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Old 12-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #1
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Bad TV Reception - Watch-Read this

The Digital RVer: Does LED lighting put your RV TV on the fritz?

It appears that LED lighting can and does affect Digital TV reception. Something to do with the Lights and what/how they start up. I tried to get local New Orleans Stations with my LED's turned off, no go, with them on, no go, as I am 50 or so miles from the stations and it's raining outside. That means the atmosphere is in turmoil. Tomorrow it's supposed to clear off, I will try again, with them on or off and see what happens. I was able the other day to pick up two channels, but got weak signal when trying to watch them, did not know about the LED's at that time, when I re-scanned for channels, they were lost and now I can get nothing.

Sometimes they come in depending on where I am and sometimes they do not. If you change out any parts of the Audio/Video system, I suggest you put in "quad-shielded" coax as the replacement cable if any needs to be changed, and I did not know that was even available.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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We have LED lights and never any trouble with TV reception.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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I had the exact same issue you are describing when I installed LED lighting in my previous motorhome. It was most noticeable when in fringe reception area but no, you are not imagining the problem. I believe that it is peculiar to the type of LED installed and may not be an issue with all LED lights.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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It depends on how well the LED light was made.. LEDs by their nature are wide band noise generators,,, They do indeed interfer with RF on all frequencies, but this interference can be very easily suppressed, average cost just a penny or two in bulk.... But some comanies are too cheep to spend the penny or two.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
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It depends on how well the LED light was made.. LEDs by their nature are wide band noise generators,,, They do indeed interfer with RF on all frequencies, but this interference can be very easily suppressed, average cost just a penny or two in bulk.... But some comanies are too cheep to spend the penny or two.
Actually, LEDs generate no RFI noise at all. However, they usually have some kind of current regulator. Those that have switching regulators can be quite noisy. Those that have linear regulators are not.

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Old 12-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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Rain does affect Digital TV reception.
My OTA stations are 30-35 miles away. A heavy rain will stop any reception.
Even a vehicle driven within 600 feet of the MH between the Batwing and station affects it.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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I probably have more LED lights in my coach than most, and I have never noticed a problem. However since I have Directv 99% of the time, I have not paid that much attention to it. I have a new DVR for over the air TV use now, so I plan to pay more attention to OTA local channels. In my limited experience using OTA I never found much difference in the signal during the daytime, without LED lights on, and at night when I often have the LED's turned on.

My coach was supposedly wired with RG6 cable, not quad cables. And I used Cables To Go minicoax cables to connect the main cables in the coach to the individual components in place of the bulky RG6 cables. I recently started making my own minicoax cables using bulk cable and compression connectors. Never noticed anything.

Last year I picked up some Phoenix OTA stations in Quartzite, and that is over 100 miles!

Most of my LED's came from the prudentrver.com website. None of the cheap stuff.

Monty,

Does your TV, or whatever you are using to tune OTA signals, show the signal strength? With my old Winegard digital tuner if I got over 75% signal strength, I typically got a solid picture. Anything less than that and I started getting pixelation and lost signals. Less than 60 and I got no picture at all.

Also, not all digital tuners are the same quality. Some will tune more stations than others, using the same antenna, etc. Maybe some are more affected by LED's than others. I have no idea.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:16 AM   #8
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Actually, LEDs generate no RFI noise at all. However, they usually have some kind of current regulator. Those that have switching regulators can be quite noisy. Those that have linear regulators are not.

Joel
Never built a gated noise source did you.. I have, it uses a forward biased diode as the noise generator.. ALL diodes LED or not, generate noise. A good designer takes care of it and bypasses it to ground so it does not bother you.. Unless, of course noise is the desired product as in the Hartson Gated Noise Source described in QST magazine many years ago (1970s) for tuning up a radio.. By the way it works great.

All LED's, generate noise, You don't see it because the designer took care of it.. That simple.

Or course compared to one of the florcesent ballests in this RV.. the LEDs whisper. (But then my LED lights are all bypassed so they do not show up even on my TS-2000 which is kind of sensitive to noise)
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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Monty,
Lets see, you stated "I tried to get local New Orleans Stations with my LED's turned off, no go, with them on, no go"
I could see where you might create a problem at start up or a problem while the led's are on but not when they are turned off. If the ones that are turned off cause problems I would suspect that the 5 meter roll I have stored within 3 or 4 feet of my home tv would stop all reception. Maybe I need to break out my tinfoil hat!!
I would be more inclined to suspect interference from the rain or other outside factors. Also just for giggles did you check to see if your antenna booster was turned on?
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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YES, I have 4 LED overhead lights that I installed. when I turn on ONE light my TV and sounds go blank. can turn on all of the other 3 and everything is OK. I put the regular 12 V bulb back and TV is ok, Had two different techs look at it and they didn't have an answer. Tried several dif LED in that one fixture and they all blank out the TV when the light is turned on. would love an logical answer, for now i'll just live with a regular bulb... safe travels ed
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
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I am looking into this and it would appear that it is the driver/voltage regulation, the LEDs them selves do not produce a problem.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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Switching transformers/power supplies typically generate the RF noise, not the LED itself. The LED simply turns off and on - the transformer converts AC to DC an can generate square wave signals resulting in RFI (RF interference) if not designed properly.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
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Just 2 days ago, while watching over the air HD TV signals here in Southern Arizona, we noticed the signal begin to break up or pixalize after sundown. I then turned off the LED lights in the kitchen and Viola...the picture cleared up immediately. Turned them back on and the signal broke up again. So, yes, there is some interference with LED lights and TV when the antenna is in use. No, is does not happen on my park cable or when the satellite is in use. Just FYI in my case.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDALLSAILS View Post
YES, I have 4 LED overhead lights that I installed. when I turn on ONE light my TV and sounds go blank. can turn on all of the other 3 and everything is OK. I put the regular 12 V bulb back and TV is ok, Had two different techs look at it and they didn't have an answer. Tried several dif LED in that one fixture and they all blank out the TV when the light is turned on. would love an logical answer, for now i'll just live with a regular bulb... safe travels ed
Indeed. Also in addition to what wa8xym posted as well.

At our service shop we are beginning to see more and more complaints from customers with absolute random electrical problems - problems that during the onset, appear to be hard to find. For example, one of the most common complaints is the wall thermostat units simply not responding or displaying odd characters. (I am finding this most often with the Dometic CCC2 and SZLCD thermostats). Second highest complaint is odd behavior from the refrigerator display (non-residential units), 3rd largest complaint is random controller-switched lighting turning on and off by itself at will, and 4th, OverTheAir (antenna) TV working very randomly and absolute loss of previously strong signals.

My first instinct is to check for AC on the DC line - which is very common when a Converter is failing. Excessive AC on the DC line will cause havoc with everything onboard in a very similar fashion. However, in each case so far, the Converter has been clean and A-OK.

In all these cases the only common denominator was that the owners had decided to purchase and install many new LED replacement bulbs and or add-on LED rope lighting - either under cabinets, or near the floor, or even on the awnings outside. In one case the customer had replaced absolutely every single light with an LED in the coach.

The refrigerator problems seemed most difficult to chase down. A quick phone call to Bob at Dometic and he knew exactly where to look as I'm sure they get this complaint often. 15 minutes, the entire problem was fixed. The culprit? Cheap cheap cheap cheap (did i mention cheap?) Chinese built replacement LED lights and systems. In every single case so far, simply going back to incandescent bulbs solved all the problems. I don't know if the customers ever again tried different brands or higher quality LEDs so I don't have any follow up for this.

The cheaper LEDs most likely will not cause problems in older coaches and older systems... however, with much of the newer technology (single wire thermostat communication, controller-switched lighting, eplex, CANBUS microcontrollers multiplexing, etc etc) these cheapo LED's can and will cause problems.
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