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Old 11-17-2019, 11:21 AM   #1
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Solar panels and interference w/ ham radio

I have been using 2 panels of 100W ea as portables on the ground with no problems, and now I want to mount them on my 5er roof permanently. I have a screwdriver antenna and of course other antennas up top. Have any of you experienced interference to ham radio, TV, sound systems, etc?
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Old 11-17-2019, 12:51 PM   #2
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The panels themselves shouldn't cause any interference. The controller might if it is located close to your antenna.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:02 PM   #3
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The panels themselves shouldn't cause any interference. The controller might if it is located close to your antenna.
Thanks for your help. The controller is in the front storage area next to the batteries. It's been in that location all along, when the panels were on the ground. No problems then.
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Old 11-17-2019, 01:39 PM   #4
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No problem. You are good to go, the panels do not produce any RF.
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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Unless the run of wires to the panels is shielded, I'd haul the radio outside, stick a wire in the antenna jack and put the wire near the controller. Actually, I'd do it either way. If the wiring is not shielded I'd consider buying some ferrite beads and putting them on the solar panel wires at the controller for good measure, especially if you're thinking about running higher power HF.

What bands are you looking to run?

If you're looking to buy yourself a Christmas gift, check this out: https://www.amazon.com/RF-Explorer-W...=5748416080301

50 KHz to 960 MHz for under $200: https://j3.rf-explorer.com/menu-the-...s-50khz-960mhz

I have both the older non-slim model and the 6G Combo model.

Ray
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Old 11-17-2019, 03:51 PM   #6
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Curious, why would he need shielded wires from the panels to controller?
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Old 11-17-2019, 04:55 PM   #7
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Curious, why would he need shielded wires from the panels to controller?
NXR is probably concerned about my radio sending voltage through my solar wiring down to the controller and damaging it. I can check for RF prior to connecting to the controller. I can transmit 100W, and I can be anywhere from 6 meters to 20 meters.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:13 PM   #8
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Thanks tinkerreknit, that could be possible.
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Old 11-17-2019, 05:57 PM   #9
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NXR is probably concerned about my radio sending voltage through my solar wiring down to the controller and damaging it. I can check for RF prior to connecting to the controller. I can transmit 100W, and I can be anywhere from 6 meters to 20 meters.
Yup, both ways, actually. If the controller is generating low level broadband noise it could send it up the new solar panel wiring where the wiring would act as an antenna and give him a noise problem he did not have before.

That assumes that the new wiring actually would be longer than the current portable panels, of course.

I actually just put my Xeigu X108G 15-watt HF radio and the SuperAntenna in the motorhome today for our winter trip. This is our first time so I'm not sure how well it will work out in an RV park. I'll probably bring the CW key along because that should work better with low power. This setup actually worked pretty well on 40 and 20 during Field Day.

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Old 11-18-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
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Our family has camped with solar and operated HF without any problems. We have a 470W system (2x235W panels) and use a Morningstar Tristar MPPT controller charging 4 6-volt golf cart batteries. Our camping radio is a Kenwood TS-480SAT feeding a dipole antenna. We ran 100 watts and operated 15, 17, 20 and 40m bands. I am very happy with our setup as it's been both reliable and quiet.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:38 PM   #11
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Ham Radio and Solar Panels

Solar panels output up to 21V DC , DC or direct currant does not cause interference because there is no sine wave or pulsing.

There are 2 basic types of solar controllers: SHUNT and a type of Pulse Width Modulation .

SHUNT controllers are a linear system that does not create pulses to interfere
Other types will use pulsed (digital) as part of their regulating circuits and can generator very strong signals at multiples of the regulators operating frequency, say 50,000 hertz to 100,000 hertz and many multiples higher therefore causing SEVERE noisy inference for long distances at certain radio frequencies.

High Frequency communications, 1-30 megahertz and maybe 50 megahertz can be affected especially by cheap battery chargers and non shunt type regulators.

VHF, UHF and above will not be affected so to say ďham radioĒ a person has to be more specific, HF, VHF or UHF ??

A generous application of Low Frequency Ferrite cores to block electro magnetic interference often works.

My Sunseeker with 60 watt solar panel on the roof and controller near the house batteries has NO interference from 1 to 450 Mhz. Have fun ......
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:57 PM   #12
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I have had very good luck with a MPPT control. The bead advise is good. I would try to see what changed and see if the noise goes away night. 73
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:06 PM   #13
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I have had no issue with solar and rfi. work hf/vhf/uhf a lot of it is boon docking.
N2IWU/Colorado
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Old 11-19-2019, 06:06 PM   #14
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Thanks guys, for the feedback! It's reassuring. I had read some stuff about interference and was concerned. I really like my panels on the ground so that I can chase the sun and tilt and turn often. But it is a handful getting the panels out, connecting them, and securing them with padlocks. I won't be anywhere near as efficient with them mounted on top. I might even get a 3rd panel, later on, to keep as a portable. I still have a ways to go to find time to mount the panels and test things out.
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