[RFI] LED Bulbs

Tom Thompson tlthompson at qwest.net
Wed Feb 12 11:57:50 EST 2014

This has been my experience here in Boulder, CO.  In the past several 
years I have dealt with 3 halogen light power supplies, 9 grow light 
power supplies, one power line insulator, and one video camera power supply.

I was able to talk one neighbor into replacing his 12 volt halogen 
system with a 120 volt system which solved the problem.

I replaced the switching supply on another halogen system with a 
transformer and solved that problem.

The third halogen system was a desk lamp and I placed a common mode 
choke on the lamp leads and solved that problem.

A grower loaned me his kilowatt ballast and I was able to develop a lamp 
side filter that reduced the RFI by 30-dB.  I applied that to five grow 
light systems and reduced the RFI to an acceptable level at my house.  
The other four growers moved away.

The video camera power supply RFI was reduced to an acceptable level 
with a common mode choke.

I built a LISN and determined that the grow light ballasts were 
violating part 18b specifications by 40-dB.  I shared this technical 
information as well as the names of grow light ballast retailers and one 
ballast importer with the FCC Denver office to no avail.  I had a two 
hour meeting with the engineers at the Denver office.  Whereas they were 
sympathetic, nothing has happened from their office.  One interesting 
point was that the meeting was ended because they had to track down a 
pirate radio station.  We pointed out the irony of the concern for 10 
kHz of the broadcast spectrum over concern of many kHz of the HF spectrum.

I, also, spoke with Laura Smith in the enforcement division.  She said 
they were looking into tracking down some of the grow light ballast 
importers, but I don't think that is happening yet.

I think the bottom line is that the FCC is under funded and under 
staffed and we amateurs are a low priority.  Maybe a concerted letter 
writing to our congressional representatives is in order.

Tom   W0IVJ

On 2/12/2014 8:39 AM, Kimberly Elmore wrote:
> If no one complains, it's a sure bet nothing good will ever happen. Are we at the top of the FCC's interest list? No, nor have we ever been. Yet, if we don't squawk, who will? We need to log the problems with the FCC and with the ARRL, who (like it or not) has a fair bit more clout with the FCC than any one of us singly.
> My experience with the FCC field offices has always been good. If there's a problem, call the closest office and ask to speak to a field engineer. These guys are pretty bright and understand what we do.
> I honestly don't understand the attitude of  "It's hopeless so don't bother." That's a self-fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one.
> Kim N5OP
> ________________________________
>   From: Dale J. <dj2001x at comcast.net>
> To: Roger D Johnson <n1rj at roadrunner.com>
> Cc: "rfi at contesting.com List" <rfi at contesting.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:25 AM
> Subject: Re: [RFI] LED Bulbs
> Hi Roger,
> Now that statement I'll agree with.  I will too.
> Even if I were to call the FCC to complain would I talk to a live human who knows what I'm talking about or would it be a robot that directs me to a FAQ on how to deal with RFI.
> 73
> Dale, K9vuj
> On 12, Feb 2014, at 8:12, Roger D Johnson <n1rj at roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> Unfortunately, interference to amateur radio appears to be VERY low
>> on the FCC priorities list. I'll probably be an SK long before they
>> act on my complaint!
>> 73, Roger
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