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Author Topic: I found a "quiet" Computer accident.  (Read 111 times)

Posts: 59

« on: May 02, 2016, 09:26:08 AM »

[For those who don't want to read the associated story...and want the TL;DR (too long;didn't read) version. I've found that the Cooler Master Elite 550 (Ver 2) power least in my PC...does not produce disgusting EMI and the radio is dead quiet with it running.]

Greetings fellow hams,

Just thought I'd share this since it is slightly RFI related. For the last 8 years..I've been a laptop user; I abandoned desktops when I found these nice little slabs of technology could do everything my outdated desktops had been doing...even better when i got a "brand new" gaming one. Things were great till I picked up an RTL-SDR as a pre-cursor to my becomming a's power brick was extremely noisy. Plug the thing in...and noise everywhere. This was the original OEM brick to the laptop...not a chinese relplacement. It was really noisy; though I assumed after 4 to 5 years of use...that was par for the course. This lead me to laptop #2...a unit I inherited under sad circumstances. When I had it plugged in to the wall...nothing. No interference...I thought I'd hit a gold mine! I quickly made that my radio basically only got used specifically for radio stuff. This means I had to switch computers when I wanted to do ham stuff; it got a little annoying after a while and I found myself just not doing radio. Not to mention I'd gone back to I had other hobbies that took my money I began taking up.

One of the things I brought home from work one day was the boss' old computer; some HP desktop with an AMD Athlon II x4 620 CPU. With an integrated GeForce 9100 on the Nvidia chipset attached to a Paragon (Asus) board; this thing had six gigs of ram and a 10/100 network card that was 5 years too old. So what do I do? I start looking at what I can throw in there to upgrade it.  I wound up building a "low-end gaming" machine by sticking a modern GeForce GTX760 video card in it. This of course requires a power supply upgrade...which I didn't realize (hey....8 years since touching a desktop pc...things change). So..I bought a cheap one; it was DOA. I couldn't afford the "good ones" I exchanged it and went for something that at least felt a little better...a Cooler Master Elite 550. I assumed...that a power supply in this price class...even with the FCC logo on it...would produce enough EMI/RFI that my radio would be 100% useless with the desktop turned on. There's a laptop brick that if you plug it up anywhere in the'll interfere with the radio. I held no hope that this desktop...practically sitting next to my radio..would somehow throw out no RFI to screw with it.

I........was wrong. I did not flip the radio on while the desktop was powered off; but when I flipped it on...I heard no more noise than I remember hearing with nothing running in the shack. Last night I hooked the interface up...installed the usb->serial drivers required for my dongle; and FLDigi was decoding things with no issue. Sent a few signals to a friend...and everything worked.

It feels nice knowing I have *one* main PC that I can go between gaming, music, and ham stuff without having to stop, disconnect a laptop, hook another up, boot it up, and all that.

So...I've had success with the Cooler Master Elite 550 not causing RFI in case anyone is in the market for a computer power supply.

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