Early Christmas and Smoked GFCIs

Ham Radios Technical radio questions

Greetings all from Northern Kalifornistan! Santa came a little early to my house in the form of an amp and auto-tuner, courtesy of Black Friday at HRO Oakland! My nephew Josh (KM6JCL) is an electrician so he came over to get the 220v circuit installed right. Once installed we plugged in the amp, configured the auto-tuner, and spooled up the amp. Puts out a very nice 1.2kw but on 20 and 40M it smoked about a half dozen GFCI outlets in the bathrooms and kitchen as well as broadcast my QSO through the TV! Time for a mess of modern GFCI outlets and a bunch of Ferrite! If anyone has recommendations for specific GFCIs they have used, I’m all ears.

Hope everyone’s Turkey Day was spectacular! Now get back to work!



11 thoughts on “Early Christmas and Smoked GFCIs

    1. Mornin’ Rodger- It’s a dipole that is hung on the highest point of the the house – the chimney and extends north and south to trees beyond the house at both ends. All good grounds and Dish network satellite. Only does it on the TV in the family room – the bedroom TV is unaffected. 20M is the worst but 40M also has a little picture distortion. I will report back once the GFCIs are replaced and some ferrite is in place. I ordered a load of them this morning from Amazon.

      1. I used ferrite on the data cable going into my receivers and it did the trick….not sure on the GFCI’s never heard of that happening….pretty bizar voltage spike from keying up then releasing the amp?

  1. I thought so too, but a quick check at eHam and the Googlez seems to validate that antique (pre-2003) GFCI outlets can have issues with RF. Soooo I’ll be off to the Home Debit or Blowes to round up 20 new outlets…

  2. Yeah probably a few hundo anyways. Got a mess of ferrites in the mail yesterday but haven’t gotten to the Depot yet – hell I haven’t even lit my radios since Monday. This “work” thing is getting in my way dammit!

  3. I have heard about 2003 and earlier GFCI outlets doing this but I think it is actually later than this. Some others say anything ten years old or older need to be replaced to avoid RF tripping GFCI outlets. I am not sure of a good brand but I always look at the country of origin when purchasing anything as I am not a fan of “Hecho en China.”

  4. UPDATE!! Replaced all 21 GFCI outlets, added some Ferrite to the HDMI cord to the TV and voila – no more noise (squawking from the GF) from the TVs with full power on 20M.

  5. I had a similar problem. It didn’t smoke anything but it caused my garage door to open and close on keying. I put in a low pass filter on my rig and it was fixed.

Leave a Reply