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Author Topic: Leviton Dimmer for 20-25W LEDs  (Read 1843 times)
K3SGB
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« on: September 01, 2018, 11:05:34 AM »

I've read many threads referenced in other RFT/EMI questions here about dimmer switches, but so far none have touched on my exact topic (maybe I just missed one?).  I generally like Leviton electrical parts, they make several dimmers now for LED and CFL lighting (see part no 6674-P0W), and their data sheets say they contain "Built-in radio/TV interference filters".  Unfortunately they don't give actual specs for their RF noise output.  I intend to call them and see if they have this info, but it's Saturday here, so this will have to wait until next week.  In the meantime, has anyone here used these specific dimmers and had okay results?  We are about to install 4 LED fixtures with actual current draws of 22 to 30W.  Our plan has been to use one or two dimmers, but not if they will destroy my operation on HF.  Any thoughts or experiences?

73 - John / K3SGB
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WB4SPT
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2018, 06:58:35 AM »

I have 5 Lutron dimmers within 30' of my HF shack.  No detectable noise.   As a side note, I read of a number of pros do NOT prefer Leviton recept, but this is off-topic. 
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K3SGB
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 10:27:13 AM »

I have 5 Lutron dimmers within 30' of my HF shack.  No detectable noise.   As a side note, I read of a number of pros do NOT prefer Leviton recept, but this is off-topic. 

Thanks for your reply and the info.  I don't believe I have ever used Lutron parts, but I did notice their dimmers on Amazon.com.  The only "brand name" I knew of was Leviton, but maybe Lutron is one also?  My understanding is that both brands have as many as three grades of parts ranging from junk (less than builder grade) to premiere -- the main way to know the difference is the cost.  Regardless, based on your input, I'll check out Lutron dimmers......

73 - John
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AE5GT
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 12:44:37 PM »

Any scr /triac switched at non zero cross is going to generate noise . To minimize the noise sometimes snubbers are employed. You can look at the dimmer and see if it has a CE mark . To get a CE mark the design should have been tested for emissions , but a CE mark is no guarantee.

The only way to be sure is to install them and then rotate the antenna to point toward the dimmer and then check the bands . I would expect them to be the noisiest at half power ( chopping the wave at its peak) .

Turn them on and of and note any changes in the noise floor , all of this assumes that you have a low noise floor to begin with.

My beam is about 30ft from the shack , and i have had to revert to magnet ballast and halogens to eliminate the noise.

Right now the floor here @400hz bandwidth is S0-S1 on 20 (K3 internal Pre on ~ -130dbm ) , Below S0 on 10 . S1-S2 with the PR6-10 (15-20db gain  ~ -140 - - 145 dbm ) on 10     , rural residential area .
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WB4SPT
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 09:39:51 AM »

I should add, that I am driving 60W halogen bulbs.   The LED spray will also depend on what is driving the LED's within the "bulb". 
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AE5GT
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 11:31:39 AM »

I am going to try replacing my T8 electronic and T5 magnetic ballasted fluorescents  with these https://www.ebay.com/itm/1m-100m-Led-Tape-110V-220V-5630-5730-SMD-240Leds-m-Flexible-Led-Strip-Light/253782714239?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=553065046476&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

They're supposed to be direct 120 except for the bridge rectifier in the cord.  I am hoping i can find some GU 10s direct 120 VAC to replace my halogens ...so far I have only come across switch mode regulated ones . 
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K3SGB
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 02:07:16 PM »

Any scr /triac switched at non zero cross is going to generate noise . To minimize the noise sometimes snubbers are employed. You can look at the dimmer and see if it has a CE mark . To get a CE mark the design should have been tested for emissions , but a CE mark is no guarantee.

The only way to be sure is to install them and then rotate the antenna to point toward the dimmer and then check the bands . I would expect them to be the noisiest at half power ( chopping the wave at its peak) .

Turn them on and of and note any changes in the noise floor , all of this assumes that you have a low noise floor to begin with.

My beam is about 30ft from the shack , and i have had to revert to magnet ballast and halogens to eliminate the noise.

Right now the floor here @400hz bandwidth is S0-S1 on 20 (K3 internal Pre on ~ -130dbm ) , Below S0 on 10 . S1-S2 with the PR6-10 (15-20db gain  ~ -140 - - 145 dbm ) on 10     , rural residential area .

My problem isn't how to make measurements to see if I have a problem after the sale; it's knowing the noise specs before buying. The Leviton spec sheet sites UL 1472 Solid State Dimming Controls, UL 1917 Fan Control, CSA, NEMA SSL 7A Compliant, and California Title 24 Compliant (maybe more).  Since a check of the Leviton data on these various agency's specs didn't show any actual noise test data, I called Leviton, explained my interest, and they said I would receive some kind of info "soon".  They gave no indication whether this will be a phone call, an email, or a paper document.

Your test data at 400 Hz BW showed a pretty quiet environment, but I am unsure about your dimmer situation.  As said in my first post, I am interested in the Leviton 6674-P0W LED-CFL universal dimmers which contain some sort of built-in RFI-EMI noise suppression.
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AE5GT
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 09:17:47 AM »

They're probably not going to have a noise spec on it . The amount of noise is going to be dependent on the load . The more current the dimmer is switching the more noise.

Unless the device has a CE or FCC mark , they most likely havent done any emissions testing , RF Lab time can be several hundred dollars an hour (the last time i used one 8 years ago $150 for a mid size chamber big enough to stick a radio like a TS 990 in)  . And your not required to publish results , only to meet a maximum limit.  Since the device is probably operating under 1.7 Mhz so ....

The FCCs requirement Part 15.209 
             F Mhz                          F Mhz                          uV/M                                                   distance in meters                                       

             0.009             -             0.490                          2400/F(kHz)                                       300             
             0.490             -             1.705                          24000/F(kHz)                                       30             
             1.705             -             30.0                            30                                                        3   




I think the most important numbers are the 30uV/M at 3 meter limit so for the 10 Meter band  a halfwave dipole might generate as much as 150 uV , Considering that 50 uV is the general "standard" for S9 That a lot a noise thats permitted at the 3M / 10ft distance.

I dont think that there is a requirement to test just to comply. So they may or may not have tested, if the device operates a 60hz they may have just signed off on it at that low a frequency(when was the last time you saw a power line with an approval mark )  . To get noise into the HF bands at 60hz that requires a pretty sharp transition of the waveform to get harmonics that high, I suspect that it could be suppressed with a snubber (RC network) https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/88/Q-QRL-27503.pdf

As far as my shack goes I don't allow anything that chops 60hz that I dont have too.  CE and FCC part 15 are the only standards that really deal with emissions  ,NEMA is more of a physical standard (box size, water resistance) , UL ,CSA ,FM ,ETL are certification agencies they test things and certify to the NEMA ,NEC and in some cases they may do CE standards, they're main purpose is to insure that it not a fire/electrical  hazard  .

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WB4SPT
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 10:22:46 AM »

class B spec is about 1/3 of a mV with 50 Ohm term.,  ON the line wire.  5 to 30 MHz.  THere is no rad test below 30MHz, only conducted.  
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 10:25:13 AM by WB4SPT » Logged
K3SGB
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 11:46:18 AM »

The Leviton literature says that this dimmer has a "Built-in radio/TV interference filter".  If this is so, maybe I will get lucky and they will have some kind of test data to back up this claimed feature.  If per chance they do, I will of course post it here.  Thanks for everyone's help and comments!

John
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K7NI
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 02:31:05 PM »



The FCCs requirement Part 15.209 
             F Mhz                          F Mhz                          uV/M                                                   distance in meters                                       

             0.009             -             0.490                          2400/F(kHz)                                       300             
             0.490             -             1.705                          24000/F(kHz)                                       30             
             1.705             -             30.0                            30                                                        3   






Those are the limits for INTENTIONAL radiators. A light dimmer is not an intentional radiator.
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K7NI
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 03:04:42 PM »

A simple Thyristor light dimmer would probably be classified as an incidental radiator. In which case 15.13 just says "Manufacturers of these devices shall employ good engineering practices to minimize the risk of harmful interference."

If it is digital, it would be an unintentional radiator and subject to 15.107 and 15.109. The radiated limits above 30MHz are actually the same as for intentional radiators. Below 30MHz there are only conducted limits.
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AE5GT
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 08:51:46 AM »

15.109  subpart (e)

(e) Carrier current systems used as unintentional radiators or other unintentional radiators that are designed to conduct their radio frequency emissions via connecting wires or cables and that operate in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30 MHz, including devices that deliver the radio frequency energy to transducers, such as ultrasonic devices not covered under part 18 of this chapter, shall comply with the radiated emission limits for intentional radiators provided in §15.209 for the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30


This is what I am going by .
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AE5GT
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 09:24:03 AM »

They may actually fall under conducted emmissions limits.
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W9IQ
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 01:06:42 PM »

15.109  subpart (e)

(e) Carrier current systems used as unintentional radiators or other unintentional radiators that are designed to conduct their radio frequency emissions via connecting wires or cables and that operate in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30 MHz, including devices that deliver the radio frequency energy to transducers, such as ultrasonic devices not covered under part 18 of this chapter, shall comply with the radiated emission limits for intentional radiators provided in §15.209 for the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30


This is what I am going by .

This section of the rules does not apply to simple dimmer circuits. It covers devices that place a modulated carrier on the powerline or another cable for the purpose of communicating with other devices connected to the powerline or the other cable such as an X10 controller for an X10 dimmer or switch that uses the powerlines for communication.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
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