Now this is strange. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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Now this is strange.

We have a small HD Flat screen TV in our camping trailer with a new HD TV antenna on the roof. When everything is working the picture and sound quality is fantastic and depending on location we get an amazing amount of HD television broadcast stations.

Now here is where it gets "strange". From time to time we go from a perfect TV signal and many stations to a statement "on screen" that states "signal strength low" and no picture or sound. Then one night we discovered something very strange. If we turned off our LED lights the signal returned! We tried it both ways and every time we turned off the LED lights the signal returned 100%.

Any technical wizard out there that can explain that to me.
Note if we are at a campground with a cable TV connection the LED lights have no effect on the TV's ability to product a clear picture and sound. This strange loss of signal only happens when we are tuned to an over the air broadcast signal.....strange....very strange!
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:13 AM   #2
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Possible a power converter that is on its last legs?

I had a highly respected FG trailer builder suggest to me that the reason my LED lights have an annoying flicker when plugged into 110 vs a good solid light when not plugged in & running off the battery was my old converter was telling me it was on its way out......
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:17 AM   #3
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Just googled and found that the electronics in the LEDs can interfere with TV signal. Google it. I believe solutions were identified.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:31 AM   #4
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Not all LED lights are created equal. Some have what is called "switching regulators" so they maintain constant light output if 12 volt system voltage varies. These switching regulators can produce rf which will interfere other rf devices. Two things come to mind.
The FCC controls rf emissions(rf being transmitted) and have something to say about susceptibility (transmitted rf being received and causing problems)
1. The amount or strength of the rf emissions from the LED regulators is higher than allowed.
OR
2. The television is more susceptible than it should be.
OR
Both.

Now what can you do?
Look for LEDs that don't have regulators and replace with them.
Attempt to get another television that is less susceptible.

There's more than one path that rf can get into an electronic device. One is through the power line. Easy to test with a second batter to isolate the power between the LEDs and the television. There are ways to fix that. If the interference is coming through the air it's a lot harder to fix.
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Old 10-28-2015, 12:11 PM   #5
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Very interesting thread as i m considering led and a tv
Can i ask what size tv are you using
Where and approx cost
Also can you provide some installation pic ( i know this is off topic)


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Old 10-28-2015, 12:39 PM   #6
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So far the repose have been educational.
My plan is to use the TV with the LED lights off....problem not solved but avoided.
I can only assume most travel trailers work like mine...lights on 12 volt system.
My TV works off the 120 volt system. The antenna is a factory system and has a signal booster built in. Electronics in travel trailers are very confusing as they work their magic in both the 12 volt world and the 120 volt. The 12 volt system works the water pump and ignites the propane system in the refrigerator if not on AC power...this all thru that magic converter box that controls the system.

Byron shed a lot of light (no pun intended) on the subject in regard to the
"rf factor and TV signals". I also learned all about LED bulbs...prior to these posts all I knew was that they burn less electric when Boondocking and they cost more than they should !

Our world has become more and more complex. My early years were prior to the existence of television...I can remember the first family on our street to have a television...they got popular real fast...now most folks need help figuring out how to operate the remotes for the direct TV and the television set .....and then there is the HDMI 1, HDMI 2, component 1 and component 2 plugs in the back of that HDTV...I forgot the SVideo plug...there is even an antenna plug, video plug and two audio plugs...one white and one red.

Now I want a Ultra HDTV and discovered they will be introduced in 4 or 5 phases...it will never end!!!

Alan H asks about TV size, brand and cost. The one I got for the Trailer was a Black Friday special two years ago at Walmart....19 inch screen, 720i (whatever that means), full HD...lots of plugs in back....only $97.... Great sound and picture ....perfect size for trailer. ?..still trying to figure out how to work the remote! LED bulbs via Amazon...bought a dozen after I tried one bulb I purchased at local RV shop for about weeks pay...Amazon was much cheaper. I did discover that like HDTVs all LED bulbs seem to be made in China....everything seems to be made in China ! (Except for travel trailers...USA and Canada seem to have that well in hand.)

Happy (high tech) Camping!!!
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Old 10-28-2015, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
.
I can only assume most travel trailers work like mine...lights on 12 volt system.
My TV works off the 120 volt system. The antenna is a factory system and has a signal booster built in.
Your built in antenna's booster is also most probable running off the 12 volt system. The factory install one on my trailer is/was 12 volt powered. Which is in part the bases for my questioning the status of your converter.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:29 PM   #8
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When purchasing LED lights if you don't know if there's a switching regulator or not look for an FCC Part 15 compliance mark. If you don't find one you takes your chances. This also goes for the television.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:45 PM   #9
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My travel trailer is retired for the long winter season. I will have the converter checked in the spring. I am inclined to feel the problem is from rf interference caused by the LED bulbs but you never know. Testing the converter in the 15 year old trailer will be the first order of business before any camping trip in the spring. I also plan on changing out the battery for a new one and move up from a group 24 size to a group 29 after I do some research on the subject of deep cycle RV batteries ( wet cell vs. AGM ) ???
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
My travel trailer is retired for the long winter season. I will have the converter checked in the spring. I am inclined to feel the problem is from rf interference caused by the LED bulbs but you never know. Testing the converter in the 15 year old trailer will be the first order of business before any camping trip in the spring. I also plan on changing out the battery for a new one and move up from a group 24 size to a group 29 after I do some research on the subject of deep cycle RV batteries ( wet cell vs. AGM ) ???
Hi: Uplander... Your new battery will undoubtedly be made in China too!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:18 PM   #11
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In the LED world, I believe the item referred to as a switching regulator is most commonly called a 'driver'. There are 'buck drivers' which will reduce voltage to a certain desired level, and 'boost drivers' which will raise voltage to a desired level, and of course there are 'buck-boost drivers' which do both (and cost the most money to the mfr, thus they are not used on cheaper, low-end LEDs). One may also encounter lights with no driver; these are called 'direct drive.' In the LEDs which interfere with RF signals, you may well be dealing with a buck driver, which usually reduces the voltage by means of 'pulse width modulation' (PWM for short). PWM does its job of maintaining desired voltage by very rapidly turning the light on and off, and cheaper drivers will do this at a lower frequency (producing somewhat visible flicker in the light) while more expensive drivers will maintain high enough on-off frequency to keep the flicker unnoticeable. So, as you can imagine, the radio frequency produced is directly the result of the PWM switching frequency.

Of course, this is mostly academic. Your LED product packaging is unlikely to tell you much about actual PWM frequency or what type of driver (if any) is included in the circuitry.
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:24 PM   #12
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These days switchers, circuits that can produce RF noise, are in everything. An AM radio makes an excellent RF noise source indicator if placed in close proximity. You'll be amazed at how many RF transmitters you have in your trailer and your home. Raz
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
My travel trailer is retired for the long winter season. I will have the converter checked in the spring. I am inclined to feel the problem is from rf interference caused by the LED bulbs but you never know. Testing the converter in the 15 year old trailer will be the first order of business before any camping trip in the spring. I also plan on changing out the battery for a new one and move up from a group 24 size to a group 29 after I do some research on the subject of deep cycle RV batteries ( wet cell vs. AGM ) ???
An easy way to see if it is the converter or just LED interference while the trailer is parked for the winter is to not plug the trailer in but turn on the LED lights and the antenna booster and run power to the trailer that you can plug just the TV directly into. If it happens while using an independent power source for the TV then you know its LED interference.
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Old 10-28-2015, 06:50 PM   #14
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If the cause is the LEDs then an easy fix is to wrap each LED bulb in aluminum foil. That will prevent any electromagnetic radiation from leaking out and causing problems for the TV.

(To those of you scratching your heads right now, sorry.. I could not resist the joke).
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