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Local Bad RF Noise Source

 
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
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Local Bad RF Noise Source


Hey guys,

Yesterday I was setting up some wireless window sensors and
was having trouble after learning them in, could not get proper
response unless I was very close to the receiver. My thoughts
were that I may have had a bad receiver, so I ordered another.

Today I got a call from the customer asking if anything I did
would have effected the garage door remotes. He further explained
that the remotes would only work when it was within 2 feet of the
actual opener. I said there is NO corelation but, just to be sure
I had him power down the system by removing AC/DC so it was not powered.

There was no change in the remotes to open the OH door from a distance.
I suggested he relearn the remotes into the opener and or call
the manufacture of the opener. (Linear LD050) He called back
and said he was told by Mfg. that there was a large RF Noise
source locally and he would need a Spectrum Analyzer to determine
where it was located.

Since then he has determined that a next door neighbor has the same
problem with his remotes. Also, another close neighbor had just left
for two weeks to Europe yesterday. And that another 3 houses away,
the remotes worked just fine.

Suspicion is that the vacationing neighbor turned on something upon
leaving that is causing this RF Dead Zone.

The reason I am posting here is to ask if anyone else has experienced
this kind of issue?? And/or what household device could there be
that would create this problem??

Or does anyone have any hints how to find something that is putting
out invisible STUFF?? It would be a lot easier if it would if it
emitted a green ooze.

Thanks for any input!!

Les
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


If it's really broad-spectrum noise, you may have some luck with a cheap portable AM radio tuned to an open frequency. Their antennas are pretty directional.

Won't give pinpoint accuracy, but at the right distance from multiple points, should give a general indication of the area it's coming from.

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Old 09-25-2018, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
If it's really broad-spectrum noise, you may have some luck with a cheap portable AM radio tuned to an open frequency. Their antennas are pretty directional.

Won't give pinpoint accuracy, but at the right distance from multiple points, should give a general indication of the area it's coming from.
Thanks Tin,

I already asked if he (customer) had a portable AM radio to which
he asked can I use the one in my car?? LOL NO!!

I don't know if I even have a AM radio any more (that works)

Not sure what freq the Door Opener remotes work on but the
wireless transmitter that I was using on on 319.5mHz.

AM radio is 540 to 1600 kHz so would it even hear anything on
the mHz range??

Les
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:45 PM   #4
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABLE1 View Post
AM radio is 540 to 1600 kHz so would it even hear anything on the mHz range??
That's why I qualified my remarks with "broad spectrum". If it's truly noise as opposed to a strong carrier in the 300 MHz range, there should be stray subharmonics in the AM band. No way to know without trying it.

Too bad you didn't run into this 15 years ago; that's when I sold my spectrum analyzer.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:52 PM   #5
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
Too bad you didn't run into this 15 years ago; that's when I sold my spectrum analyzer.
I have been asking around. So far nobody has one.

15 years ago I don't think I was installing wireless stuff.

Well maybe, but not much.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


Customer called this morning and said that his remotes now work ok.
Don't know and will never know what caused the problem for two days.

Life goes on..............................
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


I was going to suggest seeing if there was a local ham radio club and if anyone would be interested in searching for a stray RF problem. The American Radio Relay League has a book for sale to amateur radio operators or the public entitled "The RFI Handbook".

Glad it solved itself.

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Old 09-26-2018, 06:42 PM   #8
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Re: Local Bad RF Noise Source


Yup!!
Had a call in to a friend that is a HAM operator.

He called me back today about an hour after my customer
called and said all was good.

He was very interested until I told him it went away.

I think he was a little saddened..........

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