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two way radio and gfi #21395
02/02/03 04:25 PM
02/02/03 04:25 PM
rpny11080  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
While I was using my two way radio the other day I leaned on the counter in my kitchen. There is a gfi outlet within a foot of where the radio was. When I pressed talk on the radio, the gfi tripped. So, I reset it and tried it again. It tripped again. What could cause this?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: two way radio and gfi #21396
02/02/03 04:44 PM
02/02/03 04:44 PM
maintenanceguy  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 300
Southern NJ, USA
Pretty cool. Maybe you just invented a new GFI tester.

The GFI senses a current imbalance between the hot an neutral wires by measuring any magnetic energy radiating from the wires. If everything's ok, the magnetic field from one wire cancels the field from the other so there is no measurable magnetic field.

I'll bet your transmitter puts out strong enough electromagnetic radiation to be sensed by the GFI.

I'm definately going to try this. What type of radio and what channel were you on?

Re: two way radio and gfi #21397
02/02/03 04:53 PM
02/02/03 04:53 PM
rpny11080  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
I was using a cobra frs radio on channel 12.

Re: two way radio and gfi #21398
02/02/03 05:09 PM
02/02/03 05:09 PM
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
We use Nextel radio's/cell phones and have had similar experiences. With a panel cover off, holding the phone near the panel and pressing the radio button caused every GFI breaker in the panel to trip.

Re: two way radio and gfi #21399
02/02/03 05:11 PM
02/02/03 05:11 PM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
I know you need to be careful with jobsite radios near electronics, I was standing in front of a Energy Management Panel that had LEDs that would blink to let you know the LAN connection was working, that is until I keyed my radio and all lights stopped.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: two way radio and gfi #21400
02/02/03 07:16 PM
02/02/03 07:16 PM
rpny11080  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6
The radio also makes tv screens get fuzzy, computer screens wavy, and speakers buzz when it is in close proximity to these things. I doubt that it is a good idea to bring any kind of two way transmitter near expensive electronics.

Re: two way radio and gfi #21401
02/02/03 08:45 PM
02/02/03 08:45 PM
Mike Wescoatt  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 161
Cedar City, Utah
On all of our GFCI panels we have signs posted that say "Do Not Key Radio Within 5 Feet Of This Panel". One of them we've been having too many trips because of radios so we're going to put it in a RFI shielded enclosure...

Mike Wescoatt
Re: two way radio and gfi #21402
02/03/03 02:37 AM
02/03/03 02:37 AM
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
Wireless phones are generally banned in hospitals--lots of sensitive monitoring equipment (and lives depending on that equipment) around.

The police radios in Philadelphia, PA set off some car alarms as officers drive past while transmitting [Linked Image]

Radios and ordnance don't always go together so well, either.

Re: two way radio and gfi #21403
02/08/03 03:42 PM
02/08/03 03:42 PM
JCooper  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
Kendall Park, NJ USA
The fire department I was on had the same problem with GFI's but with one twist, some of them would actually catch fire and/or smoke. I will have to see if I can find more info but it was a specific manufacturer and batch. It happened in about five or six brand new apartments, all in the same complex and it would only react to one frequency.

Re: two way radio and gfi #21404
02/08/03 11:34 PM
02/08/03 11:34 PM
Scott35  Offline

Broom Pusher and
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,708
Anaheim, CA. USA
Never noticed any GFCI tripping from Radio transmission - but did notice other stuff acting wierd!

When doing site surveys, our two-way FM Radios would cause Lexmark Imapct Printers to do a "Carrage Return" (run to end of line, then line up on next line).
This would occur if radio transmissions were done within 5 feet of the Printer.
Distortion on SVGA Monitors would occur within the same proximity.

As for the Nextel Cell Phones, My i1000 plus will cause interference on many different things - in either the "Direct Connect" radio mode, or in the normal "Phone" mode.

If the unit is within 5 feet of my "Workstation with Audio", you can hear all kinds of pulsed noise.
Pulses of various length occur every few minutes (when there is any refresh of location or such), and just prior to a call coming in, there will be a pulse train of like 10 pulses just before the ringer starts, or the radio alert starts.

Pulses can be seen flying across Monitors also.

Using either function while a VHS tape is playing - and within 10 feet of the VCR, will cause tracking errors and blows out the tape speed tracking functions (SLP slips to SP for about 100 ms).
This also appears to distort the CRT with pulsed interference (when no tape is played).

So far, no other cellular units have caused this interference (other than Motorola / Nextel). Our friends' Nokia Phones have little - if no interference, as compared to the Nextel / Motorola units.

Knowing this - and the past experiences with the Lexmark Printers, I keep away from IT equipment when using the cell phone / radio, and with the two-way radios.

Scott35 S.E.T.

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
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