Originally Posted by popta
I'm a bit late to this thread but earlier there was some confusion/contention about "two way wires" and whether physics really worked like that. 100% yes that is a thing. Electronic devices don't just take power from the grid like a one way street, they also put signals back into it. It's why you sometimes hear your neighbour's power saw through your stereo, and also why big factories have those capacitor farms out behind them. It's an old problem with lots of government standards and regulation required to keep electronics from polluting the grid. So yes, your grow ballast could conceivably cause a "signature" noise on the power line that could be recognized by the utility company. I'm not saying I know of utility companies hunting growers down, just that anyone who believes devices can't put noise back onto the line isn't very familiar with electronics.
A well made switch mode power supply will have a multi-stage RF noise filter and a "power factor correction" unit on the input. Together these greatly reduce the signature the device imparts on the line. Including these components naturally adds cost, weight and size to the power supply but the government mandates many electronics makers include them, for all of our benefit. Devices are lumped into different classes that are regulated more or less strictly. Computers and TVs are held to some of the tightest standards, the switching supplies in those have to be very very good. I don't know what class horticultural lighting falls in, but I think it's a safe bet that the cheapest Chinese ballasts wouldn't bother to comply with it anyways.
Just to be clear, the issue I'm talking about here is noise from the device being conducted back down the wall plug and out onto the grid, not noise being radiated from the lamp side of the device into the air. Both are problems, but separate ones with their own causes/solutions/and regulations.
So is there a device that we could plug our equipment into that would give us an extra layer of sense of security?
An aftermarket stand alone that is the equivalent of the internal components of the higher end ballasts.
My extra sun 600w says it could interfere with maritime communications. I'm in mountain creek area so no boats.
But I have a few 2005ish light/ballast combos also that I wonder about.
We don't have cable out here yet. Alot of satellite TV and internet.
Fiber optic networks are getting closer and closer but not to my area yet.