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  1. #1
    Fogdog's Avatar
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    My Radio's RF trips breakers

    Yep, I guess that's what its doing. Ok, so here is the story. We just moved into this house in Jan 16, and I'm finally getting my radio station up and running. I'm in the garage at the basement level. I have my Stryker 955 HPC hooked up to a 12vdc AGM battery for power. I just made an inverted V Dipole Antenna which is almost a flat 1.1.1 SWR. This antenna is attached to the garage until I can get a longer coax cable , and run it out to the trees, and get it up in the air. That's it. No electrical connection between my radio, or any of the other components. I do have a battery tender charger connected to the battery at all times however. Hmmmm.

    Today I was able to make a couple of contacts in Illinois, and Louisiana. So anyway the YL comes down to the garage and tells me the power is out in the master bedroom (main floor), and also in the 2nd story bedroom. Also the lights in the China cabinet come on, and also the lights in the entertainment center come on. These lights are those touch control lights that come on when you just touch a metal button on the china cabinet and entertainment center. So anyway I reset the 120 A/C breakers, and turn the cabinet lights off. Then I go about DX'ing and the breakers trip, and the lights come on. WTF!

    My question is , can a radio trip household breakers? I've never heard of this before. Now when I used to run this same radio in my pickup with a TNT 600 HD Amp, it would at times turn the lights on in the same entertainment center we have now, and my voice would bleed over and into the YL's Satellite radio. At that time the truck was about 50 ft from the house. IDK whats going on. Maybe its the battery charger that is causing the problem.

    The good news is , that my Homebrew antenna is working.
    Last edited by Fogdog; 05-17-2016 at 02:51 PM.




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  2. #2
    222FL's Avatar
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    Battery charger and also stray RF. Try some snap on ferrite chokes or an rg isolator or Low Pass Filter at the radio. The Low Pass Filter in combo with sole ferrite chokes or a 1:1 balun or RF isolator should resolve your issue. Might be time to get a power supply. The megawatt power supplies are worth every penny. I use the s-400-12 on an Icom 746, voltage set to 13.85vdc. And it's adjustable from 9-15vdc. They make a smaller unit. 30a vs the 36a one I have. It's only $50 or so. Plus shipping. The one I have is only $60 and he also carries a 50a one that can be ran in parallel with 4 or more of them connected together for increased amperage. No bridge needed. Just make sure voltages are same. Anyway. JMHO. But if possible, get a power supply. Check your local CL as well. You'll need a 15-20a one for the radio you are using. The more amps the better. But I would try a LPF, (low pass filter) after the radio and see if that helps. Sounds like you have some stray RF. Hope you get it resolved. Try unhooking the batt charger and turn the power down on the radio as to not kill the batt to fast and see what happens as well. Just some more food for thought. Again, hope you get it resolved.

  3. #3
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    ^^^^ good advice, thanks. I just ordered the Megawatt 36 amp power supply you told me about. I have ferrite chokes ony radio already. I tried my low pass filter, but it raised my swr for some reason. Going to get some more coax tomorrow, and gety antenna away from the house. I took the battery charger off, but the RF still activates the lights in the cabinets. I'll try the LPF again tomorrow and see of that helps. I think this radio only puts out around 60 watts. If I puty TNT 600 HD in liney Ram Diesel might start remotely. :-)




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  5. #4
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    Jeez, I need to spellcheck.




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  6. #5
    222FL's Avatar
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    If your VSWR went up with the LPF in line, try a different jumper length from radio to LPF. It took me using a odd ball combo of jumper lengths to get mine where it was seeing at good match at the radio. But I also had a switch on the same coax from radio. Try a 6ft, 9ft, and then if you have them, like 4ft, 5ft and so on. You might see a slight increase in VSWR adding it in line. But it shouldn't be anything to worry about. If it's jumping like it think it is, then trying different coax jumper lengths and also grounding the chassis of the LPF. Also is all your equipment t grounded to your antenna? As in is everything grounded together minus your AC house ground.
    If not, read up on how a commercial tower for radio or cell phone use gets grounded and you'll have a good idea of what I am speaking of. Here at my QTH, I have 10+ ground rods, all 5/8" x 8ft of 1/2" x 10ft, (3), or these. And I use #2awg solid for all the ground wire minus the stuff going to radio and equipment. It's a bit more flexible. At any rate, the enitre back half of my house has a half circle around it. All ground rods are tied together as well as radio and other radio room equipment. Then comes the surge arrestors. Have 2 of these being used currently and have 3-4 more on hand. One Huber Suhner and the rest are Polyphazer ones that I converted for 27mhz use. At any rate, what I am getting at is that you need to setup a good grounding system for your entire radio base station. As well as some form of EMP/lightning protection. I also have a #2awg solid wire that runs up my mast pipe to the base of my antenna and is grounded there as well as several places along the mast pipe to the ground. I have spent a lot of time and effort on this, but I have never had an issue with lightning, thank The Lord! At any rate it does help a lot. It seems as the more grounds I add my noise levels go down slightly. And I also feel a lot safer if I do get take a strike or near one. I've plenty of metal to dissipate the energy!! I plan on getting the entire house done some day and will have a complete halo ground around my house.
    Also adding a small buss bar is a great idea if you can. This will help with tying all the grounds together at one point creating a single point ground system which is exactly what you are trying to accomplish.
    But first off if you don't have all your equipment from the antenna mast your radio, amps, LPF, surge arrestors, and so on grounded you need to look into getting this done ASAP. Summer is almost here and we will all be getting summer t-storms I am sure!!
    Let me know if I can help any more. Again, hope you get it all resolved. I'm sure the power supply won't hurt anything. Also, you'll have to adjust the voltage to about 13.8vdc from the factory setting of 12.6vdc. This is simple.
    The orange pot on the front of the power supply left side, just use a decent volt meter and slowly, I mean slowly turn the power up to desired voltage. It will adjust from 9-15vdc. But 13.8vdc is what most autos charge at so that is a good voltage for radios as well. Again, hope all this helps and if there is anything else I can help with I'll try my best. I'm not an expert by any means. Just go by my own experiences. Good day.

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  8. #6
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    Thanks for all the good advise. I'm listening. I tried a bunch of different size jumpers, and really the swr is ok. No higher than 1.3, and even on 10 meters it's 1.8.1. Not bad at all. Using LMR 400 coax. Going to order 100 ft of it tonight, and see if I can't get the wire up in the trees. Looking forward to getting my power supply 5 days from now. I worked on my 2 meter antenna today.
    How do you ground an inverted v dipole? Also do I run a ground wire to the ground rod from my radio also?




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  9. #7
    222FL's Avatar
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    There is no need to ground a dipole. Use a 1:1 balun at the feedpoint to get the impedance to 50ohms and you will be fine. If you don't have or can't get a 1:1 balun then 12 snap on ferrite chokes for LMR400 will work as well. I had 2 dipoles up at 35-40 feet. Just took them down as my Sirio vector 4000 has just as good if not better tx and RX both locally and while dxing.
    And as far as your radio and all other equipment you have in your radio room, all should be grounded. And yes it will all go to the same ground rod as the antenna mast. It would be a good idea to at lest place 3 or more ground rods total into the ground. The more ground rods the better. Keep them about 3-4ft apart and make sure all are connected together. All grounds should be tied together minus your house AC power ground. This will keep you from having any ground loops. Single point ground system. Look it up. It's well worth investing some time into. Believe me when I say it will help all kinds of issues. Including RF issues. But for what you are trying to accomplish a good 1:1 balun or a set of the proper mix of ferrite snap on chokes at the dipole feedpoint will help a bunch. A 1:1 balun or what some call an RF isolator. Dr. Dipole on eBay sells a pretty good matching/isolating balun, (1:1).
    There is more to tuning antennas than obtaining a low VSWR. Impedance and reactance are also important as well. Or what some will say R and X. R should be 50ohms and X should be zero. This is while using an antenna analyzer and not just an swr (VSWR) meter. Little things will make a big difference. Read up on ERP, or effective radiated power. Your coax, connectors, coax VF, type of coax, and many other factors go into figuring this. And it may not seem like a big deal, but if you truly do some research you'll find there is a difference!
    Good deal on the LMR400. It's all I will use here. Next I plan on changing out my lmr400 with LDF4-50A. Heliax coax. Very low loss. I have enough to install it, just needed the connectors that were buried amongst all my other things. Now it's all ready to install once I get the nerve to mess with it. My antenna is tuned about perfect so I don't want to mess with it LOL! At any rate. Hope some of all my babbling has helped and if need anymore help and if I can be of any more help, just let me know. Have a great day!!

  10. #8
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    Even with the low pass filter, when I key up the lights still come on. Man there's a lot to learn. I'm digging it though. I will look into grounding, especially since I live in the mountains with lots of lighting activity.




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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fogdog View Post
    Even with the low pass filter, when I key up the lights still come on. Man there's a lot to learn. I'm digging it though. I will look into grounding, especially since I live in the mountains with lots of lighting activity.
    My wife has one of those touch lamps and no matter what I do filter wise or ferrite beads it doesn't make any difference.
    What ever frequency I transmit on it will turn the light on and then step up in brightness till it turns off and then back on.
    If you figure out how to fix it let me know. The breaker thing might be because of a GFCI socket or breaker. I would definitely check for those.
    All answers are opinions and may, or may not be technically correct.

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  14. #10
    Fogdog's Avatar
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    Hey Tallman good hearing from you. It's been awhile. I'm just down the road from you now in east Tennessee.
    Hahaha, I told my wife I was just going to unplug those lights. We don't use them anyway.




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