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My amateur radio turns on neighbors night light built into bed

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC3EPA, Apr 14, 2018.

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  1. N5MEP

    N5MEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife has a lighted curio cabinet in our living room. The lighting it touch control with 3 brightness
    settings. 40 meter cw makes it quite entertaining changing with each key closure.

    Needless to say, it stays unplugged.
    K9ASE likes this.
  2. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, we have a China hutch with the same technology. It's really neat that we can touch a hinge to make the lights go on and off, until I discovered that ham radio does the same thing.

    The bigger issue is that the bulbs don't last long, and the act of a bulb blowing out caused a current inrush that fried the thyristor in the circuit, rendering the touch operation not functional. I can replace the hardware for about $26, but really don't want to have to replace it each time the bulb blows.

    The other issue with replacing it is the outlet is behind the china hutch, and we can't get to it. So I'll need to turn off the circuit breaker, cut the power cord, install an socket/outlet so I can unplug it from the top of the china hutch, and then replace it.

    I'm hoping that someday I will take out the electronic mechanism and find that I can replace a $2 thrysistor without much trouble and then just repair it rather than buying new.
  3. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not exactly a Part 15 story but some people can be convinced that the neighbor with the antenna is the source of all their electronic problems.
    When I lived in West Texas, an old man had a pacemaker. He was living next door to a ham with a large radio tower in his back yard. That man was convinced that the radio signals were causing him daily pain and keeping him awake at night. He threatened to sue if he did not take down the radio tower. The ham tried to explain that he was not even home 90% of the time but the man would not listen to reason and continued his threats. Finally, the ham had enough and set up an “experiment” to resolve the issue. He borrowed several security type TV cameras and a split screen video tape recorder and enlisted the help of a couple of his ham friends to assist him in the experiment. When the neighbor came out to cut his grass he had his friend operate the radio transmitter at full power while he was out in his own front yard in full view of the neighbor slowly sweeping his own driveway. All of this was captured on video tape. He waved at his neighbor who just gave him a nasty look and kept on cutting his grass.
    The ham then went into his house, turned off and unplugged all of his transmitters and disconnected the coaxial cable going to the antenna. He then began to rotate his antenna which made a prominent clank and buzzing noise as the large motor rotated the antenna. The neighbor heard the noise, looked up at the rotating antenna, grabbed his chest and collapsed in his yard, ordering his wife to call an ambulance. All of this was captured on the split screen video tape recorder.
    The next day, an attorney representing the neighbor called the ham about his client who was in the hospital undergoing tests. (As a side note, one has to understand that in West Texas, there can be a very informal atmosphere.) The ham explained what had happened and offered to send the attorney a copy of the video tape. The attorney declined the offer and, after consulting with his client’s wife, the gentleman was moved from the hospital to a senior citizen’s faciliy.
    Tom WA4ILH
    SA6CKE, K9ASE and W0VRA like this.
  4. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of the tenets of a part 15 device is that the user must accept any IX issues that it may exhibit (just another way of saying "this device is a POS". If the neighbor has enough money to have installed a solar array on the roof (IMO not the cause of the IX...probably) then he has enough money to buy a quality night light for the bedroom or a "clap on - clap off" LOL, or even to get his hazy butt out of bed and manually (oh no!) turn on a light, etc.
    WZ7U likes this.
  5. W5TTP

    W5TTP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is his significant other experiencing the same enlightening moments?
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If the night light is built into the bed, the obvious solution is to toss the whole bed in a landfill and buy a new bed.

  7. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when I was in Dayton There was an 11m operator that could turn on the touch lamp in the bedroom , and he was located 2 blocks away.
    He had been busted by the FCC a few years earlier (Listed on the FCC enforcement page)...

    Didn't do any good, And is probably still operating...
  8. KC3EPA

    KC3EPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live in townhouse but operate from my car
    He said he first noticed it in October or November.
    I actually got it as a Christmas present and it did not ship until 10 days later.

    I then ordered a MFJ 40 hamstick which was an additional few days.
    After receiving I returned because it would not work in morning until car was warm
    REMTRONIX could find no problem but replaced PA which took 2 and 1/2 weeks

    So in any case his time frame is wrong but I do believe it is setting off his remote controlled lights
    He apologized this morning and asked if I can not use at 10 pm when he is getting in bed

    He was polite.
    I am also willing not to be on 10 while near his house
    I have now upgraded to a MFJ 1979 telescoping antenna which is a true 1/4 wave
    Can not drive while extended but takes 2 minutes to extend

    I can drive a block away out of sight

    What confuses me he said it was serving off a LED strand in kitchen
    Never mentioned night light integrated in his bed until I went with 5 meter antenna.

    I think the night light also has a on off switch besides remote.
    He already read manual and it said RF transmitters can trip it and the manufacturer has no fix.

    The time it took at 10pm to walk to my car could have been settled by turning night light off
    I have only operated at 10pm once.
    He is not an evil guy
    N4AAB likes this.
  9. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Others have suggested the best solution:

    Go sit in your car (slam the doors a few times to make sure that he knows you are there) but don't operate. If he complains, then you know something else is defective with his light and LED strand. Also keep a log of your transmissions and ask him to keep a log when he notices weirdness, and compare logs.

    I don't think your operating from a mobile radio would cause someone's equipment to be affected in their home. You should have at least 50 feet between your antenna and his equipment and that should be sufficient separation.
    N4AAB likes this.
  10. KC3EPA

    KC3EPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live in townhouse operate out of car with MFJ 1979 whip
    No townhouse rules on antennas on cars

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