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HF RF Tripping Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI's)

Dec 8th 2016, 14:25

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Always glad to help. My email is gskey(at)Q (dot) com
Dec 8th 2016, 15:55

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
There is a lot of information on the eHam blog http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,96949.660.html
Dec 11th 2016, 04:22

RobHill

Joined: Aug 22nd 2016, 20:09
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Total Posts: 0
Thanks for the link to the blog. I'll send an email. Thanks again.

73, Rob KE5TM
Apr 6th 2017, 00:02

WA4TCJ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I call EATON on the 2 numbers posted by ARRL. I haven't got any response.
WA4TCJ
Apr 10th 2017, 16:44

W1MG

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
This is the first report that I've heard of this. When did you first call Eaton? Did you leave a message or try to call again? What is the current status of you complaint? Thanks.
Apr 24th 2017, 13:32

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Had another issue in Hawaii. Electricians are still installing the defective AFCIs in new construction.
May 13th 2017, 08:22

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Another ham in Oakland is tripping his neighbor's breakers. He found the blog on eHam and told his neighbor how to get in touch with Eaton. The ARRL needs to publish this problem again. Not doing so is a disservice to the ham community!
Jul 9th 2017, 19:13

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thanks to the ARRL for scheduling republication of this problem in QST. Scheduled for the September issue.
Aug 10th 2017, 09:32

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Page 32 of the September 2017 QST has a full page Q&A with information on contacting Eaton.
Sep 1st 2017, 12:18

ad0fl

Joined: Sep 13th 2013, 18:09
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Total Posts: 0
I'll join in with a similar issue with Eaton breakers installed in a new construction home (2017) that are popping. Right now I'm only running barefoot into a 20m attic dipole. Our electrical contractor did contact Eaton thanks to the information in the ARRL article. Apparently all Eaton breakers manufactured after 2015 should have a fix incorporated that prevents RFI from popping them.

The electrician replaced all 5 breakers that would randomly pop when I keyed down, and not always on the first transmission. It could take multiple transmissions to for one of them to pop. Of course within 5 minutes I was able to get one of the new breakers to pop. So back to Eaton with that information and the next steps.
Sep 6th 2017, 21:31

KZ3L

Joined: Feb 24th 2016, 21:48
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Well, put another complaint in the log. We bought and moved into a home in July south of Dayton, OH. The house was built in 2013. I had never heard of the AFCI RFI problems until now, after putting up a random wire, then a coax-fed dipole (through a 1:1 balun), and tripping multiple breakers in our home on 40m, 20m, and 15m at only 15 watts. (10W and below appear safe.)

Eaton referred me to a local distributor who had no knowledge of this issue but promised to contact Eaton for their guidance.

Our HOA has antenna restrictions so I was hoping to operate "under the radar." But assuming I am able to get our home's breakers upgraded, and am able to operate at higher power levels (up to 100W), i do fear my neighbors will have problems, too. Their homes were built around the same timeframe.

How frustrating!
Oct 10th 2017, 20:30

KD5CMW

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I purchased my newly constructed home in October of 2012, not knowing that I had 13 Eaton BRCAF120 breakers installed in the load center in the garage. I have recently installed a flagpole vertical antenna for HF use, and found that I can trip nearly all of the breakers with as little as 10 watts on anything above 7.3 MHz. I have been in contact with Eaton customer service with regard to getting these breakers replaced with their "ham" breakers and they continue to redirect me to the electrical wholesaler who sold the breakers initially. As I am not the builder of the home, I have no knowledge of where the breakers were purchased or any proof of purchase. I simply have the deed to the house. What recourse do I have, if any, to get these breakers replaced with something that is not as sensitive to RF?

Thank you,

Josh
Feb 6th 2018, 22:40

smecca

Joined: Oct 27th 2014, 03:17
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
RFI in the shack, especially on the AC side. 40m and 80m are the worst. The upper bands are on a delta loop at 45'. 40m is a double bazooka at 30'. 80m is an inverted L at 33'. Over 30 radials, 5 ground rods spaced at 8' Cadwelded with #4 copper. Ferrite beads on all RF leads and the AC power cords. UnNun baluns and everything bonded in the shack. I even have a small Farady cage around the radio and amp. The AFCI all trip at key up. Not sure what else to try. The antennas are all right above the radio, tuner, and amp. The vertical mast is literally within 7' of the equipment. One ham said that I would never get rid of the RFI until I move the antennas away from the shack. The vertical mast is within 12' of the meter base to the house. What can be done???
Jun 4th 2018, 14:46

AJ5TT

Joined: Sep 29th 1999, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
Well, I see Eaton is a favorite subject on this thread. I have been inactive for several years, built a new home and moved in September 2016. The station was not a priority so it took a while to get operational. Made a contact and my UPS indicated a power failure, found several breakers tripped, did some research and found that Eaton breakers were susceptible to RFI. Well bummer (substituted for actual wording used) and made an initial call, VM, to Bob. Will try Joe later. Reading through the thread, seems that there was a HAM friendly breaker but unknown if my new panel has the new or old breakers. Will find out soon enough.
Sep 11th 2018, 13:48

W5YZ

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
AJ5TT, Any change? Lots of help if you call Mike Gruber. You should NOT have to pay for the problem to be fixed. It's Eaton's responsibility to replace those breakers with the updated version at no charge.
George

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