Volunteers researching a mysterious hum in northwest Calgary say the outcome of a similar study in Ontario gives them hope.

Richard Patching and others have spent at least five years trying to pinpoint the source of a bothersome noise in the neighbourhood of Ranchlands.

Now they say they are narrowing down the mystery but are getting stalled by a lack of resources.

"If we can convince the people who have the sources of funding that this is a problem that is needful of attention — and I think with the Windsor one, it brings it to the attention of the people who have that power — that's a hopeful sign," said sound engineer Patching. 

A $60,000 federal grant recently helped a dedicated team of researchers pinpoint the source of a similar hum in Windsor, Ont.

Marcia Epstein

Marcia Epstein, an acoustic ecologist, says researchers have eliminated some possible explanations for the mysterious Ranchlands hum but need more resources. (CBC)

Patching says that kind of money could help them, and they may try to raise it through crowdfunding.

For residents in the area, the noise has been a source of irritation since reports of the sound first surfaced in 2008.

"Something like a very large truck or airport engine idling at a distance," says Marcia Epstein, an acoustic ecologist who lives in the area.

Epstein says they have managed to narrow the cause of the noise down, mainly by eliminating ideas about what it could be.

She says they have concluded it's not related to any of the construction sites or electrical systems in the area.

However, they have not ruled out that it could be related to the water system and are hoping that some money and high-tech equipment will let them finally solve the mystery.

The source of the mysterious hum in Windsor was determined to be Zug Island, a steel manufacturing site in Michigan across the Detroit River from the Ontario city.