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livingonwheels

High Pitched "Whistle" Coming From VCS

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Maybe I have hearing like a dog, but I've recently noticed a very faint, high pitched whistle sound coming from the VCS while it's turned off. Sometimes I may have to put my ear to the console to be sure, but most of the time I can hear it from a few feet away. Once you hear it, you can never "unhear" it, so unplugging the VCS from the electrical outlet is the only way. If I unplug it, then replug it, the sound immediately returns (without turning the VCS on). I don't seem to hear it while the console is on, and I definitely don't hear it while the VCS is in "sleep" mode.

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Is it from the VCS or the power supply?  Either way check both and the cable connection between them and the actual power socket on the back of the VCS.

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Definitely coming from inside the VCS itself. Out of curiosity, if you place your ear on the top of your VCS, while turned off, do you hear anything coming from inside the console?

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Interesting do you have a UnoCart plugged in?

 

I encountered an issue with an early firmware revision where unplugging the whole machine was required to discharge a Cap modifying Lower Read values on the Zero Page.

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I should have been more specific. This is the "New" Atari VCS that was released a couple years ago (via Kickstarter), not the old Atari VCS from the 70's. Upon further testing though, I found something curious. If I remove the power supply jack from directly from behind the VCS, the whistling stops immediately. But if I unplug the power supply from the wall (leaving the power supply's barrel jack plug still inserted in the VCS), it takes around 5-10 seconds for the whistling sound to dissipate.

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You are not imagining things, I hear it too, although I have to put my ear to the back of the console near the heat exhaust ports in order to hear it. Also, I was in a lot of loud bands in the 90's and have seen Pantera, Slayer, Testament, Megadeath, Black Sabbath, etc. :) 

 

It sounds like a 60-cycle "hum" of sorts and sounds like a fan noise, although I am also suspicious that maybe it is coming from the Bluetooth for this reason: My Playstation 5 controllers do THE SAME THING!!! For some stupid reason I often rest my Dualshocks near my left ear while browsing, have for years, and when I got my PS5 I was suddenly like, "what is that noise!?!?!?" and it was coming from the USB-C port of the Dualsense.

 

So, my speculation based on anecdotal evidence is that it is some kind of high frequency sound coming from the Bluetooth controller when the console is plugged in (or power going into it at rest) but not powered on. 

 

Ever since I was a little kid I have been sensitive to the sound of television frequencies; my parents used to wonder how I knew they'd turned the TV on as a toddler even with the sound off from another room. The answer was: I was hearing it turn on! Even today when I turn on my CRTs I hear the frequency, and it travels far. I had a girlfriend test me once by telling her when the TV upstairs was on or off when she'd control the controller, and I had a 100% accuracy rate. :)

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Yes, I am able to hear the frequency anytime a CRT TV is turned on too!

The sound seems to be coming from near the power supply port and the vents of the VCS. The sound isn't there on my unit while in "rest" or "sleep" mode though. By the way, while in "sleep" mode, is the official modern controller supposed to wake the system up? Mine doesn't, I still have to push the power button on the rear of the VCS to wake it up. I play wirelessly if that makes any difference.

My concert history is not as vast as yours. I went to a Monkees concert. And Weird Al Yankovic opened for them.😆

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2 hours ago, livingonwheels said:

My concert history is not as vast as yours. I went to a Monkees concert. And Weird Al Yankovic opened for them.

I've seen both the Monkees and Weird Al :-). Both great. I would say that it is close between who I have seen more - The Monkees or They Might Be Giants. I would see both whenever their tours brought them up this way. Seeing The Monkees and Weird Al sounds great though I would want a long set from both.

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Just now, stirrell said:

I've seen both the Monkees and Weird Al :-). Both great. I would say that it is close between who I have seen more - The Monkees or They Might Be Giants. I would see both whenever their tours brought them up this way. Seeing The Monkees and Weird Al sounds great though I would want a long set from both.

I saw TMBG for the Apollo 18 tour at First Avenue in Minneapolis and it was one of the best shows ever. So packed the venue had to hose people down to cool folks off (it was the 90's...)

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3 hours ago, livingonwheels said:

Yes, I am able to hear the frequency anytime a CRT TV is turned on too!

You guys, let me know when you can hear your LCD TV turn on!😆  I can hear them too!  I hear all manner of electronics when they are on.  There is an alarm on my sump pump if the back up kicks on and my wife and kids can't hear it, but I can. I heard a power supply for a laptop start squealing a few days before it kicked the bucket.  Nobody else did.   I can also hear dog whistles (ok maybe not).

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On 3/8/2022 at 3:19 PM, livingonwheels said:

 

On 3/8/2022 at 3:19 PM, livingonwheels said:

Definitely coming from inside the VCS itself. Out of curiosity, if you place your ear on the top of your VCS, while turned off, do you hear anything coming from inside the console

No, but my VCS is packed away as I am doing a house move.  The only sound I could hear when I did listen carefully was the fan.  Sounds like you describe can be power related, the power transformer or a failing capacitor, I've even heard high pitch noises from a weak solder point.  I have recently been hearing a high pitch noise immediately when powering on my laptop which is not the fan, this began when the power connector was accidentally snagged and pulled from the laptop. The 60Hz hum someone referred to is something I cannot corroborate, in the UK we use 240V AC at 50Hz and as I bought my VCS off eBay, I dont know if the PSU I have is the original or third party.  Although I do remember being able to hear old CRT TVs as others referred to, but I've not even seen an old TV for almost 15 years!  They were phased out here when our TV broadcasting went digital.

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