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Author Topic: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI's)  (Read 255191 times)
WX7G
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Posts: 6442




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« Reply #510 on: December 25, 2014, 08:07:05 AM »

It's most likely that the breaker tripped due to RF and not AC current overload.  

From what I gather, ARRL testing of AFCI devices has not been performed using established EMC test methods. I suspect we might be stuck with AFCI devices that are not up to the performance levels needed by hams. The last I read, the ARRL test method was to induce RF into the AC line from nearby RF transmissions. This is an ad hoc method that induces signal levels that may not be as high as many amateur installations.

A more appropriate test is to inject (using an injection probe) appropriately modulated CM and DM signals into the AFCI device. The test levels could be established by measuring the CM and DM signal levels at several affected installations. Running 1500 watts I would take the measured CM and DM signal levels and add at least 6 dB to establish a design/test criteria for AFCI devices.

WX7G, NARTE Certified EMC Engineer
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 08:12:41 AM by WX7G » Logged
W5YZ
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Posts: 80




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« Reply #511 on: December 27, 2014, 12:33:21 PM »

Sounds like you should make that suggestion to Mike Gruber.
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WX7G
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Posts: 6442




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« Reply #512 on: December 27, 2014, 12:58:57 PM »

I did make the suggestion and I offered to come out to the ARRL on my dime and time to help but received no reply. I was between EMC consulting jobs at that time and had time to spare.
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WX7G
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Posts: 6442




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« Reply #513 on: December 27, 2014, 06:15:24 PM »

I see the proliferation of RFI prone AFCI devices as an existential threat to amateur radio. Get it right or get it wrong and amateur radio may take very different paths.
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WB2MSC
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #514 on: December 28, 2014, 06:45:37 AM »

I second that notion. I can't fault Eaton, as an ex-computer programmer I know that no matter how well you design, build and test, there will be bugs. Joe Fello has been great. I'm sure he and the other engineers over there are getting bombarded. I live in an apartment and I was extremely surprised that management consented to addressing these problems.

Perhaps if Ham Radio was as widespread as it was in the 60's, someone would have included it into the design and test. Today, no one knows what Ham Radio is. Even the technical guy who installed my replacement breakers had no idea what I was talking about. When I delayed the guy long enough to test the new breakers and sent out CW test bursts, he looked puzzled. He was probably getting ready to call Homeland Security. When I do run mobile in the park it always attracts the local constable.

If I were rich, I would buy a used ambulance, install a complete station in it, outfit it with some form of generator for the radio and heater and operate that way.

Happy New Year guys

Marc, WB2MSC

 
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 3232




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« Reply #515 on: December 28, 2014, 06:18:49 PM »

If I were rich, I would buy a used ambulance, install a complete station in it, outfit it with some form of generator for the radio and heater and operate that way.

Someone did close to that.  He purchased a used TV transmitting van and turned it into a HF mobile command center Smiley  See page 6 of the attached doc (Dec. 2014 issue).

http://www.ncdxc.org/newsletter/dxer-current.pdf

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W5YZ
Member

Posts: 80




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« Reply #516 on: January 23, 2015, 06:25:00 AM »

Happy new year everybody.  Hope all the AFCI problems have been solved.
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