AFCI and HF signals

About the time I set up my station, I updated and repaired some electrical issues around the house. Part of this was for the radio setup. I added some ground rods and bonded them to the main house ground rod. I have one rod outside my station and the other is over by the where the antenna is installed.

Inside the house, I had to replace a GFCI breaker that was faulty on my load center. This breaker controlled by outside outlets as well as the bathroom outlets. While I was at it I had the electrician add a second one to cover some outlets near the kitchen sink. All was well for a while.

I started noticing that the GFCI would trip on both new breakers. I suspected the radio but didn’t see a correlation until I started using PSK31 on 20m. I started digging around some more and found that what was installed were Eaton AFCI breakers. These are well know to be susceptible to be tripped by HF signals in the 20m to 12m range. So using 10m everything was ok. When I tried 20m PSK31 transmission the breakers tripped almost immediately. Go figure….

So my plan now is to have the electrician come back in and replace the AFCI breakers with standard ones. Then I have to replace about five standard outlets with Leviton GFCI types. That should so the trick.


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