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Old 08-19-2019, 01:04 AM   #1
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Turning on lights interrupts TV signal.

Yep, you read that correctly.

We get some fun over-the-air TV around where we camp. Old TV shows and movies that I'd long forgotten about. Anyway, this weekend I noticed something. We have a switch panel with two switches near the door. One switch turns on the porch light, the other controls some overhead lighting inside generally referred to as entry lights. If I turn on either, I lose TV reception. I don't know any other way to say it. Played with it all weekend once I realized what was happening.

I'm gonna say "ground loop" because that's the only thing I can think of that would interrupt a TV signal. But how I trouble-shoot this is beyond me.

Here's all I got to go on so far...
  • The light switches are switching 12Volts.
  • The antenna has a 12 volt pre-amp in it.
  • While I haven't tested, according to the breaker panel, the TV/antenna panel is on a separate breaker from the lights.
  • Other lights do not seem to have an affect.
  • The antenna is the Winegard Wing so one would think when it's extended up, it's out of any interference range. I'm having a hard time imagining a "field" being created by a light or wiring below would be big enough to interfere. It would seem the huge Air Conditioner with the electric motor, copper coils, etc on roughly the same plane as the antenna would have more of an effect.

Has anyone experienced this? Maybe you have and didn't realize it? I had previously thought it odd that sometimes I got great reception and sometimes not in the same spot, pointing the same way... I now realize, it was probably good reception and a matter of if I had the lights on or not.

This one is a head-scratcher.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:46 AM   #2
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I have exactly the same issue. When turning on the overhead lights, the TV channel disappears. I was told it is cheap, inferior LED lights that cause this problem. I am going to put an old incandescent bulb in the offending light fixture and see if this anomaly goes away!

PS It took a year to figure this out. I thought it had something to do with it getting dark outside, and TV signal getting reduced at night. Nope, it is the overhead light near the TV.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:32 AM   #3
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Yep, its the LED and there are very few manufacturers that design with RFI in mind; only one that I know of and I was the first to ID this, take spectral analysis pictures, send it to them, and they redesigned the product and fixed it.

Its not a ground loop, its extremely wideband RF noise coming out of the LED switching regulators and being radiated both back into the coach wiring, and into the LEDs themselves. It all acts like an antenna. You could find it on the FM radio as well. Really bad installs will actually kill DTV LNBs on the roof. It can be fixed but you need to be reasonably competent with RF to understand whats going on and what to do about it. Having a spectrum analyzer helps allot
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:37 AM   #4
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Please please post the results of your experiment. I switched to LED's as well and while "affordable" they weren't exactly cheap. They seem like quality bulbs. I got the ones that are rated to be used with dimmers due to the flakey voltage at campgrounds.

It also doesn't make sense that it's just the ones on that switch, which isn't even the same circuit at the TV pre-amp.

We'll figure this out !!! I don't think I have any of the bulbs I swapped out still laying around, but in theory, I guess I could just unplug the porch bulb and the reception should come back...

Miles
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Desdinova View Post
Please please post the results of your experiment. I switched to LED's as well and while "affordable" they weren't exactly cheap. They seem like quality bulbs. I got the ones that are rated to be used with dimmers due to the flakey voltage at campgrounds.

It also doesn't make sense that it's just the ones on that switch, which isn't even the same circuit at the TV pre-amp.

We'll figure this out !!! I don't think I have any of the bulbs I swapped out still laying around, but in theory, I guess I could just unplug the porch bulb and the reception should come back...

Miles
reread my post. I added additional info while you were writing this.

I did all the work years ago when LEDs became popular and this was a BIG deal. I posted the pix of what I saw, and a few fixes that didn't involve serious surgery, but as mentioned, did talk to the design engineer and he went after the problem quickly.

Those test pix were posted on RV.NET and I have no idea where they are or if they still exist. I got sick and tired of the trolls, as well as a couple of the moderators and their attitudes.. so I left. Sorry, but you're on your own to find em’
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:57 AM   #6
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Oh geez... I left my Spectrum Analyzer in my other suit.

Can you share your source for RFI shielded LED's ?? I'm imagining the cost right now. :(

I actually am familiar with RFI, but didn't reailize it was an issue with LED's (until now). I've been an electronics nerd most of my life.

I wonder if I can shield the fixtures :(
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:36 AM   #7
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I would just try another high quality LED from a different source.

These companies are good sources.....

http://www.m4products.com/

https://www.superbrightleds.com/

https://www.cabinbright.com/
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:19 AM   #8
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I would just try another high quality LED from a different source.

These companies are good sources.....

M4 LED Products

https://www.superbrightleds.com/

https://www.cabinbright.com/
How do you KNOW they are “high quality”.. because they said so?

I’ve had ceiling mount LED cans at home cause so much interference that none of my remote fans worked anywhere in the house, and my garage door opener and two neighbors didn't work. And these are CREE fixtures.. Top of the line as far as component LEDs. It took me threatening to send my analyzer pics to the FCC before they would even talk to me about their lousy lights. Tens of thousands of these were sold at Home Depot.


See the link below. One of Greg’s design points is RFI suppression with the new stuff

https://rvledlites.com/about/


These aren't “shielded”, they’re suppressed. Theres a big difference.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:16 PM   #9
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Another issue with LED's is high inrush current. Target upgraded their cosmetics display lighting with LED, but the high inrush current trips a lot of breakers in the mornings when they are switched on by energy management. Because they use Square D breakers, this is a bigger problem, they are more sensitive to short circuits and high inrush than other manufactures. Good for safety, bad for nusiance tripping. The standard QOB breaker had to be changed to a "HM" (high magnetic)
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:52 PM   #10
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It would be interesting to wave a probe over the counter and see what it looks like ? If they are on a switcher PS/ regular I suspect it isn't pretty
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:14 AM   #11
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Another dirty little secret about LED, is in commercial fixtures, a lot of the drivers now contain Bluetooth. (The residential wireless controlled fixtures too) It is used to control the fixtures wirelessly, but can also be used to track customers. It tracks the bluetooth on your phone, and sends data back on how long you stand in a certain area. Nothing nefarious.......yet. It's just telling the companies what you are interested in. Eventually there will be monitors that target YOU, with specific ads.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:24 AM   #12
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I have this problem after installing a cheap outdoor LED light. It affects the radio signal not TV signal though. I added some of those magnets that clip on the plug in wires, helps a little.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:46 AM   #13
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It sounds like EMI/RFI issues to me.
You may find rerouting your wires helpful.... the ones you can access anyway. You might also test/replace/move your OTA signal booster. It may not be functional or could be miswired, poorly wired, or routed beside current carrying wires that emit RFI.

There are other, more sophisticated solutions from Ferrite beads to Faraday shields to electrical filters, but going that route is usually cost prohibitive and hit & miss at best.

Maybe use a battery powered LED light while watching TV or maybe watch TV with the lights off!


Stay well.
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillbilly3 View Post
Another dirty little secret about LED, is in commercial fixtures, a lot of the drivers now contain Bluetooth. (The residential wireless controlled fixtures too) It is used to control the fixtures wirelessly, but can also be used to track customers. It tracks the bluetooth on your phone, and sends data back on how long you stand in a certain area. Nothing nefarious.......yet. It's just telling the companies what you are interested in. Eventually there will be monitors that target YOU, with specific ads.
Turn off Bluetooth in settings, it will also make your WIFI work much better with it off.
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