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Old 10-26-2011, 11:13 PM   #309
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Start with the grounds. Your camper isn't particularly new and unless you have gone through it in the last few years things may not be grounded as well as you think, maybe not at all. My Airstream has all the ground terminating on the frame. When I rebuilt it I found all the copper ground wires it terrible shape. Make sure the all connections are solid and there isn't any corrosion on the connections.

Make sure that the connections from the terminal block are also solid, in particular the ones going to ground. Ditto for the battery terminals.

I am not sure how old the charger is but the next step is to determine if it is worth it to try to suppress the noise or just replace the whole unit with a new one. Don't do that until you have done all the work on the grounds listed above.

If the manufacturer is worried about a Faraday cage then they probably think that the unit is radiating, they may have seen that when they qualified it. The other possibility is that it is conducting noise through the power system. Note that if the radiated field is primarily magnetic, a Faraday shield won't help.

If the charger case is made out of metal, it may be possible to just get a better ground on it to take care of the Faraday cage. If the case is riveted together, you may want to replace the rivets with self tapping screws and the internal tooth type lock washers. If the rivets are just loose, you may be able to replace the rivets with new ones.

If the case is made out of plastic I would really think about replacing it. Barring that, wrap it first in aluminum foil, if possible use one continuous sheet. Get at least one corner, if not all the way around case to contact the (I assume) metal chassis that everything is mounted to. Then wrap the foil with that thin adhesive metal foil tape used for wrapping ducts, again, try to do it all as one piece. Attach the foil and some of the tape using a washer and a screw to its frame, preferably at the same point that the ground lug is attached.

Don't cover any cooling vents!!! Use a knife to cut out all the vent holes. The holes are pretty small compared to the wavelength of the emitted fields so it won't degrade the performance of it.

Assuming it even has a ground wire other than the 3 prong plug, either replace it or augment the wire with a 1" wire braid and go directly to the frame as close as you can get to it. If you augment it, have both go to the same place unless the original goes directly to a common ground for the power system. If it goes to a common ground, being anal, attach the braid to the frame and then continue it on following the same path the the existing ground wire uses and terminate it there.

When connecting a wire braid to the frame or other surface, first make sure that the connection point is clean metal, no residues, rust, paint, etc. Use a fender washer the will cover the entire braid and then use a screw to hold the whole mess on the frame, self tapping is OK but a nut, bolt, and a internal tooth lock washer are better.

After you have done all that, if you still have noise, it probably isn't radiating out of the case.

Attack the potential of it being conducted. Add ferrite cores on the 120VAC input as close to the enclosure as possible. Assume it is common mode and use several cores directly over the power cable.

Put 0.1uF and 0.01uF capacitors to ground at the terminal lugs where the 12V exits the supply. Also do a pair across the 12V leads. Use 50V capacitors. As close to the capacitors as possible, put another set of ferrite cores, one or more on each 12V lead (lower the impedance of the output and then add resistance to push more noise into the capacitors).

Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:19 PM   #310
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One less expensive thought. You could turn off the charger when you are operating and just use a 13.8V power supply to keep the battery charged and run the interior lights. A 23A or larger radio 13.8VDC supply should do the trick.

I did that once, the night before a VHF contest while at a mountain campsite, the charger died and at the time the lights drew many amps of current.

Just don't leave it powered from the supply, it won't do the charge and float cycles properly.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:42 AM   #311
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k0uxb from Maine

WBCCI does have an active amateur radio club. The club has 5 active nets throughout each day operating on 40m and 20m. Additionally there are several rallies each year. Check out scheduled activities at www.rvsvcnet.wbcci.net/welcome
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:29 AM   #312
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The PD 4560 Power panel and converter is one unit. The Converter is built into the side of the 50 amp power panel. The whole thing is in a plastic case.

So encasing the power converter separately is not a real possibility. All of the ground connections are clean and tight as I just put the PD4560 in about 8 months back.

I an go9ng to work with some shield in the cabinet that the unit si mounted in.

All of the copper braid I have is 1/2" so that will have to work.

Ken
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
The PD 4560 Power panel and converter is one unit. The Converter is built into the side of the 50 amp power panel. The whole thing is in a plastic case.

So encasing the power converter separately is not a real possibility. All of the ground connections are clean and tight as I just put the PD4560 in about 8 months back.

I an go9ng to work with some shield in the cabinet that the unit si mounted in.

All of the copper braid I have is 1/2" so that will have to work.

Ken
Hi, Ken, always glad to see your posts!

Looking to see what you come up with. As I expect our next trailer will want the same 30A to 50A power upgrade for twin air-conditioners as you have done, this "problem" of clean power has been at the back of my mind. (Not a radio amateur at present, but it's a ways down a list that gets longer as I get older).

Great post, Tom Bray. Bookmarked for reference.

What will be mounted in a TT, where it will be mounted (more electronics as time goes on), etc, gives me pause. I find myself collecting examples of wiring schematics, antenna locations (for all devices contemplated, not just transceivers), etc, to try and be systematic. Clean power and best bonding are at the top of the list for the next trailer.

Ross

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:12 PM   #314
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That is their top of the line power distribution panel. Integrated makes things slightly more complex. So much for the ferrite cores on the AC, you can still group a bunch of wires together on the DC side andsee if it helps that way, if you feel up to it.

I have 2 of the intelli-Power supplies / chargers and I haven't had any issues with noise, the fan is a different problem though. They are also metal cases.

Is there a switch to shut off the DC charger power inside the panel? My other idea would still work if you can disable the charger during critical periods and run the DC stuff off of batteries or a separate supply.

The 1/2" braid should be fine.

If you don't have it, the optional ground bar might be worth it too, take the braid to that.

Where is the power panel relative to your antenna and coax? Try to keep them as far apart as possible: noise follows the square law, it drops off by the square of the distance.

You could also try moving the antenna down closer to the ground, like on the rear bumper or near the front hitch. That would get rid of 8 feet of braid that may be acting more as part of the antenna than a ground lead. Yes it will screw up the pattern but this is just a test.

By the way, if the bands are open and you only have an S2 to S3 noise level, the antenna may not be doing all it should be. If the bands are dead, that is a different story.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #315
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Hi, K4TCJ checking in......
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:25 AM   #316
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hi swr would that be a ground or bad mount area ant on front street side ball mount.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:38 AM   #317
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K1mgh

I'm a ham, k1mgh
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:48 PM   #318
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:39 PM   #319
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Hello - WA4P here. Look forward to getting on the HF bands from our 25 FC. Will be looking for antenna suggestions

73, Jim
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:45 PM   #320
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I was really into packet radio, now I have an iPhone.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:53 PM   #321
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Yep, cell phones have really impacted the ham radio waves.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:13 AM   #322
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KI6MVT... got my tech license a number of years ago to communicate with our race committee during sailboat races. Now my handheld is part of our earthquake emergency kit.
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