Author Topic: Dimmer switches  (Read 680 times)

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Offline JupiterJoe

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Dimmer switches
« on: June 04, 2020, 01:42:09 AM »
Dimmer switches are a pain. I have a couple in the house that throw the H-field into a frenzy. They donít bother the E-probe at all.
I move the H-field away from one switch only to find another switch bothers it.
Is there any way to filter out dimmer switch interference?
How long can the Ethernet cable be in case I have to try moving a longer distance away?
Thank you for any help and advice!
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Offline W0BTU

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:09:09 PM »
Hi Joe,

As I just mentioned in the BT forum, no type of ferrite is useful for eliminating noise below 200 or 300 kHz. Micrometals Corp. type 26 mix powdered-iron beads or cores (perhaps along with some parallel capacitance) placed at the input and output of the dimmer ought to help.

http://www.amidoncorp.com/product_images/specifications/1-32.pdf

Reference question: https://ham.stackexchange.com/questions/10003/need-a-ferrite-suppression-material-for-choking-15-khz-to-60-khz/10004#10004

Amidon is a distributor. I've been meaning to buy some of these myself.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 05:28:52 PM by W0BTU »
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Offline vreihen

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 05:58:58 PM »
How long can the Ethernet cable be in case I have to try moving a longer distance away?

I'm running a 25-foot length "Cat-7 double-shielded STP" patch cable between my H-field (outside) and Blitzortung Blue receiver (inside).  My station (2603) is currently sitting #12 on the BO world-wide "Used" station list, and has been #1 multiple times in the past.  With the proper cable, you're good for at least 25 feet...and probably much more.....
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Offline DaleReid

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 08:42:40 PM »
Joe,
I have three or four in the house and try to not use those lights if I can help it.  I've not found any trial of the various kinds of dimmers to see if some are less noisy than others and I think I made Cutty Sark Sailor guffaw enough that he spilled his, well, Cutty Sark, when I asked if some were better than others.  All are pretty sucky for those sensitive receivers listening for lightning hundreds of miles away.  Of course so are some motors, neighbors' flat screens, and welders down the street at legitimate businesses. 

I happen to live out in the country, and while the majority of the time have control over what is in my wiring and when things are turned on, it still isn't nirvana out here.  I keep telling my wife that we don't usually do any of the mood lighting; when we have company over, we are all old enough to need the full light that bulbs give off.  But I will admit that if I could find a good dimmer setup, with full house control and zero noise, I would go for the Star Trek (Alexa?) voice command to Computer to dim the lights and so on.  Some of the low voltage control circuits in high priced new-home systems are very nice, but I don't know of anyone who has tested them.  The only thing one sees is the FCC approved and I know for sure that isn't even true any more.  A stop light on one of our main drags has a left turn arrow which blinks and sets off my pager and my 2m/440 Kenwood very time I'm within a few hundred yards.  Nothing the city will do about it, of course.

Good luck on the dimmers.  Consider a good old switch in place of them where you can.  Thank goodness Bug Zappers have gone out of fashion.
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Offline W0BTU

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2020, 11:08:42 PM »
The Ethernet cable between the receiver and a switch or router can be up to about 100 meters long. Beyond that, we can begin to drop packets.

https://forum.blitzortung.org/showthread.php?tid=1098&highlight=%22Maximum+length%22
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Offline vreihen

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 07:02:55 AM »
But I will admit that if I could find a good dimmer setup, with full house control and zero noise, I would go for the Star Trek (Alexa?) voice command to Computer to dim the lights and so on.

Ironically, I read a post on a home automation forum in the last week or so from an early Red station owner, commenting on how the new Inovelli Z-Wave dimmer is dead quiet for him:

https://community.hubitat.com/t/request-provide-option-to-specify-ntp-server-to-use-stop-hard-wiring-it-to-pool-ntp-org/13003/58

Quote
dfroula Owner

System Red! It works flawlessly.

I was one of the first few in the US.

Blitzortung/NTP Hardware 3

The Leviton Smart Dimmers throw up loads of 120 Hz interference, but the periodic pulse filters take care of most of it.

The Inovelli is dead quiet! Not a glitch on the 'scope.

Best,

Don

I have three Inovelli no-dimming switches waiting to be installed as soon as COVID-geddon ends so that my electrician-in-law can visit.  I programmed all three, powered by a lamp cord in a loose PVC electrical wall box, and am impressed with their functionality.  Inovelli is a small family-run business, who turns out niche products and truly value customer input and suggestions.

Guess that I should throw in a disclaimer that if you think the weather/PWS hobby is expensive...stay away from home automation!!!!!  :lol:
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Offline dupreezd

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2020, 08:53:13 AM »
Hi Guys, just a few thing to consider regarding Ethernet cables as used and what we are using it for to connect the amp to the controller.

1. The cable between the amp and the controller carries small differential analog voltages and not IP packets which are normally +-2.5v p-p.
2. Cables introduce delay which is approximately 1ns per foot of cable. So, if you have a 300' cable, the controller will see the pulses 300ns later and will time stamp accordingly. I don't know if this is enough to make a difference.
3. According to the Blue build documentation on page 6 :- The H-field pre-amplifier is connected with a shielded twisted pair cable (FTP, STP, S/STP, or S/FTP) to the main board. This cable should not be placed next to the network cable. Please keep a distance of at least 10 cm. The cable may have a length of up to 30 meters.

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Offline JupiterJoe

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 05:35:05 PM »
Thank you very much guys. I ordered a 30 meter shielded cable and am going to try to relocate it to a quieter spot. Right now Iím using a 15 meter shielded cable. I think Iíll be able to find a quieter spot 15 meters further away. Hopefully the extra length doesnít degrade or slow down the signal for TOA accuracy. Itís to specifications though, so we shall see!
If that doesnít work Iíll look into the other options mentioned here.
I appreciate all of your advice and insight. Thank you very much and Iíll keep you posted!

Offline ramblinche81

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2020, 07:07:54 PM »
Regarding dimmers,  how would led lights with digital dimmer switch impact noise ?
July 2020
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Offline vreihen

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Re: Dimmer switches
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2020, 07:25:32 PM »
Regarding dimmers,  how would led lights with digital dimmer switch impact noise ?

My station (2603) is sitting at about #30 in the world for most-used as I write this.  I am testing a just-released Inovelli light/fan Z-Wave switch for a possible RF communication lockup, and have had it running all day programmatically switching between fan modes and cycling the dimmer with two LED bulbs up to 25% and back to 10%.  I'd say that it hasn't had any significant performance impact on my BO receiver.....
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