Radio Frequency Interference
There can be a few reasons as to why Communications equipment cause interference to other communications or digital equipment as well as to why radio communications equipment receive interference.
Symptom: For instance, the most common type of interference being caused to Televisions by Communications equipment. Different types of lines on the TV also indicate different types of interference. One main reason of interference is the distance between the your transmitting aerial system and the television reception aerial.
Cure: One cure can be to place a 'high-pass' filter in series with the television co-axial cable going into the television. I wont go into detail but the arrangement of Capacitors and inductors in the filter pass higher frequencies while attenuating lower frequency signals.
Symptom: Audio equipment interference, such as HI-FI systems.
Cure: Capacitors used to pass only audio frequencies but not allowing higher frequencies to pass wired into the audio system.
Cars are also a breeding ground for
interference, but not generated by the CB or radio equipment onboard but
received by it instead. The car ignition system generates noise co-inciding with
the engine rpm because of the high voltages switching to fire the spark plugs in
the engine. Alternator whine is another typical and annoying interference into
the CB equipment. Again capacitors can be used to suppress alternator whine.
If you have problems with engine noise in a mobile installation, there are several things you can do to reduce or eliminate the problem.
Make sure you've completely installed your
CB and the antenna is grounded properly. Check the amount of noise with and
without the antenna connected. If the noise is greater when the antenna is
connected, the source is probably the ignition system. If the noise remains
unchanged after disconnecting the antenna, the source is probably in the CB's
For ignition noise, there are several parts
of the vehicle that can act like RF noise transmitters if not properly
grounded. Check (and connect to ground on the chassis/frame, if necessary) the
engine block, hood, muffler, and exhaust pipe.
Ignition noise can be further reduced by
installing "magnetic suppression" spark plug cables. (These are significantly
more expensive than normal spark plug cables.)
For power supply noise, check if you have a
capacitor attached to your ignition coil, alternator, and distributor. These
can act as filters right at the source of the noise.
Ensure that your antenna feedline and power
lines are as far as possible from any of the noise sources mentioned above,
especially the engine block.
A shielded power cable can help as well. Make sure it is of sufficient guage to handle your radio's power consumption and that the shielding has a good, strong connection to ground on the vehicle chassis or frame.
Of course, the best performance can be obtained from a more expensive radio with better noise suppression circuits. These measures, however, will improve the engine noise levels for nearly any mobile radio.
Engine management systems can also cause interference because of their high switching rates in digital logic. However, engine management systems are also very susceptible to interference from radio transmitters but rarely fail to operate properly as a result. Avionics (Aviation electronics such as auto-pilot, and landing systems) do however suffer seriously from interference from digital equipment. Avionic systems are very sensitive.
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