wavy always hedges his bets, though. He says if you live very far from the transmitter, you might be getting some crosstalk from another phone circuit. Whatever it is, you have our sympathies.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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