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Thread: Ham radio & LED

  1. #1
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    Ham radio & LED

    We left a sample LED retrofit for a recessed can with a customer. He is a HAM radio operator and mentioned that he had heard they may mess with his system. Any thoughts?

    One lamp didn't seem to bother at the moment.
    Tom
    TBLO

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    We left a sample LED retrofit for a recessed can with a customer. He is a HAM radio operator and mentioned that he had heard they may mess with his system. Any thoughts?

    One lamp didn't seem to bother at the moment.
    LED's are RFI-rich, but I don't know that it's any worse that CFL's or standard fluorescents.

  3. #3
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    I think that depends a lot on the lamp/fixture and the design of the driver. If they do a good job of filtering the input current, a can light or a simple replacement lamp shouldn't radiate too much noise.

    If they let the harmonics through to the branch circuit wiring, the longer wire lengths can act like an antenna, and radiate some noise.

    Also, I could see how a 4' fixture might have enough wiring length inside the fixture to radiate some noise from the wires feeding the LEDS.

  4. #4
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    I wonder if he can light up the LEDs when he transmits?
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine View Post
    I wonder if he can light up the LEDs when he transmits?
    I’ll ask him!
    Tom
    TBLO

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    We left a sample LED retrofit for a recessed can with a customer. He is a HAM radio operator and mentioned that he had heard they may mess with his system. Any thoughts?

    One lamp didn't seem to bother at the moment.
    Some LED's do produce RFI in the amateur radio bands, others do not. It's not the LED's that make the noise, it's the power supply circuitry in the base. Your customer was wise to check the lights before you installed them.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFine View Post
    I wonder if he can light up the LEDs when he transmits?
    If that happens, he has 'RF in the shack' and remedies abound to correct that. I will hazard to guess the answer is no. Ham radio operators want as much of their signal to make it all the way to the antenna and not be radiated by the feed line into the radio room.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  8. #8
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    LED Interference

    I had to pull the LED bulbs out of both of my garage door openers. None of my remotes or Homelink transmitters would work with LED bulbs. Went back to fluorescents and no issues.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by K8MHZ View Post
    If that happens, he has 'RF in the shack' and remedies abound to correct that. I will hazard to guess the answer is no. Ham radio operators want as much of their signal to make it all the way to the antenna and not be radiated by the feed line into the radio room.
    No LED's in my garage/ham shack, have a couple of noisy fluorescent ballasts, the worse noise is made by the charger for my Sears 9V cordless drill.

    73 de W4KAV
    Mt. Falls, Va.
    "Not a sermon, just a thought"
    A licensed electrically-related individual

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1miller View Post
    I had to pull the LED bulbs out of both of my garage door openers. None of my remotes or Homelink transmitters would work with LED bulbs. Went back to fluorescents and no issues.
    The instructions for the last opener I installed in my garage covered that in the instructions. They said that use of LED lamps in the opener would likely interfere with the correct operation of the remotes.
    Don, Illinois
    Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. Dr. Rick Rigsby
    (All code citations are 2017 unless otherwise noted)

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