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Thread: Ham radio question

  1. #1
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    Ham radio question

    I got this question from one of our sales guys today:

    A customer in Flowermound is wondering if his sloping V antenna (image below) for his ham radio will cause any interference with his solar panels. His plan is to have the Southside leg of the antenna passing 3-6 feet above the panel array. There will be 100 watts passing down that leg with a 3-8 mHz output. He had heard that the silicon in the panels can react poorly to that kind of rig but there are cheap filters he can buy if you think it will cause any problems with the panel production.

    I can't think of any reason why the antenna should interfere electronically (the wire itself is small enough that there shouldn't be a shading issue) with his PV production, but I thought I would toss it up to the forum and see what you guys think.


  2. #2
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    Ham radio interfering with solar panels is a new one on me. I can't say there is no chance of it, but solar panels are used by ham radio operators all the time and I have never heard of such an issue.

    I have been licensed since 1994.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  3. #3
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    I don't see an image.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by K8MHZ View Post
    I don't see an image.
    That's because the image is a jpeg embedded in the email I got. I know I could extract it and post it, but it's just a sketch of a couple of wires in a V suspended from three 10' poles. It hardly seems worth the trouble.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    That's because the image is a jpeg embedded in the email I got. I know I could extract it and post it, but it's just a sketch of a couple of wires in a V suspended from three 10' poles. It hardly seems worth the trouble.
    I understand. I have used V (usually inverted) antennas before.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  6. #6
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    He should be worried about the solar causing radio interference, not the other way.

    I dealt with this with one customer who was a ham radio enthusiast. The customer was more helpful to me than vice versa. At one point he sent me an article about the subject from a ham radio magazine, which I can't seem to find right now. The article's author had installed a plethora of ferrite torroids around the PV wiring under the array on the roof. I explained that we would have to quote our install differently if he wanted us to do similar, and we agreed to go ahead with a normal install and handle any retrofit later. His antenna was some distance from his house on the other side from the solar. We did a normal install with Solaredge and as far as I know he has not had issues.

    With the antenna so close the array this customer might have more reason to worry. Some people have complained that a certain well known microinverter brand disables their garage door remote controls in good sun, although I believe this issue is rare and I've never had to deal with it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    He should be worried about the solar causing radio interference, not the other way.

    I dealt with this with one customer who was a ham radio enthusiast. The customer was more helpful to me than vice versa. At one point he sent me an article about the subject from a ham radio magazine, which I can't seem to find right now. The article's author had installed a plethora of ferrite torroids around the PV wiring under the array on the roof. I explained that we would have to quote our install differently if he wanted us to do similar, and we agreed to go ahead with a normal install and handle any retrofit later. His antenna was some distance from his house on the other side from the solar. We did a normal install with Solaredge and as far as I know he has not had issues.

    With the antenna so close the array this customer might have more reason to worry. Some people have complained that a certain well known microinverter brand disables their garage door remote controls in good sun, although I believe this issue is rare and I've never had to deal with it.
    Enphase? SMA?
    What's the purpose behind obfuscating the brand or the models?
    https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...e-door-openers
    https://www.reddit.com/r/amateurradi...ottom-comments
    lists.re-wrenches.org/pipermail/re-wrenches-re-wrenches.org/2014/086647.html

  8. #8
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    Maybe my company sells that brand and I don't want to badmouth them on a public forum for a problem that is relatively minor, affects few people, and which also, for all I know, involves other brands, too, as you have more or less proven with your link to the SMA case. (There you go, I wasn't talking about SMA.) People who really need to know will figure it out.

  9. #9
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    Perhaps he's wondering if the RF would travel back and cause the inverter to act up, or cause the transistors to latch up and lose the smoke?
    I had a CRT TV that would turn the picture into a spot the size of a quarter in the middle by transmitting a FRS/GMRS walkie talkie held right up to the screen. FRS walkie talkie isn't that powerful. Mine ran on 4 AAA batteries.

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