Radio frequency disturbance? How safe is the iPhone?

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jasonm

New Member
Jul 14, 2007
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#1
I have had my iPhone for a few days now and every time I get an email or a phone call (and the phone is pointed at a speaker 4-5 ft away), I get these beeping and buzzing noises coming from the speaker.

It is so bad I can't even sleep with the iPhone in my room, as it does the same with my alarm clock.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I have it replaced?

If the signal is so strong, how safe is the iPhone? The little book that comes with it has 2-3 pages warning about being within 2 cm of the phone, as beyond FCC regulations.

I'm not sure I feel safe walking around with it in my pocket anymore.
 

rumpelgeist

New Member
Bronze
Jun 20, 2007
165
0
0
#2
I have had my iPhone for a few days now and every time I get an email or a phone call (and the phone is pointed at a speaker 4-5 ft away), I get these beeping and buzzing noises coming from the speaker.

It is so bad I can't even sleep with the iPhone in my room, as it does the same with my alarm clock.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I have it replaced?

If the signal is so strong, how safe is the iPhone? The little book that comes with it has 2-3 pages warning about being within 2 cm of the phone, as beyond FCC regulations.

I'm not sure I feel safe walking around with it in my pocket anymore.
Totally normal.

Don't sweat it. It is the phone polling--looking for text messages, email, receiving an incoming call. You'll notice that it will happen if you send a text, email or make a phone call as well.

All cells phones do this, some are more noisy than others. AT&T's system is particularly noisy. Just keep the phone away from land-line telephones, radios, computer speakers, etc., and you won't hear a thing. Don't set it near the radio by your bed, keep it someplace else (you can keep it within a few feet) and it will be silent.

My buddy has a Nextel phone. It does the same thing, but the sound it produces is totally different that the sound that AT&T phone produce. Verizon phones make no noticeable noise (at least I can't hear any).

I mount my phone in a ProClip holder in my car while I am driving. My phone is near my stereo and it makes all kinds of noise. It's not too bad if I am listening to something (it helps drown out the sound), but if I, say, select "Aux" as the source on my car stereo and am not actually using my iPod (meaning that the stereo is ON, but no sound is coming out of the speakers) and a call starts to come in, just before that call comes in, it sounds like the world is coming to an end. It's funny as crap, actually. If I turn my stereo off totally, I hear nothing at all.

Anyway, long story short: It's annoying, but normal. It's AT&T, not the iPhone. My Sony Ericcson and Treo both did the same thing. Keep it away from the items listed above and you won't hear a thing.

Hope this helps.

Rumpelgeist
 

Popdevil

New Member
Bronze
Jul 2, 2007
254
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#3
This doesn't happen to me. I leave the iPhone right next to my bed where I have an alarm clock and a 5.8 wireless phone.

Only time I hear any noise is if I'm in the car and get a phone call. The radio will make noise.
 

bcaslis

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
144
0
16
Oregon
#5
I get very strong interference with the Harmon Kardin USB speakers on one of my computers if the iPhone is close. I also get very strong interference with the CRT on my work computer if the iPhone is less than 18 inches away.

I should add that I have seen interference from other GSM phones also. But the interference from the iPhone seems a little stronger than most.
 

cdodkin

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Jul 2, 2007
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#6
the AT&T GSM signal can get into some audio circuits on other appliances and cause that buzzing interference you hear.

Some devices have better RF screening than others and are effected less or not at all.

Nothing wrong with the phone - it's a feature of GSM.

The FCC warning is required so that Apple cover themselves against future lawsuits IMHO

Use a headset on any cell phone - that's my best advice
 

cdodkin

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Jul 2, 2007
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#7
I get very strong interference with the Harmon Kardin USB speakers on one of my computers if the iPhone is close. I also get very strong interference with the CRT on my work computer if the iPhone is less than 18 inches away.

I should add that I have seen interference from other GSM phones also. But the interference from the iPhone seems a little stronger than most.
If I slide my iPhone into the storage area under my car stereo, I hear interference over the car speakers.

If I keep it away from there, no issues.

It's annoying, but just a feature.
 

jasonm

New Member
Jul 14, 2007
5
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0
#8
I see some people are not experiencing this issue, is this possibly a problem with only some of the iPhones? I remember seeing a thread about the lcd being changed, maybe this was changed in some models too?

Also the sound gets louder when I get closer to the speaker, but I am experiencing this at 5 ft away. Which is a little far to try and move it away from everything, especially on my desk.
 

cdodkin

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Jul 2, 2007
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#9
I see some people are not experiencing this issue, is this possibly a problem with only some of the iPhones? I remember seeing a thread about the lcd being changed, maybe this was changed in some models too?

Also the sound gets louder when I get closer to the speaker, but I am experiencing this at 5 ft away. Which is a little far to try and move it away from everything, especially on my desk.
The phones are all the same - what changes is the audio equipment they come in contact with, and how well screened it is, and how much signal the iPhone needs to put out to 'talk' to the local cell tower.

The issue for you is that your speaker is not well shielded enough to stop the interference.

Only fix would be to replace the item with the speaker in it with a better shielded one.

For example - I put my iPhone on top of my desktop stereo system (Sony) - no interference.

I put the same phone next to my (expensive) stereo system in my 911, and buzz buzz buzz - go figure!

Plus, if your nearest cell tower is some distance from the iPhone, the iPhone transmitter ramps up it's transmit power to ensure you get a connection. This increased power means more local interference with surrounding electronics.
 

bcaslis

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
144
0
16
Oregon
#10
I agree 100% that it's a GSM "feature" not an iPhone problem. I was just commenting for the OP that I see this also in some situations.

If I slide my iPhone into the storage area under my car stereo, I hear interference over the car speakers.

If I keep it away from there, no issues.

It's annoying, but just a feature.
 

dotcom

New Member
Bronze
Jul 12, 2007
35
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#11
I've had 5 gsm phones over the years and they all did that, my wires does it and the kids does it. Don't worry about it you will get used to it,
 

Martlet

New Member
Bronze
Jul 11, 2007
145
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#12
Wrap your alarm clock in tin foil.

If you're concerned about health, wrap yourself in tin foil!


But seriously, I'm curious if wrapping a cheap alarm clock in foil will shield it, so do try the first one as a Mr. Wizard experiment. ;)
 

tharmsen

New Member
Silver
Jul 5, 2007
873
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#13
That's why when you plug your iPhone into a FM transmitter used for playing iPod music in your car the screen pops up a message saying "this device wasn't intended to be used with the iPhone would you like to enable Airplane mode?" ... or something like that. If I plug my iPhone into my DLO dock in my car and don't enable Airplane mode, when I turn the music up I get the most awful noise over my speakers. If I enable airplane most, it works perfectly.
 

Tinman

Evangelist
Gold
Jul 16, 2007
4,334
183
63
Aridzona
#14
I see some people are not experiencing this issue, is this possibly a problem with only some of the iPhones? I remember seeing a thread about the lcd being changed, maybe this was changed in some models too?
VERY unlikely, considering all of the FCC requirements.

It's perfectly normal, and very common with GSM phones. Not so common with CDMA, even in the same band, which I assume is due to the spread-spectrum nature of CDMA.

The only time it spooked me was when I heard it coming out of my PCs speakers, which had previously been immune to such interference/resonating. Turns out it was coming from the iPhone YouTube video I was watching! Pretty funny:


--
Mike
 

TrippalHealicks

New Member
Gold
Mar 2, 2007
1,341
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#15
I have had my iPhone for a few days now and every time I get an email or a phone call (and the phone is pointed at a speaker 4-5 ft away), I get these beeping and buzzing noises coming from the speaker.

It is so bad I can't even sleep with the iPhone in my room, as it does the same with my alarm clock.

Has anyone else experienced this? Should I have it replaced?

If the signal is so strong, how safe is the iPhone? The little book that comes with it has 2-3 pages warning about being within 2 cm of the phone, as beyond FCC regulations.

I'm not sure I feel safe walking around with it in my pocket anymore.

This is something that has gone on for YEARS with GSM phones. I suggest putting the phone in "Airplane Mode" while you sleep.