Interference from a washer?

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CelticRavenVA

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So like I guess many new licensed people I have been carrying my radios everywhere. When I came in today, I set my radio on top of my clothes washer, (after several passes though the room and already heard the static.) On closer inspection, even while the washer isn't running and powered off, I move a radio tuned to 145.x or 146.x near it and I get interference. I'm not listing the brand currently, but will discuss brand if people have seen a common problem here.
 

mmckenna

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Modern washers have some pretty sophisticated controls. Not unheard of for them to be noise generators. Even with the washer not actively running, the control board still is powered and is waiting for button presses.

A good test would be to unplug it and see if the noise goes away.

All of this is covered under Part 15 for "unintentional radiators". Many non-radio electronic devices, like computers, will have a Part 15 notification buried somewhere in the manual. It'll say something to the effect that the unit cannot cause harmful interference and must be able to handle interference without causing improper operation. It'll also say something to the effect that if it does, move the devices farther apart.

The receiver in your amateur radio probably has a part 15 certification also.

Solution is to move them farther apart. If it's a big issue, complain to the manufacturer. Or, look for someone who's had this issue before and can give you some pointers on how to address this. I'm lucky enough that my early 90's washer/dryer set is still going strong with occasional repairs. The electro/mechanical timers don't usually generate any noises.

If you want to see some real headaches, search on amateur radio operators getting interference from LED light bulb and flat screen TV sets.
 

SteveC0625

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So like I guess many new licensed people I have been carrying my radios everywhere. When I came in today, I set my radio on top of my clothes washer, (after several passes though the room and already heard the static.) On closer inspection, even while the washer isn't running and powered off, I move a radio tuned to 145.x or 146.x near it and I get interference. I'm not listing the brand currently, but will discuss brand if people have seen a common problem here.
It might be more enlightening to know the brand of radios that you are carrying. Some are much more prone to this kind of interference.
 

dlwtrunked

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It might be more enlightening to know the brand of radios that you are carrying. Some are much more prone to this kind of interference.
And since he can move the scanner but not the washer, we do not know if it is something else about that location that is the problem. That is likely the case since the washer being off/on made no difference. What type of electrical lighting is nearby? Is a digital controller to save on electrical costs installed for the water heater? (My lasted one day before I uninstalled it myself when the power company said it would take a week). I am skeptical that it is actually the washer.
 
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TheSpaceMann

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Lots of complaints about LED lamps lately. I heard of a case where an air conditioner was causing RFI, and it had something to do with the lamp circuit!
 

jwt873

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Yes, the control board/CPU usually runs even though there is no wash cycle going. That can cause noise.

I have a new (1 year old) CPU controlled clothes washer. It replaced my ancient one that used a clock mechanism to turn a series of cams that controlled mechanical switches that activated the cycles.

I guess I've been lucky and haven't heard any RF noise from it.
 

n0nhp

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It most likely has a switching power supply for the digital controls that is running whether the power switch (if like my newer Maytag has a "soft" switch) is on or not.
I have not noticed any noise from mine that is just opposite the wall from my shack, but I also don't use any indoor antennas.

Bruce
 

popnokick

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Have had multiple scanners for years, and washing machine prior to the one I have now was Whirlpool. The Whirlpool had electronic controls, but never produced RFI on any of my scanners.... until about its last year of life. Suddenly, I was getting strong carriers and pulsing RFI in the 145 range, and also in the VHF Low band around 37 mHz. Within a year the washer died a gruesome death.... it began making loud grinding noises, and finally all of the motor's transmission fluid leaked out the bottom. Replaced it with an LG; no RFI so far.
 

wb9syk

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Washing machine rfi

I have a maytag neptune and that emits alot of RFI. I have the wife
unplug when not being used!!
 
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