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Author Topic: I am causing my neighbor's TV and Blue Ray player to cycle on and off  (Read 27105 times)
N4EES
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« on: March 20, 2012, 06:58:58 PM »

I live on the second floor of an apartment building.  My antenna is a Hex Beam up 30'...about 15' above my neighbor's living room.  When I transmit, no more than 100 watts, his Blue Ray player and TV set cycle on and off.  I am using LMR-400 cable, about 20' to a lowpass filter, a tuner, and then to the radio.

I put so much effort into getting permission from the landlord to put this antenna up...I would really be devastated if I had to take it all down and give up ham radio.

I don't know where to begin solving RFI problems involving remote controls.  This is unknown territory for me.  What to do???
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 08:19:10 PM »

It is not messing with remote controls it is messing with electronics. Modern TV and Blu Ray players "boot" up and are CPU controlled and you are scrambling software in them with RF saturation. (these devices load/read software from a EPROM when booting)  You like playing with fire by having a antenna 15 feet over someone's living room.  Honestly I would be real upset if it was over my living room.  I would suggest you do QRP here and not pour anymore fuel on fire.
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N4EES
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 08:47:19 PM »

Thanks for your help. 
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WX7G
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 05:37:41 AM »

Excellent advice from W8JX but if your neighbor is cooperative you might try a fix.

Order a few F-290-43 ferrite cores from CWS Bytemark. They cost $15 each.

Run both AC power cords thru one or more stacked cores using five or more turns. Do the same for the video cable from the satellite or other source. Apply ferrites elsewhere as you see fit.

If the TVI is still present you can determine, band-by-band how much power you can run and not cause TVI. Then operate at half this power for a 3 dB TVI margin.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 07:58:08 AM by WX7G » Logged
N4EES
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 09:24:26 AM »

My neighbor, thankfully, is more than cooperative.  He encouraged me to pursue my CW interest in the first place.  He was a little surprised at how large the Hex Beam is, but he doesn't really mind so long as it is stable.  I think raising the antenna another five or so feet might also help both of us.  I wonder if placing the remotes under a small aluminum baking pan when not in use might help...a small faraday cage.  I don't know.  I'm not a technical expert.  To W8JX...I am also very glad your living room isn't below my antenna.  Thanks to the both of you.  I'll try everything else first, then go QRP if necessary.  Hell, at least I'll have a good antenna for it.

If I find a fix, maybe I'll post another reply.
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KF7CG
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 10:58:50 AM »

You may also need as much sheilding as possible around the units themselves. I have a DirecTV HD DVR that goes into spasms whenever I transmit. It is one of the newer units with touch panel controls. As a control I have another DirecTV HD DVR of the older model that has mechanical switches on the control panel, though twice as close to my antenna as the newer model it is rock steady when I transmit.

Touch panel controls themselves are not the problem just their implementations, there are some very bad ones out there and then some rock solid ones like the touch controls on my LG LED TV.

KF7CG
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K5LXP
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 05:14:32 PM »

Basic RFI methods apply - characterize the bands and levels that cause the problem.  Make a change - antenna distance, ferrites, shielding, or whatever, then re-sweep.  If the levels change you're on the right track, if not you need to do something different.  Chances are any one thing you do won't be a 100% cure, so knowing your baseline interference level is important.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KB1NXE
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 07:34:56 PM »

Most remotes are infrared and placing them under a baking pan should have little effect.  If you put a pillow on the remotes and it still happens, it's not the remotes.  The appliances themselves are being affected.  Choke the power and signal inputs.  Check the outlets for proper grounding.  If ungrounded because the facility is older, check to see if there is a third wire and follow those basic RFI suggestion others have made.  Good luck.
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 08:11:07 PM »

Most remotes are infrared and placing them under a baking pan should have little effect. 

 If you put a pillow on the remotes and it still happens, it's not the remotes. 

Now think about this. If it was remote being effected, a metal shield would block TVI on it, not a pillow. Also, a remote is not even powered up until you press a button on it.

Realistically, running 100 watts 15 feet from a TV is really asking for trouble. RF field is going to be real strong and will overwhelm some devices. I really feel that low power and some filtering is only viable option here.
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WX7G
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 04:51:34 AM »

It does seem odd that both the TV and the Blue Ray player shut off. Might it be just one of them?

And there is always the option of buying your neighbor a new TV or Blue Ray player that is immune (enough) to your RF. The ferrites will cost you $100. How much is a Blue Ray player?
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AB8AL
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 07:31:52 AM »

100 watts, directional gain antenna, 20 ft or less from uncontrolled area.  Have you done the required rf exposure calc to determine you are even legal at this power?

AB8AL
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 07:35:20 AM »

It does seem odd that both the TV and the Blue Ray player shut off. Might it be just one of them?

And there is always the option of buying your neighbor a new TV or Blue Ray player that is immune (enough) to your RF. The ferrites will cost you $100. How much is a Blue Ray player?

The problem is as a mentioned before is both Blu-Ray player and TV "boot up" and load software from a Eprom and are CPU driven/controlled. When code is scrambled in active memory it can either reboot or shut down depending what manufacture designed it to do on fault. Buying a new Blu-Ray player or TV will very likely not fix anything here because being 15 feet away from a 100 watt signal makes it very hard to prevent RF saturation.  


100 watts, directional gain antenna, 20 ft or less from uncontrolled area.  Have you done the required rf exposure calc to determine you are even legal at this power?

Interesting point especially since it is not the operator in the field too.
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N4EES
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 10:30:40 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions, but it's moot at this point.  It was an ill conceived idea from the beginning.  I've decided to take it all down and play with my Morse Machine simulator instead.  No problems this way.
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WX7G
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 11:09:54 AM »

Why take it down when as W8JX says you can run QRP. Fun, effective and no TVI.

I fixed one TVI problem by switching to QRP and had a good time.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 01:07:01 PM by WX7G » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 12:35:41 PM »

Why take it down when as W8JX says you can run QRP. Fun, effective and no TVI.

Yes by all means at least try QRP before you scrape it. You may be able to work QRP without interference. It is worth a try.
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