Radio Interference from motor sparking

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by kettlestack, May 31, 2004.

  1. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    I was surprised that USA model locomotive motors are not fitted with spark suppression capacitors (or inductors) to dramatically reduce radio/television interference. European models are fitted with both or at least were when I had them many years ago.
    I haven't run trains more than a few minutes at a time during the last 2 years but this last week I have been getting all my lokeys to run nicely and my wife asked if I had been running trains as the tv had "snow" on it while I was running them. I've noticed that lokeys with cast wheels (some Athearn and MDC "Climax") tend to spark on the track sometimes so I was thinking of fitting capacitors at 3ft intervals across the tracks.
    I fitted a .01uF ceramic capacitor across the offending motors and that reduced the the noise substantially.
    Have other's had to do this?
    Can motors are unlikely to have this problem (at least not the ones I have).

    Just curious,

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Errol, it don't bother my cable TV and nobody in the states listens to the radio unless they are driving. :D I have heard of some problems with white LEDs burning out from this "noise" and the cure is the same as you used. I put a smiley up there but it really is true. Cable TV doesn't recieve the signal and nobody listens to radio unless they are driving. FRED
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Yup, the only thing that interferes with TV in the US is the blimblammin telephone :D :D :D
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Oh!, it's not just tv, there's the "library hour", and the shower too! :D :D
  5. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    I beg to differ!!
    I have an older Tv in the basement next to the layout workbench and even from three feet away my tv gets staticky every time I run my Sante Fe diesel and my Amtrak i noticed it after a few times then tested to ee if that was the problem and sure enought that is what it was. And contrary to popular beleif some Americans do listen to their radios in the basement, people!!
    So I haven't really got around to doing anything about it since I get good enough reception and such but I am glad somebody else has experienced this PHENOMENON!!
    It just goes to show that..
    One group of people dont speak for the masses and the masses dont speak for one certain group.

    Until then continue modeling and wear you tinfoil helmets to shield us from the government spying in on us from TV satelites. Government conspiricies. HA... LOL

  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Errol, In the USA the rules are not as stringent with respect to generated RF noise from small electrical appliances or household devices. So I guess the mfgs. save 10 cents per loco!! :eek: My microwave will knock out the TV. Sometimes not having the train power pack on the same circuit as the TV will help too. But, with you being the Robber Barron's Resident EE I don't have to explain that :D :D :D :D

    The damnest thing I ever had was one of those "touch lamps". :mad: It would knock out everything, TV, radio, the train layout sound system and my amateur radio station. It now lives in the city dump :thumb: :D :D
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    It is assumed that you as a good model railroader keep the latest issues of all of the model railroad magazines in your "library" so that time spent there will not be "wasted" :D :D :D :D :D
  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Vic, 10 cents for a .01 mfd ceramic cap? Man they seen you coming. :D You should of kept that lamp, it sounds like a electromagnetic pulse weapon that you could of sold to the highest bidder. FRED
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Geeze, so that's why Vic's visitors are advised to wear tin foil undershorts if they want to have kids :D :D :D
  10. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Don't 'fergit Fred, You got to add labor for soldering it on :D :D :D

    I tried everything I knew with that :curse: lamp!!! Even ferrite beads on the cord. I tried to swap it to Saadam for some oil futures :eek: by telling him it was a WMD but he went with gas instead :eek: :D :D
  11. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    ROFLOL :thumb: :thumb: FRED
  12. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Vic, Mikey want's to know which dump the lamp is in .. he thinks it would have a use on his RR missile site especially if it screws up radar sites as well as radio/tv and such.

    chuckling here.

  13. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Sorry Errol, I won't tell. Leave the :curse: thing where it is. 50,000 years from now visitors from another galaxy will dig it up and say " Ah Ha!...This is technology that they destroyed their civilization with". :eek: :D :D
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Or they'll push the button, destroy their space ship, and be forced to settle the planet.

    And the vicouse cycle begins again!

    Hopefully they'll find some trains to play with too :D :D :D
  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    ROFL - Best idea I've heard all week!! - leave it there - I like using my tin foil helmets :) I don't need no satelite jammin' stuff... :) :) I have the antique roof antenna to do that just fine!!! LOL - only 2 of us on the entire street still have 'em stickin' out the roof!! :) :)

    btw - I have my radio near the layout hooked up to it. That way those locos dont interfere with it. :) :) But they used to! :)
  16. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Hi All:

    I have a Walthers locomotive which it's motor interfers with the TV up stairs! Not with my Ham Radio station! I am in the process of rebuilding a 1000 watt amp for my radio. I hope that doesn't start or stop my trains!

    You can catch me on 3.913MHz in the evenings!

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