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§ That annoying sound

For the past couple of days I have been harassed by a sporadic random beep in my house. Usually when I'm not watching a movie or playing a game it's pretty quiet, so I'd be sitting around in my living room eating, reading, coding, or whatever, and then

beep

One really quick, high pitched beep. Out of nowhere. Worse yet, it was only happening about every ten minutes and wasn't that loud, so it was hard to track down. I'd think it was the microwave timer or something, clear 'em all to be sure, then return to what I was doing, such as writing some code

beep

Maybe the smoke alarm? Nope, it's a lot louder than that. Alarm clock? It's off.

beep

WTF.

Having had enough, I picked up my laptop and started computing at various places on the floor, trying to pick up directional cues as to the location of the sound. Problem is, the sound was so high pitched and quick that I could only tell by hearing that it was roughly left-ish or right-ish of my current position. After a couple of dead ends in the hallway and dining room, I could only determine that it was somewhere in the vicinity of one side of my living room, which strangely enough isn't supposed to have any electronic devices that are plugged in much less powered. An hour later, after hovering around the area while folding various bits of laundry, I had a suspicion that it was coming from a nondescript cardboard box.

Which, when opened and emptied, turned out to have a cordless phone receiver in it.

It turns out, for some dumb reason, that the way this model phone indicates that it is out of its cradle and needs to be charged is that it outputs a single, tenth of a second beep every ten minutes. I had picked this up intending to use it, but had forgotten about it. Apparently this phone is dual-purpose in that if it doesn't work out as a phone, you can plant the receiver near someone you hate as an electronic torture device. Now I'm not so sure I want to use it....

Comments

Comments posted:


For a moment I thought somebody placed an Annoy-a-tron from ThinkGeek in your house!

VDub fan - 23 08 12 - 02:47


Some time ago I had a similar thing, took me a couple of hours... turned out to be the "my battery is empty" alarm of the smoke detector. Since then I'm prepared to search for cordless devices when it happens again. :-/

Lynax (link) - 26 08 12 - 02:10


And what makes these smoke detectors extra annoying is that the battery always start to go low at night when temperatures in the house on average are lower than during daytime. It always start around 5 a.m. beep.......beep .....beep

wl - 31 08 12 - 07:01


In the spring I had the fuses in distribution box replaced with breakers. The fuses were marked nicely about what they control, except that one of them had two wires connected. The electrician put the wires on separate breakers, but we couldn't find out where it lead, so I just told him to leave it off, and I'll find in a couple of days what's not working.

I didn't find anything not working in about a week, and more or less forgot about the breaker. Then I started hearing bleep-blip every now and then, but it was rare enough that I couldn't find where it was coming from, and it wasn't loud enough to annoy me. I only found out by accident that it was my cordless phone bleeping that it's battery was empty, because that breaker controlled the outlet it's base station was connected to.

ender - 31 08 12 - 07:58


When this happens with our smoke detectors, I find that it's easier to locate the source if I know when the beep is going to occur (I get out a stopwatch) and am in an alert state for it.

James - 25 09 12 - 16:14


So... getting a Kinect for Windows, slapping together some code, and using its microphone array in the future to quickly and accurately locate the sound source is out of the question? :)

Igor Levicki (link) - 04 10 12 - 00:28

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