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 RFI interference, what to do?

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SangueG
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PostSubject: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 25, 2022 12:21 am

I live in a ground floor housing association flat.   Not able to put my antenna up permanently, so I have been operating home base for the past year or so by using a drive on stand and portable mast.    I started out using an A99 which was great for a while but later had constant problems with loose connections and signals dropping out every time the wind blows.    I changed over to a Venom 1/2 silver rod which has generally worked very well, much easier to tune in than the Antron. Only problem was that it would cause hum on my stereo amp and eventually cause it to go into "protect" mode if I left it on.     Never had any complaints from neighbours, so assumed it was only affecting me so haven't worried about it for a long time.   

Tonight I was sat talking to a mate for a while and noticed a light kept going on and off outside, at first I thought it was my security light in the wind.   Turned it off but alas, I came to realise it's my upstairs neighbour's living room light.    When I key up on FM it comes on, when I key up a second time, it goes off....  I presume he has one of those remote control bulbs.  Thankfully he is away for the night tonight.  But still cut my radio session short as I wasn't 100% sure there was noone in upstairs being driven crazy.   it does it with or without the amp on, even on very low radio power.   He mentioned to me before that he had some issues with his living room light, don't think he's put two and two together YET, I only just have.

I'm not sure how to proceed now...    I get on well with the guy upstairs and he's understanding of my hobby but I feel like if I mention it, I'll be opening a can of worms.    Any fault with any electronics will be because of my radio?   I'm using an Anytone 5555n .     Would a different rig with better filtering stop this from happening?

Any advice gratefully received as this has put the kibosh on me operating home base for the time being.

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Equipment Used : CRT SS9900, CRT ONE N, CRT Electro, UV-5r, B550p, HP-202, Sirio 4000, T2lT, Sharmans X-50, Diamond A430....and many bits of wire.

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 25, 2022 2:10 am

Oh bud, well done you for noticing the problem before anyone else chap!!  Does the problem occur when transmitting on the UK FM at 4 watts?

Cheers

Simon.

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 25, 2022 5:52 am

Chris.. in short yes, it could. I have a bedside lamp sat on my radio equipment. It is one of those that you touch the stand and it turns on, touch it again to increase the brightness, further times to increase more until it circles round to off. When I use my 6900 on FM, even on very low power it turns on, and with each key up it sequences through the brightness's, turns off and repeats. On SSB it does this like a disco with the peaks of my voice.

The Xiegu G90 doesn't affect it at all.

Via my experience I am guessing your neighbour has a cheap dimmer control on their light. I have put clip on ferrites on all of the power leads in my bedroom where my kit is sat. It hasn't cured the problem with the light completely, but suppressed it enough for it not to happen all of the time. Because it's my light, I just switch off at the plug when operating. Maybe you could try building a good mains filter? Will probably be cheaper than another rig.

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 25, 2022 8:18 am

Check your coax, make sure there isn't any corrosion from water ingress, harsh bends, kinks or flattening.

Then get yourself down your local DIY outlet and for less than a couple of quid purchase a piece of 100mm plastic ducting pipe.
Wraps five turns of your coax around it at the antenna end NOT the radio end and you've got yourself an 'ugly choke'.

http://www.karinya.net/g3txq/chokes/

See if that improves things, but you may need to work with your neighbour in the end.

Worth a shot.

Best of luck with it.

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 25, 2022 4:37 pm

Another here for doing what Victor has posted. Unfortunately though those things tend to use electronics with poor to no EMI protection, completely illegal and against their supposed CE certification, so if that doesn't cure it there's little you can do other than investigate operating portable. 

It may be worthwhile investigating getting your ham licence, even the foundation. It gives you a much wider range of frequencies to work on, some of which are likely to be less troublesome. And for DX you'll find much more activity much more often on the 20m band than 11m. It also gives you better legal protection should someone put in a complaint because should they call out OFCOM and it's found their gear is at fault, which in the case of this lamp it would be, they'd get told so by the field engineer and presented with a £150 bill. If it turned out to be you you'd be given advice, no fee. It also means that if someone nearby had cheap Chinese electronics that caused interference on the ham bands you can get that investigated and stopped.

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Equipment Used : SS7900,Whistler TRX1, Baofeng 1702, CRT Space-U, HackRF 1, Radio Shack Pro97
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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeSun Jul 03, 2022 11:15 pm

Hi Everyone.

I too live in a flat and find it difficult to place an antenna.  I bought a Thunderbolt 'long-wire' from Hawkins Radio last year, and a cheap 20ft telescopic fishing pole, like the ones they use at festivals to mark your position in a crowd.  Used some insulation tape to attach the Thunderbolt and hung it out of my window.  I used a Zetagi matcher for the SWR and, hey-presto, was making contacts into Northern Europe on USB.  Okay, it's a pain in the arse having to extend/collapse the damn thing, but seems to work for me.  Just saying.  73's 26CT3362

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeMon Jul 04, 2022 6:12 am

Hi Ant (Zodian01),


Loving your where there's a will there's a way attitude and working the airwaves however you can. Exemplary stuff!

I'm hoping that the OP Chris has managed to resolve his issues and any word from you may assist especially as the antenna you have utilises such a coaxial choke as has been suggested. 

Do you suffer such problems with RFI or is your setup problem free?


All the best,
Victor

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Call Sign : 26-CT-3362
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Equipment Used : SS7900,Whistler TRX1, Baofeng 1702, CRT Space-U, HackRF 1, Radio Shack Pro97
Age : 58

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeMon Jul 04, 2022 4:33 pm

Hi Victor.  As far as I'm aware, there have been no issues, in as much as I've not had any irate neighbours knocking at my door screaming that they're missing Coronation Street. Smile

Regards, Ant.  zodian01

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeMon Jul 04, 2022 4:49 pm

Good to hear Ant and obviously works as well as designed. Your experience will help others.

Still impressed with you hanging the antenna out of the window and working some Continental contacts!

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Equipment Used : SS7900,Whistler TRX1, Baofeng 1702, CRT Space-U, HackRF 1, Radio Shack Pro97
Age : 58

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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeMon Jul 04, 2022 6:19 pm

Hi Victor.

Not used it much this year.  The antenna came with a choke already made. I think the guy who builds them is a fairly small operation, but the build quality (in my opinion) is excellent.  I also got a 446 version which works well too on the PMR.  Due to my location, it's quite difficult to get any decent DX from the East because of brick walls etc, but North-West comes in pretty well.  To my South side I have a lot of woodland which interferes with the 446 during the Summer months due to the leaves (!), but hey, all part of the fun.  Sure my housing officer thinks I nuts, trying to fish for Roach from my living room window.  LOL.  Regards.

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Call Sign : 19-CT-024
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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 15, 2022 2:59 pm

Thought i'd join this thread. Is there a way i could include a sound file in a message? I'm curious if anyone could recognize the kind of interference i have.
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PostSubject: Re: RFI interference, what to do?   RFI interference, what to do? Icon_minitimeFri Jul 15, 2022 3:46 pm

Hi Karel,

I'd think the easiest way to post a sound example up to the forum would be via YouTube which can then either be linked to or even embedded within your message posting.

(I'm sure there must be other ways with 'cloud' storage but I've never done this myself.)

Would be worth starting a new posting if you do so that the titling would reflect what you're after.


I often at times have terrible interference on the CB frequencies at my location both in the CEPT/Euro region as well as UK frequencies which sound like radar systems. Luckily the 'free-banding' frequencies, (as well as 10m), are totally clear!

Hope that helps. RFI interference, what to do? 1f44d

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