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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 04-06-2012, 6:16 PM
Livewire3286's Avatar
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Default HID Lights Interfering with signal?

First, sorry if this is the wrong forum, I went through and just couldnt find a good place for this. Im sure one of the mods can move it if there is a better place for this question.

Recently I changed out my headlights for HID Ballasts and lights. Now I find that all radio signals coming into the car are distorted. Scanner gets weak, and staticy. At first I thought maybe it was drawing more juice and taking away from everything, - BUT my FD issued portable has the same issue. So I dont think just moving and getting a different car antenna would fix, any thought?
Brian Baldwin
Broadcaster - Grays Harbor Washington
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:44 PM
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Location: Brookville, IN USA
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It's very likely that the HIDs are causing interference. I know of multiple people on another forum that bought cheap Chinese HIDs and they actually cause their trucks to run rough and sometimes even shut down (this is all in conjunction with certain performance chips installed).
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Old 04-07-2012, 1:34 AM
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Location: WTVLCA01DS0
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HID's use high voltage to power the light. To convert DC voltages up to a higher voltage, you either have to turn it into AC via an inverter, or you have to use a switching circuit to basically do the same thing.

This method, if not done right, can and will create a lot of RF noise. Improper shielding, poor design, etc will all make this worse.

I'd bet you coffee and a donut that if you take the HID lights off and put the standard lamps back in, all your problems will go away, well at least the radio problems.

You could also try moving your power feed to your radios away from the HID ballasts, and make sure your radios are fed directly off the battery, and not another circuit somewhere. These noise issues are one of the reasons why installers will always make a direct run to the battery and pull power from there.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:02 PM
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There was a bit of discussion on an off-road racing forum about noise in the radios and intercoms after HID installs. The consensus was that HIDs are prone to causing RF with the cheap chinese units being quite a bit worse than the more expensive systems.
73 de W6KRU - Dan

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Old 04-07-2012, 2:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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Yup - definitely. I can sit in my driveway and listen to CHP dispatch at night with running lights on - the second I hit my HIDs it will drop the signal. My driveway is in a fringe location signal wise due to surrounding topography so it shows the issue well.
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