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OT Shop light creates hiss on FM radio - any way to eliminate?

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  • OT Shop light creates hiss on FM radio - any way to eliminate?

    I was moving around some shop lights in my workshop garage last Saturday. I have a mix of LEDs and fluorescent lights. Some lights on dedicated switched outlets, some light with pull switches always plugged in and some that get plugged into wall outlets for specific needs. I moved a florescent light fixture, electronic ballast (commercial ballast has an input voltage range of 120 to 270v), onto the same circuit as the shop radio and it creates a hiss sound when plugged in. I put a ferrite on the hot and neutral supply leads inside of the light housing but that did not make any difference (did not think of putting a ferrite on ground conductor). I also put a larger ferrite on the power cord at the wall plug but that did not have an effect either. Short of removing the light from the circuit, is there anything else to do? I am guessing that the bulbs (lamps) should not have an effect.
    Metro Detroit

  • #2
    I'd like to know too. I while back I bought some led strip lights, and their placement interfered with the radio too. I found spots for them that turned out fine though. I also bought some of those led fan lights for the 2 Edison sockets in my garage, but simply screwing them in caused the radio to go haywire (everything is on the same circuit).

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    • #3
      That's interesting, since most EMI will only have a significant effect on AM radio. FM works by a change of frequency, not amplitude, and it suppresses any noise from a change of amplitude.

      The fact that it produces noise on an FM radio does give a clue as to what is going on in the (electronic) ballast of the lamp. I suspect that the fixture is made in china, and regardless of any labels, is not properly made to prevent noise escaping from it. There is also the possibility that the makers employed a little trickery in their design, to evade the standard measurements of EMI (electromagnetic interference). *

      Ferrite "suppressors" are not magic. They are inductive, one half of a filter, and depend on there being capacitance (or a low impedance) elsewhere. to form the other half.

      You can put a better filter on the lamp, such as the plug-in type for office equipment, that often also has spike protection. You can just deal with it by moving the lamp or the radio. Or you can chuck the lamp.

      There is also the possibility that the radio itself is not very good, not capable of rejecting noise. You could change it for something else.



      * One strategy for reducing the amount of interference registering on the measuring equipment is to evade the measurement by changing the internal frequency of the device randomly. That keeps the measurement equipment from identifying a consistent signal and reduces the apparent interference. That can make a signal on an FM radio, which is designed to pick up frequency changes.

      Some devices inherently change frequency, even though they are not designed like that to evade the measurement. Certain types of power supply are like that, and might be used in an electronic ballast. They might show up on an FM radio as noise.
      4357 2773 5150 9120 9135 8645 1007 1190 2133 9120 5942

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Everything not impossible is compulsory

      "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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      • #4
        I don't have any issues with this. All my shop lights are florescent and none of them cause any interference on the radio, not even on AM.
        My stereo has a dipole antenna tacked to the wall.

        I would try another radio and see what happens. You have to start eliminating things. Are you lights grounded ? is the noise being picked up by the radio's antenna or is it coming through the power line ? Try moving the radio to a different location in the shop. Is it one light that's causing the interference or all of them together ? Is it power line noise ?


        JL...............

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        • #5
          The VFD on on my lathe screwed up my radio.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
            I don't have any issues with this. All my shop lights are florescent and none of them cause any interference on the radio, not even on AM.
            My stereo has a dipole antenna tacked to the wall. SAME HERE

            I would try another radio and see what happens. You have to start eliminating things.
            Are you lights grounded ? YES
            light that's causing the interference or all of them together ? JUST THE ONE LIGHT I MOVED/ADDED. I DO HAVE ANOTHER SHOP LIGHT (IN MY WORKSHOP ATTIC) THAT CAUSED THE SAME HISS (ALSO ON THE SAME CIRCUIT), BUT IF I AM IN THE ATTIC I DON'T CARE ABOUT RADIO NOISE.
            Is it power line noise ? NOISE DOES NOT OCCUR IF THE LIGHT IS UNPLUGGED


            JL...............
            [email protected]# (I had to add a minimum of 3 characters since the forum software did not recognize my answers added to the quoted text).
            Metro Detroit

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            • #7
              Move the radio to another circuit. If no joy, move it to a circuit on the other side of the electrical split buss.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by aribert View Post

                [email protected]# (I had to add a minimum of 3 characters since the forum software did not recognize my answers added to the quoted text).
                OK, it looks like you have it narrowed down to two fixtures.
                Are both of the fixtures causing the RFI the same make etc. ? Are they the same as all the other fixtures in your shop that aren't causing RFI ?

                JL..............
                Last edited by JoeLee; 01-28-2022, 04:11 PM.

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                • #9
                  Who still listens to the radio? Replace that ancient thing with a music streaming service and you’ll also not have to listen to commercials anymore.

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                  • #10
                    This is caused by low quality ballast replacements in fluorescent lights, or poor quality power supplies in LED lights. Get an AM radio and put it near one light after another. The one that causes the radio the most problems is usually the main culprit. Although your FM signal is the one that you notice, your AM radio will be the most sensitive to the noise.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                      Who still listens to the radio? Replace that ancient thing with a music streaming service and you’ll also not have to listen to commercials anymore.
                      Not everyone wants Alexa, the KGB or the N. Koreans listening to the goings on in their shop.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                        Not everyone wants Alexa, the KGB or the N. Koreans listening to the goings on in their shop.
                        I most often stream my music, and no, you are not at risk for loosing your privacy. Matter of fact, you are in jeopardy of loosing it more here than by streaming.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
                          ......................Matter of fact, you are in jeopardy of loosing it more here than by streaming.
                          Just post about your manufacturing of RPGs and you'll lose a LOT of privacy........

                          It always amazes me how many robbers get caught when they brag of their doings on facebook, apparently thinking it is only to their friends.......
                          4357 2773 5150 9120 9135 8645 1007 1190 2133 9120 5942

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Everything not impossible is compulsory

                          "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                            Not everyone wants Alexa, the KGB or the N. Koreans listening to the goings on in their shop.
                            I wouldn't mind if any of those three heard me, but if my mother ever heard me in the shop I'd get to taste soap again...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                              Just post about your manufacturing of RPGs and you'll lose a LOT of privacy........

                              It always amazes me how many robbers get caught when they brag of their doings on facebook, apparently thinking it is only to their friends.......
                              RPG? Role playing game is the definition I know. Maybe you mean random password generator? Yeah, I see your point in that case...

                              -js
                              There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

                              Location: SF Bay Area

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