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Thread: My new light fixture messed up the stereo. Why? Update, I fixed it :-)

  1. #1
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    My new light fixture messed up the stereo. Why? Update, I fixed it :-)


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    I had a light fixture today go belly up, so I ran down to the hardware store and got a new one. This fixture was very similar to the old one. Both were made by Lithonia, both had the new electronic ballast as well as the T8 bulbs. When I wired this one in my stereo went completely to static. I'm in a rural area and only get four halfway decent stations. Tunes are an absolute must in my shop! Any help would be appreciated. The silence is killing me.
    Last edited by Mike Quesenberry; 09-27-2012 at 08:21 PM.
    Mike Quesenberry
    ABS Mastersmith
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  2. #2
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    Try plugging the sterio into a different socket to see if that makes any difference.

  3. #3
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    Did you attach the ground wire well?

  4. #4
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    Furthermore, does the radio still have static when the lights are turned off?

  5. #5
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    RFI -radio frequency interference . actually fairly common .It may be different between am and fm. The 'green' replacement flourescent bulbs will often do the same thing as they have a circuit in them. Can you put the radio in the next room and put an external speaker in your work room ? My kitchen radio is actually in the dining room with external speaker and is then uneffected by the light.

  6. #6
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    Or get an MP3 player

  7. #7
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    Or stream an internet radio. Pandora for example. It dont get any better.

  8. #8
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    hey brother...The ballast in the light shouldn't interfere with radio signals, but if its a small area and the radio is close to the light for some reason, it could mess with the radio reception. Is it an older style radio with the wire antenna? I would try moving the radio away from the light first and see if that helps...if not, you might have to upgrade and either stream music online, or step up to an ipod or mp3 player

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockjockey24 View Post
    I would try moving the radio away from the light first and see if that helps...
    Yeah, that.

    If your puter is anywhere near the shop, you're all set. Because of this thread I just remembered my fave hard rock radio station from up north streams for free, and so do gazillions of others... pretty much any music you can think of, sports, comedy, news, whatever. (I like Knoxville but the radio is basically NPR, pop country, pop country, hip hop or pop country... )

    Or you could spend $50-500 on a new boombox/radio/CD/mp3 player. Drag your knuckles into the 21st century, man!
    Beckerhead # 350

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  10. #10
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    Get out the old Boyz to Men or Enya Cassettes and play the old boom box!
    "A true friend sends you a knife big enough to kill bears....And enough good beer to give you the courage to do so!" - Mike Davis
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  11. #11
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    The shop is separate from the house so streaming music isn't an option, OH MAN I wish it was. This stereo is fairly modern and it sends power to the huge speakers I have mounted to the walls (12" woofers, cause I need to hear the tunes even when power hammer is running ).

    The stereo has been in the same place for years and so has the light fixture and no static. The only thing I changed was the fixture itself and it was similar to the other one.

    I'm gonna try sanding around where the ground wire connects to the fixture and try the stereo without the lights on.
    Mike Quesenberry
    ABS Mastersmith
    www.Quesenberryknives.com

  12. #12
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    When I turn the lights off the Bee Gees come in loud and clear. I tried sanding the area where the ground wire connects to the fixture and it didn't help, the static obscured the melodic tones of Barry Gibb
    Mike Quesenberry
    ABS Mastersmith
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  13. #13
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    Electrical noise

    Flourescent lights are notorious for being noisy. Is the noise only present on the radio or does it appear when playing a CD or a tape? If the noise is present regardless of the source, the noise is probably on the power lines; a line filter on the power plug for the sterio would probably help, or as was suggested move the plug to an outlet on the opposite side of the ckt breaker panel. If the noise only appears on the radio, it is probably coming through the air and being picked up by the sterio circuits. In this case moving the sterio to a diffetent location or even turning it 90 degrees might help.

    Jim Arbuckle
    Last edited by DAMNENG; 09-25-2012 at 06:36 PM. Reason: type o

  14. #14
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    Fasion yourself a tinfoil toque, remove all of your fillings and put banana peels in your shoes.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin



    Rick Marchand
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  15. #15
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    Rick, thanks for the words of wisdom but I think I'm gonna listen to damneng and get a line filter.
    Mike Quesenberry
    ABS Mastersmith
    www.Quesenberryknives.com

  16. #16
    I put in four eight foot high output flourescents in my garage a couple months ago. When the ballasts warmed up they started making a strange noise that sounded more like running/gurgling water than the normal flourescent hum. The weirder thing is everything in my house that is electronic would make the same noise when the lights were on...including the breaker box, television, stove, and alarm clock. After having an electrician come over, I tore the ballasts out and replaced them with a different brand. That fixed the problem.

    I guess you might want to try taking the light back and getting one from a different brand.
    Last edited by R.Markus; 09-26-2012 at 01:34 PM.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  17. #17
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    I believe R.Markus has the answer......bad ballast/bulbs. Try switching the bulbs first, then the ballast.

    Sadly, both items are made in China today, and QC is not a priority.
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Quesenberry View Post
    Rick, thanks for the words of wisdom but I think I'm gonna listen to damneng and get a line filter.
    Well, you need to do what you feel is right, I guess.

    Here is something odd. I hung two 4ft flourescent lights above my leather bench and my cordless phone didn't like it at all. A friend told me to turn the two units 90degrees and to my surprise, it worked. Them elektricities is stupit.

    Rick
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin



    Rick Marchand
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    Come visit me at Blade Show 2014. Table 19-O

  19. #19
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    Fasion yourself a tinfoil toque, remove all of your fillings and put banana peels in your shoes. < What Rick said, then Muskrat Love will come in loud and clear.
    Some people are a lot like Slinkies.....they're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

  20. #20
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    "the Bee Gees come in loud and clear" Therein lies your problem. Those fruity muthas are screwing everything up.


    At one point, my life was meaningless. Hobos spit on me and little children would run up and punch me in the groin.

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