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Author Topic: "Green" interterence  (Read 1560 times)
N8DV
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Posts: 60




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« on: April 27, 2008, 08:47:20 AM »

With the push to switch to energy-saving light bulbs, check the package before you purchase. I was in my local home supply center looking at replacement so-called "green" florescent light bulbs. I read the package and almost fell over! The manufacture warned that this bulb can cause radio freguency interference from 0.5 to 30 mhz. That's the entire amateur radio hf spectrum! It further warned, about placing the bulb near maritime communications equipment. Geez, how are we to conserve energy when the so-called "green" devices may wipe out hf operating?
Has anyone else had similar experience?
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N3OX
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Posts: 8847


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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 01:51:49 PM »

"Geez, how are we to conserve energy when the so-called "green" devices may wipe out hf operating? "

This keeps coming up, but it's not much of a worry for most folks and with most bulbs.

I have a house full of them and my noise doesn't change one bit when I shut off power to the whole house.

There are a few bad ones that are RF monsters, but on average they seem to be cleaner than other consumer electronics gear.  My TV causes a lot of noise, so does my networking gear.  I can hear a CFL if I put an AM radio up next to it inside the lampshade, that's it.

The warning is there only because there is a possibility for interference.  Incandescents are totally linear, RF silent objects whereas anything with switching electronics in it has *some* interference potential.  I wouldn't worry about it.  

I would worry about your neighbor's new $5000 plasma TV.

73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KA1MDA
Member

Posts: 543




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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 05:35:08 PM »

I have had mixed results with energy saving fluorecent bulbs and fixtures. The ones from the major manufacturers like GE seem to be very quiet, while the ones from cheaper off-shore outfits can be a real mess! All of the GE bulbs I have bought are undetectable on HF. Some of the ceiling fixtures from MaxLite (supplied though my utility's green program)wipe out everything from 15-30 Mhz. The LOA (Lights Of America) bulbs typically fail or blow up in a shower of sparks within 6 months of purchase. After 3 of these units did the same thing, I removed them all and replaced them with other brand units, and haven't experienced a failure since.

Best advice is to buy 1 of the bulbs you are thinking about getting and try it. If it interferes, you can always return it.

For a video demonstration of a good bulb versus a bad bulb, check out this page from my website and click on the last link (picture) at the bottom of the page. BTW, the picture is a screen capture of the audio spectrum coming out of the receiver while the bad bulb is operating. The video shows the effect on the radio.

http://www.ka1mda.org/ham/clips/index.htm

73, de Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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WA2TNO
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 09:52:42 AM »

This has been quite completely discussed in prior posts.  I will tell you that I've had these things for many years, prior to them becoming popular, and I like them.  They are so much more reliable now than when they were first introduced years ago.  I've had no problems with them at my house and I would encourage you to try a couple of them out because you may discover that you like them.  I live in Florida, and a few conventional bulbs can add quite a bit of heat to a room.  These new lights are much more efficient, helping out with that problem.  Waiting for LED lighting next...

Bruce
WA2TNO
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WA9AFM
Member

Posts: 208




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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 09:15:55 AM »

Bruce,

I'm with you; I'm waiting for the LED's.  The CFL's are OK.  I do have some for exterior lighting, but during the winter, I convert back to incandescent lamps as the CFL barely work in cold temperatures.  

The ‘life expectancy' of CFL's I've installed hasn't met with expectations either.  They didn't seem to last much longer than standard lamps.

 In regard to noise, my neighbor has a couple of dozen CLF's in his facia and exterior lighting around his house.  I've heard nothing in the way of RFI which could be directly connected to CFL's.
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