业余无线电 2019-06-26 09:11:45

















Charles Dillenbeck







Buzz Kill: Could LED Street Lights Drown Out Ham Radio Signals?

By Peg Quann | Bucks County Courier Times

BG5WKP朱轶 编译

When he decided to become a ham radio operator, Charles Dillenbeck, of Bristol Township, went all out for his new hobby.

当来自Bristol Township的Charles Dillenbeck决定成为一名火腿时,他就为他的爱好投入了大量的行头。

He purchased the Cadillac of radios — an $8,000 model that allows him to chat for a few hours every night with amateur radio enthusiasts around the world. Five antennae surround his house.


Then one night this spring, the static he normally heard on different frequencies became much louder, so loud he could barely hear the the people with whom he was chatting.


"I can get rid of the noise (by turning down the volume), but then I wouldn't hear anything at all," he explained.


A few days later, as Dillenbeck — a Navy veteran and retired commercial heating and refrigeration engineer — stared out a window in his home trying to figure out the problem, the street light came on. Immediately, the static started again. Was it the light, he wondered.


It turns out Bristol Township installed a new LED fixture in the light in front of his house as part of its plan to replace incandescent street lights with cost-saving LED bulbs.

按照Bristol Township的计划,用节约成本的LED灯泡替换白炽灯路灯,他的房子前面被安装了一盏新的LED路灯。

"The old lights didn't interfere at all," Dillenbeck said. He talked with another ham radio enthusiast who lives in the township who also had the same problem. He used a "noise finder" piece of equipment to test other street lights. The same static occurred, he said.


The electronics in the new lights appeared to be causing the static.


A recent report supports his theory. LED lights and other electronic equipment are creating more radio frequency interference for the more than 725,000 amateur — or ham — radio operators in the United States, according to the report issued in June by the American Radio Relay League, a national association for amateur radio users.


And the problem could affect emergency communication centers, because LED lighting is gaining popularity since the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required more energy efficient lighting equipment. National Public Safety Telecommunications Council statistics show that LED lights, which can use 75 percent less energy and last 35 to 50 percent longer than incandescent bulbs, are expected to account for 52 percent of lighting used commercially by 2021.


In Bucks County, several municipalities — including Doylestown and Doylestown Township, Falls, Lower Makefield, Lower Southampton, Middletown Morrisville, Quakertown, Upper Southampton and Warminster — are using them.


A NPSTC survey in January 2015 was sent to governmental and commercial entities that use radio communications — such as county emergency call centers, fire departments, state transportation departments and telecommunication companies. Of the 76 agencies that responded, 21 reported RF interference.


"While cases of interference to communications from energy-efficient lighting is not yet at epidemic proportions, NPSTC believes additional attention should be paid to the issue," the report said. "NPSTC expects the instances of interference to expand going forward as building codes and interests in saving energy further increase the pressure to deploy energy-efficient lighting."


In both Bucks and Montgomery counties, radio frequency interference from LED lights hasn't been an issue with county emergency communications, officials said.

Bucks 和Montgomery 县,县应急通信的无线电频率LED灯干扰就没有问题,官员说。

"We have not had any reports of that whatsoever," said Audrey Kenny, director of emergency communications for Bucks County.

Bucks县的应急通讯局长Audrey Kenny说“我们没有接受到任何干扰报告”

In Montgomery County, spokeswoman Jessica Willingham said that while the county's Department of Public Safety "isn't aware of any issues on either county or municipal levels, MCPDS is aware of the (concern) and will be monitoring any reports of interference."

在Montgomery县的公共安全部门发言人Jessica Willingham说,这在县和郡层级并不担心发生任何事件,MCPDS关注到这个问题,将继续对报告的干扰进行监测。

She said LED lighting primarily affects radio transmission in the 300 megahertz bandwidth range and is most pronounced in lower range frequency measurements where ham radios operate. County emergency communication systems operate at higher bandwidths, about 600 to 700 MHz, she said.

她说LED照明主要影响在300兆赫带宽范围内的无线电传输,在业余无线电通联操作的较低的频率范围测量最为明显。县应急通信系统运行在更高的带宽,约600至700 MHz,她说。

Tony Cuttone, president of the Warminster Amateur Radio Club and a Bristol Township resident, said he hasn't heard of any issues with LED street lights but has heard of issues with lights used to grow plants indoors.

Tony Cuttone,沃敏斯特市业余无线电爱好者俱乐部的主席、也是布里斯托尔镇的居民表示,他没有听说过任何与LED路灯的问题,倒是听说过在室内种植植物用灯的问题。

The ARRL's Mike Gruber agreed, saying that in states where marijuana growing has been legal, ham operators complained of the RF interference from grow lights — high intensity lights, some LED, used to grow pot and other plants indoors.

ARRL的 Mike Gruber对此表示同意,他说在有些州,大麻种植都是法律允许,无线电爱好者抱怨的射频干扰来自生长灯——这些高强度灯用于在室内种植大麻和其他植物。

Gruber, an electro-magnetic combatability engineer, said radio reception is affected by a variety of electronic devices, and LED lights can be a source of the static because, unlike incandescent lights, they have electronic parts.


The issue of interference with ham radio communications isn't just a nuisance but is breaking FCC laws, Dillenbeck said.


The Federal Communications Commission has regulations that require the operator of devices that interfere with amateur radio communications to alleviate the problem, said Will Wiquist, an FCC spokesman, but the regulations are not as stringent as they are for public safety communications.

联邦通信委员会规定要求干扰业余无线电通信的设备的所有人要改善干扰的问题,联邦通讯委员会的一位发言人Will Wiquist表示,但对于此类监管不像对公共安全通信那么严格。

"With respect to the interference that the amateur may be experiencing, municipalities should rectify any problems relating to interference within a reasonable time if the interference is caused by faulty equipment owned or operated by the municipality," Wiquist said. "Under our rules, the LED lights would typically be classified as an intentional radiator. These devices intentionally generate radio-frequency energy as part of their normal intended operation. The rules mandate, however, that such devices must not cause harmful interference. If and when interference does occur, the burden falls on the device operator to correct it."


Dillenbeck called PECO Energy and the Bristol Township administration to see what could be done to stop the static that prevents him from using his radio after dark. He said the problem doesn't occur on rainy nights, so he wonders if the rain affects the light.

Dillenbeck 呼吁PECO能源以及Bristol Township 政府可以做些什么来阻止天黑后噪音干扰,阻止他使用他的电台。他说,这个问题不会发生在下雨的夜晚,所以他想知道是否是雨影响了光。

An energy technician went to Dillenbeck's home on May 25 and ensured that the utility's electrical equipment was functioning properly, said PECO spokesman Greg Smore.


Dillenbeck said he is trying to work with Bristol Township to resolve the issue. But council President Craig Bowen said the administration is dealing with more pressing matters. The township administration could not be reached for comment.

Dillenbeck说,他与Bristol Township正在试图努力解决这个问题。但委员会主席Craig Bowen表示,政府正在处理更为紧迫的问题。Township管理机构对此不予置评

Dillenbeck said he would take up the problem with the FCC if it isn't resolved at the local level.


"The federal government says they can't interfere with my radio," Dillenbeck said. "There's a law that protects us. If there were a disaster and the government's equipment broke down, they would go to ham operators to make contact."


Published at 6:33 PM EDT on Aug 3, 2016