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Author Topic: Neighbors new shop and RFI  (Read 2264 times)

Posts: 10

« on: November 27, 2009, 12:19:14 PM »

I am submitting this question for a fellow Ham who is blind. His Neighbor's lights in his new shop are giving him an S8 on 10 meters when he has them on. The shop is not really that close, around 150 yards which I find odd. What can he do on his end to try and fix the problem?

Posts: 182

« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2009, 07:46:56 AM »

There are two solutions:  Fix the problem at the source or patch up the results at the receiving location.  If the lights are generating rf at 10 meters, they are an "unintentional radiator" under Part 15 of the FCC rules. That is unlawful. The rf is probably being coupled to the power line which radiates it more efficiently than just the bulb itself.  In a perfect world, you could inform the neighbor that his lights are causing illegal interference and he would get rid of them.  In a less perfect world, you could contact the FCC, which would investigate and order the neighbor to cease and desist, and threaten to fine him if he fails to comply.  (Don't count on that neighbor to feed your cat while you are on vacation.)The FCC is a busy bunch, and they may not be able to attend to this problem soon enough for you.
The second solution is to use a noise cancelling technique, such as the DX Engineering, ANC or MFJ noise nulling boxes.  These require a sample antenna that picks up noise and feeds it into a circuit that you adjust to provide an equal amplitude and opposite phase signal to null out the unwanted signal and allow the desired signal to pass mostly unaffected.  These devices can be difficult to adjust, but under some circumstances they make the difference between being able to communicate effectively or just being able to listen to nasty rf noise.
Which solution you choose depends on how much you like your neighbor, how much he likes you, your degree of technical ability, how much money you would be willing to spend on noise cancelling boxes, and how busy the FCC is today.

Posts: 95

« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 10:03:33 PM »

How about working with your neighbor to identify which lights are the problem. If the noise turns out to be caused by cheap CFLs, buy him some good ones. Maybe a cheap dimmer switch? Again, buy him a new one.

Maybe you can keep your neighbor happy and cure the noise for just a few bucks.

Posts: 4

« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2009, 09:49:05 PM »

I like WA7CC's idea of contacting the owner and trying to locate the problem.  It may be a simple fix that will eliminate the RFI for others too.  If you can go there with a HT or cell phone so you can stay in contact with the other ham while he is on 10 meters and getting the RFI it should be easy to isolate.  I would try turning off and on different switches or circuit breakers and see if it goes away.  It is possible there is more then one item causing the RFI so switching off the main breaker to the shop would, killing all power would tell you for sure if the RFI is coming from there.  You may be able to do this before he opens or after he closes so it won't affect his business.  

Al, n7ioh
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