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Old 11-13-2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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noisy radio

Just purchased a 1977 AS and installed radio in provided space and very happy with the sound until I turn on any lights or fans that uses univolt ,then static starts and the more you turn on the static increases. When just using 110volt light no problem.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:40 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new Airstream. Sounds to me that you have a loose or bad ground somewhere in the 12V circuit. Start off by cleaning and tightening the contacts.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
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I have a similar problem that is set off by turning on the vanity lamp.... think this is from the same type ground problem?
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:05 PM   #4
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Check and see if the radio circuit is on the filtered circuts on your univolt.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:44 PM   #5
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Radio Noise

Greetings Binder and welcome. I guess you didn't know, any Airstream built prior to 1980 had a footnote on page 38 of the owners manual stating radio interferance caused by want to hear and see at the same time could occure after sunset!

Actually, you are suffering from a ground fault. The first place to look is at your radio, be sure the unit is grounded to the electrical system or trailer chasis. If it is then you need to start looking around your inverter for a loose ground wire. Best to start first thing in the morning because every wiring job I have taken on lasts all day!
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
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Based on my personal experience, a ground fault is not the big problem. I had the exact same issue when my Univolt was in service. After installing a WFCO converter from bestconverter.com, the problem diminished significantly.

Replace your Univolt.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:00 PM   #7
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I've noticed something kind of similar in my '73...except it isn't static; sometimes, when you turn on a light, the sound disappears completely. Turning off the offending light sometimes makes the sound come back...sometimes I have to "re-boot" the radio. (this is a more modern-day...early 90's car stereo). I say "sound goes away" because the radio doesn't shut off; the lights are all still on. just no sound. I checked and checked and checked the ground, too.

I figured that it probably had to do with a modern solid-state electronic device being fed by a not-so-modern univolt...doesn't like the "quality" of the power its getting...voltage swings, spikes...whatever. I've also noticed that my ac/dc tv, when running on dc, has a tendancy to just shut itself off in response to any voltage dip. gotta have a fully topped-off battery to use it, which, of course, doesn't last long.
Even though the univolt "seems" to be working properly on my trailer (when hooked to shore power, 13.5 volts at the battery whenever I check it), its on my list to replace, just for improved battery maintenance alone. I was hoping it might solve these other "bugs" too, but maybe not.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:02 PM   #8
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a-HA! Tom posted before I could finish my reply: maybe it IS the yoonie-volt.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:35 PM   #9
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You can try this.
If the radio/TV is running off the 12VDC you can put a small .001 ufd 200 vac capacitor across the +12vdc side and ground. If this helps but doesn't fix the problem try a .01 ufd. This type of problem can sometimes be very hard to isolate with out proper equipment.
If you know any ham radio operators they can give you additional tips to filter out the noise and should have the parts you need in their junk box.

Garry
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:36 PM   #10
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Thank Heavens

I have been having this problem since I put in my new stereo. I have been afraid to start looking, it is a relief others have had this same problem. Sounds like time to put in a new converter unit.
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry
...you can put a small .001 ufd 200 vac capacitor across the +12vdc side and ground.
a WHAT?

and you want me to put it WHERE?



seriously...I assume this attaches somehow to the 12v receptical? does it filter "noise", or just voltage spikes?
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:23 PM   #12
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Spikes are really not the issue; old technology is.

Assuming a non-polarized capacitor, a value that small will basically short spikes from the higher potential leg to the other leg. Nothing hazardous mind you.

One can play with caps & chokes all day and perhaps make a difference. Since I apparently prefer to learn the hard way, I did just that with limited success.

Installation of Randy's WFCO converter was the best move I made.

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Old 11-13-2006, 05:46 PM   #13
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A small round capacitor about the size of a dime you can buy them at
Radio Shack not expensive and "may" fix or help the problem .
It shorts the noise (spikes) to ground before it gets into the radio.
A new converter will do a better job but much more expensive.

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Old 11-13-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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I have the original univolt and the original Motorola AM/FM eight track in my '76 and have no static or interference . I would bet on the wiring .
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