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Sanco
21-10-2010, 03:20 PM
Hi there
I have an old Packard Bell iXtreme E303 desktop Pc running Xp SP3.
Just in the last couple of days it has developed a random, but constant, crackling noise when the audio is on. I say random because it does not follow any pattern - if you get my drift - but it is constant.

The audio is controlled by a Sigma Tel C-Major audio software, but I am not sure the problem may reside with it, as I can still play music with it disabled.

Is there any way I can troubleshoot in order to find out what may cause this crackling sound?

I have removed the audio jack and re-inserted it in at back, but it did not make any difference. I have muted the audio via the sigma tel properties, and still get the crackling sound... I have restarted the PC several times, looked for newer audio drivers without luck, and frankly I have run out of ideas.

I have adsl and connect through a phone line with filters...could a filter developed a defect and started crackling? Am I drawing a very long bow???

Any help/ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Sanco

Speedy Gonzales
21-10-2010, 03:43 PM
There's a few models of this starting with PT. Whats yours?

Agent_24
21-10-2010, 03:58 PM
Sounds like a loose connection or fault in the amplifier for the speakers.

Can you try different speakers? Can you try the speakers on a different computer?

This will narrow down if it's the PC or the speakers.

PC builder
21-10-2010, 05:43 PM
i'd say check the cord it could be a short circuit

Sanco
21-10-2010, 06:38 PM
Hi all, and thank you for your input.

Hi Speedy, what do you mean by few models starting with PT - do you refer to my PC model? If that is the case, the model (as far as I know) is an iXtreme E303...does not say anymore on the case.

I did check the cord and it didn't seem damaged, or fraying, but I'll take a second look. The fault with the amp seems pertinent, but I will need to fetch some different speakers to go through the elimination process, something I'll do during the weekend and then I'll post the results.

Thank you again

coldot
21-10-2010, 07:15 PM
Unlikely to be anything to do with telephone line and filters.
If you have headphones you could plug them in to the line out of your computer and listen for the crackles.
Also - when you unplug the output lead from the computer and turn the speaker volume up can you still hear crackling? That would prove that it's the amp.
It may be something in the power supply beginning to fail. Try this - close down computer but leave speaker amplifier switched on and listen.

Sanco
22-10-2010, 09:01 AM
Unlikely to be anything to do with telephone line and filters.
If you have headphones you could plug them in to the line out of your computer and listen for the crackles.
Also - when you unplug the output lead from the computer and turn the speaker volume up can you still hear crackling? That would prove that it's the amp.
It may be something in the power supply beginning to fail. Try this - close down computer but leave speaker amplifier switched on and listen.

Hi Coldot, I did what you suggested. No crackling when I plugged the headphones directly to audio output on audio card. Then I plugged the speakers back in and turned the pc off, turned the speakers on and crackling still there. Then turned pc back on but disconnected the audio cable of the speakers from the pc and turned speakers on - result, crackling still there. The speakers have their own power supply that is connected in the main power supply of the pc.

I guess the good news is there is no fault with the audio or power supply of the pc, or the audio card. The bad news is the possibility of a fault with either the speakers' own power supply or the amp?

Now, if the amp is the culprit here, should I just dish these speakers and buy new ones, or would it be worth trying to fix it? I would preface my last statement with the fact these speakers are diamond audio technology storm 2.1 speaker set and are about 7 years old, in order to help with a possible assessment.

Regards
Sanco

Agent_24
22-10-2010, 10:02 AM
It's could be a fairly basic design so repair would probably be easy, and if it is, it's probably worth it (especially if you like the speakers and their audio quality)

However if you have no clue about how to repair anything like this, then you'd have to pay someone else to do it, and then you might as well just buy another set (That all depends on how good quality these ones are)

If they were mine, I'd certainly give fixing them a go.

Sanco
22-10-2010, 10:53 AM
I'd sure give it a go. How do you suggest I attack it? Bearing in mind that I am not a pc technician in the purest sense.

coldot
22-10-2010, 12:19 PM
The speakers have their own power supply that is connected in the main power supply of the pc.
It's not quite clear whether the speakers have their own independent power supply.
Do you mean they get 230 volt mains supply from the PC via a 3 pin IEC connector?
Or are they powered by a 5 volt or 12 volt connection from the PC?
Can you easily separate the speakers and amplifier from the PC and switch them on by themselves with the PC switched off?
(Trying to prove one way or the other whether the crackling relates to PC or speaker amp.)
And by the sound of it you're not in any position to attempt repair by yourself. Got any tech friends/neighbours for consultation?

Sanco
22-10-2010, 01:00 PM
Then I plugged the speakers back in and turned the pc off, turned the speakers on and crackling still there.

I guess I couldn't have done that without the speakers having their own 12V power supply - which it is connected to the same plug as the pc in the 240v mains.
The speakers are separate from the pc, that is why I mentioned I could biff them and by new ones.

I thought you understood my previous post, therefore your subsequent answer on trying to fix the amp, but once again I have succumbed to the mother of all mistakes -assumption.

Agent_24
22-10-2010, 02:31 PM
I'd sure give it a go. How do you suggest I attack it? Bearing in mind that I am not a pc technician in the purest sense.

Fortunately, troubleshooting an audio amplifier or anything electronic at the component level doesn't really have anything to do with being a PC Technician.

Unfortunately though I expect you probably have no experience with that either...

Assuming you do have at least some basic knowledge and tools such as a soldering iron, I suggest you take photos of the inside and post them along with a description of the fault at www.badcaps.net where there are some people who should be able to help.