[RFI] CFL Noise Update - Neighbor Removes Burned Out CFL

Tony dxdx at optonline.net
Wed Oct 10 00:13:33 EDT 2012

On 10/9/2012 12:35 PM, Al K0VM wrote:
> Tony,
>   This may be a bit of a stretch...   It could be possible that 
> turning on the switch in our house effectively changed the pattern of 
> your receive antenna in the direction of the bad CFL. Did just the 
> level of the interference change when you flipped the switch or did 
> the interference shift frequency. Any way, just glad you found the 
> source of the problem.

Hi Al:

The noise would only shift in frequency -- the noise level would stay 
the same.

You make a good point though!



> AL, K0VM
> On 10/9/2012 1:01 AM, Tony wrote:
>> All,
>> I recently discovered that my neighbors CFL lighting was causing RFI. 
>> I managed to get close the light with a portable HF rig and found the 
>> noise was identical to what I was hearing in the shack; same 
>> frequencies, same noise characteristics. I should mention that the 
>> bulb was burned out.
>> The problem with pointing the finger at the light as the only RFI 
>> source was that the noise would shift in frequency when I turned a 
>> light switch on and off in my home! I recorded the frequency shift 
>> "trick" on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYHbpLfQ1gc
>> I shut the mains to see if the noise was coming from my home, but it 
>> was still there with the breakers off. The light switch had no effect 
>> on the noise as long as the mains remained off.
>> Long story short:
>> The noise went away immediately the moment my neighbor removed the 
>> burned out CFL. An identical CFL that was working emitted much less 
>> noise. He hasn't replaced the bulb yet so we'll have to see what 
>> happens with the new one.
>> The puzzling thing about all this is how a light switch in my home 
>> could have an effect on the noise coming from a neighbors CFL? It 
>> doesn't appear coincidental because the light switch "trick" hasn't 
>> happened since my neighbor removed the CFL. It's been a while now and 
>> all is quiet.
>> Any ideas?
>> Tony -K2MO
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