[RFI] FCC Class A& B Regs/ was: Low Voltage Patio Lights

Robertson digital-conjurers at roadrunner.com
Mon Sep 8 13:08:35 EDT 2008

 From the ARRL Website:

"In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission sets limits on 
the amount of radio noise which switching devices and other electronic 
equipment can inject into the power conductors of a residence or an 
industrial facility. Part 15 of the FCC Rules provides for two classes of 
protection from radio noise generated by such devices. Devices in the Class 
A category have limits intended to satisfy the needs of industrial 
facilities where significant amounts of radio noise can be tolerated. 
Devices in the Class B category have a stricter limit to meet the needs of 
residential areas where the density of radio and television receivers is 
high. All electronic devices marketed in the United States must be tested 
for compliance with the noise limits contained in the FCC Rules, and each 
item must have a label indicating it meets the requirements of its category. "


Now, it seems pretty clear that the FCC just isn't doing it's enforcement 
role set forth here; I just had a similar run-in with a neighbor who was 
running one of these unlabelled mini-horrors, and I had to quote this 
chapter and verse above to the owner (a home-improvement toy-boy) before 
he'd even come close to seeing that there was a problem at all. ("AM radio 
interference? Why, no-one listens to AM radio anymore!  Besides, if it were 
illegal, they wouldn't sell these things!") <sigh>

In short, the "General Pooblic" has NO idea of what they're buying or it's 
effect on radio interference, etc.  They just want a nice track light set, 
or a patio lite set, etc. So it's up to the government to enforce these 
regs, police the marketplace, and make sure these pieces of cheap Chinese 
(usually) junk don't make it onto the marketplace.

Purchasing Agents and Buyers of large and small retail chains that supply 
these things need to be educated too, and THAT'S not happening either.

Well, with certain quarters always screaming "Get the government off 
industry's back," it might not, until the interference stops someone's 
pacemaker, kidney machine, etc, and someone drops dead.  That's usually 
what it takes, unfortunately.

Goodby Ham Radio?  Hey, goodbye LW to UHF!  Some of these things scream 
S9+40 all over the spectrum!!

The ARRL needs to head a charge into this problem, _now_, and not present 
it as just a Ham Radio problem.

The horse is out of the barn, but maybe we can get him back in...


At 11:36 AM 9/7/2008 -0400, you wrote:
>Have you talked to the owner?   What does he think can be done?
>Have you contacted the ARRL?  The League will no doubt have received many 
>such complaints already.
>There is an FCC page for reporting complaints; are AMBC stations you 
>listen to interfered with by this lighting?  Call them; they have their 
>own route to the FCC.
>If you do contact the FCC they will want to know if you have talked to the 
>owner and what resolution (or lack thereof) you reached.  For that matter, 
>so will the ARRL.
>Some manufacturer say they try to prevent interference (examples):
>Toolstation Electronic Transformer 12v 105w
>Radio interference suppression with overload and thermal protection. 
>Dimmable with standard dimmers. 60w only?
>The Flick 3000is silent running, therefore has no interference noise 
>commonly associated with low voltage dimmers.
>(Note: UK firm)
>Omn60Lt Undercabinet By American Fluorescent
>Compact omn60lt electronic premium high-end transformer features 
>integrated radio frequency interference suppressor, short circuit 
>protection, overload protection, overheat...
>Google(TM) can be your friend here.
>The traditional recourse of replacing switchers with 120V/12V transformers 
>may not be available to us much longer, as efficiency regulations are 
>resulting in SMPS replacing even low-power 
>transformers.  Unfortunately,  many manufacturers, importers and vendors 
>don't care if these are either quiet or safe. One sometimes sees recalls 
>for counterfeit UL marking but hardly ever for radio interference. That 
>may be a subject for another thread.
> > [Original Message]
> > From: R March <n7ua at embarqmail.com>
> > To: rfi at contesting.com <rfi at contesting.com>
> > Date: 9/7/2008 10:00:17 AM
> > Subject: [RFI] Low Voltage Patio Lights
> >
> > I now have a problem with a neighbors outside low voltage patio lights.
> >   It generates 20 over 9 noise on 160, caused by the power supply;  not
> > a transformer but a switcher.  So the question is: does anyone know of a
> > low voltage outdoor/patio lighting system with a built-in light sensor
> > that does not make noise? Maybe one that uses an actual transformer?
> > What an innovation.
> >
> >
> > Another question.  Who does one contact at the FCC now that Riley
> > Hollingsworth has retired?    Thanks,  Bob  N7UA
> >
> > BTW, It sure would be great if there were a data base of systems that
> > don't make noise, say maintained by the ARRL, where hams could find
> > solutions to these problems.
>RFI mailing list
>RFI at contesting.com

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