RF interference. How it really looks. How grows are found.

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CyrusHF

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If posted in wrong forums please move.

OK so someone local to me has decided to set up a grow.
This person is using cheap nasty ballasts from China. They clearly are not true CE spec.

Now I have been out with a small radio and antenna looking for the sorce and so far said grow is not within 500 metres of my home.

I will continue to look for said grow and have a chat once found.

But I wanted to show you all how bad the switchmode ballasts are.
If you don't have to use switchmode ballasts and can get hold of linear (magnetic ballasts) then do so.

You may well have a AM radio and think your RF interference is not that bad but your am radio is not going to show you how bad the harmonics of the RF is on other bands.

In places where growing weed is illegal and the police bust someone the chances are its because they are creating interference on emergency broadcasting frequencys and amateur radio bands.

As you see in the images the sign wave moves and harmonics of harmonics are created.
The thin lines in the images are radio transmissions. The splatter, swerling lines are harmonics created by grow ballasts.

The other thing is the electrical safety aspect. If the makers couldn't be bothered to add some farite rings and magnetic wire to be compliant with the RF emission laws the chances are they don't give a dam if it smokes and burns down your house.

Just because you can't hear the rfi on your AM radio it doesn't mean its not making harmonics else where.

Some of the junk from China kills the VHF radio spectrum too. And as some have mentioned the UHF bands to.

Keep it clean guys. Keep it safe. Don't buy that China junk.
 
Rf interference how it really looks how grows are found
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CyrusHF

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I just wanted to add. I have seen shops selling "RF filter kits" £90 for some farite rings.

Winding one on the power lead and one on the lead to the light. This will help. But it will in no way stop the problem of your grow transmitting RF.

For a start you can't wind it enough times to get the ohms so high the ring can choke off all of the RF. It will remove common mode current but only for a set amount of frequencys.

It's best to just not cheap out in the 1st place.
 
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CyrusHF

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Fuck the police, catch me if you can.
That's just the point. This grow will be found. If its affecting me from more than 500 meters away it will not be long before it affects someone else like a cop who may be passing by.

Once RF interference like this is created and picked up it becomes a big problem. This is on emergency broadcasting frequencys along with military frequencys.

Yes I'm all for fuck the police. But at the same time there is certain things we don't want to affect. Military communication and satellites being one of them.

This post was to give everyone a visual representation of the RF cheap ballasts make.

If the lights was powered by a magnetic (linear) ballast you would see nothing on the spectrum scope.
 
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CyrusHF

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What's the distance between source to reception? 100-200 ft? Does mylar interfere?
At the min that's un known. I know the source is more than 500 metres away from my antennas.
So that just shows its either a really shit ballast or one hell of a farm haha.

The RF on from 24mhz to 500mhz has got stupid this week with the RF giving +70 dB over zero noise floor.

I'm going to say it may not be long before the place it's in burns down.
 
BurnzYzBudZz

BurnzYzBudZz

HOWCan.i.helPYOU?
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That's just the point. This grow will be found. If its affecting me from more than 500 meters away it will not be long before it affects someone else like a cop who may be passing by.

Once RF interference like this is created and picked up it becomes a big problem. This is on emergency broadcasting frequencys along with military frequencys.

Yes I'm all for fuck the police. But at the same time there is certain things we don't want to affect. Military communication and satellites being one of them.

This post was to give everyone a visual representation of the RF cheap ballasts make.

If the lights was powered by a magnetic (linear) ballast you would see nothing on the spectrum scope.
Where are you located, how many plants? If you’re that paranoid, you shouldn’t even grow honestly or you could fork up the cash and buy the ballast you’re talking about. Problem would be solved after that.
 
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CyrusHF

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On another note dimmers can also create massive amounts or RF.
Where are you located, how many plants? If you’re that paranoid, you shouldn’t even grow honestly or you could fork up the cash and buy the ballast you’re talking about. Problem would be solved after that.
I am not paranoid at all. I myself do not create any RF interference with any of my gear.
HOWEVER I am a Amateur Radio Operator and a member of RayNet.
The RF interference I have posted here is someone else local to me that has set up a grow and clearly done it on the cheap.
This topic is to show you and others who may not understand the problems cheap ballasts create and how using a cheap ballast will have you being tracked down due to the noise it is creating.

So the post more for showing everyone the real affects of junk.
I will track down this person because of the RF interference. And I will have a chat with them about how to solve the problem.

However if someone else calls ofcom and they find it before I do then the grower will be in alot of bother if said grower is growing weed and not a banana tree lol.
 
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ritoMox

700
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If posted in wrong forums please move.

OK so someone local to me has decided to set up a grow.
This person is using cheap nasty ballasts from China. They clearly are not true CE spec.

Now I have been out with a small radio and antenna looking for the sorce and so far said grow is not within 500 metres of my home.

I will continue to look for said grow and have a chat once found.

But I wanted to show you all how bad the switchmode ballasts are.
If you don't have to use switchmode ballasts and can get hold of linear (magnetic ballasts) then do so.

You may well have a AM radio and think your RF interference is not that bad but your am radio is not going to show you how bad the harmonics of the RF is on other bands.

In places where growing weed is illegal and the police bust someone the chances are its because they are creating interference on emergency broadcasting frequencys and amateur radio bands.

As you see in the images the sign wave moves and harmonics of harmonics are created.
The thin lines in the images are radio transmissions. The splatter, swerling lines are harmonics created by grow ballasts.

The other thing is the electrical safety aspect. If the makers couldn't be bothered to add some farite rings and magnetic wire to be compliant with the RF emission laws the chances are they don't give a dam if it smokes and burns down your house.

Just because you can't hear the rfi on your AM radio it doesn't mean its not making harmonics else where.

Some of the junk from China kills the VHF radio spectrum too. And as some have mentioned the UHF bands to.

Keep it clean guys. Keep it safe. Don't buy that China junk.
Welcome🤝
Great info!
Edit: Not trying to be a buzz-kill, but let's hope that pro-rippers don't add this to their rippers hand-book!✌️
 
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ritoMox

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This person is using cheap nasty ballasts from China
Must be someone who hasn't decided to switch to LED's.
Edit: That's probably how a lot of indoor grows used to get busted. Not many using ballast-type lights anymore, so pretty much moot.
 
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SylviaLynn

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High electric bills and infrared imaging were also an issue. A grow with the old lights puts out quite a heat signature.
 
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ritoMox

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How is this grow affecting you?
OP is a HAM radio operator and the supposed grow is interfering (causing static) in OP's transmissions and reception. OP really didn't give us enough to know if this even is a grow. For example, does the static occur during certain times every day? If it really is a grow causing the static, then the static should come on and go off in accordance with a timer. Whatever has caused OP to conclude that the static is the result of a grow with noisy lights, OP seems to have made this post in hopes that the grower peruses this forum. OP being a HAM should be able to deduce the size of the grow and its potential location from the radio interference.
 
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CyrusHF

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OP is a HAM radio operator and the supposed grow is interfering (causing static) in OP's transmissions and reception. OP really didn't give us enough to know if this even is a grow. For example, does the static occur during certain times every day? If it really is a grow causing the static, then the static should come on and go off in accordance with a timer. Whatever has caused OP to conclude that the static is the result of a grow with noisy lights, OP seems to have made this post in hopes that the grower peruses this forum. OP being a HAM should be able to deduce the size of the grow and its potential location from the radio interference.

12 hour cycling.

It should also be noted that the light is not the problem. The ballast is where the problems happen.

I would also point out that the older transformer magnetic ballasts don't create problems for any of the radio spectrum. It's new unfiltered ballasts that are switching mode power supplie ballasts that create this noise on the radio spectrum.
Good quality ones will not do this.

When grows get shut down most think that someone has informed the po-po. When in reality if they are giving off radio interference like this one they may as well put a neon sign up on the roof saying illegal weed grown here.

I myself Potter and have no problem with someone doing it on a small or big operation. I'm just showing the reality of how most grows are found.

RF noise is something you can't see (without the correct equipment)and most growers will never know they are highlighting what they are doing.

And yes it would be a lovely thing if the person growing near me seen this topic and cleaned up his harmonics. It could well save me some time in tracking it down. But at the same time it's nice for everyone to understand that if growing is not aloud where you live ,keeping it from creating interference will keep the chances of the grow not being found.
 
ComfortablyNumb

ComfortablyNumb

6,099
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Speak English! I have no idea what amy of this means.
Cheap electronics give off electromagnetic radiation and it can be tracked. That's his point.
That can be easily blocked but most people don't know that or how to do it.

Wrap your grow area in small loop chicken wire and connect it to a good ground and it will absorb the RFI (radiation/interference).
The other, more serious danger is fire. Cheap electronics cause fires.
 
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CyrusHF

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Must be someone who hasn't decided to switch to LED's.
Edit: That's probably how a lot of indoor grows used to get busted. Not many using ballast-type lights anymore, so pretty much moot.
Cheap LED lights will also give rfi like this. Lol a cheap laptop charger from China will also do this kind of mess along with dimmers attached is a image of the noise my own dimmer makes.

Needless to say I don't use the dimmer now lol but it give some idear as to the noise they make.

Each of the solid lines is a harmonic and they just repeat themselves right up the HF and VHF parts of the spectrum. This was a cheap ass one from China.
 
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