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Old 09-18-2020, 09:48 AM   #1
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Ceiling light kills TV signal

Many mornings since Covid19, I grab a takeout breakfast at 7 am and spend an hour or so in the AI at the storage yard eating, watching TV, and brewing my second cup of java. The AI is under high cover and I have always switched on the lights. All summer, I have had only garbage or no signal on most of the strong channels that used to come in perfectly in my Classic 19 or my 2014.5 AI. I blamed it on a new two-story building across the way.

I also had trouble pulling in channels in the evening while camping where I had plenty of signal during the day. I was puzzled, but I did not connect it with the use of lights.

This morning, I arrived late, so no lights were needed. I had plenty of channels coming in clear. I happened to turn on the lights and lost the TV channel. Some testing showed that only the ceiling lights affected the TV. Other lights had no effect. With the ceiling lights off, I had all of my former channels. Turn them on and most channels either showed no signal or were breaking up.

I intend to spend some time today with the schematics to try to understand what the connection might be.

My next campout is at Lost Maples and there is not a trace of TV signal there to test.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:59 AM   #2
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Is your tv 12v or 110v? If 12v and a multi-meter shows a drop when the ceiling lights turn on, they may somehow have been wired to the same circuit and you're lossing signal boost. If your tv is 110v or there is no voltage drop, then probably some frequency interference.

But your experience is why I say after 3 years, I still learn something new about my "b" everyday. Well, not everyday, but at least every month.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:10 AM   #3
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We have the same issue in our 27' FC. The lights are 12 v and the TV 110. My assumption is it is some kind of frequency interference from the LED lights. Its sad that Airstream didn't take the care needed to source lights that don't do this. The ceiling fixtures do not have replaceable bulbs either, you would have to find new fixtures. --Frank
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:11 AM   #4
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TV is 120 volts. I suspect either trash from the ceiling lights is getting into the antenna booster through 12v or the ceiling lights might be dragging down the 12v to the booster. Time to get the meter and maybe the scope out.

I'm mostly just curious since I can avoid the problem by simply using other lights now that I know what is happening.
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:49 AM   #5
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Gives you something to do.

Me, I'm waiting for an adapter for the USB input in my Kenwood head unit so I can update the Garmin software and fix our glitchy navigation. It's always something.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:28 PM   #6
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TV signal disrupted by LED lights

In our 2019 FC 25 RBT we had that problem. Same thing on our 2017 Int. 23D.

Sooo....couple months back TV quit receiving any signals. Long story short I replaced the power supply for the antenna booster and guess what. Channel reception restored AND no disruption to the signal when LED ceiling lights turned on. Go figure. Can not explain why. Excellent reception with all ceiling lights on. Even the bathroom vent fan does not disturb the signal. Huh? What? No way to justify or explain. Your results may vary!
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:44 PM   #7
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Are your 12V lights LED? Cuz, (very poorly publicized) most (especially anything that could be called "cheap") LED light bulbs spew Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR) like nobody's business. I changed some halogen bulbs over my breakfast table in the house to LED to save cost, and reduce heat, and basically could not get an over-the-air TV broadcast after that. Had to go back to the halogens.

Not sure whether there is any difference between LED lights running on 12V vs 120V, but I bet this is your problem. The big question is whether it is even possible to buy an LED bulb that doesn't spew EMR.

I installed two different "EMR detector" apps on my iPhone, and both of them seemed more like random number generators than anything useful/effective. Couldn't use either of them to definitively prove that my LED bulbs in the house were the problem, but swapping them back definitely fixed the issue.

good luck!
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:31 PM   #8
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If your LED's are dimmable they are PWM (pulse width modulated). That means the brightness of the LED is a function of how long the 12 VDC is being fed to them. Basically, to dim them the frequency of on & off becomes less and less. LED's do not 'dim' like filament bulbs.

That is a lot of possible interference for the TV signal.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:33 PM   #9
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If your LED's are dimmable they are PWM (pulse width modulated).
They are dimmable 12v, but I run them at full brightness. I have never found it desirable to dim them.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
We have the same issue in our 27' FC. The lights are 12 v and the TV 110. My assumption is it is some kind of frequency interference from the LED lights. Its sad that Airstream didn't take the care needed to source lights that don't do this. The ceiling fixtures do not have replaceable bulbs either, you would have to find new fixtures. --Frank

The voltage regulators and dimmers for LEDs generate radio frequency energy which can interfere with Radio and TV reception. They are supposed to be tested and certified to some limit but the wiring for the lights is close to the TV antenna and it is entirely possible they meet the specifications and still interfere. Noise filters or capacitors on the fixtures or dimmers may help.


Another source of RF noise is the vent fan motors. The front bent fan in my Safari would knock out the TV.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:04 PM   #11
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Ceiling light kills TV signal

A lot of the problem is that many LED lights and dimmers pass the interference specification when the prototype is tested, then the production floor leaves out the filter parts to save money. Very common trick with low cost imported stuff. It drives us ham radio operators nuts.

That said, it may be possible to add ferrite cores, small capacitors and other parts to the circuits to reduce the noise. It takes a lot of technical skill and very expensive test equipment to do a good job on this.

And, before you ask, I don’t have the right test equipment to determine the source of the problem nor the liability insurance to make a wild guess to try to solve an issue. Sorry.

If I blow my own stuff up experimenting I’m safe from the lawyers.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:13 PM   #12
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If I blow my own stuff up experimenting I’m safe from the lawyers.
All lawyers? That's kinda like a superpower.

If I blew my own stuff up, it's not the tort lawyers that I'm afraid of; however, the divorce lawyers are a whole different story!
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:15 PM   #13
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All lawyers? That's kinda like a superpower.



If I blew my own stuff up, it's not the tort lawyers that I'm afraid of; however, the divorce lawyers are a whole different story!


Good point. SWMBO does not care about what I do with the Airstream as long as she’s not aboard if it blows up...or the dogs. Me, not to worry.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
In our 2019 FC 25 RBT we had that problem. Same thing on our 2017 Int. 23D.

Sooo....couple months back TV quit receiving any signals. Long story short I replaced the power supply for the antenna booster and guess what. Channel reception restored AND no disruption to the signal when LED ceiling lights turned on. Go figure. Can not explain why. Excellent reception with all ceiling lights on. Even the bathroom vent fan does not disturb the signal. Huh? What? No way to justify or explain. Your results may vary!
That is very interesting. I have talked to the folks at the mother ship when we were up there. The comment was, that is a problem we used to have. Our 2016 International Serenety 28 foot has always had that problem. Cable or satellite is ok, just the free space signals.
Did the replacement power come separate from the wall plate or is it one unit?
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Old 09-19-2020, 12:26 PM   #15
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Ceiling light kills TV signal

What did you use for an Athens alternative booster supply?
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:10 PM   #16
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I have had this issue since I got my 2018 Interstate, both with the ceiling lights and bathroom fan. Jackson Center replaced the fan but it did not fix it. They did not attempt to do anything about the lights. Last time I was at JC they still did not have a fix for it.

I understand Airstream uses a different brand OTA antenna now. While at JC I asked if this would solve my problem but did not get an answer one way or another.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:05 PM   #17
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I have a 20 23FB FC with the JL audio head unit, with inconsistent but always poor reception. Turning off the OH led lights did make a difference. The signal comes through a Wineguard 360 (?) antenna. Without the boost, I get nothing, so that doesn’t seem to be the root cause.
Sigh. There’s always the $30 portable and an outside chair (with a longneck in hand).
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:56 PM   #18
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It's frequency interference from the LED's. The same kind of interference often happens when people install LED light bulbs in their garage door openers (the remote stops working because of interference). If you can turn off the overhead lights and leave other lights on to solve your reception problems, you're at least ahead of the game there! Out of curiosity, are the overhead lights "bulbs" (vs. strips of diodes). For some reason, the interference seems to only happen with something they put in the bulbs.
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:01 PM   #19
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
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They are dimmable 12v, but I run them at full brightness. I have never found it desirable to dim them.
John I answered the post quickly and didn't realize it was yours until I got back here.

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly how the dimmer works when full on. One would think it would be 100% with no modulation but that's an assumption. We know what an assumption is worth
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