Power Supply Woes

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So I'm tired of chasing birdies, got them all resolved accept 2..
1) is my power supply  
2) is the Solar DC pool pump

I can not beleive how much noise you see with the FLEX 6500, always over looked all this noise with the ICOM and KENWOOD I owned.. anyway

First, power supply is getting replaced (already increased cable size and shortened them up).
So I am looking at some honest opinions on this supply for the shack.

Astron VS Series Linear Power Supplies VS-50M

Second question, what power supply do you use?
Lastly, Have you ever measured the noise and ripple from your power supply?  (if you have the equipment to do so)

Thanks for the replies  

(yes I have read many posts here about power supplies, it's why I've changed several things already)

73's

David
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David Warnberg

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Posted 4 years ago

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Duane, AC5AA

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I'm running a W5RV 50A linear supply for my entire station. Very low noise (haven't measured it - haven't needed to). It's probably most similar to an Astron RSxxxM-series supply, only designed and built better. I don't know if these are available any longer. Purchased mine at a hamfest here in TX.
(Edited)
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Jim Gilliam

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Switching power supplies are oscillators with smaller filter capacitors because less capacitance is needed to filter a higher frequency. The switching power supply inherently has more harmonics because the waveform is not purely sinusoidal. They are more prone to creating higher frequency noise. However, I have used some that are very quiet. That being said, for noise, you can't beat a well-regulated linear supply. It operates at 60 Hz. and there is very little noise, if any, generated from them. The down side is they are much heavier and consume more physical space. For noise, you can go wrong with a big well-regulated linear supply.


Jim, K6QE

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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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David,

I have no personal experience with the Astron switching supplies, but I have heard some reports of RF hash & birdies from them.

I have 3 of the Alinco DM-330MVT supplies, one of which has been in service for over 10 years.  Also, our club purchased 3 of them for use in our club station several years ago.  I have found them to be extremely reliable and have NEVER experienced any RF hash or birdies from any of the 6 that I have personal experience with.

They are a little pricier than the Astron ($155 vs $130), but well worth it in my opinion.

73, Ray, K9DUR
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David Warnberg

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Thank you Ray...   FYI, The Astron I'm looking at is a linear supply not one of their switching supplies.

David
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Ray Andrews, K9DUR, Elmer

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David,

I have nothing but good things to say about the Astron linear supplies.

73, Ray, K9DUR
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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I'm not a fan of switching power supplies, their issues have been well documented.  I use Astron RS-M Series linear power supplies in my shack, several of them (20's 35's and a 70).  I dedicated one Astron RS-35M to my Flex-6700.  No noise issues.  It's 25A continuous duty works fine for my Flex.  Measured ripple voltage matches Astron's specs.

Unless you particularly need voltage and current limiting controls of the VS series, the less expensive RS-M series will work fine.  The RS-M series has an internal voltage adjustment that allows fine tuning of the output voltage, although I've never needed to adjust mine. 
(Edited)
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I use an Astron RS-35 linear supply. Works fine. Took the time to open the cabinet and clean all metal-to-metal contact points. Almost all are painted, which messes with the shielding. Anything to improve the "tightness" of any enclosure is a good thing, in my book. PC cabinet likewise. Wattmeters, amplifier, too.

Check your coax (including jumpers) too. A bad connector or low-percentage braid cable can let a lot of junk into the system (and out).

Brute force line filtering on pool pumps can help. I also sunk a ground rod next to mine and connected the housing to it.

One thing I learned from Howard (KY6LA) is to use a battery to run the rig.  Use the PWRGate (West Mountain Radio between it and the power supply.

Every little bit helps! It's amazing the amount of RF crud that's out there. Being able to visualize it with the Flex panadapter makes it easier to mitigate. The lower noise REALLY pays off on receive.

Good luck!



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David Warnberg

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Thanks George... way ahead of you :-)   I have the PWRGate, twin 100ah batteries (SLR100's from http://www.vmaxtanks.com/SLR100-AGM-Solar-Battery_p_37.html

As to the pool pump.. it's SOLAR, and variable speed.. Right now I just shut it off and work around it, but there are plans for loads of shielding in the works plus lots more changes to help.  Going solar saved me about 80.00 a month in electricity but now I deal with the RF noise..  look up "Lorentz Solar Pool Pump – PS600", that's what I have.

Good idea on the cabinet cleanup and making sure good grounding, guess I should have learned that from my transverter builds, guess assuming manufactures take the time to do that is out of the question... hahahaha

Also when I built the new PC I used a corsair power supply and case, interesting how much noise can come from a PC as well... that corsair power supply made a bit difference as well 

Thanks again

David
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Mike Hoing

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George. Which power gate are you running and what type of battery are you using. I too am chasing the last of the noise out

Mike
N9DFD
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David Warnberg

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Mike... I know you are asking George but.... West mountain Radio Super Power Gate...  http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=pg40s

I'm using 2 SLR100's (http://www.vmaxtanks.com/SLR100-AGM-Solar-Battery_p_37.html

Whatever battery you choose, be sure they are safe for indoor use.. i.e. they do not need to be vented.

David
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Mike - David's right on the money.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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When you run off the Powergate ... make sure you are using the battery as the primary source of power not your PS
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Norm - W7CK

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I'm not exactly sure what your talking about here Howard.

I personally run four 6v golf cart batteries and keep a large charger on them.  My equipment is wired to a fused block that comes directly off of the batteries.

Although I usually get about 6-7 years out of my batteries, the next time I need to replace them, I'm thinking of going with an AGM and then maybe the Powergate to keep the battery charged.  Safer I guess......

Are you saying that you use the Powergate to charge the battery and then connect all of your fused equipment directly to the battery?   This has always made more sense to me than running the equipment thru the Powergate.

Norm
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Yes. I connect the equipment to the battery side of the power gate
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KC2QMA_John

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I agree Linear PS are the way to go. QUESTION? If switching supplies are prone to RF noise then is it a good idea for flex to be selling one? http://cart.flexradio.com/Astron-SS-25-Power-Supply_p_18.html
Seems like the Astron RS-35A might be a better choice?
(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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I thought the same thing, I would assume FLEX tested this particular power supply for noise and deemed it within tolerance...

David
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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A good switching supply can be extremely clean.
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David Warnberg

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@George...  Check this out.. pic of waterfall with and without solar pool pump running:

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KD4HSO

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Glad you posted that.  Looks a lot like my, yet unknown, noise source.
(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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Get yourself a SDRPlay... use a laptop to go portable and go looking.. I pinpointed many noises with it.
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Jim Gilliam

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How does the NB or the WNB react to that periodic noise?


Jim, K6QE

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David Warnberg

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It doesn't that I can tell.. here is the real kicker, you can create a TNF, eliminate the noise, then 5 minutes later the peak has moved.. it really moves on a cloudy day, i.e. everytime a cloud goes by the frequency changes...  real challenge

David
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Jim Gilliam

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It isn't noise per se', but rather in band RF generated by the system. That one must be a real crowd pleaser!


Jim, K6QE

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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NB and WNB will never help on the types of noise in the screen shots above.  Those are real signals (e.g. QRM not QRN).  Power supplies are transmitters with lots of strong harmonics.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Here is a link to my "How to Build a Quiet Station"  https://db.tt/xG8SOiRI

BTW... i have 2 Jandy variable speed 2HP pool pumps -  The motors are shielded by the manufacturer  BUT I also had to make sure that everything in my pool control system (Pumps, Heaters, Controls, etc)  was BONDED together to Ground and all paint was removed .
in the screw holes to make sure that there was good ground contacts in the case.  Also a good idea to use corrosion  protectant like NOALOX at the screws.
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David Warnberg

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Thanks Howard... keep in mind, this is a DC pool pump.. not an AC pool pump, Jandy variable speed pool pumps are AC.

David
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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But the RF Noise is AC....even though the source motor power is DC... so Grounding and Shielding should do the job..

Quick suggestion.. Get your hands on a couple of large torroids, clamp them on the power leads - might do the trick
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David Warnberg

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Ummm, I'm confused by that statement... From Solar Panels to Control Box is DC, from Control Box to Pump is DC.. where is this AC coming from??

https://www.lorentz.de/pdf/lorentz_ps_pool_general_en-us.pdf
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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A DC Brushless Motor works by switching DC current around the various coils in the motor to change the orientation of electromagnet field which in turn causes the motor to rotate.  The Switching Circuit that moves the current to the different coils and the Rise and Fall of Current in the coils is an Alternating Current which is a well known cause of RFI...
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David Warnberg

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Thanks Howard....  I have been doing some research as well and pursuing the suggestions found in this post

http://www.solar-electric.com/reducing-electromagnetic-interference-pv-systems.html/

David
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Note that they also recommend Ferrites...
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Make sure you use type 31 ferrite material toroids.  If you don't know what the material is, it probably won't help.  Many junk box toroids don't help at HF.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Similar problem in my previous home, 1HP pond pump with VFD.  The VFD is just a double switching power supply feeding crud on both input and output wires.  In my case 4 PS as the output was 3 phase.  This pump VFD was on a circuit that also fed the outdoor lights. (a 160M endfed antenna)

Solution:  (-60db but still noticeable on 80/160 and no longer wiped out the LF aircraft landing beacon on the overhead glide slope into the town airport)

  • Mounted the VFD inside a Hammond shielded box (door appropriately grounded to case)
  • Shielded 4 wire power cord from Hammond (VFD) to pump.  It is out there - Ask at an industrial electrical supplier
  • Commercial EMI suppressor filter on power (mounted on inside of box to keep EMI inside the case)  This was 110V in my case but a different version for whatever V-DC you are running 
  • Ground rod at the Hammond box.  Tried an isolated ground installation (orange 15A plug) but eventually bonded inside and outside grounds
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David Warnberg

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Thanks Stan.. yes I have what they consider a small transformer box coming for the pump to be housed in and we are looking into a shielded cable for the 6 foot run between controller and pump... I have detected all this noise coming from that run as well as pump.
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WX7Y

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I have to agree with the comments about your question about Power supply's.
I do have to say that I have tested MANY brands of Switching Power supplies and the quietest Switching supply I have seen is the Alinco  DM330 series that Ray K9DUR mentioned in a earlier post, I use the newer one that has the USB charge port on it and I really like the DM330 for being dependable and RF quiet. 

The big difference you will see with one of the Linear power supplies is there weight and how much current they draw from the AC lines compared with the switchers.for the same DC loads.
I had a Astron 35 Amp Linear power supply before the Alinco switcher on my radio station here and my power bill was $12.00 on average higher then with the Alinco switcher.

I have tested the following Switching Power supplies with the highest HF RF noise first. 1 being the worst in my test.
1: Astron RS35
2: Ameritron / MFJ early model of SPF75 , MFJ4275, MFJ4245 all pretty noisy.
3. Jetstream JTPS75BCMMKII (basicly the same exact unit as the Amerton and MFJ4275 but not as noisy.
4. DuraComm LP-25 
5: Samlex America SEC1235M< Almost as good as the Alinco DM330 but does have some RF hash.
6. Alinco DM330FX, much much better then the rest of the pack and it does have a knob you can adjust just INCASE you have a little spike on your operating frequency, but I have never used it here. 

Hope this helps and of course your milage will very 

73's
Bret
WX7Y


 
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Ken - NM9P

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I also use the Alinco DM330 and have never noticed any power supply generated noise, except for below the AM Broadcast Band.  Now, Perhaps there could be some general wide-band white noise, but short of testing with a battery in an A/B situation, I wouldn't know it...That is a test for another day....

Ken - NM9P
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Jerry - W2TXB

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I was using an Astron RS-35M for many years, but changed to a BK Precision 1692 on the recommendation of some folks here. No problems with generated noise, and it handles everything it feeds without breaking a sweat.
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Walt - KZ1F

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That's so weird, your spikes appear evenly spaced every 6khz on 40m. I have a similar issue but its on 160 and 80 and spaced evenly at 1khz. You don't have a UPS, do you? My current thinking is mine is my APC UPS but I haven't proved it yet. I am, however, curious how yours resolves.
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David Warnberg

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Walt.. I do have a UPS.. it's not the issue.. or are you referring to KD4HSO post?  


I can clearly turn mine on and off at the switch... :-)

David
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Walt - KZ1F

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Not familiar with the post you referenced. I assumed it perhaps was due to modified sine wave. FRS sold me a switched astron 25amp. I figured, as it came from them, it was good.
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David Warnberg

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Walt, if you look at my post it's the solar pool pump, there are attached pictures to show it.. one is taken with the pump on the other is with pump off...  so I know whats causing the issue.. there are other birdies there and I've found that to be the power supply for the most part....

David
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KC2QMA_John

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Here's one that drove me nuts for a while. My Rechargeable shaver that my wife bought me as a Christmas present would create a pulse  across the HF band once every 3 seconds. I didn't have the heart to tell her so one it's charged I just unplug the charging stand. I tell her it's top save power ;)
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Norm - W7CK

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Many of the newer pool pumps, AC motors, well pumps, chargers, TVs and other devices generate a bunch of birdies or hash.  You can spend a bunch of time tracking down the noise generators you own but then a lot of these generate signals that go over a hundred yards.  Pretty hard to deal with signal or noise generators that belong to the neighbors 3 doors down!
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Jim Gilliam

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Yep, that's why I remote from my cabin in Big Bear. So far, it's rural enough that my noise floor is -125 dBm. However, I don't expect it to last forever.


Jim, K6QE

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Norm - W7CK

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I run most of my station on a 12v battery bank built on four 6v golf cart batteries.  It makes for a very nice emergency radio system and it is pretty quiet.

I do have a switcher that I used in the past.  Its a power-werx SS-30DV.  The darn thing is pretty quiet and I would highly recommend it.  Very small, light, efficient and doesn't create a bunch of heat like the linear supplies.   I have an older Astron linear supply but I never use it any more.  Big, heavy, creates a bunch of heat and uses a lot of power just sitting there doing nothing.
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Lee, Elmer

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I'm using 3 Samlex 1223's  one for the 6500 one for the 6300 and one for peripherals and none of them are noisy.  I switched from Astron linear supplies because the transformer buzz in the Astrons used to drive me nuts.  They were RF quiet but physically very annoying.  I also had a Samlex 1235 which was RF quiet but had a fan which would turn off and on all the time.  The 1223's have fans but I have yet to hear one turn on.  I live in the sticks and some days my local noise is in the -130 to -135 dBm range on some bands.  I like the 1223's because you can often pick them up on ebay for 60 or 70 bucks

73  W9OY