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Author Topic: RFI-proof GFCI breaker brand?  (Read 10456 times)
K4IQT
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2010, 04:26:50 AM »

Is the wiring inside your new QTH in conduits?
No - residential codes here do not require conduit routing except in steel-framed homes (very few of those around these parts).

Quote
I also suspect that the hot or neutral wires are at a 1/4 wavelength (or multiple thereof) of 40M between the main box & the various power outlets. GFI's trip for an unbalanced current flow between the hot & neutral lines. So, it possible for the neutral to be a suspect as well.

Does this happen on other bands?
160-10. No worse or better on any band.  It is quite simple - the higher the SWR, the less power it takes to trip the breaker.

Quote
I would NOT add ferrite beads to any ground wires! You may need the lack of reactance there. I second using strips instead of wire for the rig ground, also to eliminate resonance issues.

Is your power line house feed come in above ground? If so, that could also be the RF entry point. Toroids on both hots there may help.
I've got more braid on order, along with a bunch more toroid chokes to be placed on the RG-8X feedline.  When the braid arrives I will be installing a more effective RF ground, with multiple rods.  A local electrician also suggested placing toroid chokes on the AC power cords here in the shack - that might be some help, too.
The power drop to the house is underground with a minimum depth of 24", as is the neighborhood power distribution, so that is not likely to be an RF pickup problem.
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N5EG
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Posts: 255


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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 04:09:50 PM »

Hi Terry,

If the GFCI breakers / outlets were made prior to 2003, then the problem could be the breakers themselves.

The UL requirements for breakers/outlets were updated in 2003 to require them to have improved RFI and surge immunity. In 2006 the UL requirements were changed for outlets to make sure that if the 'line' and 'load' terminals were wired reversed that the breaker would trip and stay tripped until it was rewired correctly.

Look for a breaker/outlet that has printed on the package "Meets the requirements of UL2003"  or "Meets the requirements of UL2006" (depending on breaker or outlet).

-- Tom, N5EG


« Last Edit: May 21, 2010, 04:12:49 PM by Tom McDermott » Logged
K4IQT
Member

Posts: 39




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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 05:33:57 PM »

These breakers are UL2006.  I think the basic problem here is a poor RF ground at the shack, since there is no huge change in symptoms whether the present RF ground is connected or not.  Multiple toroid cores with 3 turns on the incoming coax and 4 turns on the AC power cord did result in some improvement, but I'm installing a new proper multi-rod ground with braid and copper strip connections about 8 wire-feet from the shack next week.
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VE1XOP
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 05:08:02 AM »

I have the same issue. I was 300 feet away from the house. Using a Hamstick and 50 watts on 20m. And tripped the GFI. On field day 2014, we were using 100 watts and 4 element beam mounted at ~30 feet and never did any harm. I'm guessing the higher your antenna is off the ground the better. I did also find:

http://www.arrl.org/gfci-devices

In my case the hydro is above ground and I would guess it acts as a conduit to the power box. I'm going to raise my antenna to see if this helps, before adding beads to the power lines.
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K4IQT
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Posts: 39




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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 07:09:42 AM »

By the way, I was mistaken in calling these GFCI's.  They are actually AFCI's.  After much effort in trying to resolve this GFI breaker issue, including the use of ferrites in the breaker panel itself, in 2011 I replaced the breaker serving the shack outlets with standard units.  No more problem.  If we ever sell this place I will put the old AFCI breaker back in.

Problem solved.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 07:13:30 AM by K4IQT » Logged
KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 1006




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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2014, 04:00:16 PM »

BYQ has it, dump those GFI breakers and put GFI protection where you need it.

for 2001, that is.

present code, accepted in almost all areas, requires all "living spaces" to have AFCI breakers.  that's the double-whammy of blowing in the AFCI section, and also following the GFI rules for potentially another cause.  you touch a circuit, by code, it now has to meet the current standards.

oh, and that means all the outlets need to be changed to tamper-proof jobs.

so..... my suggestion...... get that RF as clean as possible, make sure ground IS ground per the codebook, and if the shack is remoted from the house, run a bonding conductor #6 or better to tie any station grounds back to the entrance panel grounding bar, as close to the house ground rod connection as possible.  get a couple bags of MFJ clamp ferrites, too, you may need to put a handful on certain Romexes at the entrance panel pan.
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