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Re: [RFI] Arc-fault breakers

To: rfi@contesting.com, Dennis Monticelli <dennis.monticelli@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [RFI] Arc-fault breakers
From: "Kenneth G. Gordon" <kgordon2006@frontier.com>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:14:25 -0800
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
On 21 Feb 2020 at 23:31, Dennis Monticelli wrote:

> I am remodeling kitchen and bath.  The new electrical code here in CA
> requires a number of things that are potentially harmful to our hobby.  For
> example the use of arc-fault breakers.  I know that one of the techniques
> for identifying arcs involves detecting broadband RF.  Does anyone have any
> experience with transmissions false triggering these devices?

Yes. I have. 

When we had an addition added to our home, I (and our youngest son) did all the 
We were "required" by city code to have arc-fault breakers in our bedroom 

I bought and installed the damned things (I cannot now remember the brand, but 
if it is 
important, I'll go look at them.). They were very expensive, something like 
$70.00 each.

(The city electrical inspector complimented me on the quality of our work, BTW.)

My main antenna, a 55' vertical, is only about 10 feet from our bedroom window.

Every time I was on 40 meters, the stupid things would trip off, and I would 
have to go reset 

After calling the maker and talking with their tech support for some time, I 
was told that they 
should not trip on RF.


After putting up with them for about a month, I decided that since this was our 
home, and I 
did the wiring, I could do what I darned well wanted to and yanked the stupid 
pieces of junk 
out and replaced them with standard breakers, leaving the AFCIs lying in the 

Also, some years prior to this, I had also replaced our original 100 amp panel 
with a new 
200 amp panel and had rewired almost the entire house.

After I had done this, for some time, whenever I was on 40 meters CW with an 
amp, an 
SB-200 (600 watts output), one of the breakers involved with the basement 
machine would trip.

Eventually, I found that the original incompetent people who had added some 
circuts to the 
OLD panel, had run a #8 ground wire from the panel, exactly 33' long (1/4 wave 
on 40) clear 
around the basement to a clamp.....on a PLASTIC cold water pipe!!!

I then drove three 8' copper-clad steel ground rods, 8" apart, outside the 
house where the 
panel was located, tied them all together, shortened up the #8 ground wire to 
about 10 feet, 
and clamped it securely to those ground rods.

No more problem.

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