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RFI from Air-X Wind Gen

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by Richard Cassano, Oct 6, 2004.

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  1. I have a new Air-X Marine wind generator installed aboard a sailboat. The
    unit is mounted on a ten foot pole and is wired as per the instruction
    manual directly to the 630 amp hour battery bank. All works great. the wind
    generator is putting out plenty of charge, however, the RFI/EMI picked up by
    the SSB radio, (Icom M-802) is extreme. The RFI noise is across all bands
    and makes the radio unusable. I can shut off the Air-X with the optional
    switch but I was wondering if anyone can confirm that this is a common
    experience with other owners of the Air-X Marine wind generator. If so, I
    will not look further for a solution. If I am the only one with this problem
    than I can assume the RFI is a result of some defect in the electronics. One
    Note: the backstay antenna is about five feet away from the wind generator.
  2. Jack Erbes

    Jack Erbes Guest

    Richard Cassano wrote:

    Are there any ferrite loops on any of the wiring involved? Like on the
    output leads from the charger, the power leads to the radio, and the
    speaker leads on the radio?
  3. Jack Painter

    Jack Painter Guest

    Hi Richard,

    Good point. But before you try adding RF chokes, take a portable AM radio
    tuned to any non-bcst frequency (that detects the interference) and see how
    far away it is detectable. If you pick it up several feet away, that wind
    generator is a real incidental radiator and no amount of chokes could ever
    help. But that would be at odds with claims the manufacturer makes for
    similar Air-X equipment.

    Perhaps your Air-Marine instructions did not have these comments (pg 45) on:

    Radio Interference
    #29 What effect does radio interference have on my AIR-X?
    The internal circuitry of the AIR-X is shielded and filtered to prevent
    radio interference,
    and has been tested to insure electro-magnetic compatibility.
    #30 What effect does my AIR have on radio transmissions?
    The AIR-X normally does not affect radio transmitters. Care should be taken,
    however, to route power lines from the AIR-X away from the power and antenna
    of a radio transmitter. An old ham radio operator's trick is to twist
    positive and
    negative wires together to provide an even distribution of EMF noise across
    wires, which serves to cancel out the electrical noise created. This
    technique can be
    used on the AIR-X power lines, on the radio's power lines, and on
    transmission wires.
    Transmission lines should always be kept as far from power lines as is
    possible. Proper grounding of the AIR-X and other system components must
    also be
    #31 Will it affect the regulation of my AIR-X to install an RF (radio
    frequency) filter?
    An RF filter should not affect the regulation of the AIR-X, but any
    electronic devices
    placed in line with the turbine must be rated for the proper current and
    voltage. It is
    best to place any line filters on the power lines for the load device
    (transmitter) that
    requires it, and as close to the device as possible.
    Contact the manufacturer if your unit is a real radiator, they should
    replace it.
    Best regards,

    Jack Painter
    Virginia Beach VA
  4. Better to stop the RFI at the source, than trying to keep it out of the
    radio. Install a "Quality" alternator noise filter as close to the
    alternator as possible. Numar makes some good ones. Install noise
    filters on all your DC motors. ( Refer, domestic water pump, ect)
    Ferrite Filters are nice for filtering poorly designed Marine Electronics
    devices, but they just don't have the capabilities for filtering MAJOR
    noise sources.

    Bruce in alaska
  5. Ed Price

    Ed Price Guest

    I assume that statement refers to the product being tested to AS / NZS
    4251.1 for EMI. Is that what the manufacturer claims? Does the manufacturer
    market this product with a "C-Tick" marking, declaring compliance with the
    Australian Framework requirements? If so, then what does the manufacturer
    have to say about your specific interference problem (since that shouldn't
    be happening if their product really is compliant).

  6. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I spent a couple of weeks at sea on an Air-X equipped sailboat this year,
    and I don't recall any problems with RFI. It also was mounted on it's own
    mast on the quarter and the SSB antenna was in the back stay. I have no idea
    what the other details of the installation were.
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