WARNING! Digital/ Electronic ballasts can get you busted! The A.M. radio test!

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by ATL HYDRO, Dec 23, 2011.

    Bob Zmuda

    Bob Zmuda Well-Known Member

    After much research I've found out that Phantom ballasts come with a CSA certified RF blocker built into each ballast. They aren't even that pricey. Ordering several tonight. :)

    driel Well-Known Member

    so is it the cord that causes the interference? I have an apollo digital ballast and was thinking of getting another for growing some veggies in my house.

    ButchyBoy Well-Known Member

    Yes. The cord between the ballast and light acts as an antenna radiating the harmful signal. I hardly doubt any of the people around you are having issues because of your ballast unless someone has a two-way radio set up next door. The only things in my house that are effected are my radios. I have to be within 100 feet or so before my vehicle radio picks it up.
    joey green

    joey green Member

    i bought two used lumatek ballast and they caused RF problems bringing the cable company to my home due to neighbor complaints, since i didn't have cable i unhooked all my loose wires and capped all the ends to everything in my house and voila my problem went away. since i didn't need those lights jus yet i unhooked them, waiting for when the next batch of girls to veg. well sure enough i go to power them up for showtime 2 weeks ago and bam! instantly my netflix stops loading FML the problem was not resolved, so i bit the bullet coughed up money and grabbed 2 nanolux filters, and guess what.... these fuckers still aren't doing the job, they definitely help, netflix is running but i now have bad pixelation which tells me my internet is still slower then during lights off also file uploads are noticeable slower.
    I doubt its strong enough to affect the neighbors now but what about me o_O

    does anyone understand faraday cages? im thinking to build a box with 30 gauge venting duct metal and cover the top with chicken wire since i got no copper money. is this legit? would it work?
    should i put metal mesh around the wire from ballast to hood instead? im soooo fucking lost now and im a programmer so i need my internet running as fast as possible.

    Cyrus420 Well-Known Member

    I cannot find any solid evidence to back this idea up. A lot of personal users and radio user blogs claiming cops are busting people using AM radios but two problems:

    Lot's of things can cause radio interference, I heavily doubt anyone is triangulating your grow op from some radio buzz.

    Not one of these articles can provide a relevant link that shows anyone being arrested for growing who was found through radio frequency.

    Many of these articles are emotionally written and seem to come from a state of pure paranoia. Cover you bases, lock up your grow, don't tell no one, and you'll be safe.

    This RF Wave thing is nothing to be scared of and for the majority of us nothing to worry about. A little bit of internet research makes this clear.

    Junebud! Well-Known Member

    I'll tell yah something else,
    Make sure your electric sockets are grounded. I had one that wasn't grounded and the light worked fine... but as soon as it came on it knocked out my signal to my dish network and my neighbors, I had to run the wiring from plug all the way to the breaker box to find it, and it was a loose ground on another plug in receptacle. Fixed it and problem was gone.

    So make sure your wiring is grounded.
    WeedFreak78 likes this.
    Michael Huntherz

    Michael Huntherz Well-Known Member

    You grow weed, you are a programmer, but you're broke? Teh fuck? You don't have enough money to buy copper and you can't find "DIY Faraday Cage" on the internet? - You're doing life wrong. Wait, so am I.

    The problem, if any, is your electrical service, not the ballasts.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016

    WeedFreak78 Well-Known Member

    Make sure your electrical system is right, like was said before, check your ground side of everything...EVERYTHING. ..start at the main, check earth ground, then all circuits. It's usually not the ballasts, per se, but how they interact with 100+ yrs old AC household systems that weren't built with high frequency, high draw advanced electronics. My roommate had issues with his saltwater tank lights, also.

    I have a metal garage I was getting serious interference when I ran my welder or plasma cutter. Same thing, high current RF. I happened to find some bad grounds on a couple outlets, once I redid those I noticed there was no more interference, and I actually get a radio signal in there now.

    Move wires and coax away from ballasts. I had a coax within 5ft of a ballast and every time the light came on I lost cable on that line.

    If that doesn't work, wrap your ballasts and wiring with some rf blocker.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    Michael Huntherz likes this.

    antimatt3r Well-Known Member

    dam i gotta reef tank and 4 thousands zomg, na my house was built in the 30s and i have no interference

    kachiga Well-Known Member

    Thanks for info, wonder if this effects it because it's close to the wires?
    joey green

    joey green Member

    lol im just starting to grow dude still working on my setup, hence the rookie problems, and im not commercial i grow for myself so no stacks of cash under my floors, also im just finishing school for programming so ya broke as fuck and unemployed, i aint buying copper if i dont need copper. so i figured id ask if my diy idea was legit.
    @WeedFreak78 thanks for the info, your aware of my electrical situation so maybe that is the prob... gotta investigate
    Michael Huntherz likes this.
    Michael Huntherz

    Michael Huntherz Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I am a bear before coffee. I think it is something with your sevice-ground, not the ballasts themselves.
    I am broke too, also a computer programmer and growing, so I was very tongue in cheek about that, internally.

    chronicals77 Well-Known Member

    I read the first couple pages of this post and wanted to add something. First I want to appologize if this was already mentioned somewhere in the many other threads on this post, like I said I only read the first couple pages. That said, its much easier and much more dependable to just get a KII Meter. Yes the same KII Meter we Paranormal Investigators use to find, and or communicate with spirits. Long before Paranormal became so big and before KII were adapted to Investigations these devices were made for home owners to locate high EMF's and RF's. Electromagnetic Field's and Radio Frequencies. This device detects both. They are about $60 but that is well worth staying out of jail, losing your home, and grow equipment. Ballasts emit both EMF's and RF's. All electronics and electrical wiring emit EMF's, but the device is for detecting dangerous levels. Yes too high of EMF's can be very hazardous to your health. It can cause many symtoms, and long term exposure can cause cancer. The dangers, the safe levels, and the meters themselves can be easily googled. Just wanted to add that, may make it easier for people that wish to know this info. You can also detect spirits if you know what your doing! Lol. Heads up, just because the meter lights up doesnt mean theres spirits present. Takes much more knowledge and experience than that.

    sepp99 Active Member

    my digital ballast knocks my dsl offline for a few minutes on startup. sometimes i have to unplug the modem to reset it. the ballast is on a separate dedicated circuit but only 5 feet from my desk. wavy patterns on my computer monitor as well. they go away after a few minutes after startup. i'll change it out because it happens at the worse times like in the middle of good porn. lol. it must travel through electrical lines easily.

    as for the guy at the door, don't answer it. he'll go away. personally i'd go outside and yell at him. say you work nights and he woke you up. one time is enough, leave a note. let him know you are the boss and no he can't come in your house, absolutely not. ask for some id too.

    one time in the middle of the night the fire department pulls up sirens blaring, lights etc at 3am they start sawing concrete in the business parking lot next door 20 feet from my crop. wtf? i decided to not bother them and went back to bed. however if it was the cable company i would've chewed their ass from here to Chicago.
    joey green

    joey green Member

    lol i hear ya, prob was i affected hundreds of homes and businesses in my area, no internet for a 12hr window, eventually things would escalate to higher authority's and then i got problems... i picked up 2 nanolux filters and they got internet working in my home but i still feed noise back to the grid and knocked out everyone else's. last resort i had to switch to magnetic and now im good, no problems. so in closing FUCK LUMATEK.
    camaro630hp likes this.

    chronicals77 Well-Known Member

    I could be wrong but I don't think digital ballasts are any more energy efficient than magnetic and magnetic do just fine. Digital ballasts have the luxury of diming and running various wattages but I don't personally think the limited benefits out weigh the risk associated with digital ballasts.
    Revolution Micro

    Revolution Micro Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    Sorry I missed this, but as an electronic engineer who designs ballasts I can say this:

    1. Faraday cage = bad idea. Expensive, hard to do well, not typically effective if DIY.
    2. Radiated EMI is usually worse than Conducted.
    3. I cooked up thge AM Radio check in an article a while back, and it helps, but isn't definitive.

    We've tested most of the major brands in the lab (certified, FCC approved lab) and they are all either passing or getting close. The GrowAmp is quiet, as is the Phantom and of course ours. You've got little to worry about with major brands these days.

    You read more on FightEMI.com, but don't buy the filter. Yeah, I know, I make it, but it's flat-out not required unless you are running real junk. The better grade hardware is pretty quiet these days.

    Hope that helps!
    Krippled and ISK like this.

    bluntmassa1 Well-Known Member

    They ain't much more energy efficient but I have never had any issues with my internet or nothing haven't tried the am radio test but my WiFi works great.

    They are a little better all around though less heat, more light, little less power consumption.

    Krippled Well-Known Member

    My cable box, tv, radio and cable wire are less than 3 feet away from my ballast... I never get interference of any kind....

    Feisty1UR Well-Known Member

    So glad I stumbled upon this, thank you OP. I was soon to be buying the digital ballast for the dimming setting, plus they run cooler than magnetic ballasts. Seemed like a good deal. Thanks for informing me and everyone else! Life saver!

    Which brand ballast did you buy? it may be that specific ballast that has those issues. Perhaps your area? I'll probably go with the older magnetic ballasts just in case anyway

    Much love :bigjoint::peace:

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