Am disabled/health issues and need to record things, fast talkers, long conversations, etc. Since a Smart Meter was installed I've had issues with electronic failures and this noise. Like self-setting alarm clocks failures (all of them). Can't hear the clicking noise by ear, only when I think I've recorded information, instructions, (over the phone/land line) and from the answering machine to clear it, that a constant clicking noise happens. Fast clicking like click... one count...click and on it goes. Voice quality from the calls severely drops or during is horrible. Folks at the VA don't listen well when asked to speak up louder and clearly either.

Old retired jack of all trades and worked construction/contractor/business, etc. I am at a total loss on this one. I am not a techy. Have called in a couple of electricians, power company, cable tv/net service company, to the Geek Squad, no-one has a clue what it is. Just sounds like some kind of "electrical clicking noise" or "jamming like" from somewhere, somehow. Or "spooks." No ghosts or hauntings here, gremlins maybe.

Have tried numerous kinds/makes of recorders/cassettes (mainly what I use). AC and battery powered tests, all through the house same thing. I think I've recorded info from like a doctor's office for later use and nothing but very low voice levels and the clicking. While the answering machine seems fine but not for longer talks, volume boosts, for info before shutting off.

Nothing else in my home has changed except for the wifi stuff, a amplified speaker phone to use, a new cable tv box, and the Smart Meter. No other noise makers in the house or has been, or causes found. Anyone ever hear of this going on in their home? TY for any suggestions and input. Have several heads/professionals around here scratching their heads on this one.

  • Interesting symptoms for sure. It is strange that a tape recorded at the doctor's office exhibits the clicking at home. Does it click away from home? My only idea is that there could be a power quality issue. Years ago, I has a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that was regularly detecting a power line issue and momentarily switching to battery mode. The power company was at first perplexed. The line voltage was nominal. Not lights were dimming. They connected a power quality meter outside for a few days. It detected something wrong with one of the phases that they ended up fixing remotely.
    – Jon
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 17:28
  • Sam, i am not quite understanding. You are recording Phone conversations? and you hear clicking in the recording no matter what device did the recording? Analog or digital? What is a smart meter?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 17:28
  • If this is an electrical noise issue, the first things I'd suspect would be new LED light bulbs and electronics. I'd test without the amplified speaker phone connected and maybe the cable tv box.
    – Jon
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 17:30
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it isn't about Home Improvement. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 18:39
  • 2
    I agree that this question seems like a poor fit for DIY. It might be better-received/answered at electronics.stackexchange.com. That said, the question should be improved regardless of site. "Issues" isn't a precise enough description to answer, and if the clicking is periodic, then a more precise description (get a stopwatch) of the periodicity will be important. Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


I remember this sound from my youth; about once or twice a second. It is either a tape recorder or player problem.

This can be proved by running the machine elsewhere - the clicking will happen wherever the machine is, so proving the smart meter is not the problem.

A forum about tape deck problems is shown below. I hope you find a solution.

As many people no longer value tape players, you may be able to get a better one with a polite request on Freecycle.org


  • Thanks all for the input and extra links to check out.
    – Sam
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 23:14

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