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Hearing voices in FT8?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by W3MMM, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page


    Ok, so I thought I might be losing my mind.

    I like to listen to the frequency audio when playing FT8. Not loud or anything, but just in the background. Now, on very rare occasions, I’ve heard a faint voice recording that sounds tied to the FT8 signals.

    Here’s what it sounds like:
    The FT8 cycle is about to complete, the last signal or two are trailing off before the next 15 second cycle begins...and I hear a faint woman’s voice saying “Joe”... very quick, very weak.

    First time, I think it must be in my head. But then I hear it again a few cycles later, at the same point in the cycle (14 seconds in) and on the same even/odd cycle. Always the same voice saying Joe the same way, a recording.

    But it doesnt happen every such cycle and I can’t replicate it on demand.

    Ok... that was a day or two ago. Switching to another band, it didn’t follow. I couldn’t tie it to anything on the waterfall but it seemed clear that it was tacked on to someone’s signal.

    Another time, I heard a similar thing but it wasn’t a voice or word, just the sound of like a chair being pushed across a floor, not very distinct. But it followed the same pattern: very brief (like 1/3 of a second), at the end of the 15 second cycle, and seemed like to might be latched to someone’s FT8 signal as it was only on even (or odd) cycles.

    Fried mind? Some artifact being introduced into someone’s FT8 signal? Would someone do this on purpose?
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Folks with soundcard issues letting computer audio into the radio

    Bad practice but pretty common

    K0UO, AG5DB and WD0BCT like this.
  3. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Rats! Dave beat me to it!
    W7UUU likes this.
  4. KP4SX

    KP4SX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    But why always saying 'Joe'?
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hear that as well sometimes. It seems to be more prevalent on 80M.

    The only reason I'm not 100% convinced it's the soundcard is because, in my case, I only hear conversation not the typical computer sounds. Something I would expect from a user that does not know how to set things up correctly.
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is common for some digital mode users to not turn off all of the built in computer noises. On the 20 meter PSK frequencies, I commonly hear "You have mail". It's difficult to tell which signal it is attached to.

    Laptop users often don't realize/remember that they have a built in camera and microphone. So they forget to disable the built in microphone. When they forget, you can hear all the shuffling around the shack, along with the actual signal.

    I try to make sure I disable everything that can make a noise, on my shack computer. But even on my daily use computer, I keep the audio muted. There is always some web site that thinks you want to hear their choice of music. I don't want any noises coming from the computer, unless I specifically say so.
    K0UO likes this.
  7. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most often heard from those ops/from those stations *not* running dedicated sound interface devices like a Tigertronics Signalink.

    Some of the Soundblaster stuff simply jacked into the speaker/line out form the default sound card in a PC, and ALL Windows sounds can be heard from that "port'!
  8. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Whew/ ok, not losing my mind.

    The Joe thing was kind of spooky though.

    Many moons ago I made a PC recording (MP3) of a song that could only be found on a 45. I shared that MP3, but while making it, the recording picked up some Windows error message “dings” which in some quiet parts of the song were quite jarring.

    Fast forward 10 years and I find discussion boards where people are talking about the dings. “Does anyone have a clean copy” (no) “why is the ding at 2:47 so much louder”. “Why would someone do this?” Etc.

    It was pretty funny, and to this day I don’t think anyone’s tried to make a better version.

    So the Joe recording though....why would the soundcard play the same thing every time? I get the “open mic” noise, but a recording?
    K0UO and AA5CT like this.
  9. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wild guess. It's a wave file that is associated with some computer condition. All other sounds have been muted, except this one.

    I remember doing this in the past. Every time there was an alarm, a wave file that said "Holy Shift" would play.:D
    W3MMM likes this.
  10. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I first started on FT8, my mike was open. I didn't recognize the problem until my dog barking affected my power output.
    K0UO, K6CLS, W3MMM and 1 other person like this.

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