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

Keith Stone

Well-Known Member
I don't think so. AS far as I know it only affects AM radio. If you have a neighbor that listens to talk radio or baseball games he won't like your digital ballast. I haven't seen any that are really shielded yet but it should be possible. My Lumenace and new Lumatek leak RFI. I haven't tested my new Solistek yet. I don't have neighbors but it is still detectable from the road which is not cool.
all it takes is a new radio licensee (happens every day) or an old one who got interested in a new part of the spectrum. if they find RFI interfering with the spectrum they are licensed to use, then they'll come hunting for it.

Also, the cable companies "share" spectrum with the hams. BUT the cable company is supposed to keep it inside the coax. coax is not perfect. when it leaks out and a ham complains...the cable company comes RUNNING to fix the problem. they don't want issues with the FCC (or whatever your country has). Also the power companies also have trucks equipped to sniff out their issues- issues that cause RFI on ham and other frequencies, but their motivation is safety and continuous service generally.

You don't want RFI ever in an urban/suburban environment.

words to the wise.
 

jbrother

Active Member
No warrent is needed. The agreement you signed with the cable co. gives them the right to enter your home. Practically, you can refuse and all they will do is cut off service.
You must have some gestapo companies where you live.

If my cable company tried this I would actually pull out the agreement that clearly states there responsibility ends at the demarcation point. In this case the wall of my home from the wall out. I control and am responsible for ultimately the interior lines of my home. If they were responsible they would not be able to legal charge you to come in and fix and could deny you an expansion of outlets ect ect.

If you live in a shared building this is not always the case but your rights as a renter and against people forcing their way in when you have denied them entry at the door are clear in most states. You cannot invade a home without permission. If you say no he must leave. He is welcome to contact the police and get a warrant but until such time he is still just some shit head in a tool belt with cable truck not a person of authority of your structure. If they had an FCC order they would also have the police with them the second time they come back. They can get one. By then you can shut down the interference. My ballasts do not cast 20-50 feet of interference which is what it would take to even cause an issue here in this building. For years they have not.

you must be mindful of your surroundings if using anything that MAY cause interference on that large a scale. 10 of them together just might do that and I would build a cage to shield that much. I have never even known a person that had a problem with just one of 1000w or less not even a person telling me about a person they knew. The inside of my ballast has a shield plate. I would suggest that it is the line and that is what you should deal with. Shorten the crap out of it.
 

jbrother

Active Member
I have never heard about interference from a digital ballast that could affect a shielded cable wire. That's why the cables have a shield (the braided silver wire under the outer jacket). I think it had to be one of the problems he found inside. I'm an electrician and have never heard off it.
If these people are talking about their CABLE television COAXIAL line it does not have braided anything in it. It is single strand copper no twists it is copper wire. Not like category network cable.

That said.

The coaxial unless the cable company in your are a is super super cheap has some shielding. It has insulator as well. I have worked with the stuff many times and torn away massive amounts of basically tin foil shielding (I think it is actually made from some other than tin) and dense insulation, then the copper. The RG11 has a massive amount of insulation on it and is triple thick standard residential RG6. So I doubt any outside longer run lines are being affected. If it is long haul on the poles it is heavily shielded and fiber-optic most often these days sooooo I would wager you won't affect that anytime soon with your home grow ballast.

If there is an issue it is because stuff is old and worn and should be replaced. I suggest surveying your property and cabling so the cable company doesn't try to come and do it. Replace it yourself so they don't come around. If you own your home you should be doing this already for best signal to your rooms for TV from the cable company considering shit cable basically means work or don't work with all digital that most cable companies are moving over to or have at this point.
 

Warriorbuds

Well-Known Member
Same thing just happened to me....I saw his(cable guys) computer screen and the 12 hours of spike interference when all the neighbors were calling telling them that their internet was not working properly......holy shit! Luckily I caught the cable dude before he located the problem....which he stated he thought was a grow.......IPOWER BALLAST!! DO NOT USE!!!!!!!!!! Went back to lumatek and RF interference is gone! Or not enough to mess with internet! YIKES!

1 600W Ipower digital dimmable ballast caused my whole blocks internet to go wacko, and bring the cable comp to my neighbors back door.....Im in old house....but man guys and gals......BE CAREFUL!! :)
:)
 
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HeartIandhank

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know how Rf Interference works? How I can make sure the problem is solved?

I have 3 galaxys.. I had 2 old mags sitting around so I plugged those in.. I guess I just need to go get some more mags and get rid of these digitals,. fuck.

is there any way to shield the digis? Is there a more precise test than an AM radio? Any advice?
 

dbkick

Well-Known Member
faraday cage/shield.
The police here used to drive around pointing this fucking thing at all the houses. I only assume it was something that detects rfi put out by digital ballasts. Hydrofarm phantoms are the only ones I know of with an fcc listing.
 

Fast50

Well-Known Member
Anyone have this problem off a light timer box?
Sounds like it happens out of wall outlets.


Sure it wasnt a $3-8k handheld IR device? Lol
 

panhead

Well-Known Member
The problem wasnt in your ballasts its a loose ,broken connection in the cable wires , this is nothing new & is a simple fix/precaution.

Before you turn on ballasts check & wrench tighten every cable connection , especially splitters , then wrap a quality electrical tape around all connection points , it only takes a cable being slightly loose to allow RF interference into the system & your whole block is getting loss of premium service .
 

panhead

Well-Known Member
what kind of ballast? just curious

Was your cable line open ended? Mine was a live open connection just sitting next to the ballast. I have a feeling, a completely hooked up and shielded line would not receive as much interference, but thats a guess
Its not a guess its a fact , the only way RF can enter the cable system is to have a loose connection, frayed or bad connection , those cheap screw in replacement connectors vs standard crimp style or as you had an open end of cable wire not connected to anything or capped off .

If people are really freaked out Radio Shack sells RF meters on the cheap & they work well .
 

HeartIandhank

Well-Known Member
The problem wasnt in your ballasts its a loose ,broken connection in the cable wires , this is nothing new & is a simple fix/precaution.

Before you turn on ballasts check & wrench tighten every cable connection , especially splitters , then wrap a quality electrical tape around all connection points , it only takes a cable being slightly loose to allow RF interference into the system & your whole block is getting loss of premium service .
I just remembered,, I had been fucking with my modem a lot lately. so you are saying the only reason that the noise got into the system (and bothered the company) was because the cable (running to the back of my modem) was loose?

Jesus,, if you are right then I am damn glad I talked to you,, I was gonna go buy new ballasts.

I am going to do a little investigating tmrw with an am radio and maybe an RF meter,, just to make sure
 

HeartIandhank

Well-Known Member
I read this,,,

http://audiosystemsgroup.com/SAC0305Ferrites.pdf

It listed light dimmers as a cause of rfi,,, sure enough, my two fan speed adjustors were causing more noise than my 3 digi ballasts were,,, that said, my 3 digi's were causing a lot of noise,

So, I got rid of the speed adjustors,, which were really a key part of my grow,,, also unplugged the digi ballasts,,

damn, now i gotta go by ballasts,,

I would go try and seal connections and everything but i dont wanna risk it,, the noise has stopped and i dont want to start it up again, as long as that noise is stopped i have no problem,,,

the cable guy seemed real cool,,, he was seriously distracted by my dog barking at him for an hour straight (good boy),,, so, no more digi's and no more speed adjustors,
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
You don't have to let the cable repair man in your house and rip your plants up like that, you could have told him to fuck off. It's not the cops with a search warrant....serious overreaction.
 

HeartIandhank

Well-Known Member
Like a previous poster said,. if you think you are running a digi ballast and not throwing out RF, you are so wrong.

After yesterday, I could drive through a neighborhood, snoop from the comfort of my car, and easily spot who grows in the neighborhood, what time there lights come on, and with enough snooping when you harvest..


Mag ballasts are no longer being manufactured,,, buy up those mags folks, throw out your digis and speed adjustors, before the FCC comes knocking on your door

I bought 3 mag ballasts today.. I am going to buy prbly another 8 mag 600s over the next few months.. I want some new ones while they are still for sale.
I'll never use another digi again, even in a legal market.
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Like a previous poster said,. if you think you are running a digi ballast and not throwing out RF, you are so wrong.

After yesterday, I could drive through a neighborhood, snoop from the comfort of my car, and easily spot who grows in the neighborhood, what time there lights come on, and with enough snooping when you harvest..


Mag ballasts are no longer being manufactured,,, buy up those mags folks, throw out your digis and speed adjustors, before the FCC comes knocking on your door

I bought 3 mag ballasts today.. I am going to buy prbly another 8 mag 600s over the next few months.. I want some new ones while they are still for sale.
I'll never use another digi again, even in a legal market.
lol, this is the worst comment I have ever seen on these forums. FCC lol.
 
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