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Old 12-26-2013, 10:55 PM
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Default HID Headlight Interference

I'm getting a lot of interference from the HID headlights on my truck, has anybody else ran into this problem and if so is there anything to combat this. I purchase the Procomm noise filter switch box in hopes that is would help and it does but when its in use my reception is horrible. I was testing it out with a buddy of mine and we couldn't here each other until we were about 500ft apart and even then it wasn't that good. I've read a few things around on the net and there doesn't seem to be a positive solution. Common things I've read are wrapping the ballasts with aluminum foil and using ferrite beads on the power supply lines. And yes before you ask I have run my power directly to the battery and everything is properly grounded. I'm running the Uniden 980 for a radio. My antennas at the moment are Cobra mag mounts, and maybe that's a source of my problems, they are soon to be changed to mounted Firefly's. Maybe some of the HAM's could chime in on this, there's got be somebody running HID's with HAM radios. Give me your thoughts.

I will apologize ahead of time if there has already been a thread started on this, I did some searching and didn't find much.
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Old 12-27-2013, 12:36 AM
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I've got a few questions for you that might help point some clues to some stuff.

What is the vehicle? Running co-phased antennas? Where are the antenna(s) mounted currently? Factory or aftermaket HID's?
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Old 12-27-2013, 7:59 AM
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Pull the coax off the radio and see if your noise goes away, then you will know if its coming through the antenna or power lead. That will give you an idea of where to start next.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:19 AM
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Hello NCOV:
Yeah what sdeeter1955 said, that's a good call, the first step in trouble shooting the interference problem. Removing the antenna connector and seeing if the noise goes away this verifies the noise is coming thru in thru the antenna, meaning the HID lights are emitting some sort of RF Noise.

If so then like you said ferrite beads, or ferrite snap on cores from Radio Shack could be tried. A phone call the HID manufacture might also help. Possibility of grounding the Ballast and adding a bypass capacitor to the input of the HID Ballast???

I didn't know what HID lights were so I looked it up, see the attached web site, here it says it uses a ARC to start the HID Lights, is it possible that the start function is always operating?

High-intensity discharge lamp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Please let us know what all you find out.

Thanks a million

Jay in the Mojave
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Old 12-27-2013, 1:15 PM
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2009 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Diesel, they are after market lights. I run both antennas into a Tee at the filter ( they were Tee'd at the radio before the filter came along) the antennas are currently stuck to the bulkhead on the bed, like I said these will switched out for better antennas and they will be on a Co-Phase cable and a permanent mount rather than mag mounts.

I will defiantly run that test, I didn't think about doing that before. I managed to find a great deal on ferrite beads on amazon, 10 each in 2 different sizes, $15 for the lot.

I run the HIDs in both my Low beams and my floods, the low beams are auto on the truck and the floods I have a switch for, if they are turned off no interference, turn on the lows i get a little bit and then turn on the floods and it doubles. So because of this I have to turn my squelch way up and at the same time if I check my SWR its out of wack, I can't remember the numbers but between 1-20-40 its 3 or higher and thats with the SWR set correctly with the lights off.



Oh and I need to change my profile picture, I no longer have the vehicle.
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Old 12-27-2013, 1:29 PM
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Off topic, but you did use the correct coax to connect your antennas? When cophased, it requires different coax than for a single antenna...in case you didn't know that.

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Old 12-27-2013, 1:46 PM
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When I install my new antennas I will be getting a factory made co-phase, the mag mounts are cheap, coax is molded into the antenna base and probably have crap coax, which could be part of my problem.
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Old 12-27-2013, 2:16 PM
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Okay I just checked and its defiantly on the antenna side, just disconnected the antennas and no interference shows on the SRF with the lights on. I just had a thought I don't know if its going to be relevant or not, but I'm going to test it with just my jumper that runs into my filter and see if its just a coax thing in general.
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Old 12-27-2013, 3:01 PM
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I posted this same issue in another thread a few months ago. I was not able to get much help.

HID lights produce a tremendous amount of RF. Isolating or containing this RF can be a challenge.

I first started by putting a few ferret chokes on the high voltage output from the ballast. This helped but was not the results that I had wished for.

The next thing that I tried was using copper wrapping and wrapped the entire HID system in copper. Each line separately of course. I then grounded one end of those wraps individually. If you try this method be sure that only one side is grounded. If there is more than one ground on each line then you will have defeated the purpose of trying to isolate the RF. I then shrink wrapped those lines, wrapped them with hockey tape and the plasti-dip. I have pretty low noise now.
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Old 12-27-2013, 3:35 PM
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It could be a minor ground issue (not the truck, Duramaxes are some of the best grounded vehicles I've seen) due to the mag mounts on the bases. It's not that it's bad coax, it's just the wrong coax. What the radio wants is a 50 ohm impedance. So we use 50 ohm feedline to our 50 ohm matched antennas. However, throw in another antenna and you have to change your feedline. What would be a perfect match to run twin 50 ohm antennas would be 72 ohm feedline but 75 ohm is close enough so we use that and T it into the 50 ohm going to the radio. For it to work right, you need 75 ohm from the antennas (RG-59) to the T and then 50 ohm (RG-58 ) to The radio. Feedline lengths and antenna separation are also extremely important.

Try removing the T and just running one antenna and see what happens.

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:32 PM
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Yea I tried that when I was checking things and still the same.
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Old 12-28-2013, 5:22 PM
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Friend had the exact same problem in 2 of his vehicles. His only solution was to get rid those lights and substitute different ones.
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Old 12-29-2013, 8:57 AM
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Hello NorthCoVideo, Nate: All EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) problems all have the same basic things, such as there is a Generator of EMI, a Path, and a Receiver. Some common sense from the books on EMI and such.

Wanting to know more about the HID Light Interference problems I looked it up on Google, I typed "HID Light Interference", and got a bunch sites that discuss this problem. One of these things you got to do your home work on digging it out of the wood work.

After reading some on this, I would add Ferrite Cores over the Ballast Wiring, shield the Ballast Output Wiring, place a few .01 uF and even a 2200 uF at 50 VDC Capacitors at the input of the Ballast. And again grounding the Ballast if possible. And Again calling the Manufacture.

The only other thing I might suggest is shielding the HID Light it self, by putting small magnet wire around the light several raps over the light assembly and terminating the magnet wire to ground. The magnet wire will act as a shield, and not restrict the light going out.

Jay in the Mojave

Last edited by JayMojave; 12-29-2013 at 10:55 AM.. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:09 AM
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In addition: If the magnet wire is wrapped around the light assembly in such a manner to form a cage, with all the magnet wires connected at the back, forming a having the magnet wraps closed or shorted, shield that would significantly reduce the lights arcing rf energy being transmitted out in the air. And of course being grounded were all the magnet wire is connected together. Might be a good call.

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Old 01-02-2014, 7:21 PM
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Someone suggested these on Cherokee Forum. I was reading the faq and this thread popped up in my mind.
http://olympusoffroad.3dcartstores.c...air_p_161.html

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Old 01-07-2014, 7:01 PM
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I would love to go to LEDs, but I'm probably gonna wait unit my HIDs give up, I've to much money in them right now.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:08 PM
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Default HID Headlight Interference

My jeep is still running the oem sealed 5x7 lamps from 1999…I figured I'd get the h4 housings and go straight to the leds.


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Old 01-08-2014, 10:54 PM
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Now from all the high powered LED headlights I have looked at, they all have some kinda a box that comes with them that just so happens to look exactly like an HID ballast. The ballast is what was throwing off all the interference, my low beam ballasts are 55w slim and you can hear them buzz. I was doing some testing with a buddy of mine last night and our trucks were about 20ft apart and he even got interference from my HIDs on his radio.

So today I said the hell with it and I put regular bulbs back in, I would rather be able to communicate than have cool interference bombs. I still have the HIDs in my fogs, but they are different ballasts. So with a little testing tonight I sit at little to no db and with my fogs on its a .5 db depending on channel. Now with my low beams on it was terrible 5 or high db.

Something for you to ponder.

In our testing last night we found that Ford diesel trucks have a fatal flaw and this goes for anybody transmitting over 10 watts on any radio system, so listen up if you don't know this. While my buddies truck was running if he keyed his mic it would kill it. We tried everything we could think of to find the problem, now for the twist, we would try it on our other buddies truck, same year same motor and it was just fine it would not kill it. So after some research tonight I found that a lot of people were having this problem because of the ICP or injection control pressure sensor. Come to find out if you have changed this sensor and bought a new sensor on the cheap you will have interference problems with the cheap aftermarket sensors, whereas the the OEM factory sensors are in a sense shielded from interference. There horror stories of guys getting to close to TV broadcast towers and getting stuck in a field because their truck will not start and they have to get towed out.

I'm rambling now.

So the moral of the story or this thread is HIDs and radio equipment DO NOT mix.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:23 PM
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I love going to Houston...I spend most of my time up in West Texas and really only the oil field guys drive Fords (not to make this a Ford bash or anything). So much fun keying up next to other people's F-series trucks (the newer ones are getting better on the shielding) and turning random lights on and stalling them out on the highway momentarily. The simple things that make a ham chuckle...
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:49 AM
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Not sure if it's all HID's or just cheap'o aftermarket ones from China... I have a 2013 Ford F-150 FX4 with OEM HID's and I have ZERO issues with my Kenwood TM-D710, Kenwood TS-480HX, and Uniden BCD996XT scanners... We also have a 2012 Dodge Charger RT Max AWD with a Kenwood TM-D710 installed and no issues there either; again with OEM HID lights.

For what it's worth, a friend of mine has a 2009 Ford F-150 that he put aftermarket, yes, el-cheap'o HID's in and he cannot even use his 800MHz. portable for the fire department when the truck is running; that started immediately following the HID install. When the weather breaks, he's going back to Sylvania SilverStar traditional headlamps.

Good luck finding your noise issue; I suspect they'll be lots of grounding should you decide to keep the aftermarket HID's AND still play radio.
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