Recently, I received an e-mail asking if I had heard from anyone regarding noise emissions to their telemetry systems caused by a defective ballast in the hospital’s lighting system. I had not, but I pose the question to all of you, here’s what he said:

“At a number of hospitals, we had users reporting intermittent dropouts with our 608 MHz medical band patient telemetry systems. We were able to trace the source of the issue to RF [radio frequency] interference caused by faulty fluorescent lighting systems. In some cases the problem was traced to faulty ICN-4P32-SC ballasts, but at other times it was identified to be faulty T8 light bulbs that were arcing. The telemetry drop out could be reproduced by turning on the faulty lights and eliminated by turning off the same lights in a particular room or area of the hospital.”

He continued saying, “After the hospital facility team replaced the faulty ballasts and/or light bulbs, the noise was no longer seen on our RF network—and the user no longer experienced dropouts. Hospitals installing the high efficient energy saving fluorescent lighting should be made aware of this potential problem.”

Let us know if this has also been a problem for you and any other suggestions you have.