Dealing with RFI….

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by jronnn, Mar 19, 2016.

    Revolution Micro

    Revolution Micro Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    FCC Part 18 certification comes in two versions, Commercial, and Consumer. Consumer is better. Surpise! Commercial gear isn't held to as tight a spec since it's, theoretically, in a factory somewhere not next door to some dude watching Penny Dreadful on TV, or blazing on the Internet or fooling with WiFi. It's an old spec, and probably going to have go away one day. Consumer rated gear is much lower EMI, and Home Depot recently got spanked for not explaining the difference to people who think "commercial" means "heavy duty". It doesn't, it means they cheaped out and used less filtering so they can sell it for for less. Check it out here:

    If you desperately can't sleep, here's the spec from the FCC:;idno=47;cc=ecfr#se47.1.18_1307

    18.305 and 18.307 cover RF Lighting -- note is that Consumer specs are WAY tighter than Commercial specs.


    For lowest EMI, well, take a look at ours of course. Breaks the records for EMI, and Atlantis Hydroponics will have stock in just a few weeks. Galaxy also passes Class B (Consumer) , as does Phantom and I've personally tested them both. They're both nice builds of the standard 100 kHz series-resonant design. My new Deva is a high-tech approach to what the Hortilux Platinum was doing, but Deva is a very different design, more like a synthesizer than a fluorescent light ballasts (which are very similar to classic 100k designs), which is why it's not insanely priced. New tech drives prices down, or is supposed to... Atlantis will have them first, but there are LOTS of them headed your way shortly thereafter.

    BTW -- as much as I like our filters, Phantom, Galaxy, PL and Gavita (the new ones) don't need them. They all test clean enough to pass Consumer. They all will eventually, and I'm glad to see the industry headed the right way without the Pi... er, regulatory authorities getting involved.

    OneHitDone, ganjamystic and jronnn like this.

    jronnn Well-Known Member

    its all making sense now man thank you for taking the time to thoroughly explain that for me i appreciate it!! you sure as hell know how to type up a great read!
    Revolution Micro likes this.

    kiwipaulie Well-Known Member

    Thankfully where I live I don't have to deal with this shit. I can broadcast whatever feq I want!!
    jronnn likes this.

    incogneato420 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for droppin knowledge, I just learned a bunch
    Revolution Micro and jronnn like this.

    FlyLikeAnEagle Well-Known Member

    I bought a Phantom II about a year ago due to this issue cause my Lumateks were lighting up the neighborhood. When I first got it I did the AM radio test and there was virtually no interference, now a year later the Phantom is is putting off enough RFI to block out any AM signal in my house. I've come to the conclusion no digital ballast is safe and have started replacing them all with magnetic ballasts. I've also noticed Hydrofarm no longer mentions anything about RF protection when it comes to the Phantom ballasts.
    jronnn likes this.

    jronnn Well-Known Member

    damn, you only had 1 phantom and only the 1 phantom was running when you checked the AM signal?? did you check to see how it affected the AM signal outside the house?? i was thinking about wrapping the chords in ferrite beads and getting the nanolux rf filter kit here but people said with a phantom ballast i shouldn't even need the filter kit

    ConsciousPanda New Member


    This is my first post on this forum, or on any forum pertaining to the art of growing. I've just recently obtained all the major components for my grow box from my local HTG supply store. I've never grown before. I purchased a 6'" cool tube, Digital GreenHouse 400w digital ballast, and MH & HPS bulbs. I did some research on digital ballasts, and I am now very concerned about this RF interference stuff.

    I've been doing a ton of reading over the last hour or so, and I came across the AM radio test. I plugged in my ballast next to a radio set to a clear AM station, and as soon as i plugged the ballast in, the radio went nuts with noise. My ballast is labeled to operate at 50/60Hz, which I've read is not good for this particular reason.

    Where should I go from here? My box hasn't been outfitted yet, all the parts are sitting in their packaging inside my soon-to-be grow cabinet. I've read about these ferrite core noise suppressors. A pack of them is pretty cheap. Should I continue my build with the products I have and purchase these ferrite clamps and maybe some copper tape for the cords, hoping they do the job, or should I return my ballast/bulbs/cool tube and find different products? Apparently the tube and bulbs can also radiate these frequencies or whatever? I do not want to bring any attention to myself and the LAST thing I want to worry about is causing neighborhood RF interference. I do not want cable guys knocking on my door.

    I've read that using copper tape around the cords between the lamp and ballast can reduce this problem, along with aluminum foil around the cords, and these Ferrite clamps. I also read about building a small faraday cage to house the ballast and cords. I'm not a stupid person, but all the technical details of this stuff flies right over my head. I need to find a way around this problem. I've read magnetic ballasts don't have this issue, but they get very hot and noisy, so I'd like to stay away from them. Any help is so very much appreciated. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by this particular issue at the moment. Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
    Revolution Micro

    Revolution Micro Well-Known Member Rollitup Advertiser

    Check out the top of the thread. There's a lot of good info there. Bottom line is almost any recognizable brand passes these days. The GrowAmp and the Phantom were both very quiet when we tested them.

    bluntmassa1 likes this.

Share This Page