What are the main/most prevalent RFI/emissions sources detremental a ham operator?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AE5DX, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The fish tank thread got me thinking about this.

    I'm sure I have them, every home does, I've heard them and tried to control them, but what could I be missing? I don't necessarily mean the odd bits, but what are some ordinary things that would be in practically every household that I may be overlooking? I don't have a huge problem, but I do hear things I'm thinking I may be able to control if I knew what they were or what they could be.

    I'm aware of:
    Fish Tanks (don't have any)
    Plasma TVs
    Electric motors (blenders etc)
    Fluorescent lighting
    Microwave ovens
    Neon lights
    Laptop chargers
    Dimmer switches?
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Door bell transformers, these were problematic before a lot of the other sources were even in place.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Electronic ignitors on furnaces.
    Electronically-controlled variable-speed motors on furnaces, etc...
    Leaky CATV cables, etc...
  4. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    O boy, I forgot about those, and I have several potential places to check.
  5. W1RFI

    W1RFI Ham Member QRZ Page

    In no particular order of priority:

    Power-line noise from noisy sources on power poles - the most common report to ARRL

    Grow lights - Some tested at 30 dB FCC limits, S9 almost a mile away - used in various forms of indoor gardening. Farmers generally very concerned that device emits identifiable RF signature and quickly discontinue use of noisy devices. Even in states where legal, farmers concerned about what inter-agency agreements may exist, so they often do not want FCC RFI investigation

    Pulse-width motor controllers, washing machines, air conditioning, furnace. Some fixes found, but not yet known how universal they will be

    Battery chargers, etc. Some have been tested as much as 30 dB over FCC limits. In marinas, HF radio virtually destroyed.

    Plasma TV - jury still out. Some are noisy, but others clearly not, so it is not necessarily the plasma technology itself. ARRL started to work with a ham with a cooperative neighbor on trying filters, but neighbor stopped cooperating and ham feels he wants to move anyway.

    LED bulbs - so far so good on the ones from major box stores, but a few imports very noisy. ARRL planning article to document recent test results.

    CFLs - ditto, but no article.

    Miscellaneous switching supplies - most switchers seem clean enough but ARRL has some reports.

    If hams do have reports of specific model numbers causing >S7 interference from house next door, please send reports to rfi@arrl.org. It is possible for "legal" devices to cause interference in hams' own homes, but noise levels in-house >S9 or so may be suspect.

    I'll see if Mike Gruber can add some to the list.

    Ed Hare, W1RFI, ARRL Lab
  6. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Second the CFL bulbs. Worst offenders at this QTH.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  7. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now see, I try to do the "green" thing and now I've got these dang things all over the house.
  8. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, Ed. I have one LED bulb. I bought it out of curiosity, says it'll last for 13 years or so. I've marked my calendar.
  9. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right? Not to mention if they break, we need a hazmat crew called in. ;)
  10. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

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