Lidl Parkside 1200 Watt Generator (June 2017 Model)

Discussion in 'Interference Problems' started by David Leckie, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    I am experiencing EMC issues with the above piece of equipment. I purchased it mainly for /P (IOTA activations) as I was finding carrying large lead acid batteries onto boats and up beaches “hard going”.

    It is said to comply with the EMC 2014/30/EU directive which states “the electromagnetic disturbance generated does not exceed the level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended;” However the EMC issue is making it unusable.

    Initially I ran the generator under my dipoles while the rig was powered from the mains/battery - no QRM even with a long lead parallel to dipole and a purely resistive load at the end of the power cable.
    (Convector heater as load on generator and rig powered from the mains/battery)

    Next I looked at my PSU's. I have a heavy linear shack PSU and a light weight switched mode PSU for /P so I compared both.

    I ran the rig off a lead acid battery to eliminate cable borne EMC
    I fitted a good copper rod earth on the generator but that did not help.
    I powered each PSU from the mains and no EMC issues.

    When I powered either PSU from the generator terrible QRM. S7 on 20M and S9 on 40M

    Now for the strange bit. With the PSU switched off but connected to the generator (rig powered from battery) I still get terrible QRM.

    I did the same test with PSU's powered from mains no QRM.

    So it seems to be a combination of:-

    The generator and PSU (PSU can be switched on or off I still have terrible QRM so long as its connected to the power cable from the generator)

    Switched Mode or Linear PSU makes no difference.

    PSU's connected the mains no QRM

    PSU's connected to the generator (running) but PSU's switched off and rig powered from battery terrible QRM.

    My suspicion is that the DC lead from the PSU is where its coming from.

    Now if I have the PSU and the DC cable at least 5M away no QRM ie DC cable beside PSU and 5M away from rig.

    As I approach the rig with the DC cable (disconnected from rig the PSU can be switched off) the QRM increases.
    It doesn't need to be connected to the rig just have it close to the rig and its S7 to S9 QRM.

    I have ordered a mains filter for the AC power cable and some ferrite beads to clip onto the DC cable as a start.

    Has anyone any other suggestions?
    Is anyone else using this same model of generator?

    Dave
    GM4NFI
  2. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    The answer to your last sentence Dave is NO.

    Yes a bit of an odd one, its a shame that you do not know someone who has another generator you can compare it with, that would be the acid test.

    Until you try the filter and the ferrites then we will never know, what sort of ferrites have you ordered and from where would that be?

    Out of interest Dave where was the generator made?
  3. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Dave just had a look at some of the comments regrading this item, mainly from caravaners and boaters, seems quite a popular item with those guys.

    That does not help you at all and the only adverse comment that came up a few times is that A. Its heavy and also very noisy.

    I think that the noise you are experiencing must be coming from the inverter.

    The fact of course that it says that it conforms to whatever does not mean that it does, just something to think about
  4. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

  5. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    Hi Ken
    Many thanks for the feedback/comments.

    I have ordered the following

    Ferrite Clips - pack of 10 eBay item 263009328603
    Clip-on Ferrite Core Ring Bead High-frequency Filter RFI EMI Cable Clip - 9mm

    Filter
    SCHAFFNER FN2070-10-06 FILTER, 10A but they will probably not arrive till mid next week.

    Where the generator is made is a good question. I thought it was German as it was Lidl and it said GMBH on the label but it does not actually say its made there just that it is sold by "Parkside" in GMBH. Nowhere does it say where it was actually made.
    Of course the parts could be made in diffeent countries and it is assembled in GMBH.

    Today I ran some further (inconclusive) tests.

    I found a single clip on ferrite bead in the shack and tried it on the DC lead when not connected to the rig – made no difference.

    I tried running the generator with a very short power lead no change.

    I tried earthing the TS 570, the generator and the PSU to a copper spike driven well into the wet ground - no difference.

    (The PSU’s –ve is connected to earth internally according to my meter)

    I used a magnetic mobile whip on a big steel sheet as an antenna so I could move the antenna about to get a "feel" as to the range of the QRM.

    The following are with DC lead well away from the rig and not causing QRM. Rig powered from a battery.

    The distances are from the antenna to the generator.

    7M nil QRM
    4M S3 QRM
    1M S5 QRM

    Next test is with the Antenna over 7M from the generator so it is not picking up QRM.

    The rig is powered from a battery.

    The DC lead is attached to the PSU which is connected to the generator.

    3M nil QRM
    1M S3 QRM
    0M S8 QRM (i.e) not connected but adjacent to the DC connection on the rig.

    Powering the rig from the PSU/Generator had exactly the same level of QRM as having it power from a battery and the DC lead from the PSU adjacent to the power connection.

    All above were on 40M. On 20M the QRM is about 1 – 2 S points less.

    Next I powered my caravan from the generator and checked the broadcast bands on its internal radio which is powered from the caravan battery which is kept charged via charger in the caravan. i.e. QRM from the generator should be getting into the caravan electrics.

    On WBFM channels it did not seem to be causing QRM but on the MW/LW broadcast bands it was causing massive QRM.


    Next I had a look at our 2M band. Again there was no sign of QRM when I powered my FT 817 from its internal battery and put its antenna near the power lead from the PSU powered by the generator.

    Tomorrow I am going to strip the shielding from an old length of UR 67, wrap this round the DC power cable and earth it.

    What I really need to do is compare it with another generator.

    Yes it does seem not to meet the EMC 2014/30/EU directive on LF/MF/HF but it seems OK on VHF and UHF - these days that's all that the general public are bothered about.

    73
    Dave
    GM4NFI
  6. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Some good tests there Dave, as for where it is made well the name Parkside is only a Lidl trading name and no such company exists.

    Lets see if the filter and ferrites work and then i feel if that does not work then a call to Lidl will be in order.
  7. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Dave i have just looked at the ferrites that you have ordered, sorry to say i doubt whether they will get anywhere near sorting the problem.

    Take a look at this web site and there you will find the correct type, not cheap but what you need.

    http://www.ifwtech.co.uk/g3sek/in-prac/index.htm#big31
  8. gm3sek

    gm3sek New Member

    Small ferrite beads have very little effect at HF, and 'unknown eBay ferrite' is an even worse of a gamble.

    For a difficult HF problem like this, you need several turns on one big core of the right type of ferrite. There is only one readily available core that meets that specification, namely the big clamp-on core made from Fair-Rite mix 31 as listed on my website.

    NB: This specific core and no other - THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE.

    It then comes down to finding the best price (search for the Fair-Rite part number 0431177081 and don't forget the cost of delivery if applicable). Best price for a one-off is currently from M0PZT (www.hamgoodies.co.uk/problem-solver-ferrite) at £17.00 + £4.50 delivery. But the bigger distributors are more competitive when ordering two or more, due to their free shipping on larger orders. The best price is currently RS at £15.33+VAT each (free delivery) with Mouser.co.uk not far behind.

    For the generator problem, wind as many turns of the whole mains cable as you can manage onto one of these cores, as close to the mains plug as physically possible. You may need a second choke, a bit further down the cable or possibly at the equipment end. The whole point of using clamp-on cores is that you can experiment very quickly.

    Since you will always find a use for a second core, I strongly recommend ordering two at a time. Despite the price they are a really good investment. A spare core is also a very useful piece of EMC testgear - you can very quickly try it on any cable without needing to remove connectors etc. And for operating away from home, where you never know what you will find, I always take two of these cores in the toolbox.

    More information in my RSGB Conference video ().


    73 from Ian GM3SEK
  9. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Yes Ian i did point him in your direction.
  10. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    Hi Ian/Ken
    Many thanks for all the good advice. I think I will order up 2 Fair-Rite part number 0431177081.
    One for the AC lead to the PSU and another for the DC lead from the PSU to the rig.

    In your video you said that the PSU -ve should not be earthed. I have checked the PSU and there seems to be 0 ohm between -ve line and the case of the PSU. The video explanation was quite short about the reason/remedy for this.

    While I am waiting for the ferrites to arrive I am going to make up a DC lead using 2 lengths of old UR 67 to see if shielding them helps at all.

    Will update you all on the results.

    73
    Dave
    GM4NFI
  11. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Cheers Dave, belt and braces indeed.
  12. G3OYU

    G3OYU New Member

    Hello Dave
    Have you thought to have a look at the DC supply with a 'scope? This might suggest where the problem might lie. Do you have any knowledge of the source of the DC? Is it from a DC winding on the generator, or is it a rectified supply off the AC winding? If the latter does the supply have adequate filtering?
    73
    Brian G3OYU
  13. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    The mains filter and the 9mm ferrite beads arrived yesterday.
    Today I tried them with some success.
    Fitting the mains filter to the extension lead at the generator end totally stopped the QRM on 20M and reduced it from S9 to S5 on 40M.
    However it is still present on 15M but that is to be expected as 40M and 15M are harmonically related.
    Having the filter at the PSU end made the QRM worse, back to S9 on 40M. The filter is more effective at the generator end of the cable.

    Fitting 11 9mm ferrite beads to the DC power cable made no appreciable difference.

    I also tried DC leads individually in case only one lead was the source. With either lead connected there was no change. Both had to be disconnected to stop the QRM.

    Next step is to order up 2 Fair-Rite part number 0431177081 beads.

    Until these arrive I am going to make up a screened DC lead out of 2 lengths of UR 67. Probably not heavy enough for TX but should be fine for RX QRM testing.

    Thanks for all the good advice so far. Will update on any progress.

    73
    Dave
    GM4NFI
  14. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    Hi Brian
    Currently I don't have a scope but its top of my "wish list" - when I was working I could "borrow" one from work so I never bothered buying one but now that I am retired that source has stopped. Yes "Scopping" the output would be interesting.

    I think I will take the side pannels off the generator and have a look at how it is made and what (if any) filtering is included.

    A lot of cheaper generators use car alternators to generate AC, rectify it to DC then use a pure sine wave inverter to convert it back into 50Hz DC.

    Ken - I have been sent a copy of the June 2012 QST article on generators its interesting and relevant - its a pdf but I am not sure if due to copyright I can upload it here.

    73
    Dave
    GM4NFI
  15. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    David, well if it is a QST article then it is in the general domain so i do not see why you cannot post it here, but that is entirely up to you of course.


    By taking off the side panels will invalidate your warranty, so be careful.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  16. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    The mains filter and the 9mm ferrite beads arrived yesterday.
    Today I tried them with some success.
    Fitting the mains filter to the extension lead at the generator end totally stopped the QRM on 20M and reduced it from S9 to S5 on 40M.
    However it is still present on 15M but that is to be expected as 40M and 15M are harmonically related.
    Having the filter at the PSU end made the QRM worse, back to S9 on 40M. The filter is more effective at the generator end of the cable.

    Fitting 11 9mm ferrite beads to the DC power cable made no appreciable difference.
  17. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    I tried using UR 67 as the DC lead with the braid earthed but it made no difference.
    I was running the rig off a battery and the UR 67 leads were coming from the generator via a PSU.
    The critical factor is NOT how close these leads are to the rig but how close they are to the DC lead from the battery.

    I have uploaded some pictures of the generator with the case sides removed so you can see the electrical control circuit.

    73
    Dave
    GM4NFI

    Attached Files:

  18. Ken G3SDW

    Ken G3SDW Moderator

    Not a lot can be seen other that the way is is constructed. You need to see if there are any mains filter components fitted or if they have been omited which can often be the case.

    Think you better wait for the other ferries to arrive before you can go any further

    73
    Ken
    G3SDW
    RSGB EMS Help Desk
  19. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    Hi Ken
    Yes not much else I can do until the ferrites arrive. I was asked for an audio recording of the QRM. This I have made as an .mp3 file but it appears you cannot upload .mp3 files to this site only image files. Same seems to apply to .pdf files.

    73
    Dave
  20. David Leckie

    David Leckie New Member

    Oops missed a photo of the big toroid inside the generator.
    Dave

    Attached Files:

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