Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter RFI Problems

Posted on: Mon, 08/17/2020 - 04:20 By: VE7JXC

Being new to Amateur Radio like most people, we start with VHF and UHF and then move to HF. Enjoying the VHF and UHF bands I decided to try HF and FT8. I got a HF radio, installed a 40 meter loop antenna in the attic and started to make contacts.

My neighbour called shortly after I started with FT8, he was wondering if I had an idea why one of their house circuits would trip, this was an arc fault circuit breaker. We discussed some ideas to try, but didn't solve the problem. 

After being away for a week I'm back on FT8 and he texts me, are you on your radio? Yes. What band are you on? 20 meters. I then get a phone call.

Short story, when ever I broadcast on 20 meters his circuit breaker trips.

Doing some Google searches I find many articles including https://www.dxengineering.com/techarticles/lightningandrfiinfo/arc-fault-circuit-interrupter-rfi-problems. It seams Eaton AFCI breakers were found to be particularly sensitive on 20m, 17m, 15m, and 12m bands for tripping Arc Fault circuit breakers.

I have the same breaker in our house and only one breaker is tripping in his house.

There are stories of Eaton replacing the faulty circuit breakers for free, for the time being I'm not broadcasting on 20m.

John

VE7JXC