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 Solar Panel Interfrnce

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Freebird
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Call Sign : 26TE403
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Equipment Used : CRT SS 6900V, SIRIO Signal Keeper

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PostSubject: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeMon Mar 28, 2022 9:07 pm

Hi Extreme novice here, Looking for information regarding solar panel and inverter interference.
Does this only occur when the panels are working, i.e. when its sunny?
TIA
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Victor
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 4:02 am

Hi Phil,

Solar panels can cause interference from both the main inverters and also the panel optimisers. Depending on the installation they can cause RFI either when it's sunny, low light or sometimes continuously during daylight hours!!

I had a neighbours panel that spewed so much RFI at dawn and dusk that they could literally transmit to the cosmos in search of extraterrestrial life!  Evil or Very Mad

With interference from such sources you don't have much of a leg to stand on as a CB'er but have avenues to follow as an Amateur Radio operator. Doesn't sound fair but one is a licensed service and the other isn't. However if it is causing interference to your TV reception then that is a licensed service but you also have scope if it interferes with Wi-Fi etc. Detrimental effect to your interests can also be pursued especially as many solar installations were poorly made.

Worth searching out where you can make complaint to.


In my own instance the neighbour had sold up and the new owners upon discovering the installation had damaged the tiles had it all removed and a re-roofing done. So luckily now I don't suffer any problems. Solar Panel Interfrnce 1f44d 

All the best,
Victor

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Freebird
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 8:02 am

Hi Victor
Thanks very much for your reply. Prblm is the solar panels are mine Embarassed. Im hopining tocome back to CB after about 35 years. I had read about the solar panel problem but i also found some CB'ers who had panels but no interference so i thought i would give it a try. First thing was to see if i was lucky and get away with it, so i bought a sirio signal keeper to try in the loft (years agoi had a firestick on a GP and it worked really well). Another problem was the sirio was about 6 inches too tall, so i put it in the bedroom just to see what RFI i would recieve. I remembered how to solder PL259 plugs and SWR was 1.2. But as I had been warned there isnt much activity on FM, there was background noise about a third of the way up the dial which i could squelch out. So I still dont really know if my installation is causing interference or not. If the panels do cause too much interference there doesnt seem much point in continuing but if they dont the plan was to see if i can find a TV arial erector who could put up my antenna at the back of the house (if such a person exists). I have very bad knee problems and waiting in the ever lengthening list for replacements so I am unable to climb ladders. Seems I will have to buy a mag mount and install a radio in the car which may help me determine if/how bad the interference may be. I did actually buy a book about the foundation course just to see if i could do it but if i cant use a radio theres no point. One other thing i could try would be a GP and firestick which used to work well, but the flat GP with 4 radials isnt available any more.
Thanks
Phil
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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1954
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QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.
Age : 149

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 8:17 am

We have them on our bungalow and i don't get anything from them.
No idea of make/manufacture they where fitted before we moved in.
Don't know if the old AM/FM portable radio bbc radio 2 type lol will help i used to use one.
In AM mode they would help pinpoint noise.
Anybody still use this method or is it me and getting old.

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 9:33 am

Alan Pilot, thanks very much, that most encouraging. I had been told elsewhere that solar panel interference was inevitable, but had read some instances where it wasnt a problem. Im very pleased that you have confirmed that it can be ok. My panels are quite old, we've had them for 7 years and there is one large inverter in the loft, i believe newer installations have a small inverter on each panel, also our panels were good quality and made in the UK, so maybe thats the difference. Thanks again for your help and for the am radio tip.
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Victor
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Equipment Used : Various

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 9:54 am

Ah, bit of a different story if they're your own panels! Wink

FM radios are usually less susceptible to such interference which you already seemed to have figured out and I think as Alan points out you may actually be in the clear. Not every solar panel installation spews RFI, (actually in the minority and usually down to faulty equipment), so I wouldn't adversely worry yourself.

Alan has also suggested an AM or MW receiver for tracking noise which can be handy but only if used wisely. Most will pick up any sort of electromagnetic noise when placed close to something but if you can receive normal broadcasts without unusual buzzes, pips or squeals then you are probably OK. Solar Panel Interfrnce 1f44d 

As for taking your Foundation I wouldn't let anything hold you back, the Ham bands are a protected service so highly unlikely to be plagued with interference. When scanning on a USB SDR (software defined radio) setup myself I could see noise right through 27MHz but suddenly stops when you hit 28MHz or the start of the 10m band.

Remember as well that exams and training can be taken online in the comfort of your own home, (something a local Ham club 'forgot' to inform me of!). I'm housebound disabled myself with a bum knee and finally took my exam late 2020 never being happier mate!
(Can't get a knee after waiting years due to pre-existing nerve damage, I hope you fare better.)

Thinking on, if you have a PC or laptop an SDR receiver might be a good investment. Just a cheap USB type device will serve you well and you don't need anything fancy. At least you'd be able to check out your local conditions before pursuing on with expensive Ham gear. Smile


I wish you all the best with it Phil and "never say never!"

73
Victor
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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1954
Times Thanked : 47
Join date : 2019-11-19
QTH or Location : Anglesey North Wales
Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.
Age : 149

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 10:06 am

Phil
The panels we have are 10+ years old not sure how old but we have lived here 10 years.
From memory the inverter e have is a big red i think box in the loft 18x12x4" i think but it is a long time since i was up there so it could be smaller or even bigger.
As Victor said go for the ham licence you won't look back.
Essex-ham do an online course that many do and Pete and the gang are very helpful (Victor was my biggest help).

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 2:46 pm

Victor thanks so much for the encouragement, I would love to do the foundation course but I am quite old and wonder if I could still learn. Electricity is like black magic to me a real mystery but i would really like to learn. Im rubbish at maths but in the late 90s (when  was in my 40s) I did software engineering at the Open University and passed 5 Microsoft exams to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer working on computer networks and servers. Somehow I learned binary and hexadecimal maths, but (dont tell anyone) Im 74 now, a lot older, and wonder if I can realisticly learn electronics and radio. I will look into SDR recievers, sounds interesting. Thanks again
Phil

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 2:48 pm

Alan, thanks for the info, sounds like your PV installation is the same as mine.
Thank you very much for the encouragement
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Alan Pilot
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Call Sign : 163-CT-220...MW7TTA
Posts : 1954
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Join date : 2019-11-19
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Equipment Used : Yaesu FT-991A,,Yaesu FTDX-10,,Icom ic-7300,,Anytone AT-D878UV PLUS",,LINCOLN II+.
Age : 149

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 5:00 pm

Sign up for the Essex ham course it's free so nothing to lose.
You do it at your own pace so you can take all the time you need.
Also the course is online and it will be there for you to go back over for months.
Forgot to say the test can be done online as well but that is £27.

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 6:43 pm

Alan, Im definitely going to do it, thanks for your davice.
Victor I meant to say you seem very motivated despite your disability, puts me to shame. I have an appointment with a consultant next week who will again attempt to fob me off. The amount of people round here midddle aged and upwards hobbling about is a scandal and i have 3 friends with the same problem. Maybe they dont make knees like they used to.

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeTue Mar 29, 2022 8:50 pm

I hope your appointment goes well for you Phil and all I can say is never let things get you down or hold you back. Solar Panel Interfrnce 1f44d 

I've been housebound for eight years now, first two in and out of hospital, two more years in hope and over a year in miserable failure mode. But over the last two and a half years of being involved with Charlie Tango, getting back into radio with help from an old friend and gaining a Ham ticket has all been the real motivator for me. There's been a ton of support from fantastic members here!

(My wife and family have been the close support and I've been rewarded with more grandchildren during that time - one granddaughter was born the same time as I took my Ham exam and passed! She'll always be my little 'Radio Girl'. Smile )

I'm sure you're more than compos mentis enough to be passing the Foundation exam judging by your previous exploits so I wouldn't worry. Just a case of jumping hoops and memorising a few silly facts like transmitting near Charring Cross, ladder safety, how far up is the ionosphere, (in KM??! never got the point of that), call signs and band plans. It's really just all about being aware of and becoming a good radio operator....the maths and stuff doesn't really start until Intermediate. Wink

Pete at Essex Ham runs a fabulous course and it was for me an enjoyable experience, my exam invigilator was probably the most likeable chap you'll ever meet and seemed just as thrilled at my pass as I was.


I wish you all the best there Phil and always remember you can call upon or ask anything here at Charlie Tango there always being someone willing to help.

Regards,
Victor

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Northern Crusader
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeWed Mar 30, 2022 2:52 am

There's a few solar panel installs around me, nearest maybe 7 or 8 houses away and a couple on the adjacent streets. Even if I point my beam at them I hear nothing on the ham bands and see nothing on a SDR waterfall. Unfortunately due to unrelated interference on 11m I don't know if there's any effect on CB but certainly when driving the car past I don't see the noise going up.

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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeWed Mar 30, 2022 1:58 pm

we all have a problem i am disabled and i typing with one finger, and have very little mobilty, i do not climb ladders i walk with sticks and a wheel chair, and i drive a automatic car. i love my radios cb or ham and love pmr as you work hard to get any good contacts, but we are all supposed to get solar panels as the housing associations have been giving the funds to do it so we will see were not in a bad area and noise levels are pretty low so we will see
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PostSubject: Re: Solar Panel Interfrnce   Solar Panel Interfrnce Icon_minitimeWed Mar 30, 2022 5:06 pm

VICTOR, thanks again for the motivation, as soon as i get something working here i will definitely sign up, whan i was a trucker back in the 80s i used to work away all week in the UK, I had a book with friends handles i had made on CB in just about every town. Mainly directions and when parked overnight. I remember a night in Stafford when i needed to phone my old mum urgently and the cab phone was incoming only, there was no pay phone nearby. I asked for help on the CB and someone phoned my mum and got her to call me, mum was amazed and still remembers getting the call. I met (on the radio) so many helpful people, many disabled. One that stands out was a guy in Lincoln whos handle was Steeplejack, he was such a helpful chap and i always called him up when passing. I remember he told me he was disabled as he fell at a great height while working, as a steepljack.
Northern Crusader. Thanks for the info, I thought i had fallen at the first hurdle, but its looking less like a problem now. Cheers
Stephen Gunrunner. You will know better than me but shouldnt there be rules on RFI that cover solar panels, it looks a bit hit and miss. There will be more installations now due to the cost of energy. Mine have paid for themselves now, although the Feed In Tarrif isnt what it was we get paid for what we produce and try to use as much as we can of that. I have a plug in hybrid car and i charge it most when the sun is bright so its working out well. I would have thought it would be a great idea if the government subsidised installations as it would reduce power demand at least. But RFI problems definitely need to be addressed first. Im fortunate that Im still have mobility, its just ladders that defeat me for example i have fallen out of the loft twice.
Im very grateful for the advice and encouragement I have been given here, what a great community.
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