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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Fluorescent fixture creates TV static -- WHY?

    there are devices out that test faulty electronic ballast - GTI makes one I know for sure... test pens and AVO meters. ask an electrician about the latter. good luck! -Fishfool @ The Reef Tank

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Lakeland ,MN

    Default Re: Fluorescent fixture creates TV static -- WHY?

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Cabbage View Post
    The licensed contractor (actually three of them have worked and scratched their heads on this) are all my relatives....and good guys!

    Thanks to all for your ideas, which will be pursued in earnest this weekend. Will let you know what develops.

    The static on the TVs is lines and sound, it fouls up the picture, but only on channels 2, 3,4,5,6,7. Others don't seem affected.

    Thanks again! And if anyone else has a good thought, please post it, I'll be checking regularly.

    PS: TOH is the best program on the tube! I've been a fan for many, many years! Delighted to see the 'Ask TOH' section added. It's fun to see the expensive renovations and the latest building stuff, but more helpful to see the guys working on 'everyday' problems we can all relate to more easily.
    I have had a few noisy ballast in my time I would suggest you check a few of these things below. If does not help replace the ballast you might have a bad one even though it works
    Radio and TV interference is caused by the action of the arc at the lamp electrodes which creates a series of radio waves. This energy may interfere with radio reception and the operation of other communications equipment.

    Types of interference:

    1. Direct radiation from the fluorescent lamp to the aerial circuit.

    2. Line feedback from the lamp/ballast through the power line to the radio.

    3. Direct radiation from the electric supply line to the aerial circuit.

    To correct the first cause, it is recommended that the radio and aerial circuit be separated at least 10 feet from the fluorescent lamp and the radio provided with a positive ground.

    The second and third causes can be corrected in lighting systems that generate objectionable radio interference by additional filtering. Generally this can be accomplished by the addition of an external capacitor-reactor filter It is also desirable for the radio and fluorescent lamp fixture to be provided with a supply voltage from separate branch circuits.

    Electronic ballasts which operate the lamp at high frequency may also affect the operation of infrared, powerline carrier and communications equipment. There may be no correction possible for some of these interference problems so care must be taken when specifying a lighting installation.

    The slight hum present in fluorescent lighting installation originates from vibration caused by the inherent magnetic action in the core & coil assembly of the ballasts. There are three possible ways this sound may be amplified:

    1. Method of mounting the ballast in the fixture.

    2. Loose parts in the fixture.

    3. Ceilings, walls, floors and furniture.

    The choice of fluorescent lamp ballasts should be made on the basis of selecting the one rated quietest for a specific location. Ballasts are assigned a sound rating, Class A through F, based on the amount of noise produced. Because electronic ballasts lack vibrating parts, and have higher operating frequencies, they generally produce less noise and achieve a lower sound rating.

    To make the best selection, the application needs must be considered. It is obvious that consideration of ballast sound is more important in a boardroom than in a busy store. See chart for assistance in selecting the proper sound rated ballast.

    For any installation In:
    Average Ambient Noise Level Of Interior:
    Sound Level Rating*

    TV or Radio Station, Library, Reception or Reading Room, Church, School Study Hall

    Residence, Quiet Office, Night School Classroom

    General Office Area, Commercial Building, Storeroom

    Manufacturing Facility, Retail Store, Noisy Office

    *These sound ratings are based on measurements of Average Ambient noise levels during conditions of normal occupancy. Audible ballast hum may appear amplified during exceptionally quiet periods and at times when area is unoccupied

    Note: In planning a lighting installation, careful consideration must be given to the selection of the ballast, the lighting fixture and the room components in the early planning stages to ensure the quietest lighting installation possible.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Fluorescent fixture creates TV static -- WHY?

    OP: I hope you have solved your problem by now. I have the exact same problem except I have cable. After much investigation I decided the interference is through the air. Mine, also, was not an issue until new lights were installed. It seems the newer, "better" ballasts are causing this. The exact ballast you had in your original light is likely no longer made. You probably received the current equivalent.

    Previous posters: thanks for the suggestions I will try installing the filters and hopefully they will work. I will let you know.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Fluorescent fixture creates TV static -- WHY?

    I'm wondering if the ballast isn't quite an exact replacement but is actually designed for T-8 (1" dia.) tubes instead of T-12 (1-1/2" dia.), or maybe even T-5 (5/8" dia.). I don't know if mismatched tubes can cause this problem, but you should check the label of the ballast to see what type of tubes it requires. If you aren't using the proper tubes, try it with proper ones.

    That's just a stab in the dark. (Sorry for the pun.)
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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