[RFI] RFI Digest, Vol 42, Issue 1

Leigh L Klotz, Jr. Leigh at WA5ZNU.org
Fri Jun 2 17:30:37 EDT 2006

I believe there is a design problem.
There is a tremendous amout of noise coming out of the front panel, all 
across the HF and VHF spectrum.  Surely there is AC line cord radiation 
as well.  The control lines and the PWM lines are all run together, not 
separated, and the control panel picks up noise from the motor power 
lines (high current, high frequency) and re-radiates it.

Appliance manufacturers are exempt from Part 15 certification, no matter 
what type of computer or motor they have in there.  They do have a small 
AC line filter in there, but it doesn't do much.

After I posted my eham article, about a dozen people contacted me about 
their washer, or their neighbors.  Another OM, who doesn't list an email 
addres anywhere, posted another article that said he reduced his problem 
with a big AC line filter and secondarily with beads internally.  But my 
belief is that his antenna was far enough away that the emissions from 
the device itself weren't an issue.

In short, I think it is thw Whirlpool Duet and Sears washers are 
designed with little thought to RFI/EMC, and that the subcomponents done 
in Germany might be OK, but the line filtering and the cable dress and 
suppression and shielding internally are inadequate, and serve to 
exacerbate the problem.

On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 1:53 pm, Lee Hill wrote:
> The noise source is either from the PWM motor control or the 
> microprocessor.
> The path is out the long AC power cable.  Twisting the wires won't help 
> the
> unless there was an unlikely huge design oversight with the placement 
> of
> return wires.  Beads won't help nearly as much as the line to line and 
> line
> to chassis capacitors inside the AC line filter.  The beads that most 
> hams
> have peak Z at 100-200 MHz, and will present maybe 10 to 50 ohms max at
> 20m, and probably much less at 75m.
> If the AC power line filter doesn't fix it, it is possible the control 
> and
> power wires leaving the microprocessor board are the radiating antenna, 
> in
> which case the unit is probably exceeding FCC limits, since the 
> radiating
> antenna is so small and noise being detected is so big. And this 
> problem is
> non trivial to fix unless you work on EMI problems all the time. Much 
> more
> likely the AC power cord is the path/antenna between the source and the
> rig's antenna.
> 73
> Lee
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leigh L Klotz, Jr. [mailto:Leigh at WA5ZNU.org]
> Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 4:38 PM
> To: Lee Hill; rfi at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [RFI] RFI Digest, Vol 42, Issue 1
> In mine, the control and power lines are not beaded, and are not
> twisted.  The control lines are a random jumble of ribbon cables, all
> tied into a single wiring harness.  It may be that the signals are
> differential, but I doubt it.
> Leigh/WA5ZNU
> On Fri, 2 Jun 2006 10:09 am, Lee Hill wrote:
>>  They are using PWM motor control to run the high speed motor.
>>  The problem is likely to be low frequency noise coming out the AC line
>>  cord.
>>  I would buy a high performance AC line filter for a few bucks off 
>> ebay.
>>  It
>>  will work tremendously better than even a correctly selected ferrite
>>  alone.
>>  Mount the filter body directly to the washer, remove some paint so you
>>  get
>>  direct contact. Use very short (less than 6 inches, this is only 75mto
>>  20m
>>  not 2m) wires between the line filter and the AC input of the washer.
>>  Then
>>  use a different power cord to go into the line filter. Beware this
>>  could
>>  void your warranty.
>>  Keep the wires between the washer and the filter far away from the AC
>>  input
>>  cable and where it connects to the "line" side of the filter. The
>>  "load"
>>  side of the filter connects to the washer. Make sure the filter 
>> current
>>  rating is above the max listed on the washer. Peak current can reduce
>>  the
>>  performance of the filter.
>>  Insulate and cover the thing properly/securely so no kids, animals, or
>>  objects cause fire or electrocution.
>>  73
>>  Lee
>>  WB1ADR
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: rfi-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces at contesting.com] 
>> On
>>  Behalf Of rfi-request at contesting.com
>>  Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 12:00 PM
>>  To: rfi at contesting.com
>>  Subject: RFI Digest, Vol 42, Issue 1
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>>  Today's Topics:
>>     1. Re: Washer RFI/EMI (Paul Christensen)
>>  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>  Message: 1
>>  Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 20:25:14 -0400
>>  From: "Paul Christensen" <w9ac at arrl.net>
>>  Subject: Re: [RFI] Washer RFI/EMI
>>  To: <rfi at contesting.com>
>>  Message-ID: <008301c685db$04d2e560$033ca8c0 at Dorm>
>>  Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>>  	reply-type=original
>>>   I've had no RFI problems with my LG High Efficiency Washer/Dryer.
>>>   It's quieter than my CRT television.
>>  I have +40 dB/S9 noise on 75M from a new GE Harmony Washer and can be
>>  heard
>>  all the way up through 20M.  The dryer appears to emit no RFI/EMI.
>>  Is there a common cure among the newer generation of washers?
>>  Paul, W9AC
>>  ------------------------------
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>>  End of RFI Digest, Vol 42, Issue 1
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