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Old 25-04-17, 03:35 PM
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A strange Failure mode....

Good morning/afternoon/evening all!

So i just had a very interesting afternoon.

We had OFCOM sniffing around the area today looking for a Strong source of interference in the area. As i licenced HAM, i was kinda worried about my radio gear, I invited em in, they checked it out, no issues were found with any of it.

But they did find that the source of the interference WAS coming from my place.

So we start killing devices left right & center, no change.

Until we got to my housemates bedroom.

We found that the source of the interference was coming from his PC (A build i did years ago on the 1366 platform <3)

So we start unplugging keyboards, mice, controllers, USB hard drives, still no change...

Then we started unplugging the video cables, SUDDENLY, the interference drops off like a rock, sorted right? Bad cable?....Nope...

We started testing cables on my test bench, no issues there, changed for different cables (DVI, HDMI) It comes back.

We change his graphics card for one of the spares we keep around (A trusty GTX 660)

BOOM!

Problem is gone, I start scratching my head, confused, so i drop his card in my rig....BANG! Source of interference appears once again!

Turns out that the card, when a video output is plugged it, is radiating a strong 800mhz signal up the cable, using it as an antenna, and Effecting the local Vodafone coverage!

The card in question is an MSI GTX 970 Twin Frozr, bought in 2015, Luckily the card is still in warranty, cause in its current condition, its illegal to use it.

Thank you for reading my re-telling of the haunted video card, movie comes out in 2020

(FYI, an RMA has been submitted, just waiting for the RMA number to come back, the card still has a year left on the warranty, off to the netherlands you go, you silly radio pirate gtx 970 XD)

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Old 25-04-17, 04:10 PM
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Very strange, never though that a GPU would ever cause that kind of issue.
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Old 25-04-17, 04:16 PM
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You and me both! The only logical conclusion i can come up with is that a mosfet or a filter cap has pooped and is spitting noise out.
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Old 26-04-17, 04:48 AM
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WTH? Wow. I am seriously shocked thats what the issue was. Didn't even know that was possible.
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Old 26-04-17, 05:34 AM
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Same, Something is coupling an 800mhz single to ground, which would make sense seeing as the hdmi and dvi cables we used and tested are properly shielded and the sheild was acting as an antenna. So whether a mosfet has pooped, or the PLL is going nuts, or either something small like a filter or decoupling capacitor has lost its mind, all remains to be seen. I grabbed that inspectors business card and requested a copy of the spectrum data and metrics they took, ill post em once i get em so you can see for yourselves heh
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Old 26-04-17, 09:43 AM
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So, got an email back from ofcom, check this out!



Thats a 50khz span! THATS MASSIVE!
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Old 26-04-17, 09:50 AM
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Wow, that needs reporting to the manufacturer, that's some pretty heavy interference...

Should this be something people now test against, that's crazy
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Old 26-04-17, 09:54 AM
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Ive sent these to MSI so they are aware, This is actually something that we can all do really easily and cheap to be honest, grab an RTL sdr from ebay, a small antenna, and a laptop, or a phone with a usb otg cable.

Anyway, just for some more results, here is the card in a "powering up" state.



And here is the results when the card isnt powered up.

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Old 26-04-17, 09:58 AM
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Wow that's ridiculous..

Quick question, does the card have any issues with coil whine? did you do a similar test with it under heavy-load? be interesting to see if that signal got some boosting once the card is doing some heavy-lifting.
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Old 26-04-17, 10:15 AM
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Heard No coil whine at all, and yeah, i threw furmark at her while testing. the emissions where constant.
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